Seattle Works

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

Kallie Hinton is a volunteer commitment-phobe no more! April 30, 2013

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership — seattleworks @ 2:38 pm

Guest post by HandsOn Leadership volunteer Kallie Hinton

I have thought a lot about volunteering over the past decade. I’ve been moved and inspired by stories of volunteers’ good works. I’ve browsed through many websites and brochures searching for engaging volunteer opportunities. Every once in a while, I volunteered a few hours of my time here and there, but I couldn’t seem to commit to a long-term volunteer project.

The HandsOn Leadership course motivated me to make a long-term volunteer commitment. My experience with HandsOn provided me with rewarding and edifying volunteer experiences. In the course I learned the fundamentals of how nonprofit organizations work. The knowledge I gained in the course gave me a greater appreciation for the organizations I would eventually volunteer with after the course completion. I learned new project management skills which have helped me in my nonprofit work, as well as my everyday happenings. (I schedule almost everything now, and I finally understand that five minutes late, is, well late.) I also learned how to best utilize my existing skills and personality traits in my nonprofit work.

I became aware of Seattle Works and the HandsOn program through a suggestion from a friend. In October I relocated to Seattle from the Midwest, and I was looking for a way to become involved in the community. Because of my volunteering experiences, I now feel connected to my new community and the nonprofits I volunteer with.

Through HandsOn, I am presently volunteering with two nonprofits, The World is Fun and Helping Link. At the World is Fun, I am helping to create a week-long arts project featuring international graffiti artists who will paint large-scale murals in Seattle. At Helping Link, I am currently asking potential sponsors for investments to ensure the stability of our computer and language literacy programs that educate and empower Vietnamese refugees.

I’m happy to say HandsOn has given me fulfilling volunteer experiences that I had hoped for. I am a volunteer commitment-phobe no more.

Kallie is a copy editor, writer and volunteer. Since she has moved to Seattle she has been hopped up on caffeine, she has lost at least 4 umbrellas, and she now knows what a ‘real’ mountain looks like.


Era Schrepfer knows where to find the best taco trucks April 29, 2013

Filed under: 10 Question Profile — seattleworks @ 11:03 am

1. Name: Era Schrepfer

Neighborhood: North Beacon Hill

Occupation: Executive Director

Years in Seattle: Since I was 5

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

Alki Beach and Columbia City Farmer’s Market

3. Your first interaction with Seattle Works was…?

I participated in a Seattle Works board training program in 2001, I think and was on a Team Works team around that time.

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

I love Tamarind Tree, Paseo, and almost all the taco trucks!

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

I’m the E.D. at FIUTS (Foundation for International Understanding Through Students), a Girls Scout troop leader, and also serve on the Beacon Hill International School PTA

6. Which coffee shop do you most frequent?

Solstice on the Ave

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

creative (the team), inspiring (the volunteers), welcoming (everyone!)

8. Mariners, Sounders, or Seahawks?


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

Arriving at my homestay in my Peace Corps assignment.

10. What makes someone a Seattleite?

Reading all winter and a very specific coffee preference.

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.


Local Cruise Lines Celebrate Earth Day and National Volunteer Week by Digging In at Golden Gardens April 28, 2013

Filed under: Corporate Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:11 am

This week there was lots of volunteering happening all around the country, seeing as how it was National Volunteer Week, and Seattle was no exception.  Amidst a ton of other efforts, we helped out at a project with the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) at beautiful Golden Gardens Park on Tuesday.


CLIA is the world’s largest cruise association and is dedicated to the promotion and growth of the cruise industry.  26 of the major cruise lines serving North America are members of this group, including the four that participated in this event: Holland America Line, Seabourn, Windstar Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises.

The event was covered nicely by the Ballard News Tribune, and holy cow: Mayor McGinn even proclaimed the day: “Cruise Industry Employee Volunteer Recognition Day.”  Pretty impressive!

Over 50 people came out to dig in and ensure the beaches and parks of our city are preserved and taken care of. The invasive species didn’t stand a chance against this crew!


Big thanks to everyone that came out to volunteer, and to Seattle Parks and Recreation for hosting the project!


Community Partners Make the World Go Round. April 26, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 2:18 pm

So – National Volunteer Week is still happening! And we have had a great time spotlighting some of our awesome volunteers. But, now it’s time to recognize our awesome community partners – the ones who work hard to keep their organizations ready for our volunteers!

One of our favorite places to volunteer is Marra Farm. We have numerous projects with them yearly (20 in 2012). After each project, our volunteers are eager to go back! So, what makes Marra Farm so special? Well…

– It’s an urban community farm that engages people in sustainable agriculture and education while enhancing local food security.

– Marra Farm generates tons of fresh, organic produce each year.

– In 2010, more than 1,800 volunteers contributed over 7,200 hours to help grow more than 22,000 pounds!

The food grown at Marra Farm goes to local residents and the senior lunch program through the Providence Regina House Food Bank, Mien senior citizens, and Concord Elementary School students and their families.

It’s easy to see why our volunteers enjoy working at Marra Farm so much – the farm gives back to the community in a huge way! But another main reason we all love working with them is because of the coordinators, Robin and Sue.

Robin and Sue have always been great to our volunteers – they make sure that each person working at the farm knows exactly what they are contributing to in the long run. This makes volunteers feel like they’re a part of something bigger – that they’re really making a difference. They’re also always on top of things, whether it’s applying for Team Works teams, connecting with hosts or scheduling Hot Projects.

The Seattle Works staff (and volunteers) would like to say thank you to Marra Farm for always keeping our volunteers engaged, excited and enthusiastic about giving back, and for providing them with an awesome way to do so!

Stay tuned for one more blog post in honor of National Volunteer Week – I know you want to!


Spotlight on HandsOn Leadership’s Greg and Henry April 25, 2013

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership — seattleworks @ 7:51 am

In honor of national volunteer week we’re spotlight some of our awesome and outstanding volunteers! Greg Altmann and Henry Cheath graduated HandsOn Leadership in the fall of 2012. They immediately jumped into work with Shoreline Community College’s Parent Child Center on building a playground that was also an outdoor learning space. Despite obstacles the team has always preserved and is making great progress.

I contacted Darlene Bakes who is supervising the team to ask if she would write a few words about them. This is what she had to say:

Greg: It is obvious that when Greg commits to something he takes it very serious! His leadership skills have really made a positive impact on the upward success of the project. We also appreciate his technology expertise and organization  skills. We are grateful to have Greg on our team. His support in helping to create a natural playscape for young children will benefit our families and community for many years to come.

Henry: His positive attitude and energy is great! Henry’s easy going demeanor and interest in the project has been very helpful. We are lucky to have Henry on our team. His curiosity regarding the various components of outside play materials has been helpful. Henry’s support of the natural playscape project is helping us to move forward with the  many stages needed to complete project.


Volunteering Is Fulfilling For Holly Wyrwich! April 24, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 8:30 am

It’s day three of our National-Volunteer-Week-blog-post-recognition extravaganza! Below are the top 10 reasons (we don’t have enough room to list them all) we love our featured volunteer of the day, Holly Wyrwich:

1. She has been volunteering with Seattle Works since 2008. Um, that’s 5 years. Woot!

2. She has coordinated over 23 Hot Projects.

3. She has attended over 40 Hot Projects.

4. She is always excited and ready to give back!

5. She has given her time to so many organizations: Phinney Neighborhood Association, Alliance for Education, Seattle Ladies Choir, ROOTS Young Adult Shelter, Camelot Society, Seattle Goodwill, North Helpline and – if you can believe it – there’s more!

6. She spent her 30th birthday volunteering on Seattle Works Day last year. Seriously, how awesome is that?

7. She gives great feedback on projects. In fact, we’ve even changed a few things per her suggestion that have made projects even better.

8. Volunteering in her words: “A friend of mine calls herself the “selfish volunteer” because giving back makes her feel good. I would definitely put myself in that category. I volunteer because it’s fulfilling and enjoyable for me. I feel privileged to have the time and opportunities to offer contributions to my community in even the smallest way, and I love Seattle Works for helping make that possible!”

9. Her husband is participating in Seattle Works Day again this year. Holly can’t make it, so he’s representing their household – but not before she gives him a pep talk about being a stellar coordinator! Plus, she’ll be there in spirit.

10. She’s modest about her volunteering; when told she was chosen for this blog, she replied: “That’s so nice, and I don’t think I deserve it at all! There are so many stellar coordinators.”

Guess what, Holly? We think you’re stellar! 

Want to volunteer with Holly? Sign up for a few Hot Projects and you’ll be sure to meet her soon!

Stay tuned for more Seattle Works rock star recognition! 


Christina Rocks Volunteers to Help Connect Others April 23, 2013

Filed under: Grab bag,Lead,LeadNOW,The Bridge,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:08 pm

Day two of our National Volunteer Week features. Today, we are featuring Bridge Grad Christina Rocks.  Yes, she fully lives up to her last name! Here’s what Christina has to say about volunteering and being a part of the Seattle Works community:

What was your first volunteer experience that you can remember? What was the experience like?

The first volunteer experience I can remember is when I would attend clean-ups of the Salt River in Arizona (where I grew up) with the Ecology Club that my dad was the teacher sponsor of at the Junior High School where he taught. Environmentalism and fostering community were values my parents kept strong in our household – and my father has always been particularly committed to preserving the natural environment and ecological systems. I was the youngest person on these trips by far (I think I started when I was about five or six years old and attended them several times a year through childhood), but the older kids (7th-9th graders) were welcoming to me and were always having so much fun on the trips.

The Junior High at which my Dad taught (for 33 years until his recent retirement) was in a severely and increasingly economically depressed section of town. The trips proved to be a positive outlet not only for me, but for the students who attended who perhaps would not otherwise have had the opportunity to get involved in such a way or learn about the beautiful desert landscapes and ecologies. Each trip included learning about a different part of the environment and how we could be active participants in appreciating it without disturbing it – reduce, reuse, and recycle were big themes.

I really appreciated even at a young age that the trips were benefiting the preservation of the Salt River, benefiting in those of us who went with an additional sense of community, and also that there was always something to learn. While I have moved mostly away from direct-service type volunteering as I’ve gotten older, I still look for ways to serve that accomplish those three things: 1) Creating value for communities 2) Providing great experiences for volunteers and others involved and 3) Encouraging education on issues.

What made you decide to amp up your volunteerism by taking The Bridge?

Taking The Bridge was a wonderful learning opportunity and a big reminder of two things. First, how lucky I have been to have a life filled with volunteerism and activism – especially with so many great non-profits in the Seattle area in my three years of living here. Secondly, how it is so easy to narrow the scope of one’s volunteering. While it is clearly important to put your time where your passions take you, I love that Seattle works brings together a wide variety of volunteers, volunteer opportunities, and organizations. The animals and the arts, international aid and civic committee opportunities can all be found through Seattle Works – and while the group of people that Seattle Works attracts may have different motivations for their work, we are all drawn in by our desire to connect with and improve our community.

Why did you agree to serve as the committee chair for Seattle Works’ LeadNOW?

I agreed to serve as the committee chair for LeadNOW because I loved my time during The Bridge and wanted the opportunity to be on the ground floor of building a sort of alumni network for community members from all of Seattle Work’s programs and other local volunteers.

What has been your favorite part of volunteering with Seattle Works?

My favorite part of volunteering with Seattle Works has been getting to work with the incredible staff and community of volunteers. Seeing what drives folks to do the work they do is one of my favorite things to explore. Seattle Works is expert in connecting passions with opportunity.

What has made your volunteer experience  with the LeadNOW committee meaningful?

We’re getting to encourage and connect those familiar with Seattle Works to continue their service to our Seattle community. There are so many wonderful folks with great skills and resources to offer who are looking – just itching really – to get plug-in to their passion areas. With LeadNOW being a newer component of Seattle Works, were really get to explore how we can best do that, building off of the great work that Seattle Works already does in Seattle.

A HUGE thank you to Christina for everything she does for Seattle Works and our community of volunteer leaders!

Want to learn how you too can be part of The Bridge and LeadNOW? Check our website or email Ben for more information.