Seattle Works

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

Chateau Ste Michelle Tackles Hunger–and Frozen Food–at Food Lifeline October 31, 2012

Filed under: Corporate Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 12:00 pm


What happens when you put a group of winery employees in a room with 4,200lbs of frozen food? They go to WORK! We had the pleasure of working alongside our friends from Chateau Ste Michelle at Food Lifeline yesterday, where we repackaged over 6,000 servings of frozen yellow beans and a truckload of assorted frozen groceries–which will hit the shelves of food banks and feeding programs around Western Washington later this week.


While we worked yesterday, we learned that more than 387,000 families in Washington State are unsure of the source of their next meal, yet millions of pounds of food end up in our landfills every year. Food Lifeline makes the connection between food companies, grocers, local restaurants and distributors to reduce waste and make sure food is making it to the people who need it most. Last year, Food Lifeline distributed over 35 million pounds of food–that equals about 27 million meals to its network of over 300 food banks, meal programs and shelters in Western Washington!

And it’s volunteers like Erin, Charla, Jan, Peter, Marina, Stephanie, Eileen, Kristen, Kim, Carey, Rebecca, Carol, Kimberly and Rebekah from Ste Michelle who make it all possible! Thanks to all for their incredible work tackling a mountain of frozen food–and Molly at Food Lifeline for being a fantastic host!


Great Resource on Skilled Volunteers October 30, 2012

Filed under: Grab bag,Lead — seattleworks @ 3:13 pm

At Seattle Works we’re all about volunteers. We’ve got programs to capture all those civic minded folk who are looking to be engaged, whether through one time opportunities, repeated engagements, as project managers, or serving on boards. Having long term volunteers presents its own unique sets of challenges and rewards which is why it was so helpful to see this video from Nancy Long of the excellent resource 501 commons.

Nancy talks about the importance of matching a volunteer with skills to where they’re really needed in your organization, and the importance of being prepared for such a volunteer. She also details some of the fundraising benefits to having long term volunteers.

We’ll let you watch for yourself though and hear it straight from the expert’s mouth!

Looking to get your own skilled volunteer? Consider looking into our ‘lead’ programs- between HandsOn Leadership and the Bridge we might just have that special volunteer you’ve been looking for.


And this is why we love Hot Projects… October 29, 2012

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 2:40 pm

I like seeing results. I think everyone does. That’s why I get overly ecstatic when one of our community partners sends me pictures of what Hot Projects volunteers do! Helping the community is an exceptional feeling; it’s an even better feeling when you see what you’ve done directly helping others. Well, lo and behold – here it is! Proof that our volunteers are awesome – although we never have a problem proving that!

Our volunteers helped prep and pack bikes for Africa for Bicycles for Humanity on 9/8. I’m sure some of you are wondering why it’s taken so long to get proof of awesomeness. Well, it’s because Susan and Frank (who run Bicycles for Humanity) flew to South Africa to hand out the bikes themselves! Their recent trip was to Kwa-Zulu Natal, ZA, where they distributed the bikes that our volunteers helped pack to places such as Thanda After-School. This project is currently working with 450 orphans, and expecting to grow to 600 in the near future. Most of the children are school age and without any means of support. They come to the center and get counseling, help with educational issues and fed a late afternoon supper every day after school.

Our volunteers helped make this trip possible. Seattle Works is proud to have such a strong base of awesome people that love helping others worldwide.

If you want to join the community of amazing volunteers, sign up for our many fabulous projects this season!


Katie D’Amato loves volunteering with Food Lifeline

Filed under: 10 Question Profile — seattleworks @ 7:00 am

1. Name: Katie D’Amato

    Neighborhood: Previously Wallingford (Now new to the Eastside!)

    Years in Seattle: 5

    Occupation:  Director of Consumer Engagement, 206inc

2. Where is your favorite place to go in Seattle?

Tough one – most of my favorite spots involve food (and wine.) I’d say the patio at Bottlehouse or a Sunday happy hour at the Walrus and the Carpenter.

3. Your first interaction with Seattle Works was…?

Folding fitted sheets at Goodwill. (Challenging? Yes. Glamorous? No.)

4. What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in the Seattle area?

I’m a fan and follower of the Outstanding in the Field Farm Dinners. One of the most memorable? Full Circle Farms. They let us loose to pick strawberries in between courses.

5. Are you involved with any other Seattle nonprofit organizations?

I am a member of the Junior League of Seattle where I serve on the NW Art Committee – bringing arts education to schools.

6. Which coffee shop do you frequent most?

During the week…Starbucks at Pike Place Market. On the weekends…Milstead & Co. or Fuel.

7. What three words best describe your experience with Seattle Works?

Connecting. Rewarding. Chuck Bass.  😉

8. Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?

I love the spirit of a Sounders game (Scarves up!) but there’s something about a summer evening at Safeco field with a beer, a hotdog and that view!

9.  What is your most (or first) memorable volunteer experience?

I had the chance to volunteer at some events surrounding President Obama’s Inauguration and it truly was an experience of a lifetime to be a part of it all. On a regular basis though I love any chance to volunteer at Food Lifeline. To think that in just a few hours of your time, you can help feed thousands of families in the Puget Sound, it’s pretty amazing. (And easy!)

10. What makes someone a Seattleite?

The ability to forget all about the moans and groans of the rainy weather the minute the sun comes out. (This place is truly spectactular in the sunshine.)

This weekly 10 question profile is Seattle Works way of highlighting and saying THANK YOU to all that our volunteers, leaders, community partners, board members, committee members, etc do for our community! We’re asking the same 10 questions to various Seattle Works participants as a fun way to feature the different ways to be involved with Seattle Works and in Seattle.

Want to be profiled? Fill out this survey: and send a photo to yourself to Bevin at

P.S. In case you’re interested, the inspiration behind these interviews comes from NY Mag’s weekly blog post.


HandsOn Leadership grads are transforming neglected lands into beautiful gardens October 28, 2012

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership,Lead — seattleworks @ 11:33 am

Guest post by Tara Smith (our volunteer not executive director)

Nine months ago, Magnuson Community Center’s Nature Program Director, Emily Bishton, took three eager Seattle Works Hands-On Leadership graduates (Sanjeeb Das, Liz Morris, and Tara Smith) under her wing with the goal of engaging them in the development, maintenance, and community education of the sustainable landscapes surrounding the Magnuson Community Center. Together they’ve raised $4065.00 in grants and donations, recruited 165 volunteers to help with 9 landscape stewardship and education events, and educated over 100 children and over 50 adults on the importance of resource conservation, wildlife habitat, and building sustainable landscapes during Discovery Days, Sand Pt. Elementary School field trips, visits by summer nature campers, and two Savvy Gardener classes.

As the project winds down, the progress that’s been made on the landscapes alone is visually astounding. The once barren and neglected land has been transformed into beautiful budding gardens that will provide many years of educational opportunities for the local community. Our heartfelt gratitude and thanks go out to the hundreds of volunteers who have helped plant, weed, and mulch in rain or shine! The final tasks for the team of three HOL graduates include final documentation of the project, helping create educational signage and brochures, and planning the dedication celebration to occur in the Spring of 2013.

Want to sign-up for HandsOn Leadership? Our next class will start in January and you can register now!


First Fall ’12 HandsOn Leadership Session is a hit October 26, 2012

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership,Lead — seattleworks @ 12:34 pm

Last night 24 emerging leaders gathered for the first night of HandsOn Leadership training. Taking between 5 minutes and over an hour and a half to get there, everyone had different motives for attending the training. A couple of things participants said they wanted to get out of it:
• Project leadership skills
• I hope to become more involved in the Seattle Community and learn to execute a project
• Being able to connect to the community
• Personal confidence
• Community engagement and NGO administration
• Networking + fundraising
• Resources that are useful to pursue a career in project management in the non-profit/philanthropy sector.
• Access to a project to improve my leadership skills
• The whole thing

We started off the night with a round of ice breakers, learning about how experienced everyone was in project management, how long people have lived in Seattle, and how much experience people have with nonprofits (we had three newbies who hadn’t ever worked or volunteered with nonprofits and are eager to catch up!). Then everyone settled down to dinner (great sandwiches from Pho Cyclo Cafe) while the structure of the program was explained and we discussed how project opportunities are chosen.

After a brief history of Seattle Works (exactly half the class found out about HandsOn Leadership from our e-mails, website, facebook, or twitter, but the other half was arriving new to Seattle Works), we got down to business. The stage was turned over to awesome presenters Carol Peters and Mary White from Point B Consulting, with an assist from Jackie Dervish for the first half of Project Management 101. Participants learned about how to pitch a project, plan a project, and align stakeholders, then were given a chance to test it out themselves with a fun scenario. Lots of questions were being asked, and everyone was excited to have the second half next week.

We took a short break and then joined back together for an activity to discover more about different leadership styles. Participants broke into groups and evaluated the pros and cons of each style, before working through a difficult scenario from their weakest style.

Really excited to see everyone again next week and learn more about project management and conflict resolution! Sad you missed out on this round? Our registration is now open for the January session. Our next session will be the 19th and 26th of January.


Team Works Summer Round Goes Out With A Bang! October 23, 2012

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:47 am

The last project of Team Works summer round was Saturday 10/20. The 10 teams went to 10 different organizations, and showed off their awesomeness by helping plant, move, process talking book players, sort donations, and set up a gala – among other things!

This round received high remarks; Shawn, Team Captain of the Oh So Dirty 30s team, wrote: “Our whole team really enjoyed this round and was kind of sad to see the round end this Saturday. We were all just curious as to when the the next round starts up and when we can start registering?” Right on, Shawn! We can’t wait to have your team back in Feb!

Shawn and his team volunteered at WestSide Baby, who provides essential items to local children in need by collecting and distributing diapers, clothing, toys and equipment. They love our volunteers – and our volunteers love WestSide Baby! Interested in volunteering there? Well, you’re in luck! While the fall round of Team Works is in motion, you can help out by signing up to volunteer at WestSide Baby on our Hot Projects Calendar!

Angela, Team Captain of The Perennial Millenials team, also sent me an email to a link with pictures, stating: “We just finished up at the Seattle Children’s garden and had a blast – AND the weather held out!”

The Seattle Children’s PlayGarden improves the lives of children with physical or mental disabilities by providing them with full access to a safe indoor/outdoor recreation space and offering inclusive programs that encourage their potential. The work done by our volunteers strengthens the program by allowing the PlayGarden to use fiscal resources for programming and scholarships vs. grounds maintenance.

The Perennial Millenials did an amazing job, and had fun as well – something  obviously showcased in the photo below, where they made friends with a dinosaur bush! 

Seattle Works hosted a Cool-Down party at Piecora’s after the projects. Teams showed up, salad and pizza was served, and the conversation flowed! It was great hearing stories from this and past rounds. Mr. Miyagi’s Juju, a long standing team, loved their last project – which was to help set up the Green Gala & Auction for Seattle Youth Garden Works! In the words of a teammate: “Even though I didn’t understand which fork went where, we all had a blast!”

The next round of Team Works doesn’t start until Feb, but registration will begin in Jan, so mark your calendars!

A huge thanks to all of our summer round teams – you do amazing work, and these organizations couldn’t do it without you!