Hi There! Thanks for visiting. Here's the scoop on
volunteer work in Seattle:

My personal philosophy about volunteerism.

Fun at the party following 2001 Seattle Works Day

I am currently volunteering as a "family partner" with Habitat for Humanity, an organization dedicated to lifting people out of poverty by enabling them to own their homes. The Seattle group just celebrated its 15th Anniversary with a block party at New Holly, a nice neighborhood just off Beacon Hill.

A family partner acts as a contact between Habitat and the family that will be buying a home from the organization. There are quite a few requirements of the families. They need to contribute a significant number of hours working at the home construction site, gaining sweat equity. The families are buying the homes, so they will need to be prepared to pay a mortgage and to plan for ongoing maintenance of their homes, and there are a number of workshops that they must attend. The family partner helps to keep information going between the Habitat office and the families.

I've only been doing this a few months, and my "family" was about halfway through the process when I started (their previous partner was transferred out of town). It's not a tremendous amount of work, and I think that consistency is really the key. My family should be moving into their home in September.

Other volunteer opportunities

Seattle Works is a great starting place for becoming more involved in community service. Some folks from my office joined the Team Works program. Teams of about a dozen people sign on for 5 activities, one Saturday per month. The activites we did included landscaping in the parks, sorting donations at the Good Will store and the West Seattle Food Bank, even helping at a charity auction. The organizations that we helped serve a lot more people than you might think.

A soccer friend and I checked out Project Impact , which does earthquake retrofits for low-income homes (the retrofitting can cost anywhere from $3000 upwards). We completed the training class, but I think the organization is having a hard time reaching critical mass to get started on the work.

A couple other organizations I support are

My personal philosophy is that we all have dramatic differences in our abilities and that some people are very needy of help, regardless of their "worthiness" or our comprehension of their struggles. We all, like children, try as hard as we can and still fail in some areas of our lives. We all need help and compassion for those failures. I will never be able to understand what it is like to have grown up without the advantages I have had - married, responsible and supportive parents and grandparents, good health and education, and, yes, being a white, middle-class American.

I also believe that, though we can survive largely without having much interaction, we should preserve a sense of community through caring for one another. This caring cannot be legislated, but has to be done through personal choice and preferably through actual involvement. So, I encourage you to pick a group that fits your concerns or your interests, get out there and give something back!

Click below to find out more about...
My family
My friends
Recommended reading
My job ]
My resume ]
Soccer links
Links to skiing information
[ Computer / programming links ]
[ Favorite places in Seattle ]
Volunteer work in Seattle ]

Enjoy your stay!