A pretty big portion of our work at Seattle Works involves connecting incredible, willing volunteers with the organizations serving our community who need them. Not only do we connect you–Seattle Works staffers are volunteers and board members in the community ourselves!
I recently started my newest volunteer gig at FareStart and was peer pressured by my coworkers into bragging all about it on this blog!
So why do I volunteer? Well, for a lot of reasons–namely that I care very much about supporting the organizations in our community doing the work I couldn’t do alone. Also, it’s so much fun–no matter where I volunteer, it turns out that people who want to be involved in their community are people I like hanging out with.
Why am I volunteering at FareStart? I know I’m passionate about two very specific things: education and food–and FareStart happens to merge the two in a pretty incredible way. My work schedule at Seattle Works stopped agreeing with my former volunteer gig teaching cooking classes through Solid Ground’s “Cooking Matters” program–if you love food and kids, check them out!–and after volunteering with the Seattle Works board at FareStart last year, decided to make the leap.
FareStart provides education and job training in the food service industry to men, women and teens who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. How do they do it? They run a restaurant and catering company–an incredible one–serving amazing food while also satisfying a huge community need.
Every Thursday night, FareStart hosts Guest Chef Night, in which a local chef takes over the kitchen–staffed by FareStart students–and creates a three-course meal for restaurant patrons. The front of the house is staffed almost exclusively by volunteers–large groups who serve as volunteer servers, as well as regular Thursday night volunteers–like me!–who help run food, fill orders and greet guests. Every week, 20 or so volunteers walk in the door with little to no serving experience, get a crash course in waiting tables, and walk out as server extraordinaires! It’s fast-paced and the most fun I’ve ever had volunteering. I’m only one week in and I can’t wait for my next shift!
This is all to say: we at Seattle Works walk our talk! As volunteers, we know the power of a great volunteer experience–and hope we can keep connecting you to them for another 25 years!
If you’re interested in joining the FareStart volunteer team, they’d love to have you. There are many opportunities to get involved–beyond Guest Chef Night–and you can check them out on their website.