Seattle Works

A blog that documents all things Seattle Works…and much much more!

21% of my life – now that’s some 21 Fun. December 20, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 2:49 am

This week marks my 6 year and 11 month anniversary on the Seattle Works staff. I just did the math and it turns out that six years and eleven months is 21% of my entire life.

Six years and eleven months is longer than I attended any single school, longer than any romantic relationship I’ve been in (present one excluded), longer than I’ve held any other job.

After that amount of time, you have a pretty good understanding of what you’ve gotten yourself into.

And it turns out that what I’ve gotten myself into is an optimistic, action-oriented, welcoming, occasionally hilarious community that legitimately makes Seattle a better place to call home.

In a culture where people wring their hands about polarization, about people not being connected, about distrust, Seattle Works is a place where cynicism comes to die.

More than 120 different organizations benefited from the help of Seattle Works volunteers this year, totaling up some 18,000 hours of service. Those volunteers came to Seattle Works because they wanted to make a difference. They may not have known what issue or cause it was going to be yet, what it was going to look like, or how to get started. But they knew they wanted to DO SOMETHING.

For the past 21 years (including the last six years and 11 months of my life) Seattle Works has been the place for a new generation to get connected with community involvement. It’s the place where a spark of interest can be kindled into a lifetime of service and engagement.

I’ve seen it first hand for almost seven years now, and I can confidently say it’s an organization we want around for the long term. Our community needs Seattle Works.

When you make a gift to Seattle Works, you’re investing in the future of connecting volunteers, developing emerging leaders and inspiring dialogue. It’s a sure bet.

– Tara


21 reasons team works kicks butt December 18, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works,Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 6:11 pm

21. Team Works served 120 different organizations in 2010.

20. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, people in their early 20s have the lowest volunteer rates in the country (18.8% compared to 31% for people ages 35-54). We balk at that stat! Average age of volunteers in Team Works is 24.

19. We’re all about results. Team Oh So Dirty 30 and Team Sleepless in Seattle sorted 1,240 boxes of crayons, 6,271 pens, 1,909 glue sticks, 687 binders and 2,038 spiral notebooks so that 7,500 students in need could start the school year with the supplies they needed.

18. Team Works volunteers served as the face of Seattle Works to 12 new partner organizations this year, including Downtown Food Bank, Rebuilding Together Seattle, SANCA, Seattle Animal Shelter and Page Ahead. Bonus: Three of our new partner organizations got connected to Seattle Works thanks for a referral from a Team Works volunteer.

17. It’s not all hard work. We play hard too. Celebrations have been held in honor of our volunteers at places like Jillian’s Billiards, King’s Hardware, Amber, The Garage and Piecora’s Pizza.

16. Speaking of fun, our Team Works teams get together outside of volunteering. There have been World Cup viewing parties, happy hours, hiking and even trampoline dodgeball.



15. We trained 71 Team Captains this year, many of whom stayed on to lead more than one round of Team Works.

14. The A Team partnered with HandsOn Leadership project managers to make a real and lasting impact at Hamlin-Robinson School:

13. 2010 = most teams in Seattle Works history! 62 teams, which translates to 614 individuals and over 11,900 hours of service donated to our community.

12. November’s Team Works projects were dedicated to our local greenspaces. Of the 1000+ people who dug in on Green Seattle Day, 320 were Team Works volunteers!

11. Team Works + Seattle Schools = a lasting partnership. Teams volunteered at 10 different schools doing projects like painting, cutting, copying, planting a school garden, landscaping, cleaning and even scrubbing a playground. We’re all about creating a healthy and productive place for students and freeing up the teachers’ time to do what they do best: teach!


Now it’s your turn.

Help us complete the list by telling us one of your favorite things about Team Works.

Want to make sure Team Works stays strong?  Make a gift to Seattle Works:


The ask, year two December 17, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 6:52 pm

 Brought to you by this year’s volunteer of the year.  He’s continually earning his title.  Take it away ace Thomas:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

    The short: I ask you to support Seattle Works by giving $25 today. The link is  

If you need some convincing or want to read about me crying, then read on.

    The long: This is my second annual request for my friends and family to support Seattle Works.  This is part of the Seattle Works “21 Fun” campaign that marks Seattle Works’s 21st anniversary.  As many of you know from listening to me babble on incessantly, Seattle Works is a non-profit organization that strives to engage folk in their community. Seattle Works does so by providing volunteer and leadership opportunities to engage citizens and develop emerging community leaders. Seattle Works, in addition to the tremendous number of volunteer hours directly coordinated, has alums in civic organizations all over the Seattle area. It truly is helping to build the next generation of civic leaders in Seattle.

    While that is all well and good, it is only a small part of why I ask you contribute today. Seattle Works has had a profound impact on my life and the lives of many of the people that have been involved with the organization. Seattle Works has given me the opportunity to meet great friends, deepen relationships with those that I already knew, and become part of a vibrant community of people who care about the place in which they live. As a side benefit, I have been able to help others through work at parks, schools, food banks, child care centers, and homeless shelters.

    As an example of one the projects that our volunteer team has done this year, we participated in a project coordinated by Seattle Works’s HandsOn Leadership program. In that program, participants learn to plan, fund, and execute volunteer projects in their communities. Our project was located at the Hamlin-Robinson School on Capitol Hill in Seattle. Hamlin-Robinson is a school that serves students with dyslexia and related language difficulties. We painted new play areas, revived landscaping around the school, and cleaned throughout the facility.  After the project, one of the Seattle Works board members used photos taken by our team (many or all of which were taken by Jesse Stanley) to create the following 3 minute video:

I just watched it again and I would be lying if I told you that I had dry eyes at the end of that.  It was a great day and I am so happy that I got to be part of it.

Look, Seattle Works does great things. It means a ton to me. It means a ton to the people that it serves. 
Please help the work continue.
I realize $25 is not insignificant but, just think, now you don’t have to buy me that Shake Weight for Christmas. The link again:

Thanks for reading and for giving,



Seattle Works hearts you too December 15, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 10:36 pm

There are many reasons people are donating to Seattle Works as a part of 21 Fun. Some people trust the ace that asked them to donate. Others believe in the work that Seattle Works is doing and want to see it continue.

Whatever the reason, we appreciate the gift.  When you donate, there’s an optional comments field to fill in. Here are some of the responses we’ve received so far:

Warning – there is an abundance of exclamation marks ahead.

  • Because that girl is off the hook, and she knows where I live
  • Cheers to the new year!
  • Congratulations on reaching the legal drinking age! 🙂
  • Delighted to support 21 Fun (and Sergey)
  • FABULOUS email. How would I NOT donate after reading that?!
  • Fun way to give!
  • Go Austin!
  • I believe in the programs, and Katie is my daughter!
  • I love Seattle Works! The great staff, the wonderful volunteers, and all the fine work you accomplish. Thank You
  • Go Austin!!
  • It’s too fun not too!
  • It’s not the size of the donation – it’s how you use it!
  • Jaxon rocks!
  • Keep up the good work! I’m looking forward to all of the great opportunities to get involved in 2011!
  • Let the money flow!
  • Merry Christmas from Uncle Thomas
  • Nick is a wonderful young man and I trust his judgement when he says this is a worthy organization.
  • Oh to be 21!
  • Proud of you Rochelle…keep up the good work!
  • Tara Smith is fabulous.
  • This is an excellent cause – hope this helps.
  • You’re so lucky to have Lorraine as part of your team!
  • Wooooooooooo 21 fun!
  • I heart Seattle Works!

Want to give to Seattle Works and leave your own funny, heartfelt comment to warm our day?


Hit or Stay December 14, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 12:13 am


Seattle Works is about taking action, having a voice and leading by example.

Give a gift today:


Spotlight on Ace Adriane! December 10, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 9:26 pm

During 21 Fun we will be spotlighting some of our aces asking them to tell us why they give to Seattle Works.  Here is Adriane’s story:

Ten years ago, I moved to Seattle as a young professional knowing almost no one and wanting to find a way to give back to the community, which has always been an important part of my life.  My first experience with Seattle Works was as a member of a Seattle Works Day team.  I was amazed at the number of volunteers and the impact this group had within the community in just a few short hours of volunteering.  Shortly thereafter, I joined Seattle Works as a project volunteer which helped me accomplish two things – quickly being able to give back to the community (even with a crazy work schedule) and meeting many great people who have become very good friends. 

I have enjoyed my experience so much that I have continued to be involved in various capacities including as a Hot Projects volunteer, Seattle Works Day team captain, Bridge graduate, Swank Auction Procurement Committee member, Board member and Chair of the Social Media Committee.  For me, there have been three key things that Seattle Works offers that have motivated me to stay involved and help grow the organization:  connections, flexibility and fun. 

Connections:  Seattle Works has an amazing group of volunteers and has built strong, diverse relationships throughout the local community.  This was key for me when I first moved to Seattle as it allowed me to quickly meet new people and learn more about Seattle, all while having a positive impact within the community.  This has continued to be important to me as I’ve been able to give back to the community in various ways whether it’s spending time helping to clean and paint a classroom at an elementary school or spending time outside weeding and planting at Mara Farms.   

Flexibility: No matter how busy my schedule is, Seattle Works has allowed me to engage in the community even when life is hectic.  Hot Projects are easy to fit in when I have a few hours available at the last minute.  When I have had more time, I’ve been able to complete the Bridge program and regularly serve on Seattle Works committees.  Seattle Works also provides the flexibility of volunteering as an individual or as a group.  Hot Project and Seattle Works Day have allowed me to quickly rally a group of friends or coworkers to volunteer.
Fun:  Seattle Works has shown me that being engaged and having an impact within the community is both rewarding and fun.  Some great memories have been made while giving up a few hours on a Saturday to weed and cut back blackberry bushes.  The people I’ve volunteered with at Seattle Works know how to work hard and celebrate their positive impact within the community. 
Donating to the Seattle Works 21 Fun campaign is an easy decision for me.  Seattle Works has helped me and so many other young professionals become active within the community with the breadth of programs they have to offer. 

Please join me in helping Seattle Works to continue to flourish and strengthen the impact their volunteers have within our community.


Check out our aces December 9, 2010

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 6:53 pm

What is an ace?  Someone who is willing to help Seattle Works out with our 21 Fun campaign.  Their goal is to get 10 people to donate $25 to Seattle Works between now and Tues 12/21.  

Get it? 10 + an ace = 21!

In no particular order … our incredible aces:

Adriane Musuneggi – board member, social media committee lead
Brandon Kinports – SW fan
Chelsea Munger – board member
Gillian Murphy – board member
Nick Brown – board member
Nora Robertson – social media committee
Kathleen Goodman – board member
Katie D’Amato – board member
Pierce Hofman – swank guest; bridge grad
Sarah Haeger – board member
Sergey Smirnov – board member; swank committee
Tara Smith – staff
Thomas Buford – Team Works team captain
Rebecca Roy – project coordinator
Ryan Stickney – social media committee
Nick Cullen – Team Works team captain
Norma-Erin Espinosa – Team Works team captain
Katherine Schwarz – social media committee
Austin McNamee – Seattle Works Day participant; bridge grad
Laura Ford – Team Works team captain
Marisa Jenkins – bridge grad; Team Works participant
Corey Christensen – board member
Lorraine Goldberg – Team Works participant, food blogger
Roen Ako – GSBA board member, SW fan
Stephanie Schuster – project coordinator
Ian Stewart – board member
Tiffany Mura – swank attendee
Jiawen Shi – International District PDA
Rochelle Ferguson – Seattle Works Day and Team Works participant
Kathleen Weber – SW AmeriCorps
Kaitlin Bartik – HandsOn Leadership grad, SW volunteer
Jan Burrell – SW staff
Katy Garsi – SW volunteer
Natasha Whittaker – swank committee
Monstrous Root Ball – celebrity root ball
Jody Waits – bridge trainer
Nick Vivion – SW fan
Tony Hutter – Team Works participant, elections committee
Jaxon Ravens – board member
Laura Dempsey – swank volunteer; Team Works participant
Jaci Anderson – social media committee
Holly Wyrwich – Team Works participant
Jay See – swank committee
Megan Coppersmith – SW volunteer; elections committee

Do you want to go all in and join this team of awesome leaders?  You can! It’s fun, easy and makes a huge difference for Seattle Works and your community.

Recognize someone and want to help them reach their goal?