Seattle Works

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

LIHI features Seattle Works volunteers! December 21, 2011

Filed under: Volunteer — seattleworks @ 8:02 am
Tags: ,

The Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) gives a quick shout out to a team of Seattle Works volunteers becuase they rock!

Thank you for the shout out LIHI!


Want to see the best giraffe impression ever? December 20, 2011

Filed under: Our Team,Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 7:12 pm
Tags: ,

Tara makes us laugh… and she’ll make you laugh too.


But the real point of all this is to support Seattle Works! When you give a gift today, you’ll be entered to win two tickets to Swank 2012! One of, if not THE BEST, party of the year!


Make a gift today:


#iHubs – Better Together December 17, 2011

Filed under: Innovation Hub — seattleworks @ 6:20 pm

Home. A week at HandsOn Network‘s Innovation Summit in Palmetto, GA was an incredible gift. And today, I’m happy to be sitting on my couch, alone with my own thoughts and a cup of black coffee.  Not a buttered biscuit or other trace of Southern breakfast in sight.

I went to the Summit to learn, and to more clearly define the next steps for Seattle Works. Going in, the idea of being there with nine other cities was a cool bonus, but not the point. Like our peers, Seattle Works received the Innovation Hub designation based on the great work we’re doing locally – for our own leadership and our own programs. We got invited to this Summit to start thinking about what OUR next innovation would be. I was probably not alone in this mindset going in.

Funny thing is, when you give a bunch of smart, caring, community-building types an entire week to think together, they start seeing a lot further than their own backyards. With each passing day, it became less about what each of us would create, and more about what each of us could learn from one another, what we could co-create and what we might leverage across cities.

What’s next? In terms of the specifics, I still don’t know. It will involve building a stronger network of Seattle Works volunteer leaders. It will involve a deeper of understanding of community issues and how to affect those issues in multiple ways – with volunteer time, with advocacy, with money. It will be developed in partnership with and in response to the Seattle Works community, not handed down on high from me or anyone else on staff. I also knew those things going in.

What I did not know, is that it may be something that Seattle and one or two other cities co-create and try out at the same time. It may involve a combo of new things built from scratch here, and importing things that are working elsewhere but not yet happening in Seattle.

I’m home from the Summit with three important things: 1) an even stronger conviction that Seattle Works’ strategic direction is the right one 2) a bigger set of tools and resources to keep us moving in that right direction and 3) a deeper sense of appreciation and admiration for our partners in this effort.

Long story short – we’re  better together.


A Comment Box has never meant so much! December 16, 2011

Filed under: Support Seattle Works — seattleworks @ 8:10 pm

Our giving campaign is still rockin’! We’ve got under five grand to go until we hit our goal.  Here’s is the second portion of the comments that peopel have left when they’ve donated a gift to Seattle Works.

Comments that make us laugh, cry and feel the incredible love of our community!

– My darling wife is amazing!

– Keep up the great work!

– Woo hoo!

– Keep on rockin’, Seattle Works!

– I’d like to donate on behalf of Shane McNamee, who is an amazing guy.

– Keep up the great work in 2012!

– Ellen is stupendous!

– So proud of all you do. This organization changed my life as well.

– because I like to be matchy-matchy

– i heart Seattle Works (and Madeline and Tara)!

– I heart you Seattle Works.

– Megan is the cooles, smartest, best looking, funniest, and nicest person in the greater Seattle area.  I’m a non-paid endorser.

– Go Ellen! Keep doing great work for the Seattle community!

– Soy dung nook, Jen! Hung ging gone done yall!!!

– Proud of your involvement with Seattle Works

– Good luck fundraising, happy to help!

– We miss participating in Seattle Works!

– I heart Seattle Works! Ganbare!

– Laura is hella cool.

– I have worked with Jen in the developing world.  If she says your cause is good I believe it.

– Love you Rochelle!

– Great organization!  Love the philosophy behind what you’re doing!

– Tapas Party

– Wouldn’t be who I am today without you, Seattle Works!


Please consider supporting Seattle Works this season!  We rock community engagement by connecting volunteers, developing emering leaders and inspiring dialogue.


Give a gift today!


“I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career without Seattle Works.” December 15, 2011

I moved to the Seattle area a little more than six years ago to teach 3rd grade in Auburn. I joined Seattle Works quickly after I moved to meet new people and make connections in Seattle. Over the last several years, I’ve volunteered with countless non-profits through the Team Works and Hot Projects programs. I fell in love with New Orleans while helping with the rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina. Seattle Works Day is one of my favorite days of the year. It is incredible to see so many people come together to make our city a better place for everyone. Each and every one of these projects and events has touched me and affected my life. But when I reflect on my time with Seattle Works, I am most grateful for my time with The Bridge.



I started The Bridge during my fourth year of teaching. At the time I was soul searching and trying to decide where I saw myself in five years. While I loved my students, I wasn’t sure I had it in me to teach for decades. At the start of The Bridge, we each took a behavioral assessment online through True Life Coaching. Shandel Slaten, the CEO of True Life Coaching, taught one of The Bridge sessions and went over our individual results to the assessments with us. I’ve always been a fan of personality assessments, but these were different. These assessments identified what motivates me professionally and how I interact with coworkers. After reading my personalized assessment, I began to understand the reasons I wasn’t finding fulfillment in teaching. Shandel made time to speak with me personally after that class and confirmed that education might not be the best fit with my professional motivators and drivers.


I made the decision to change careers in The Bridge class, but Seattle Works’ impact on my career success didn’t stop there. I needed samples of my work, and I couldn’t think of a better way than to promote the organization that I love. I started by writing a press release for Seattle Works Day and then built a whole marketing plan along with social integration for the same event the next year. I have been thrilled to help develop and shape the Seattle Works social media plan over the years. I am forever grateful for the connections and experience Seattle Works has given me. I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career without Seattle Works. I’ve had so many incredible experiences with Seattle Works, and that is just one example of how this organization has changed my life. I know I am not alone; Seattle Works has touched many lives.


Please consider giving so Seattle Works can continue its outstanding work.

-Karianne Stinson


Building Good JuJu: The Story of One Seattle Works Team Works Team December 14, 2011

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 8:31 pm

How often when sharing stories of weekend activities do people regularly include tales of how much fun they had volunteering with their friends?  With Seattle Works Team Works, volunteers gain exposure to different non-profits to give back to the community at least one Saturday each month, while building camaraderie, leadership skills, and memories along the way.

During the summer of 2009, Kim Leary had been trying and considering different avenues for community involvement.  Feeling like volunteer teams she was part of could be made even better; she had channeled the vision of being part of a strong awesome volunteer team to start her own.  That was the birth of Mr. Miyagi’s Juju, which Kim leads to this day, with several original members, and a significant percentage of returning members each round.

Some secrets to the success of this long-running team are pre-planning, clear communication, and working together.  Kim plans in advance for each of the projects that the team will volunteer for monthly at the start of each Team Works round.  During the all-team kick-off meetings project logistics, team challenges, and bonus tasks for team member involvement are shared, while sign-up for healthy and unhealthy snack for each event is available.

Along with e-mail reminders, the Mr. Miyagi’s Juju team blog has been a central forum for team communication.  Team members sign up in advance for tasks such as pre-project organizational research to educate team members about the non-profit the team will be serving, and post-project recap to reflect on the volunteer experience in photos and words.   After each volunteer event the team always congregates near the project site at a pre-planned location for a bite together, and often socialize outside of the once-a-month Saturday volunteer events.  “..That people come back to the team session after session really shows that we have built a sense of ‘team,’ and through our volunteer work have become more than just people who meet up once a month, but actually friends,” Kim reflects.

An additional bonus is that several of the team members are able to request volunteer hour gift match from their employer to Seattle Works.  Many companies will donate dollars to a non-profit once enough hours are accumulated and logged during the current year.  All volunteers are encouraged to check with their company gift match policy frequently for updated information on their volunteer hours.

– Becky Chen, team member and volunteer on Mr. Miyagi’s Juju


Spotlight on Rock Star Frank! December 13, 2011

Filed under: Board of Directors,Men's Group,Support Seattle Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 7:06 am

Frank is a Seattle Works Rock Star and he first got involved with Seattle Works through a program we run in partnership with Treehouse, another local nonprofit.
Here’s an excerpt from Frank’s personal blog about his involvement with the Men’s Mentoring Group:

Boy’s Group with Treehouse

For the past 11 months I’ve been spending each second Wednesday volunteering with some other men from Seattle Works at Treehouse. The program is called Boy’s Group and it’s basically a chance for young men in foster care to interact with male role-models. There’s always food at the start of each event (lots of food – remember my reference to how much teenage boys can eat) and then some kind of fun activity.

In the past year we went bowling , visited Seattle University, played games at Jillian’s, did a casino night, and played Xbox 360 Kinect Bowling and Dance Central.

Our last event is next month and we’ll most likely be going to play mini-golf followed by eating at Subway!

It’s good to see the boys in the group bond with old dudes like myself. I know a number of the kids there since I used to work at Treehouse and it’s been an amazing experience.

If you’re interested in volunteering – check out Seattle Works! They have one-day events and multiple long-term events. Tell them Frank sent you!

What are you doing reading this silly blog still? Get out and volunteer!

Want to support the awesome-ness of Frank?! Make a gift in his name: