Preemptive TL:DR – Please help me raise money to support the Seattle Works organization. https://seattleworks.ejoinme.org/rockstar
Longer story: When I moved back to Seattle after being away for over ten years, I was looking to meet people and do something fun. After a little Google magic I found Seattle Works, which seemed like a pretty cool organization. I started out doing Hot Projects, which are just one-off, two-four hour volunteer projects. I rewound books on tape at the Library for the Blind, helped clean up after an organization supporting homeless women moved into a bigger facility, things like that. After that I heard talk about something called Team Works.
Team Works is a way for a group of people to commit to volunteering one Saturday a month for four months in a row. Each team can have up to 15 people, and the projects typically last four hours. I've been on the same team through four cycles now, and been captain or co-captain for the past two. Everyone on these teams actually pays to participate to help offset administrative costs, which is pretty awesome if you think about it.
We've helped at one of the last farms in Seattle, painted the interior of the playroom at a Childhaven location, helped elderly residents with housework at a mobile home park, and done a whole lot of weeding at parks throughout the area.
I've met really cool people and had a lot of fun. Sometimes it's a pain to get up early on a Saturday, or maybe miss out on something else because we're volunteering, but it's worth it. We're providing a service to organizations doing good in the community. My favorite reminder of this was when we were helping out at an organization that provides young childhood education to low-income families. They had a bunch of files they needed to get rid of, but they were up in an attic. So, we formed a chain to clear the boxes out; it took the twelve of us about 40 minutes. They had checked to see how much it would cost to pay someone to do it: $800.
$800 that we helped save them, that I know can be better used by these not-for-profits that are stepping up to provide much needed assistance in our community.
So please, take a moment and look at the the Seattle Works website and see if it's an organization you can support right now. I'll be gently reminding you all online over the next two weeks. My goal is to raise $300 by December 15.
If you're not able to give, and you live in the Seattle area, please consider signing up for a hot project in 2013, or joining our team (Truffle Shuffle) for the spring round. You'd be amazed at how much good you can do in just a few hours.