Impact Day 2014: Northwest Harvest Service Shift Recap

15 Apr

by Shanna Lisberg

On Saturday, April 5, seven Junior League of Seattle volunteers gathered at Northwest Harvest’s main warehouse in Kent, Wash. to help sort and re-package bulk food for distribution to food banks throughout the state. Northwest Harvest is a nonprofit food bank distributor that has been fighting hunger since 1967. Northwest Harvest has a network of more than 360 food banks, meal programs, and high-need schools and provides more than 1.7 million meals every month.


Joining us on Saturday morning were a wide variety of volunteers including the Girl Scouts, families, other organizations and high school students. After hearing more about Northwest Harvest and general safety instructions, we learned that our task for the day was to sort and package rice into family-sized portions. Wearing our health-code required and oh-so-fashionable hairnets and plastic gloves, we got to work on this important task.

To make the work more efficient, Northwest Harvest has implemented quite the assembly line process. First, 50 pound bags of rice were brought in on pallets and the bags were emptied into a large bin. Volunteers then filled smaller bags with 1 large cup of rice each. These bags were then transferred to other volunteers who were tasked with taping the bags closed. The bags were then packed into boxes, which were sealed, labeled, and ready to be shipped to the food bank.

When we were finished, we had sorted and packaged 9,950 pounds of rice into 420 boxes. This amounted to 7,653 meals for hungry people.

Rice is not the only food distributed by Northwest Harvest. Volunteers might find themselves sorting fresh fruit, vegetables, beans or grains. Bulk items are repackaged into family sized portions to make distribution at the food banks quicker and easier. Each bag of rice that we packed on Saturday contained enough food to feed a family of four.

It was very inspiring to see all the other individuals who had chosen to spend their Saturday morning volunteering at Northwest Harvest. It was especially inspiring to see the families and younger children. It was clear that the kids were having a lot of fun while becoming aware of meaningful social issues. This service shift was a fantastic way to give back to the community and make a difference, all the while promoting the Junior League mission on Impact Day.

To find out more about Northwest Harvest visit

League & Community Outreach: Northwest Art’s Spring Kids’ Art Studio

14 Apr

by Liz Nixon

It was another rainy Saturday in Seattle, however 15 kids and their parents were having a blast at the Junior League office in Madison Park at the Kids’ Spring Art Studio on March 29, 2014.  The Northwest Art League & Community Outreach committee hosted the event.

The kids, ranging in ages from 3 to 10-years-old, were introduced to several fun pieces from the League’s extensive art collection, including a painting by Dale Chihuly and a lithograph by Mark Tobey. Trained League members acted as docents and discussed the art with the children using an inquiry-based approach. Next, the older children headed downstairs to experiment with print-making using linoleum tiles.  Younger children walked through several activities upstairs, including printing using etched Styrofoam, and monoprints with everyday objects.  Kids left with mounted art in hand, although a few left their pieces in the office for our future kids’ art “gallery!”


The bi-yearly Kids’ Art Studio is just one way that the Northwest Art committee reaches League members and our surrounding community. More than 20,000 kids in King County are exposed to the original Northwest art in the League’s collection via curriculum workshops in Seattle Public Schools and docent training for the Bellevue School District.  Northwest Art partnerships allow the committee to host exciting events at the Bellevue Art Museum, Seattle Affordable Art Fair, Mirabella, and the Henry Art Gallery.



Whether targeted toward kids or adults, the Northwest Art League & Outreach committee encourages members to check out our next event!





Learn more @


From Place to Place

10 Apr

by Shanna Lisberg

The Advocacy Committee hosted a screening of the documentary “From Place to Place” followed by a panel discussion on March 18th. Every year, 30,000 youths age out of foster care, having spent an average of 5 years in the system. “From Place to Place” follows 3 of these teens – Micah, Mandy, and Raif – who have recently aged out of foster care and who are forced to face life with little support. Eventually, Mandy and Raif set out to change the system that raised them and travel to Washington D.C. to tell their stories on Capitol Hill and try to better the system for the generations to come.

“From Place to Place” was an incredibly moving film that highlights the struggles faced by foster youth in general, as well as when they age out of the system. Kids who age out of the foster system are at an extreme disadvantage to the rest of society. By age 21, of those who age out of foster care, 1 in 7 will experience homelessness, 50% will be unemployed, 71% of women become pregnant, and 77% of men will have been arrested.

Mandy wants to go to college but first she has to obtain her GED. Foster children have significantly higher rates of absenteeism at school than their peers, and a foster child loses four to six months of academic progress with each school change. It is estimated that only 3% of foster children who have aged out of the system will obtain a college degree.

Raif lives on the street where he beatboxes for money. He frequently travels the rails when he feels the need for adventure. Many foster children do not have access to important socialization opportunities such as sports and clubs, and access to money for basic needs such as clothing, shoes, and school supplies is limited.  

Micah is focused on trying to stay out of jail so he can help his girlfriend, who is pregnant. 20% of males who age out of the system will become career criminals as opposed to 5% of the general population. Research shows that many children in foster care struggle with mental health challenges arising from the trauma they’ve suffered, as well as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Currently, the United States spends 8 billion dollars a year on foster care and there are 420,000 kids in America’s foster care system. Children enter foster care through no fault of their own and for different factors such as neglect, poverty, and abuse. Foster care is designed to be a temporary living situation however, as we saw in the film, many kids do not leave the system until they are required to, at age 18.

After the film, Fredrick Kingston and Mandy Urwiler from The Mockingbird Society led a panel discussion regarding foster care and how we can help. Some of the topics discussed included an emphasis on kin-care and the Extended Foster Care program.

Kinship care is an alternative to foster care, whereby children who have been removed from homes are placed with relatives. The number of children living with a grandparent or other relation has increased considerably in the past years. Kinship care can benefit foster children as it provides increased stability and safety, as well as the ability to maintain family connections and cultural traditions.

The Extended Foster Care program provides an opportunity for teens in foster care to continue to receive support after they turn 18. In order to receive the services, teens must complete a secondary academic or vocational program, or participate in a program or activity designed to promote employment. Studies show that youth that are enrolled in an extended foster care program have higher college attendance, fewer arrests, and are less reliant on public assistance.

Children in foster care has been a long time advocacy focus for the Junior League of Seattle. Here’s how you can help make a difference:

  • Become a foster parent. There are currently over 10,000 children in Washington in need of foster homes
  • Become a Court Appointed Special Advocate and be a voice for young children in court
  • Become a mentor to any young person, including children in foster care
  • Donate time or services for kids in foster care
  • Donate clothing or other essentials to foster organizations
  • Volunteer at a foster organization
  • Write letters to or call your elected officials

You can find out more about “From Place to Place” at

For more information about The Mockingbird Society, visit





Impact Day Is Almost Here!

28 Mar

by Shanna Lisberg

Join the Junior League of Seattle on Saturday, April 5, 2014 by making an impact on the community and promoting volunteerism! Approximately 100 trained volunteers will be providing direct service at over 10 volunteer events across the greater Seattle area, offering much-needed volunteer resources to improve the health, education and welfare of women and children. Volunteers will be participating in a wide variety of projects to serve the following community organizations: YWCA, Boys & Girls Club, Solid Ground, Mary’s Place, Youthcare, Lifewire, Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline.

Formed in 1923, the Junior League of Seattle (JLS) was founded on the idea that the greatest way to make a positive impact on the community is to empower and train female leaders while promoting voluntarism. Over the decades, JLS has made an unprecedented contribution to the welfare of women and children in the Puget Sound area by developing projects that are still making a difference today.

JLS Volunteers at Seattle Tilth's Demonstration Garden.

JLS Volunteers at Seattle Tilth’s Demonstration Garden.

90 Shifts for 90 Years

This year, the Junior League of Seattle celebrates its 90th anniversary as the premier women’s organization in the Puget Sound area. In honor of our anniversary, JLS is committed to completing 90 service shifts to make an enormous impact in the community. 90 Shifts for 90 Years is a memorable way to commemorate our dedication and enthusiasm for community service. Throughout the year, JLS members have been volunteering their time and skills in a wide variety of service shifts. We are close to our goal of 90 shifts and need everyone’s help and support for our Big Day of Service!

League members are invited to save the date and sign up for a volunteer shift. This is a great occasion for committees and provisional groups to join a shift together to celebrate the year’s work. Additionally, this is one of the last opportunities to obtain service shift credit for member obligations.

Shifts are visible on the JLS website and will be located in multiple locations throughout the greater Seattle area. You are welcome to bring friends and family to volunteer, and again, our goal is to have as many volunteers out in the community at the same time. Help JLS reach our goal of 90 service shifts for 90 years, with at least 100 volunteers, and give back to our community.

We need your help to make April 5 the best Impact Day yet!

New Timeline Chronicles 90 Years of JLS History

25 Mar

by Christina Trabant

How do you pack 90 years worth of Junior League of Seattle history into a timeline?  How do you illustrate the changes our League has experienced during those 90 years?  How do you digitally save the information while also creating a physical and movable representation that League members can view and enjoy?  That was the task set before my Provisional Project group, as we took on the JLS Visual History Timeline Project.

The project was conceived by League staff member Courtney Laguio, who spent much of the past two years organizing and cataloguing the archives in the office.  With the blessing of JLS President Rebecca Wilson, Laguio’s brainchild for a Provisional Project was green lit for the 2013-2014 year in advance of the anniversary celebrations.

During our group’s first meeting in September, we discussed a number of ideas for the timeline itself and a reveal party.  We wanted to highlight the important dates as well as the projects and issues the League championed.  We held work parties to pour over the archived photographs and read through the Annual Reports and Greenbooks.  Of course any Junior League of Seattle timeline would be remiss without mentions of the Seattle Day Nursery, Braille Library for the Blind, The Wise Penny Thrift Shop, Puget Soundings, the Cookbooks and Northwest Art as well as our two Mary Harriman award winners, Dee Dickinson and Colleen Willoughby.

During our work parties, the group remarked about learning the smaller details the archives allowed us to uncover.  For example: The amount of money the Wise Penny brought in during its inaugural year; the membership number flux over the past 90 years, particularly during World War II; the year that League members began being recognized by their own names instead of their married names; the evolution of the Madison Park office purchase and opening; and the first year the President-Elect position started.  We also enjoyed viewing the varying member fashion over the years and seeing skinny jeans featured during a 1970s fashion show.  As a Provisional, I was especially interested in the 1976-77 year, when the League began scheduling Provisional gatherings in the evenings to accommodate an increasing number of working women and the 1985-86 year, when Provisional Projects were added.

After gleaning the dates and data we wanted to include, Courtney Laguio used her graphic design skills to create the layout of eight distinct poster drafts.  Each poster represents one decade, from the 1920s through the 1990s.  We chose not to build a poster for the 2000s decade, as we are hoping League members will view the timeline and come forward with more archival information.  Our group members had the opportunity to review and comment on the drafts via the GroupShare function on Digital Cheetah and the final posters were printed.

The timeline reveal party took place during the January edition of Bubbles & Bites, Monday, January 27th at the League office. In addition to showing off the final product of our Provisional Project, the party featured recipes made as part of a service shift from the League cookbooks.  Even if you missed it, keep your eyes peeled at our upcoming 90th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, April 5th, where the timeline is scheduled to be on display.

To purchase tickets to the 90th Anniversary Celebration, please click the following link. Friends and family are invited!


Junior League February Happenings

21 Mar

February may have been a short month, but that did not stop Junior Leagues around the country from working to develop the potential of women and improving the community. From care packages to proms, here is what Junior League chapters throughout the U.S. have been up to in the past month:

  • The Junior League of Waco, McLennan Community College and the Region 12 Education Service Center sponsored the 9th Annual Teen Suicide Prevention Symposium. Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teens. The event focused on cyber-bullying and included informative presentations covering prevention strategies, risk assessments, recovery programs as well as how traumatic death affects grief and healing.
  • The Junior League of Lafayette hosted the first ever Families Helping Families Assistive Technology Demonstration. The event was held in conjunction with the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network, a nonprofit organization that aims to connect elderly citizens and those with disabilities with Assistive Technology. The expo focused on devices designed to help people with disabilities to complete everything from day-to-day tasks to staying up to date with technology.
  • The Junior League of Greenwich and the YWCA Greenwich sponsored an anti-bullying event. The event featured a screening of the documentary “Bystanders: Ending Bullying,” which examines bullying in New Mexico schools and efforts to combat it, and a panel discussion. Speakers included the Superintendent of Schools, two Greenwich High School students, and members of the Anti-Defamation League and the nonprofit Family Centers.
  • The Junior League of Dallas (JLD) selected Promise House for its annual Provisional project.  Thirty-two prospective JLD members spent part of their weekend volunteering at the nonprofit that serves at-risk North Texas teens. The members spent the day painting and decorating bedrooms at the shelter. Promise House embraces homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth by providing them with individualized support, skills, encouragement, and hope to live a better life.
  • The Junior League of Central Westchester delivered 150 care packages for mothers-in-need at White Plains Hospital. Through the utilization of its own funds, combined with donations from the Wal-Mart Foundation/Sam’s Club and Sassy, Inc., the Junior League of Central Westchester delivered the packages of newborn essentials, which included onesies, side-snap shirts, sleepers, socks, hats, baby wash, rattles, books, nail files, and thermometers.
  • The Junior League of Houston (JLH) hosted its 66th annual Charity Ball, an event that played out over three consecutive evenings. The design was “Imperial Dragon”. This year, the Junior League of Houston raised over $1 million, a JLH record.
  • The Junior League of Birmingham hosted its 7th annual “Pretty at the Prom”. This event offered an afternoon of primping and pampering to the young women of the Exceptional Foundation. The Exceptional Foundation is a nonprofit organization that serves individuals with mental and physical handicaps throughout Birmingham.
  • The Junior League of Macon held its 3rd Bookin’ It 5k and Fun Run on February 22. The event featured a 5k course for runners and walkers of all ages and a Bookworm Jog for children 12 and under. The race supports the Junior League of Macon’s fight for literacy.
  • The Junior League of Flint held a human trafficking town hall on February 25. State Representative Joseph Graves co-hosted the event and was joined by State Representative Kurt Heise, co-chair of the Michigan Advisory Commission on Human Trafficking, and a representative from Michigan’s attorney general.
  • The Junior League of Honolulu partnered with the Honolulu Alumnae Panhellenic Association to hold a workshop to help college seniors gain skills to enter the workforce competitively. Skills included learning how to dress for success, how to give a good interview, and networking skills.
  • The Junior League of Lubbock partnered with United supermarkets to provide snacks for children who suffer from hunger during the weekend. The “Food 2 Kids Poptarts Drive” provides sacks of food each Friday for 1,500 local kids who may not have enough to eat over the weekend. All sacks provided to children contain peanut butter, juice, fruit snacks, pop-top cans of spaghetti, cereal, toaster pop-tarts, shelf-stable milk, nut sacks and other items.
  • The Junior League of York hosted New York Times best-selling author Charles Krauthammer at their “In the Spotlight” Speaker Series event at the Strand-Capitol Performing Arts Center in York City. Krauthammer joined a prestigious list of past “In the Spotlight” speakers, including Walter Cronkite, Margaret Thatcher, George H.W. Bush and Cal Ripken Jr.

Junior League Takes the Capitol

5 Mar

by Olivia Burley


The JLS Ladies with Senator Joe Fain

On Monday, February 17 – aptly Presidents’ Day, the Junior League of Seattle hosted Capitol Day at the State Capitol in Olympia. Joined by members of the Junior League chapters in Olympia, Tacoma, and Yakima, the event focused on providing an overview of the state legislative process, meeting key players, and learning how we can get involved – as legislators and as advocates of the causes that are important to us.

The JLS Capitol Day Committee organized a jam-packed day for attendees. We kicked off with breakfast and then met with Noah Ullman, Executive Assistant to Senator Joe Fain, who explained how the State legislative process works. It was a busy day on the floors of the House and Senate as bills were being presented.

Senator Joe Fain met with us amid the hustle and bustle in the gallery wings. Fain represents the 47th Legislative District (Auburn, Kent, Covington, and Renton) and is the Senate majority floor leader. He urged JLS members to bring our community activism to Olympia by running for office and shared with us the behind the scenes narrative that colors the legislative process.

From there, we moved to the Senate gallery and observed the action on the floor before taking a tour of the Capitol. Our guide shared the interesting history of the Capitol and Washington State and made each of us feel like a distinguished visitor.


Following our tour, we met in Governor Jay Inslee’s conference room with Kelly Ogilvie, Senior Policy Advisor to the Governor. Ogilvie gave an overview of some of the issues most important on the Governor’s agenda:  education, increasing the minimum wage, and creating jobs. Then, he opened the floor to a discussion with Junior League members. Arts funding, education, and access to nutritional food were some of the topics touched on in the conversation.

Representative Cyrus Habib represents the 48th Legislative District (Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue, Clyde Hill, Hunts Point, Yarrow Point, and Medina) and met with our group over lunch. He answered questions moderated by JLS member McKinley Smith. Habib shared his focus on issues that affect women in Washington State, namely pay equity and reproductive rights, and answered questions.

McKinley Smith and Representative Cyrus Habib

McKinley Smith and Representative Cyrus Habib

Following the formal agenda of our day, Capitol Day attendees were given time to visit their district representatives. While most were busy on the floor or in meetings when we stopped by, their staff welcomed us and encouraged follow-up conversations.

Capitol Day was a wonderful introduction to the State legislative process. Everyone we met was delighted to have community interest and engagement and encouraged the women of the Junior League to make their voices heard.


2 Mar

The Advocacy Committee will host a screening of the documentary “From Place to Place” followed by a panel discussion on March 18th at Hotel 1000. The film “tells the story of the invisible children who grow up in America’s foster care system”.  Children in Foster Care has been an advocacy focus for the League. Understand how you can make a difference in lives of foster youth; broaden your awareness of how children come into foster care and what the effects can be; look for ways you can advocate, use your voice and make a difference.  Please plan to stay for the panel guests to ask questions and get REAL answers.

Find out more about the movie here: .

Copies of the movie will also be available for purchase with all net proceeds going to JLS.

A pre-show meet up will start at 5:30 pm at BOKA Restaurant + Bar in Hotel 1000, followed by a cash bar on the second floor gathering area from 6:30 pm to 7:00 pm. The screening is free and participants will receive a training credit.

**** We are opening this event up to non-League members, so please invite your friends! Please be sure to enter the total number of people in your group next to ‘Quantity’ when you register- space is limited! ****

Location: Hotel 1000 – Front Room (1000 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104)

Valet Parking will be $12 for League Members for this event



Happy Hour:

Women’s History Month Events

28 Feb

By Shanna Lisberg

March is Women’s History Month, a celebration of women’s contributions to history, culture and society. It has been observed annually by the United States throughout the month of March since 1987. Here are some ways you can celebrate Women’s History Month locally. Add your own ideas and events in comments!

“The First 100 Years” by Women’s University Club of Seattle

The Seattle Public Library – Magnolia Branch
2801 34th Ave W
Seattle, WA 98199
(206) 386.4225
March 1, 2014 1-2 p.m.

The Women’s University Club of Seattle will be discussing their new book, “The First 100 Years: Women’s University Club of Seattle, 1914-2014.” Learn about a century of colorful Club members, significant events in Seattle and the world, and the historical figures who dropped by the Club for a visit.

We-Can-Do-It-Fly it Forward Challenge 2014 – Airplane Rides for Girls

Boeing Museum of Flight
9404 East Marginal Way S.
Seattle, WA 98108
(206) 764.5720
March 8-9, 2014 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Fly it Forward provides introductory, 20-minute airplane rides to girls and women to promote interest in aviation and space professions. Rides are limited to those who have never flown, or who have only flown in airliners. Flights will originate at the Museum tarmac; registration is through the Women of Aviation World Wide Week Website – Fly It Forward Challenge 2014. All flights are weather-dependent.

2014 Women’s History Month Luncheon

Clark County Historical Society and Museum
1511 Main Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
(360) 993.5679
March 17, 2014 at 11 a.m.

Guest speaker Barbara Creager, designer at Babette’s Hatworks, LLC, will discuss all things hats: how to purchase a hat that compliments you, how to purchase the correct size, how to wear it properly, how to use hat pins, how to store your hat, and so on. All attendees are encouraged to wear their own hats to the luncheon. Barbara will also bring some of her hats for sale. Tickets are $40 for non-members and $35 for current CCHS members.

Seattle Apartment Buildings 1900-1939 and Women Who Bought, Sold, and Constructed Them

The Woman’s Century Club
807 East Roy St.
Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 322.9565
March 24, 2014 at Noon to 1:30 p.m. – parlor of the clubhouse

Author Diana James says that when researching her book “Shared Walls,” “it was a big surprise to discover that a large number of Seattle women were involved with the buying and selling and building of apartment buildings in the early half of the twentieth century.” Diana will share her discoveries about five of these remarkable women, including Corinne Simpson Wilson, Seattle’s best-known woman realtor and builder of the Wilsonian Apartments. Light refreshments will be available; suggested donation $5.

Comparable Worth in Washington
State Capital Museum
211 21st Ave SW
Olympia, WA 98501
Monday, March 31 at 12 p.m.

Presented by the Washington State Historical Society, in honor of Women’s History Month, Senator Karen Fraser, Earlyse Swift, and former Representative and Public Lands Commissioner Jennifer Belcher will discuss the landmark Comparable Worth implementation in Washington. Suggested donation $2.

No Job for a Woman: The Women Who Fought to Report WWII

A film by Michele Midori Fillion
Begins airing March 14, 2014 on PBS World 

Before World War II, women were delegated to covering stories about home and family life. But when American female reporters fought and won access to cover the war they faced additional challenges, ranging from an outright ban at army press briefings to a lack of facilities in the field. Instead, these women changed the nature of war reportage, focusing not just on the war itself, but on the suffering of civilians. “No Job For a Woman” tells this story through the lives and work of wire service reporter Ruth Cowan, magazine reporter Martha Gellhorn, and war photographer Dickey Chapelle.

National Women’s History Project (NWHP)

The National Women’s History Project is a nonprofit educational corporation dedicated to promoting gender equality through public recognition of women’s diverse lives and accomplishments. This year’s theme for National Women’s History Month is Celebrating Women of Character, Courage, and Commitment.

The Leadership Challenge

14 Feb

by Rebecca Wilson, JLS President

When given a choice of something to read personally or professionally, I always gravitate to books on organizational and leadership development. My educational background is in organizational leadership and change so I really enjoy learning about different models of maximizing the potential of leaders and of organizations.

One of my favorite books is The Leadership Challenge by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner. I originally read this book as a participant in the Leadership Tomorrow program, but since then I have encouraged all groups I have been a part of to read it. I have worn out 2 copies of the book! The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership® model is a great quick reference. I see the five practices evident in the Junior League of Seattle every day! How are you demonstrating the practices in your role?

Model the Way

How are you a role model? Know that you as a Junior League of Seattle member are a role model to many in all placements! JLS members are constantly modeling the way for not only fellow members, but also our partners. It is so important to set that example and be present at events, programs, service shifts. Sometimes, just showing up makes a huge difference and shows you care!

Inspire a Shared Vision

What is your vision? Have you shared it with others? I have been in awe this year of the strategy that our committees have implemented, focusing on the end results of projects, programs and events and taking a backwards design approach, rather than growing from the bottom up. It is that approach that gets people on board with that team’s vision.

Challenge the Process

Always ask the question of “why?” This is one aspect I love about the Junior League of Seattle- our members challenge the process. While there are many instances of “that is the way we have always done it”, our members recognize when there is something that could be more efficient.

Enable Others to Act

We are a training organization! How are you helping someone build skills in an area? The next time you have many tasks on your plate, think of other members of your team and see if any of the tasks would grow a team member’s experience.

Encourage the Heart

This is a strength of the Junior League of Seattle. While the power of a thank you note is immense, think about how you are celebrating successes as a group. We are a volunteer organization! While we do accomplish a lot, an accomplishment is even more rewarding when there is proper celebration!



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