Seattle Works

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

Match Making at Board Speed Dating May 30, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 10:56 pm

Last Wednesday we hosted our second Board Speed Dating of the year at GGLO’s Space at the Steps. Fourteen of our nonprofit partners came out to meet Bridge graduates from our last class in April and graduates from previous years who have recently decided that now’s the right time to make a board connection! Graduates got a chance to meet with organizations that interest them for five fifteen minute “dates” throughout the night.

Andy Schroeder and Jennifer Olegario were pleasantly surprised to run into each other: they had graduated from the same Bridge class in 2009! Jennifer was attending to find a good board match and Andy, a board member for Theatre Puget Sound, was there to interview potential board members.

Bridge Graduates and Bridge Partners meet for a 15 minute “date.”

A BIG thank you to our Bridge Partner organizations that attended our speed dating last Wednesday!

Seattle Music Partners

Community for Youth

Street Yoga

New Traditions

The World Is Fun

Sound Discipline

Richard Hugo House

School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts

Southeast Seattle Senior Center

Theatre Puget Sound

North Helpline

Environmental Coalition of South Seattle

Northwest Girls Coalition

Sounds cool doesn’t it?  If you want to get in on this, take The Bridge and we’ll give you the basics in nonprofit and government board service, then you’ll join the alumni network and have the opportunity to attend events like this one!

Next Bridge training course begins Thurs 6/14:


Transitional Resources Thanks “The A Team!” May 24, 2012

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 7:25 pm

The volunteers lathered on the sunscreen, rolled up their sleeves (or, in one volunteer’s case, put on his raingear to pressure wash our greenhouse) and got our gardens in shape for summer! They weeded, planted flowers (donated by Bel-R Nursery), shoveled (and hauled, and spread) organic compost, put down rows of burlap sacks for walkways, and pressure washed our greenhouse. The team accomplished an incredible amount in a short period of time, and for that we’re truly grateful. They also expressed interest in the work we do, which is helping men and women who are living with severe and persistent mental illness.  Many of our clients worked alongside the volunteers throughout the afternoon, as they do during weekly Garden Group. Much of the produce they will grow and harvest this summer will be donated to the West Seattle Food Bank – providing fresh, healthy, and organic food to a sector of the public that may not otherwise have access to it.

-Yemaya St.Clair, Transitional Resources






Seattle Works Volunteer Leader Stephanie Schuster Recognized by Governor Gregoire!

Filed under: Lead,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 12:53 am

“Since 2005, Governor Christine Gregoire and the Washington Commission for National and Community Service have honored volunteers in Washington State by presenting them with the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Service Award. Included in this year’s honorees for this prestigious award was Stephanie Schuster.

Stephanie was nominated for this award by Seattle Works, a Seattle based organization she has served with for over 3 years. Stephanie’s passion for volunteering extends beyond Seattle Works as well. She routinely volunteers with Habitat for Humanity (domestically and internationally), Treehouse for Kids, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Washington/Alaska, and she is the Community Involvement Chair for the Puget Sound region of REACH, the Boeing new employee group.

In an award ceremony held on April 23rd at the Governor’s Mansion in Olympia, Stephanie received her award from the Governor and discovered that both women have a passion for volunteering with the Family Meals program at the Seattle Ronald McDonald House.
Volunteering allows me to develop a deeper understanding of my community, it develops leadership skills, it’s a great way to network and get to know people who have similar beliefs, and best of all, it gives me the feeling that I am making a positive difference in the world around me.”

– Stephanie Schuster

Congratulations Stephanie! We appreciate all that you do for Seattle Works and for our community. 


Spotlight on a Bridge Graduate:Yeletta Banks May 17, 2012

Filed under: Lead,The Bridge — seattleworks @ 4:47 pm


When did you take The Bridge?

In the Fall 2011

Who are you currently serving with? What about this organization drew you to them?

I am currently serving on the Steering Committee for Street Yoga, which is based in Portland, Oregon. I have been practicing yoga for over a decade and understand how it can change lives. Street Yoga shares yoga with kids in need. Participants may struggle with homelessness, trauma, abuse, behavioral issues, poverty or addiction.

 What was the process of becoming a member like?

The Executive Director contacted me after a missed connection at a Speed Dating event sponsored by Seattle Works. She and I met at a local teahouse to discuss the opportunity. I expressed my direct interest at that meeting. The Executive Director presented my information to the other committee members at their next meeting. Then I was invited to sit in on a meeting where I met other committee members. There were two other Seattle Works graduates visiting the same meeting, so it was a night of introductions. The committee was very welcoming. After meeting the other members, the committee voted in our absence. A week later, we were asked to join the committee. Overall, it took about 6 weeks because the committee meets only once a month.

What are you excited to work on as a board member?

Believe it or not, I am excited about fundraising and the operations of this branch of Street Yoga. Fundraising is a challenge and I like planning events that our donors will enjoy. Fundraising also builds relationships, which are important within a community. This branch is relatively new and small which makes our current operating decisions the basis for future decisions. We are figuring things out as we go and identifying what works. It gives us a great opportunity to grow and manifest the vision of the organization.

 What is one thing from The Bridge that you remember and are excited to apply in your upcoming service?

Connections. The Bridge exposed me to the many avenues of service within the nonprofit sector. Nonprofits want help and can help each other. Being new to the area, I had no idea how much help was needed.


Interested in taking The Bridge? Check out the upcoming dates and course information:


Team Vittana’s HandsOn Leadership project complete! May 15, 2012

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership,Lead — seattleworks @ 5:36 pm

HOL volunteer, Jordan Bailey, and Vittana Community and Culture Manager Sophie Kauffman at the volunteer Open House that the HOL team helped organize

We’re so proud! In January, three awesome HandsOn Leadership volunteers – Jordan Bailey, Kathy Brustad, and Kenny Lee – started their work on a project with our also-awesome partner Vittana. Their goal: To manage an initiative to recruit new volunteers who could translate and edit profiles of students around the world who are seeking loans for higher education. The team wrapped up their project last month, and here’s what they have to say about what they accomplished:


“Our challenge was to recruit qualified volunteers, in order to keep the magic of philanthropy churning for Vittana. We knew that posting ads in the traditional volunteer recruiting channels would garner interest, but Vittana was looking for that special team of volunteers that matched Vittana’s vision and culture which consisted of ‘startup mentality’ and ‘change the world through education.’

We specifically targeted working professionals from 2 major corporations in the Pacific Northwest: Boeing and Microsoft. And even within each of the corporations, we shared the volunteer opportunities to targeted organizations….As a result, we had nearly a dozen potential volunteers show up at Vittana’s very first volunteer recruiting/training event, which we also helped organize. In addition, we created training videos so that volunteers can be introduced to Vittana’s translation programs and get up and running with minimal oversight.

Hands On Leadership was definitely a success for both the volunteers and Vittana. Ultimately, it was a great match of volunteer skillsets and personalities, which led to the resounding success of this project.”


All in all, the team recruited 32 new volunteers who have translated hundreds of student profiles. Amazing! You can read what Vittana has to say about the project and see some more photos on their blog. Thanks to the volunteers and Vittana staff who worked so hard to make this project a huge success!

Want to get in on the HandsOn Leadership action? We’ve got another training session kicking off in May and another weekend option in June:


#SWDay Update and Packing Party!

Filed under: Seattle Works Day,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 12:47 am
Tags: , , ,

It was a party up in here today… a packing party that is!  We had shirts and KIND snacks galore delivered last week so today the Seattle Works team went to work!  We printed and counted and sorted like crazy – but now we are SO READY for OMG SWD this Saturday.

All 33 project sites have plenty of SWD event shirts, delicious KIND bars, name tags, markers, sign-in sheets, directions to the AfterParty, waivers and all the good things a volunteer project needs to make sure the experience is an amazing one.

Bring it on.

If you haven’t signed up yet, it’s not too late.  Don’t worry, we threw in a ton of extra stuff for each site just in case you signed up!

You’re not going to want to miss out on this day – sign up now:

Seattle Works team members Tyler, Percival and Ellen lend helpful hands (and hoofs) to the packing extravaganza.


Thanks, Volunbeers! May 10, 2012

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 6:20 pm

Last Saturday, one of our newest Team Works teams, the Volunbeers, helped the Phinney Neighborhood Association get ready for their annual fundraising auction. Take a look at the fun photos they sent us!

Team members setting up the tent space for PNA’s live auction.

Lauren’s pretty excited about distributing plates to each of the tables.

Alison and Stephanie turned PNA’s Wagon-O-Wine into a much-desired auction item.

The team surrounded by the fruits of its labor! From L to R: Ken, Dionna, Alison, Kevin, Lauren, Ellie, Erin and Stephanie.