Month: November 2014

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

By Katharine Dunn Evans

In a few days, the US will be celebrating Thanksgiving. For some, it’s a day that is all about football, holiday shopping deals, food, food, food and … family, too. It is easy to get caught up in the many details of hosting Thanksgiving. You stress about when to defrost the turkey, the best pie crust recipes, who is sitting where at the table, and what your floral arrangements are going to be. In the midst of all that stress and/or excitement many of us forget why we do all of it.

Thanksgiving. The word itself should remind us what it means. Let’s give thanks. Let’s take a look at all the many blessings that we have even when things are hard. When you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving dinner this year, whether it is with family or friends, take a minute to think about what you have at that very moment, and be thankful for your family, support, stability and yes, food.

It is shocking how many families in our area simply do not have enough food to eat. Interestingly enough, 40% of good food goes to waste while 1 in 5 children in Washington state live in households that struggle to put food on the table. What’s worse is that a startling 1 in 6 people in our state seek the assistance of Food Stamps (a program that has suffered recent budget cuts).

Food Lifeline is an organization that creates creative ways to fight the hunger problem by “redirecting good food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants that might otherwise go to waste.” They provide 82,000 meals a day to local food assistance programs.

The Junior League of Seattle is passionate about helping children in our area live happy, healthy lives, so it makes perfect sense that we work with Food Lifeline. It is fun and easy to help out in the cause to end hunger in Washington, and the ladies of the Junior League love to do it as part of the 9,000 people a year that give their time. One of Food Lifeline’s biggest needs is help with sorting the food before it gets distributed. If you are interested in helping visit https://foodlifeline.org/how-to-help or if you are a Junior League of Seattle member, check out the calendar for Food Lifeline service shift opportunities.

foodlifeline

So enjoy every morsel of delicious food and every moment you get to spend with the ones you love this Thanksgiving. Be present and aware of how lucky you are to have comfort, stability and love. Give thanks for what you have. Gobble, gobble!

Food Lifeline Video: http://youtu.be/4-G10aqGjck

Giving Tuesday December 2nd 2014

By Katharine Dunn Evans

givingtuesday

Black Friday, Cyber Monday … Giving Tuesday! Haven’t heard of it? I must admit, I hadn’t either. But now I have. We are inundated with holiday shopping deals during this time of year. Stores are opening their doors earlier to accommodate the crowds of shoppers. People are leaving their Thanksgiving celebrations to get in line for the best deals on electronics, cars, clothing … you name it.

I love to volunteer my time to organizations that mean something to me. I love it because my time gives back but also because I get something out of it. But sometimes, your schedule is so full that even if you want to give time, you can’t. Now, you can still give back! GivingTuesday.org says: “we have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back.”

Tuesday, December 2, 2014 is an international day for charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students to join in celebrating generosity and giving back. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a financial contribution. You can give love, give encouragement at work, give a smile and a hello to a stranger on the street …

This is a great opportunity to think about what issues in your community or in the world are important to you. Can you give money to their cause? Can you share information about the cause with people you know? What is important to you?

It is okay if you haven’t thought much about it. You are not alone. And if you’d like to start learning about causes that might end up interesting you, we are happy to help! In addition to the Junior League of Seattle, here is a list of some great local organizations that are dear to our hearts and can always use help :

  • Junior League of Seattle: “An organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.” www.jrleagueseattle.org
  • Mary’s Place: Empowering homeless women, children and families to reclaim their lives by providing shelter, nourishment, resources, healing and hope in a safe community.” www.marysplaceseattle.org
  • YWCA: “YWCA is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all.” www.ywca.org
  • Boys & Girls Club: “To enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.” www.bgca.org
  • Food Lifeline: “Working with the food industry and its surpluses, we come up with creative solutions to stopping hunger, including redirecting good food from manufacturers, farmers, grocery stores and restaurants that might otherwise go to waste.” www.foodlifeline.org
  • Treehouse: “We envision – and strive to create – a world where every child that has experienced a crisis of parenting has the opportunities and supports they need to pursue their dreams and become productive members of our community.” www.treehouseforkids.org
  • BikeWorks: Bike Works builds sustainable communities by educating youth and promoting bicycling. Since 1996 we’ve worked to educate and empower youth, and make bicycling accessible and affordable to the Seattle community.” www.bikeworks.org

In the Spotlight: Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra

symphony

By Katharine Dunn Evans

There is no denying that it is harder to be a kid today than it was just 10 years ago. With funding being pulled for music and art programs in public schools, classes bigger than ever, bullying in social media, and violence on campus, it is a wonder that children are able to build some semblance of self-confidence and an interest in anything at all. Fortunately, it’s not all doom and gloom. People all around the nation see that there is a problem and have been working to create programs for kids in order to foster passion for the arts, music, education and sports.

A perfect example of this is with the Cascade Youth Symphony Orchestra. This fantastic organization creates a stimulating and age appropriate environment for musically talented children to build on their interest and develop their skills as musicians and performers. The participating children go through a year-long program that focuses on challenging and developing their potential in the art of performance. The goal is to “nurture their enjoyment of music as well as develop their musical skills and self-confidence.”

This group of kids works hard throughout the year with rehearsals, home practice, coaching sessions, retreats and concerts. Let’s put some emphasis on that last part: CONCERTS! These little artists love to perform and have actually played at several of the Junior League of Seattle events over the years. They generously donated their services and performed at our 90th anniversary celebration earlier this year and at several of our annual Premier Event galas. If you can get a chance to see them, you should take it.

There happens to be a very special performance coming up at Benaroya Hall that is one not to miss. They are playing excerpts from the Nutcracker along with the Olympic Ballet Theater. I cannot think of anything more precious and impressive. The details are below. This is the perfect way to start off the holiday season with your family and also support an amazing organization that is encouraging kids to build interests and grow to be true artists.

Excerpts from the Nutcracker with the Olympic Ballet Theatre
Concerto winner – Laura Sorensen, violin
November 15, 2014 2:00 p.m.
Benaroya Hall
Purchase tickets online through
www.Benaroyahall.org (browse calendar) or call 206.215.4747

November 13th is Ladies Night!

Believe it or not we are less than two weeks away from the 2014 JLS Bachelor Auction!  Come help support the Junior League’s commitment to its mission — including community initiatives and volunteer training efforts — at one of the most popular fundraising events on the JLS calendar. Whether you are looking for a bachelor yourself or helping a friend find her soul mate, there is nothing to lose at this event. Not only will lucky winners walk away with a great man, but these guys also come with date packages.

Details:

Who: You! And all of your friends (League members or not), mothers, grandmothers, single friends and taken friends, brothers, cousins, you get the point.  Anyone 21+ looking for a fun way to spend a Thursday night and support the JLS.

What: The 4th Annual JLS Bachelor Auction

Where: 415 Westlake – 415 Westlake Avenue N., in South Lake Union

When: Thursday November 13th – Doors open at 6:00pm for VIP, 6:30pm for general admission

Why: Cute single guys? Date packages? Drinks? One of Seattle’s most popular emcees? Check, check, check and check! The real question is, why not?

Tickets: Available here.

  • $55 VIP – Includes complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres, early admission at 6:00pm, front row seating and more surprises to come!
  • $40 General Admission – Includes complimentary beverage, hors d’oeuvres, and a ticket to the best bachelor auction in Seattle!

Below is a sneak peak at just some of the bachelors that will be up for bid.  Follow our event on Facebook for the complete view of our bachelors, info on date packages and more about the event.

Mike, 31 – Originally from southern California, this bachelor comes with an MBA, a penchant for running and a killer smile.B1

John, 32 – No adjustments are needed to this chiropractor bachelor!  He’s a former collegiate athlete, a true to the blue Mariner fan and is close with his family.B2

Duncan, 25 – Bazinga!  This math and physics whiz works in investment banking, plays beach volleyball when the weather allows and loves dogs.B3

Marc, 45 – Relatively new to Seattle, this 6′ 5″ bachelor works in sales, is a Boston College alum and enjoys jazz.B4