Creating Impact through Affordable Housing

22 Oct

By: Jobie Colton-Gores

JLS Build GroupOn September 20, 2014, the Junior League of Seattle partnered with Habitat for Humanity to work on the Habitat for Humanity La Fortuna site in the Renton Benson Heights neighborhood. The property of the build site was once vacant land within an area of residential homes built from approximately 1960 to 1970. Once complete, it will provide 41 low-income families with both an affordable home and an affordable mortgage in a new housing development in Renton.

JLS Habitat 3

Environmental stewardship and long-term affordability will be ensured by constructing townhomes to achieve or surpass Energy Star and Master Builders “Built Green” 4-Star sustainable building standards. Currently 12 families have already moved into their new homes at La Fortuna.

To help with this build, Junior League provided 49 volunteers consisting of Provisionals, Actives, and Sustainers for a total of 294 hours of service. Two of the leaders for the day were workers from Americorps, an organization which provides Habitat for Humanity new workers every year. Alongside the JLS volunteers were other volunteers who come on a weekly basis, and even some of the future homeowners themselves who were eager to see the progress on their new homes.

JLS Build 1The projects for the day included completing finishing touches on one of the homes, cutting and placing flooring on a stairway, moving rocks to line the drainage system for an unbuilt home, and maintenance of a wetland area to help with the efforts of the Green Build. JLS was blessed to have beautiful weather for this hard and physically exhausting day. Fortunately, the weather and reminder of the important work being accomplished brought a smile to everyone’s face as they worked.

Lunch arrived as some League members were ending their shift and others were just getting started with renewed energy. This was truly an amazing opportunity to sit down and talk with some of the future home owners, Americorps workers, and Habitat for Humanity employees and volunteers.

JLS Build 2Overall, it was a very successful day! JLS is excited to continue to partner with Habitat for Humanity in the future.  Together, Junior League of Seattle and Habitat for Humanity can create powerful change in our community.

 

Ten with Nominating

20 Oct

What is Nominating and what do they do?

Nominating is a committee comprised of members with significant leadership experience within the Junior League of Seattle who place interested members into leadership positions. Nominating also seeks to foster leadership skills and potential in their fellow League members.

Nominating’s slating process allows consideration of each member who is qualified for a specific position. Slating involves choosing the right person for the right job at the right time. Leaders will be slated and/or placed based on experience, interest, skills and availability.

The Nominating committee’s ongoing objectives are to:

a. Contribute to leadership development by educating the membership about the Nominating process and volunteer career planning: b. Slate: The Board of Directors, Management Council and the Nominating Committee Members; c. Appoint: Committee Chairs, Vice-chairs, Long Term Financial Planning, President’s Assistant’s, President-Elect Assistants, Provisional and Active Advisors, and other positions deemed sensitive by the Board of Directors; d. Select delegates for overnight conferences; e. Cooperate with the Area VI and AJLI regarding candidates for Area VI and AJLI positions.

Who serves on this year’s Nominating Committee? What are the members of Nominating’s favorite placements?

Jennifer Porto, Nominating Director – Active Advisor for Transfers

Martha Abatecola, Nominating Manager – Provisional Advisor

Heidi Paige – Nominating

Renee Hartnett – President

Meaghan Corbett – Nominating/Provisional Advisor

Rebecca Wilson – President/Project Development Chair

Carey Page – Technology & Social Media Chair

Emily George – Treasurer

Kate King – Annual Event Chair

Hailey Towne – Active Advisor to Northwest Art

Marion Holder – Project Development Chair

Nicole Kupchik – Northwest Art League & Community Outreach Vice-Chair

Kim Callahan – Treasurer

What’s the best way to show my interest in Leadership to the members of Nominating?

Complete a leadership application through our website, and attend a Leadership Information Session this month.   Additionally, should you have any questions about leadership opportunities or would like to discuss your Junior League career please reach out to any member of Nominating.

What are the Leadership Information Sessions?

A Leadership Information Session is an opportunity for you to spend 30 minutes with two members of Nominating to discuss your interest in future Leadership in the JLS. It is a great opportunity to learn more about leadership, your future options, or to discuss specific placements.

Attending a Leadership Information Session should be considered mandatory for any Active member interested in applying for President-Elect Nominee or the Board of Directors. Leadership Information Sessions are strongly recommended for anyone interested in a slated position. Anyone interested in learning more about leadership opportunities is welcome and highly encouraged to attend.

What is the difference between a slated and non-slated position?

The Slate is comprised of the following: Board of Directors, Management Council, and Nominating. The Non-Slate is comprised of all other leadership roles.

What steps should I follow if I am interested in applying for President?

  • Review Nominating’s Guidelines for the President-Elect on pages 75-76 of the Governing Documents.
  • Attend a Leadership Information Session.
  • Seek out advice from former Presidents. There are two past Presidents serving on Nominating currently.
  • Familiarize yourself with all aspects of the League.
  • Download the President-Elect Application form from the website, complete it, and email it to the Nominating Director by the due date, October 27th.
  • If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to the Nominating Director, Jennifer Porto.

What is the timeline for placements?

Applications for the President-Elect are due on October 27, 2014

Applications for all other leadership roles are due on January 5, 2014.

Timeline

Where are the applications located?

Leadership applications are found on the Member area of our website, under “Leadership” – Nominating.

Why does Nominating have a “code of silence” regarding placements until the leadership roster is full?

Applications are confidential and read only by the Nominating Committee and discussed only among the members of Nominating. Out of respect for league members, all placements are confidential until all members have been notified of their placements.

What are some important things for incoming leaders to know?

  • The League Year runs from June 1st to May 31st.
  • The Annual Leadership Retreat, which is mandatory for all incoming leaders is tentatively scheduled for June 2015.
  • Leaders shall be available for outgoing and incoming transitions between leadership positions; this means that both incoming and outgoing leaders are responsible for meeting in late May or early June to ensure a smooth transition.
  • A budget planning meeting is mandatory for managers, committee chairs, and committee vice-chairs and will take place toward the end of January 2016.
  • All leaders are expected to be in good standing.

Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway

10 Sep

Capture1

By: Shanna Lisberg

The Third Annual Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway fashion show will be held on Saturday, September 20th at the Paramount Theatre. This year’s event at the Paramount brings fashion into the theater arena, as ticket holders will receive an up close view of more than 80 of the latest fashion looks for fall featured by Seattle retailers. Multiple ticket levels include a VIP experience featuring an exclusive pre-show VIP lounge, front-row runway seating, swag bags and a late-night Downtown post-party.

Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway is a fun and fashionable way to support local businesses, as well as the Junior League of Seattle. As the charitable sponsor, all net proceeds from ticket sales help fund JLS and its programs to promote voluntarism, develop the potential of women, and impact the community through the effective active of trained volunteers.

The evening begins at 6:30 p.m. with a walk on the red carpet. A cocktail and hors d’oeuvres reception begins at 7:00 p.m. in the main theatre before the fashion show struts its stuff at 8pm. Seattle Met Style Editor Laura Cassidy and KIRO TV Traffic Reporter Alexis Smith will host the runway show.

I had the opportunity to get a sneak peek into Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway and to view a preview of some of the upcoming fall fashion trends last week at the Blogger Preview Party at the Hotel Vintage. Laura Cassidy was on hand to share her inspirations for fall fashion, and local fashion bloggers Alix Rose and Thig Nat captivated the room with their personal thoughts on blogging, style, and the Seattle scene.

Some of the upcoming fall trends, as identified by Laura Cassidy were:

New Color Theories – There are no rules about color anymore, but rather color is this thing that can be mixed.

Outwear as Outfit – This trend can be identified by coats with great shapes, coats with great prints, and statement outwear. We all know that Seattle has been rocking this trend for years.

Street Sport – This trend stems from the idea that many designers take their cues from what people wear on the streets. It is about being comfortable and feeling at home and can be seen in a dress up sweat that has thought and purpose or as sneakers worn with an evening vibe.

Sweater Dressing – Not just sweaters will be worn as dresses, but sweaters will be worn as skirts and pants as well. Be on the lookout for knit skirts and knit blazers.

Long Layers – This trend is envisioned by plenty of tunic shapes and skirts over pants, as well as long coats and duster coats worn with dresses over pants and tunics over dresses.

Accessories – Chokers and one earring looks will be making a return. Embellished and jeweled socks are a fun way to add color to your look.

Additionally, Gary Manuel and Aveda shared some of the latest hair and make-up trends for fall. Hair will be messy and full, with plenty of texture. Exaggerated hair is making a comeback, so grab those crimpers out of the back of your cabinets and start crimping!

Join us for all the excitement! Come celebrate fall fashion and help support the Junior League of Seattle while getting an up close view of some of Seattle’s finest autumn clothing and accessories. Click here to buy your ticket and be sure to use the #SEArunway tag on Twitter and Instagram. We’ll see you on the runway!

Ten with Megan Isenhower, 2014-2015 President

15 Aug

The Junior League of Seattle’s membership includes 1,200 women who are passionate about becoming leaders and skilled volunteers while creating a powerful impact in our Seattle community.

Through numerous trainings and significant volunteer work, members form close connections with one another.  However, with an organization this large, there is always another JLS member to meet. This year on the JLS Blog, the “Ten with … ” series will highlight Provisionals, Actives and Sustainers.

The women of the Junior League of Seattle have diverse backgrounds, careers and interests. Through this series, we hope to provide a glimpse into the women of the Junior League of Seattle. We kick of the series with our 2014-2015 President, Megan Isenhower.

Megan Isenhower, 2014-2015 President1. When did you join the League?
My provisional year was 2003-2004.

2. What was your provisional project?
My provisional project was planning a pre-camp celebration for Camp Goodtimes, a camp run by the American Cancer Society for kids battling cancer and their siblings.

3. What was one of your personal highlights from the 2013-2014 League year?
2013-2014 was a big year for me. Personally, I got married and had a baby, and personally within the League, the highlight of my year was the passing of the gavel at the Past Presidents’ Luncheon. There was a long line of phenomenal women next to me; there are some mighty impressive shoes to fill!

4. What most excites you about the 2014-2015 League year?
One of the most important aspects of my job, from my perspective, is offering support to committees or groups so that they can achieve their goals. I am excited – and hopeful – that I can lend support so that each group within the League feels that they can achieve what they set out to do. Sometimes a little guidance is needed; sometimes just a “check-in” to say, “hello” or “how can I help?” I also am excited about working on some long-term projects that I hope will benefit the League in the next decade.

5. What advice do you have for members hoping to form new connections or strengthen emerging friendships within the League?
I have several thoughts on this one:
– Introduce yourself to someone new at every League event and don’t sit with your friends only;
– Send thank you notes – I carry some in my purse along with stamps, and I have Junior League ones and personal ones at my office, too; and,
– Pick up the phone (I’m reminding myself!); emails are impersonal, someone can misread it, and the impact isn’t as great as that personal touch achieved by your voice saying “hello.”

6. Junior League of Seattle offers a multitude of diverse service shifts! What advice do you have for members trying to decide where to start?
Think about your year ahead and when you will have the most to do, whether it’s work, personal or League-related. If you know you have a really busy spring, I would try to get my service shifts done early. Think about what you like to do and check the JLS calendar on the website to see if anything is posted. Check back often as service shifts will be posted at various times. Sign up as soon as you can! Be sure that you cancel your RSVP if you cannot be at a shift – as far out as possible – so others can sign up.

7. What is your favorite recipe from the Junior League cookbook?
The Dijon Marinated Shrimp.

8. Which items tempt you most every year at the Premier Event?
Sports-related items and jewelry tempt me the most.

9. What is one passion or hobby you enjoy outside of the League?
GONZAGA BASKETBALL! Go ZAGS

10. Would you rather have the power to fly or be invisible?
With the traffic in Seattle, I would like to be able to fly so I can get places more quickly. However, taking traffic out of the picture, being invisible would be a lot of fun because I could be very mischievous. :)

Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This Summer

7 Aug

By Shanna Lisberg

Children’s health and wellness has always been a key issue for the Junior League. Programs such as Kids in the Kitchen seek to help reverse childhood obesity and its associated health issues. While living a healthy life involves healthy eating and staying physically fit, a healthy lifestyle should also involve being safe and making healthy lifestyle choices for yourself and your family.

This summer, children will be playing outside and basking in the sunshine, as the warm weather and longer days bring plenty of opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Help keep your kids safe and healthy this summer with the following tips:

    1. Keep kids hydrated. Remind children to drink often throughout the day, especially if they are playing. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends drinking about every 20 minutes if kids are active in sports. About five ounces is fine for a kid weighing 88 pounds.
    2. Protect children’s skin from the sun. Everyone should apply a water-resistant sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays every day of the year. Sunscreen should be at least SPF 30 and should be applied 15 to 30 minutes before going outside
    3. Sunglasses are a must. Overexposure to UV rays can be especially harmful for the very young. The lens in a child’s eye cannot filter out as much sun as an adult lens. Some studies suggest that 80 percent of sun damage occurs before age 10.
    4. Inspect playground equipment before letting kids play on it. Before your kids play on the playground, be sure to check it out first. It’s important to make sure that nothing is broken or rusted. Also, keep an eye out for metal equipment and surfaces that can become hot in the sun and can cause burns.
    5. Make sure your children have proper footwear. While flip-flops can keep feet cool, they are not the most appropriate footwear when children are playing. Make sure your children’s feet are covered to protect them from injury.
    6. Follow pool safety. Never leave kids alone near the pool and always swim only in designated swimming areas when a lifeguard is on duty. Teach your children to swim. Air filled or foam toys, such as water wings, noodles, or inner tubes, should never be used in place of life jackets. These toys are not designed to keep swimmers safe.
    7. Bike Safely. Make sure your children know the rules of the road and appropriate hand signals for turning and stopping. Make sure your child always wears a helmet and that it fits properly. Check your child’s bike to make sure the brakes, tires, and reflectors are all working correctly.
    8. Travel with care. Teach your children to buckle up every time they get in the car, no matter how long the drive. If your children are young, make sure they are adequately secured in age- and size-appropriate car seats and booster seats.
    9. Beware of insects. Protect your kinds from insect and mosquito bites by using insect repellent. Choose a repellent with no more than 10% to 30% concentration of DEET. Be watchful when it comes to ticks and check your kids every day.

 

Remember, just because you are being safe, doesn’t mean you can’t have fun this summer!

*Material for this article from How Stuff Works, United Healthcare, the Massachusetts Office of the Child Advocate, and the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.

Spotlight on Emerging Leader Brea Burkholz

26 Jun

By Minda Brusse, Community Programs Manager

Brea Burkholz

Brea Burkholz

As a member of the Northwest Art League & Community Outreach committee, Brea Burkholz ended the 2013-14 League year with a substantial project in the works. When her committee discussed the idea of using the League’s artpiece Yellow No Same with a Bellevue middle school, Brea jumped in and took the lead.

The art piece, by Roger Shimomura, focuses on the Japanese-American internment experience and is new to our 80+ piece Northwest Art Collection. Middle school students in Bellevue study this history topic in the eighth grade, and we thought this particular piece would be a new lens through which to learn about the experience. League member and middle school teacher Susie Challancin connected us with teachers at Chinook Middle School where she teaches.

Students did small group breakout activities focusing on the 12 panels of the piece

Students did small group breakout activities focusing on the 12 panels of the piece

Historically, Northwest Art committees work with kids ages 6-12, but increasingly we are testing the waters with teens. Small project events in the past few years at the Ryther Center (with the League’s Done in a Day committee) and at Treehouse (with the League’s Life Skills:Teens committee) have been successful.

Even though it was already April and the docenting would not occur until June (the next League year), Brea forged ahead gathering other volunteers from around the NW Art committees, as well as provisionals and sustainers.  Her enthusiasm, organization, and determination were catching.

NW Art Member, Domenica Lovaglia, docents for the first time

NW Art Member, Domenica Lovaglia, docents for the first time

Brea used the resources of the League to grow as a community leader and demonstrated League President Megan Isenhower’s theme for the year, What We Are. The attributes she demonstrated were:

Ambition

- Facilitating, docenting, and supporting new docents during seven class periods.

- We covered art and cultural stereotypes on a Friday in June, the day before the eighth graders were graduating. Brea kept them participating and in line with a great presence. No small feat!

Organization

- Developing the draft of a new curriculum with our Art & Education Curator.

- Meeting with middle school teachers to review the curriculum and plan events for the day to fully pilot the curriculum.

- Training the docents and assigning clear roles.

- Evaluating teacher feedback and working with the Art & Education Curator to finalize a draft curriculum to be leveraged in the years ahead.

Inclusiveness

- Recruiting four weekday volunteer docents from within the League.  Some were (barely) first year actives. One first-year active had her first docenting experience that Friday.

- Training and communicating with the docents, teachers and our Art & Education Curator about facilitating seven class periods with 271 eighth grade students.

 

Brea showed the best attributes of What We Are.  She’s the 2014-2015 Chair of Northwest Art League and Community Outreach and the League is lucky to have such a phenomenal leader guiding Northwest Art’s outreach!

10 Ways You Can Fight Human Trafficking Today

20 May

by Carlee Nesse

The Junior League of Seattle is committed to supporting our community partner Seattle Against Slavery (SAS) in fighting human trafficking. Seattle is a port city and port cities are especially attractive to human trafficking organizations.

Human trafficking happens on a scale that can be overwhelming but there are simple, effective, ways to start making a difference.

I Want To Get Educated

  1. Take the Human Trafficking Awareness Training course offered by the Department of Homeland Security.

  2. Set up a Google Alert for “Seattle human trafficking” to receive breaking local news.

  3. Follow SAS on Facebook and Twitter for alerts and updates.

  4. Read and share SAS’s community resources to raise awareness.

I Can Commit 1 Hour

  1. SAS can help you search for local grassroots coalitions to support.

  2. Write letters to your local, state, and federal government representatives and let them know that you care about combating human trafficking in your community, and ask what they are doing to address human trafficking in your area. The SAS Advocacy Guide can help.

  3. Be a conscientious consumer and discover your Slavery Footprint; check out the Department of Labor’s List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor.

I Can Commit 1 Day

  1. Host or attend an awareness event with friends and watch a video covering Human Trafficking.

  2. Read a book about human trafficking such as those on SAS’s suggested reading list.

I Want To Make a Long-Term Commitment

  1. Make a commitment to Seattle Against Slavery to stop Human Trafficking.

Have a tip?

Here’s how to report it and make sure it gets to the right organization:

  • Call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 (24/7) to get help for victims and coordinate with local agencies and enforcement.

  • Call the Department of Homeland Security directly at 1-866-347-2423 (24/7) to report suspicious activity. Tips may also be submitted online at www.ice.gov/tips.

  • Victims, including undocumented individuals, can also contact the U.S. Department of Justice directly at 1-888-428-7581 from 9:00am to 5:00pm (EST) to receive services and immigration assistance.

Give BIG on May 6, 2014

5 May

By Shanna Lisberg

On May 6, The Seattle Foundation holds its fourth annual charitable giving event, GiveBIG. GiveBIG is a day of online giving to inspire people to donate generously to nonprofit organizations who make our region a healthier and more vital place to live.

For a 24-hour period, from midnight to midnight, you can go to The Seattle Foundation’s website to make a donation. More than 1,600 nonprofit organizations – including The Junior League – are profiled on The Seattle Foundation’s website and are participating in GiveBIG.

Donations made to nonprofits through The Seattle Foundation’s website will be stretched further thanks to The Seattle Foundation and GiveBIG sponsors, who will match a share of every contribution. Many of the nonprofit organizations that The Junior League of Seattle works with are also available to receive donations.

If you have been thinking about giving, this is a great time to make a gift, large or small. Visit The Seattle Foundation website to learn more about BigGIVE and to see a complete list of nonprofits.

Let’s Get Ready to Build!

22 Apr

by Shanna Lisberg

Dust off your hard hats and pick up your paint brushes.  Done-In-A-Day needs your participation in two upcoming events. No construction knowledge required, just your can-do attitude.

  • REBUILDING TOGETHER SEATTLE on April 26

On Saturday, April 26th, the Junior League of Seattle will once again be participating in Rebuilding Together Seattle (formally Christmas in April). Each year JLS works side by side with Rebuilding Together Seattle to renovate homes for low income homeowners, particularly those who are elderly or disabled and would not otherwise be able to afford the needed renovations to their home.

Our event is part of the National Rebuilding Together Day, where volunteers from around the nation come together to rehabilitate the homes of more than 2,000 low-income homeowners. Held on the last Saturday in April, National Rebuilding Together Day is the day when partners plan projects to celebrate the organization’s mission and to bring national attention to the plight of America’s low-income homeowners.This year, nearly 1000 volunteers will repair 25 homes around Seattle. As a volunteer on National Rebuilding Together Day, your efforts will have a national impact by providing a safer, healthier, and happier environment for these homeowners.

JLS will be working in the Shoreline area on a group home for four adults with disabilities. Morning and afternoon shifts are available on Digital Cheetah. If you cannot join us and would like to contribute to our efforts, gift cards to Home Depot are much appreciated.

For more information, please contact Erin Danner at erin_danner@hotmail.com.

  • HABITAT FOR HUMANITY on May 10

On Saturday, May 10th, the Junior League of Seattle will participate in the Women’s Only Build, sponsored by Habit for Humanity. At the January General Meeting, many ladies were interested in Habitat for Humanity.  We are fortunate in that they have granted us 14 spots on their Women’s Only Build.

The Women’s Only Build seeks to empower women to take action against poverty housing conditions. The program brings together women from all walks of life to address the housing crisis facing millions of women and children worldwide.

Our project is in Rainier Vista, from 8:30-4:30 pm. A full 8 hours earns you two shift credits! This is a great opportunity to learn new skills and catch up on those service shifts. Sign-ups are available on Digital Cheetah. Please note: the shift is for the entire day and we are unable to break the shift into two separate shifts.

For more information, please contact Amy Bingell at abingell@aol.com

  • Don’t forget to keep an eye out on the calendar. This fall, JLS will have its own Habitat for Humanity Build!

We look forward to seeing all the JLS volunteers out in the community, showing off their carpentry skills and swinging their hammers! Remember, no experience is necessary!

Art For The Soul: Bringing Art To Those In Need

21 Apr

by Raminta Hanzelka

Earlier this month, the NW Art League and Community Outreach (LCO) committee had our 2nd annual collaboration with the Life Skills: Teen committee. We held an art docenting and art-making session at Treehouse, sharing the joy of discovering a piece of art for the first time with about a dozen girls in foster care– and giving them the chance to make their own as well. It was inspiring to watch them engage with the art and come out of their shells!

We brought two contrasting pieces of art: a whimsical paint splatter piece by Dale Chihuly, and a meticulously put together patterned piece by Mark Toby to set the stage for the girls to create their own concepts and turn them into works of art. Our Art Curriculum Director, Halinka Wodzinski, created a versatile curriculum to guide us through the process of teaching the girls how to do printmaking on journals.

Our inspiration for this project was to bring in the theme of Empowerment for the girls through the artistic process. During the art-docenting, we connected the girls to the history of Dale Chihuly, sharing the story of how he was in a serious car-accident at age 20, losing his sight in one eye, yet he continue his passion for art and was maybe even emboldened, despite the hardship.

The art-making process involved having the girls come up with their “mark,” “doodle,” or “signature,” and to translate that concept into an image, carving into a soft piece of rubber, then carefully transferring the image to paper using colorful paints. All of the girls got busy, really had fun being creative, and each took home their own unique pieces of art, as well as I think a new appreciation for what art is and can mean to each and every one of us.

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