Seattle Works

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

Ready–Set–Coordinate! September 5, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 3:24 pm

Cheesy blog title, I know — but it caught your attention, didn’t it? And now that I have you here, let me ask you a few questions…

1. Have you attended 5 or more Hot Projects in the last year?

2. Do you have a great time and meet cool new people at each project?

3. Are you oh so jealous of the Seattle Works Volunteer Leaders who start off each project with an ice breaker, take attendance and make sure everyone WestSide Babyenjoys themselves?

If you answered yes to all of these questions, then you would be a GREAT Hot Project Coordinator! Not only do you still get to attend your favorite projects, but you’ll take on a little more responsibility and build your communication and leadership skills. Doesn’t that sound awesome?

So, what do we expect from Hot Project Coordinators? You’ll attend an initial training where you’ll learn everything you need to know and then you commit to leading three projects per quarter — or once a month! If you think it sounds easy enough — that’s because it is!

If you’re interested in joining the Cool Coordinator Club, email Irina at!


Team Works Through Word of Mouth! August 28, 2013

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 4:06 pm

I constantly talk about how awesome Team Works is — and I’m not lying. But if I’ve learned one thing at Seattle Works, it’s that hearing things through word of mouth (preferably from the mouth of someone super cool) is the best way to get people involved. So, without further ado, here is a compilation of tweets that show a day in the life of a Team Works teammate:

“We put the anchors on our kiwi arbor on backwards…. we’ll fix it! @SeattleWorks#teamworks #theperennialmillenials

“Weeding the spinach! @SeattleWorks#teamworks #perennialmillenials

“I told you we’d fix it! Just flipped the board on top. @SeattleWorks #teamworks #perennialmillenials

“Building a kiwi arbor for Marra Farms! @SeattleWorks #teamworks#theperennialmillenials

“The flowers are so pretty at Marra Farms!!! @SeattleWorks #teamworks#theperennialmillenials

“We’re working on recruiting some independent vounteers to our team. @SeattleWorks#teamworks #theperennialmillenials

“Finishing up by planting some lettuce! Thanks for another great project, Marra Farms! @SeattleWorks #teamworks


PM3   PM


As you can see, by becoming a Team Works volunteer, you get to experience many emotions:

1. Happiness — obviously from weeding!

2. Accomplishment — who doesn’t love fixing things?! Can you say hero?

3. Awe and appreciation — sometimes it’s difficult to find time to appreciate nature. Well, when you spend 4 hours in a garden you do!

4. Inspiration — meeting other volunteers that aren’t a part of Team Works and talking about it helps promote and inspire others to get involved regularly. And who knows — maybe they’ll even join your team next round!

5. Understanding — when you’re all finished with the project, you have an understanding of the organization and why the work that you’ve done is so important. There’s no better feeling.

Now that you’ve seen the action via tweets, are you ready to join Team Works, volunteer with a group of like-minded and fun individuals, all while giving back to your community? I thought so. Email Irina:, or visit our Team Works page to learn more!


Calling All Captains–Team Works Captains, That Is! August 21, 2013

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 11:57 am

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — being a Team Works Team Captain is AWESOME. So if you’re awesome and you love being around awesome people — what are you waiting for? Here are Team Captain responsibilities in a nutshell — try to contain your excitement while reading:

1. Recruiting teammates: you know that friend you’ve been trying to drag to a volunteer project? Here’s your chance — lure them in with promises of swag (shirts, water bottles, tote bags or gloves!) and parties (two to be exact).

2. Leading your team: you coordinate projects, send information and are the hero of the group if something goes wrong!

3. Encouraging social activities: despite its name, Team Works isn’t all work — it’s also very much play. You encourage activities outside of projects. Bonding with your teammates over food and beer? Yes please!

4. Promoting volunteerism: you obviously believe in civic engagement. So by telling your friends, co-workers, family and strangers your volunteering stories, you’re not only promoting Team Works, but you’re also promoting community engagement. You’re a modern-day John F. Kennedy (you know — because he issued and promoted the Peace Corps in 1961).

5. Organization variety: you work with and learn about four different community organizations each round. Learning the ins and outs of organizations is fascinating, a good way to network and a great way to learn about different community issues.

TW Blog Post 1

So — are you ready to become a Team Captain for the October-January round? I thought so! Check out the dates below and email for more information on how to get started!

Tues 9/10: Team Captain Orientation, 6pm-8pm

Thurs 10/9: KickOff, 6pm-8pm

Project 1: 10/12 10am-2pm

Project 2: 11/9 10am-2pm

Project 3: 12/14 10am-2pm

Project 4 & CoolDown: 1/11/14 10am-2pm & 3pm-5pm


Blast From The Seattle Works Day Past! July 11, 2013

Filed under: Seattle Works Day,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 12:12 pm

Seattle Works Day was almost two months ago (and it was E-P-I-C), but we’re still getting tons of thank yous, pictures, emails, and – yes – flyers! Below is a flyer made by the coordinator for the Dr. Jose Rizal Off-Leash Area project on SWD.

Read on to see the wonderful impact just one (out of 37) of our projects made!


“Saturday May 18th was a historic day at Dr. Jose Rizal Off-Leah Area. An army of amazing volunteers took to the slopes of this park and helped remove over 1/3 of an acre of invasive plants. They also created protective mulch rings around over 30 trees, spread over 50 yards of wood chips in various locations, weeded, pruned, cut and mulched a pedestrian trail along the south fence line and completely overhauled the water drainage basin. These volunteers spent over 712 volunteer hours reviving the land. This once forgotten dog park is on its way to being one of the top 10 sites to visit in Seattle.” 

Pretty great, right? If you participated in any aspect of Seattle Works Day, go ahead and pat yourself on the back again. It’s clear that Seattle Works Day is not only a great way to volunteer with your friends, family and coworkers (and get some free beer afterwards), but it’s also a day where the community appreciates and recognizes the amazing work you do all year long. Saving a park like this one is also, you know, pretty freakin’ awesome!

Haven’t had a chance to send us your pictures? Upload them to our Flickr group or email!

Want to see how everyone’s project went? Experience it through tagboard!

Have comments about your experience? We’d love to hear ’em – just fill out this survey!


Volunteer Your Way to Employment July 4, 2013

Filed under: Hot Projects,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 10:00 am

Here’s some not-so-surprising news: there’s a clear relationship between volunteering and finding employment. What kind of relationship, you ask? According to the Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment Report, with research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), volunteering can…

– Increase employment prospects by helping job seekers learn new skills;

– Help expand volunteers’ networks;

– Encourage volunteers to take on leadership roles.volunteer_report_image

Doesn’t that just want to make you roll up your sleeves and go paint a school right now? If not, here’s a little more incentive to do so:

– Volunteers have a 27 percent higher likelihood of finding a job after being out of work than non-volunteers;

– Volunteers without a high school diploma have a 51 percent higher likelihood of finding employment;

– Volunteers living in rural areas have a 55 percent higher likelihood of finding employment.

So, if you’re in the market for a new job – or just want to give back to your community – sign up for a project or three on our Project Calendar and call it a successful networking event!


The A-Team Gets Connected July 3, 2013

Filed under: Our Team,Training — seattleworks @ 11:14 am
Tags: , ,

The AmeriCorps team attended the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington D.C. a few weeks ago. We were all very excited about two things: learning new practices and meeting other AmeriCorps–those currently serving, as well as alums.

We met the other three AmeriCorps National Direct – two of them serving at HandsOn Central Ohio and one at Chicago Cares. We discussed our awesome experiences, laughed about the many interesting and hilarious moments, and of course – bonded over a slew of amazing food at Ping Pong Dim Sum. Here’s what we took from it:

IMG955521_1Ben: It was great meeting other AmeriCorps members that are currently serving across the country. We had the opportunity to connect with them and share insights and stories around volunteer engagement and the different ways we bring people together. They will be valuable connections for future activities, projects and networking.

Tomilyn: It was so fantastic to meet all the other AmeriCorps serving in National Direct. National Direct is a small program different from the main avenues people serve in AmeriCorps. While I had encountered other Vistas, it was great to get together with the 6 folks who are doing similar work from Ohio to Chicago. I also learned about opportunities to connect with AmeriCorps alumni here in Seattle! Can’t wait to tap into this amazing network of dedicated public servants. IMG954497_1

Irina: It was awesome meeting those who started serving at the same time we did, to see how far they had come in their organizations, what they accomplished, and what their next steps were. It was also encouraging to meet AmeriCorps alums who were doing great things for the community – whether it was working for another nonprofit, founding their own organization, or working internationally on a completely different area of interest. We learned that AmeriCorps alums go far and I’m proud to be part of that legacy – 800,000+ strong and counting!

Interested in learning more about AmeriCorps? Check out the details and current openings!


National Conference on Volunteering and Service 2013 June 27, 2013

Filed under: Our Team,Training — seattleworks @ 11:36 am
Tags: , , , ,

Last week, five of us ventured out to Washington D.C. to attend the ever-so-inspirational National Conference on Volunteering and Service, hosted by Points of Light.

Conference was huge–4,000+ people from different backgrounds, organizations, and practices came together. There was dancing (specifically between Karl Rove and Donna Brazile), volunteering, learning, leading – and showing that service can and will unite to improve our communities.

Now, before we get to the good stuff, here’s a picture of our team looking snazzy in D.C.!

NCVS Blog Post

We all took something from Conference – whether it was meeting someone we admired, realizing that we’re doing a great job, or just plain learning something interesting – and we’d like to share some of the awesomeness with you!

Irina: My favorite “ah-ha” moment was when I heard Jeremy Heimans speak about the organization he co-founded, Purpose. Purpose is a global home for building movements and new ventures that use the power of participation to change the world. While I was completely in awe of the organization, I was more impressed with how passionate Jeremy was about civic engagement. It made me realize that what we do at Seattle Works is essential in uniting our communities. I came back from Conference even more energized and excited about the mission of Seattle Works!

Tomilyn: Learning about building civic movements was an incredibly powerful seminar. Normally we’re focused on our use of media in small picture terms – how many likes do we have? Will enough people sign up for my class? This took those great responses to a whole new level, showing how enough people can ban together to create a movement and real civic change.

Ben: It was awesome to realize just how much Seattle Works does – and that we’re really good at what we do! Throughout the conference not only were we mentioned, but people were soliciting our opinion on social media, board training and general volunteer engagement.

I learned a great deal by chatting with representatives from other HandsOn Network affiliates throughout the country. Gaining insights into how they mobilize volunteers, train board members and the wide variety of different programming within the network. It was great to meet other people and learn from their expertise. Being part of this Network is just an incredible resource not just for us to learn from what others are doing–but to also enlighten other organizations on Seattle Works best-practices while we all work towards a more engaged community nationwide.

Katie: My top moment from the conference was helping facilitate a session on innovation across the HandsOn Network. I had great conversations about how Seattle Works builds a “culture of innovation” in our office – and got to share CommonWealth with our peers across the country! It really drove home that we’re doing really innovative stuff at Seattle Works – and others are watching!

Tara: I was moved, and inspired to act, by the stories of HandsOn Network affiliates who responded to Hurricane Sandy. It’s one thing to hear on the news that the storm caused $50 billion in damage or that large sections of New Jersey were without power for up to six weeks. It’s entirely another thing to hear from people who responded to the need and helped mobilize volunteers in setting up shelters, organizing donations, restoring shorelines and gutting homes. Some of these groups had a pre-existing disaster response plan and some of them figured it out along the way. Across the board, I was amazed by their dedication and ability to rise to the occasion. It has moved the nagging thought at the back of my mind that Seattle Works should have a plan for our role in a time or crisis to a project I’d like for us to tackle this year.

There’s an underlying theme in what everyone learned: just like our affiliates, Seattle Works is doing great things! While working M-F 9-5, sometimes we don’t stop to realize that we’re actually living out our mission – to connect volunteers, develop emerging leaders and inspire dialogue. Thanks to Conference, not only did we meet passionate people, have fun, learn new practices – but we also confirmed that we’re pretty awesome!

Interested in learning more about what happened at NCVS 2013? Read the highlights here. 

We’re looking forward to Conference 2014 – Atlanta, here we come!