Seattle Works

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

Don’t You Forget About Me July 28, 2014

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The DukeEngage group enjoying the view of the water from a spot near UW campus.

The DukeEngage group enjoying the view of the water from a spot near UW campus.

Hi everyone! It’s Martha reporting in on how the DukeEngage experience with Seattle Works is going. Hard to believe, but my internship with Seattle Works is just over halfway through! I’ve been having a blast with everyone here in the office, as well as everyone else in the DukeEngage group.

As we go through the summer, the DukeEngage program has each of us take turns writing weekly blog posts. Below is an excerpt from my blog post shared last week. 

“If you think about it, all of the students in DukeEngage are kind of just thrown together because of a commonality between them — much like the students in The Breakfast Club. Though, admittedly, our commonality is extremely cooler than theirs. Much like the students in The Breakfast Club, we all get along with each other, hang out with each other, and include each other in opportunities to do things together. I think this has helped foster a sense of community between everyone in the program, and has created friendships between people that otherwise may have not have come to be. Despite these similarities to The Breakfast Club, DukeEngage offers qualities that set it apart — presenting the opportunity to create longer-lasting friendships. For starters, DukeEngage is longer than a Saturday spent in detention. Under the surface, our commonality is stronger than theirs. Sure, on the surface, it’s that we are all in DukeEngage, but we are also all here for the same reason. We are here to do service and to help non-profit organizations in Seattle. We are all experiencing new things, some of them together for the first time. This also, I believe, will allow our friendships to outlast those in The Breakfast Club.

Our relationships with each other are not the only ones we are forming during our time here. We also have relationships with our community partners. These relationships are just as important to maintain once our time here is over. This is again similar to The Breakfast Club situation. All of us in DukeEngage were placed with a non-profit, which without the program, probably would not have happened. It is important that we take advantage of this opportunity while it lasts. If any of us are interested in joining the non-profit sector after graduation, this connection could be crucial to finding the perfect fit for a job. Or perhaps, there might even be an opening at the same organization that would fit you, allowing you to come back to your current organization. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, and many more that I’m sure I’m not even aware of at this point, we must make the relationships we form here more meaningful than those in The Breakfast Club.”

If you are interested in reading more about how I plan to make my relationships more meaningful than those in The Breakfast Club, or about what the other DukeEngage interns are up to at other nonprofits in Seattle, feel free to read up on DukeEngage’s blog!


Auction Intern Extraordinaire: Meet Nicole! July 16, 2014

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Seattle Works is excited to announce that Nicole Angus will be joining our Swank team this year! She’ll be an integral leader as we begin planning the swankiest auction around. Let’s get to know this rising superstar in fundraising:


“Following my graduation from Whitman College in 2011, I nicolehave spent several years exploring different facets of nonprofit operations and fundraising at The Polyclinic, where I currently coordinate the for-profit clinic’s corporate giving efforts and the affiliated non-profit foundation’s program-development, fundraising, and communications activities. Having recently completed the University of Washington’s Certificate in Fundraising Management, I’m now excited to help implement Swank, an event larger than any I’ve yet managed. Moreover, as a native Seattleite, I’m ecstatic and grateful for this opportunity to learn from and contribute to Seattle Works’ energetic, engaged community. I hope you’ll join us at Swank as we celebrate both Seattle Works’ extensive impact and you, the people who make that impact possible!” – Nicole


Learn more about Swank 2014 here!


Meet the Interns! June 23, 2014

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Get to know our new interns, Martha and Natalie. They will be working with us this summer and getting to know the ins and outs of Seattle Works!



I’m from the northern VA area, just outside of Washington DC. I’m currently a rising junior at Duke University in NC where I’m pursuing a degree in Economics. My time in Seattle this summer marks my first time on the West Coast!

I;m interning here at Seattle Works through DukeEngage, which is a Duke program that offers volunteer opportunities to students at various locations throughout the world. Along with 15 other students, I’ve traveled to Seattle for a summer internship with a non-profit organization. I’m very excited to be paired with Seattle Works and look forward to working with such a great organization!

My favorite volunteer experience comes from my involvement with my high school community service club. I organized a school-wide benefit concert for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation that showcased many talented student musicians. Some of the reasons it’s still so memorable to me is because it was the first event where I was the team leader, and it was to benefit a foundation that I have supported for more than a decade. I could also see the change I was creating through educating the audience about the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation which was very fulfilling to experience.

What interested me most about Seattle Works is the variety of service opportunities they offer to get the community involved in service. I look forward to being able to participate in their efforts to engage the Seattle community in service and through that learn more about how non-profit organizations work, as well as the Seattle community.

As I’ve never been to Seattle before, there are many things I’m looking forward to doing this summer during my free time. One of the things I’m most excited about is taking a ferry ride out to Bainbridge Island. Also, having never lived in a major city, I’m looking forward to acclimating to and experiencing city life.



Growing up in Tri-Cities, WA, I’m currently going into my Senior year at Central Washington University. Majoring in Communication Studies with minors in Non-Profit Administration and Web Design, I love non-profits, the work they do in communities and hope to work for one after I graduate next spring and move into the real world.

My favorite volunteer experience was last summer, when I was a volunteer/unofficial intern with Ignite Youth Mentoring in Richland, WA. Helping with anything and everything in the office, it was really fun to learn about what happening on a day to day basis to keep an organization up and running. During my time with Ignite, I got to help interview some of the kids in order to match them up with a mentor, which I loved, getting to figure out what qualities and attributes each child needed in a mentor in order to have a good experience with the program.

The thing that interested me the most about Seattle Works is the fact that they are so focused on getting the community involved. I have been interested in volunteer management and community engagement, and finding out that there was a whole organization focused on it blew my mind; I knew right away that I wanted to intern here.

Being from Eastern Washington, I am really excited to be in the “Big City” this summer, getting to explore a whole new area. For the most part when visiting Seattle, I’ve only gone to a few of the tourist attractions, so I can’t wait to be able to just pick an area and walk around until I find something new, whether it is a restaurant, shopping area, or just something random.


Team Works: Nerdy & Dirty get… well, dirty! March 11, 2014

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Volunteering doesn’t take a back seat to a gloomy Saturday, especially in Seattle. Team Nerdy & Dirty showed us their stuff this Saturday at Vision House – a social service nonprofit focused on transitional housing, family services, and substance abuse support. Thank you, Nerdy & Dirty for sharing the love and getting extra dirty this round of Team Works!

You made incredible impact in the hearts (and landscape) of this nonprofit!






HandsOn projects are in–are you ready to take the lead? February 26, 2014

Filed under: HandsOn Leadership,Lead,Uncategorized — seattleworks @ 1:47 pm

So you’ve done the one-day volunteering thing for a while and now you’re ready to get your hands even (metaphorically) dirtier, right? Well we’ve got four new HandsOn Leadership projects waiting for you!

As Ben mentioned last week, we’ve got some new surprises in store for this round of HandsOn Leadership that will make you a rockstar volunteer project manager–and an even stronger leader. Our in-class time will use real-life projects from local nonprofits to build your skills and help you get to know your classmates. If you get attached to your project during the class, you’ll have the option to continue working on it with your team!

So, what are the projects?

Create an irresistible silent auction for the Alexander Hamilton Friends Association gala! Hamilton Friends helps high-achieving, low-income students make the successful transition from high school to college and beyond. This year, they’re hoping to raise $10,000 in the silent auction to support their work–the HandsOn Leadership team will help procure the items they need to make this year’s auction bigger and better than ever!

Be the Directors of Fun at the Arthritis Foundation’s summer camp for kids! The Arthritis Foundation’s KAT-FISH Camp is an annual family camp for kids and teens with arthritis. The HandsOn Leadership team will serve on the camp’s planning committee and plan all of the social activities for camp–think games, entertainment, icebreakers, talent shows and more!

Get Seattle to Walk Like MADD! Mothers Against Drunk Driving’s Walk Like MADD and MADD Dash 5k is a run/walk that engages victims, survivors and supporters to raise awareness about impaired driving and underage drinking. The HandsOn Leadership team will help MADD develop a plan to spread the word about the Dash and get more Seattleites involved!

Throw a party for young donors at Imagine Housing! Imagine Housing is the only nonprofit in East King County dedicated solely to providing affordable housing for the lowest-income families. Their work is supported primarily through donors–and Millennials play a critical part. The HandsOn Leadership team will plan and throw an event to get young donors excited about Imagine Housing!

HandsOn Leadership starts Weds 3/12–are you ready to learn and lead? Need more info? Check out our website, or contact Ben and Katie.



And… they’re off! February 10, 2014

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This Saturday, Seattle Works’  teams set off to begin their spring round of group volunteering. The day was cold (okay, really cold) but the morning of volunteering and the afternoon beers kept our hearts warm. Thirteen teams set off across Seattle to make a difference over a wide-range of nonprofit missions. From sorting shoe donations at Redeeming Soles to facility help at Seattle Public Schools, this group of nearly 200 volunteers did some serious damage, Seattle Works-style.

Check out just a few of the pictures from Saturday’s events! Many thanks to our inspiring Team Works teams and our nonprofit partners for making this morning possible.


Team “Blood, Sweat, and Beers” spent the morning at the Washington Talking Book and Braille Library


A thank-you note was found in an audiobook about how this instrument changed a life.


Team Awesomesauce worked at Redeeming Soles, sorting footwear donations







The A-Team got an A+ for braving the cold!


Guest Post: 3 Books to Reinspire You To Save The World January 8, 2014

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January. Its grayness sucks the will to live out of you, doesn’t it?

Even if you want to make the world a better place, as soon as you look outside, you might just head back to the couch for some hot cocoa and maybe your favorite sitcom. Or a nap, yeah, that’s it. I’ll save the world in July.

But wait! Just because it’s nasty out doesn’t mean you can’t gear up for all of your world saving endeavors!

Yes, January is a time for staying in. But who says that should stop you from your mission of making the world a better place? If you can read these three books to inspire you to save the world, even your downtime will be productive.



After all, the incredible Millennial Impact Report shows that we want to go out and change the world. It’s just knowing how and getting motivated, right?

So, for your reading pleasure, three good books on how to save the world (and Seattle, while you’re at it!)


Book 1: How To Save The World In Your Spare Time by Elizabeth May Image
In this self-proclaimed “Hey, you can fit saving the world into your busy schedule” manifesto, May gives you practical tips on how to get started, add to a project, talk to the media and more. Inspirational in its populist appeal (ANYONE can save the world!), you’ll be inspired when the time comes to pick a place in the cause of your choice and run with it!




The Lazy Environmentalist by Josh DorfmanImage

Would you like to vote with your purchases more in the new year? This book is for you! There’s no reason you should keep your do-good-ing to just your volunteer activities. Dorfman shows you how to make your purchases across the spectrum cleaner and greener. Want to lessen your carbon footprint? Buy at a local bookstore!




How to Change the World by John-Paul Flintoff: Image

This book, from the “School of Life” shows the normal person that small acts that he or she takes will lead to big changes in life. If you are currently a little disenchanted (by politics, the weather, or lack of caffeine), this incredibly readable book will motivate you to at least get yourself a cup of coffee and make a to-do list. For those who want to integrate making a difference into their everyday work, this book is an excellent start! (If you’re on the fence, here’s an 18 minute explanation by the author).




What some people forget about changing the world is that it takes some prep. You can’t just run out there, full of passion and REACT. Well, maybe you can if you’re saving the world from fires, but otherwise, it’s a little ill-advised.

In other words (and I’m betraying my two lit degrees here), it’s like Milton says, “those also serve who stand and wait.” I mean, not forever, but it’s okay to take a little time off and learn the strategies that will help you be effective when you DO decide to save the world.

And, hey, while you’re at it, get yourself a cup of coffee, there’s a lot of work to be done.


ImageChristine McMullin is a digital marketing strategy consultant who does all things communication for businesses across the U.S. but also finds a little time to save the world in her spare time. You can follow her on Twitter @CMcMChatter and look at some more words she wrote on her website []