Seattle Works

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

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!


Operation Sack Lunch with the Beer View Mirrors October 13, 2010

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 8:53 pm

Greetings from Beer View Mirrors!  Our group headed off to Compass Center Men’s Program in Pioneer Square, who hosts the kitchen to Operation Sack Lunch.  We had the opportunity to prepare a fantastic dinner for approximately 50 people. Sack Lunch currently serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, seven days each week to the homeless children, women, and men, who call Seattle their home. They prepare 17,000 meals per month in numerous locations throughout Seattle, and with only a handful of staff at Compass and the help of volunteers like us.  Our team helped to prepare a meal from scratch, no recipes involved!  It was a great team building activity, that gave us the opportunity to make a delicious and unique meal that was one of a kind.  We broke out into groups of 2-3 to create our meal consisting of a chicken stir fry with a side of root vegetables, salad, savory rolls and strawberry short cake for dessert.  What makes Sack Lunch very unique is that they use all organic food to prepare healthy meals for Compass.  Everything is natural, with no artificial flavors.  Overall, it was a great day!

The gang serving up our delicious creation.

Adding the final garnishes to the salad.

Cleaning up and cutting the veggie sides.  Keep it up!

Zach staying busy by stocking the fridge and pantry.

Quenching our thirst with a tasty glass of chocolate milk before we serve our dinner.

Clint and Liz working on the stir fry.  Looks great!

Celebrating a successful first BVM project.

Until next time!

Take Care,

Beer View Mirrors

Want to keep up with all that this team is doing? 

Check out their blog!


The Right Stuff October 8, 2010

Filed under: Swank — seattleworks @ 5:05 pm

At the 2008 Swank, I was with my husband, Baron, and Kara, my best friend from junior high and high school. I wasn’t particularly interested in any of the live auction items until I heard these magic words: New Kids on the Block.

I was a major “Blockhead” during my teenage years, and in fact the first concert I ever attended was to see the seminal boy band at the Puyallup Fair. And now NKOTB was touring again, and I had the chance to get VIP tickets to their reunion tour concert–and limo service.

I quickly consulted with Kara, and she said she would go in on the New Kids auction item with me. We agreed on a maximum dollar amount that we would be willing to spend. I didn’t think the bidding would go that high because even though I still love New Kids on the Block, I realize that I’m in a very small minority.

The bidding started, and I raised my bid number high and kept raising it because to my surprise, I was in a heated competition with another woman for the New Kids package! I bid several times and then realized that I had reached the maximum dollar amount Kara and I had agreed on earlier. It was just me and the other woman bidding on the package, and she had the highest bid. I looked at Kara in dismay. I guess there would be no reunion with Jordan, Jon, Joey, Danny and Donnie after all.

Then my husband snatched my bid card out of my hand and raised it high. The other woman didn’t respond with a counter bid which meant the New Kids tickets were mine!

A month later Kara and I went to the New Kids on the Block concert, and when Joey sang, “Please Don’t Go Girl,” I screamed so loud I probably punctured Kara’s ear drum. It was great to feel like I was 13 again. I was carefree, and thoughts of work, a mortgage and other obligations were far far away.

Whether it’s a great bottle of wine, sports memorabilia, spa treatments or a trip down memory lane, Swank is a great way to score great items and experiences. Thank you Seattle Works!

-Madeline Moy, amazing Seattle Works volunteer


A smile – brought to you by our volunteers October 7, 2010

Filed under: Team Works,Volunteer — seattleworks @ 11:47 pm

After a team of our volunteers go out to a project, be it a Hot Project or a Team Works project, we ask them to tell us how it went.  We want to make sure that everyone has a positive volunteer experience and if there are ways to improve the projects we want to know about it!  Here is a response from one of our fantastic volunteers:

North Helpline was AWESOME. I think the whole team really enjoyed the experience, and I know our help was appreciated by Alecia and the rest of the volunteer team there.

We had 100% attendance, along with one of our old teammates joining us for the event.

Alecia did an excellent job getting us in the right places and explaining the importance of their services. I also think the sheer number of people coming through to get food made quite an impression on all of us, and made us realize how fortunate we all are, and how fragile our circumstances can be, especially in “these times.”

Again, another really valuable Seattle Works experience.



 “That’s What She Said” Team Captain


“It’s a bit like throwing a party, not inviting someone … and then wondering why they didn’t show up.” August 17, 2010

Filed under: Election,Influence — seattleworks @ 2:24 am

Hats off to Thomas Goldstein of The Washington Bus and Thomas Bates of Rock the Vote for their article in The Seattle Times on younger voters.

Among many smart things, they say that:

We know what works: Make sure young people are registered to vote, give them relevant information in an engaging way, and run campaigns that connect with their values.

We couldn’t agree more.

Don’t Underestimate the Younger Voter:


Want to be our Strategic Planning Intern? May 11, 2010

Filed under: Our Team — seattleworks @ 7:14 pm

Are you a smart and motivated person who wants to join an amazing team?

Seattle Works is seeking a Strategic Planning Intern to serve 10 hours/week now – September. Details at:

Position reports to me, and rumor has it I’m a pretty decent person to report to. Strategic Planning Committee is smart, wonderful and making great progress. Now that we’ve hit the writing stages, we could really benefit from someone to support our activities. This is a great opportunity to see a Strategic Planning process up close and personal, and to contribute to its completion.

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we are looking to fill this position quickly.

– T


Men’s Group Goes Sky High April 28, 2010

Filed under: Men's Group — seattleworks @ 11:25 pm

It did not look like a day for flying.  Seattle had been consumed by a dark grey sky and heavy showers.  This is no issue for typical travel on a Boeing 737, but on this day, there was a group of boys anticipating a flight with a view.  Lucky for the 7 students, the weather cleared and it turned into a beautiful, crisp Seattle evening.  Treehouse for Kids teamed up with Kenmore Air to provide a memorable night in the sky.

The stage was set at the Kenmore Air harbor on south Lake Union.  If you have been in Seattle for any length of time, you have probably seen the buzzing, yellow sea planes that come and go with splash and spray.  The students met with the Seattle Works Men’s group at Kenmore Air ready to…eat. 

One of the leaders commented, “This is going to be great, for a lot of people it will be their first time flying.”  To which one of the boys responded, “Yep, this is a first for me, eating a sub sandwich off the trunk of a BMW.” 

So the boys prepared for the flight by consuming a couple dozen subway sandwiches.  The 10 passenger plane sat and waited.  The lake was calm.  The sun was shining.  The quote of the trip had been spoken.  “We should fly to another state.  I wonder if it looks like it does on a map- can you see the whole United States?”  

The flight did not disappoint.  The boy’s nervous excitement quickly turned into pure excitement.  The sea plane cruised over Gasworks Park, Fremont, Ballard, and Discovery Park.  They had a great view of West Seattle over the Sound.  The plane looped back and flew close to the Space Needle before heading north along Lake Washington.  The plane splashed down on the north end of Lake Washington at Kenmore Air’s harbor with big grins all around.

  Caleb Aring (Men’s Group Mentor)