Category: Community

Being a Provisional

Guest Blogger & 2015-2016 Provisional: Sarah Ledbetter

Eastside Baby Service Shift 2

Women join Junior League for many reasons – networking, training, and leadership, to name just a few.  For me, one of the main drivers was the opportunity to give back to the community.  As part of the Junior League of Seattle (JLS), where part of the mission is to promote voluntarism, I knew that I’d have a chance to incorporate service back into my life.  And so far, it’s been great – shifts organized by our Done in a Day committee allow our members to participate in a variety of activities, and through our work, the League is able to make a huge impact!

Provisional members of the JLS have a requirement of four service shifts during their first year, and I’ve had the opportunity to participate in three.  The first was through Treehouse Seattle, which provides support to foster children in the area.  A group of ten of us spent an evening after work sorting, tagging, and stocking clothing items that would become available to the foster children who shop in their store, which usually sees 2,000 visitors annually.  I’m sure that you could imagine how proud we were when the Treehouse representative working with us said that Junior League groups were her favorite to work with!  It was such a fun evening getting to know other JLS members while supporting youth in foster care.

My second service shift was quite different:  it was arts and crafts at Harborview’s annual Holiday Party, whose attendees were underprivileged youth who had once been patients there.  It was Harborview’s 30th year organizing the event, and it showed:  the festivities were incredibly well-run and enjoyed by nearly 600 children.  Many of those kids wouldn’t have another holiday party throughout the season, but this was a great one to attend – the kids got to meet their favorite characters, such as Batman, Winnie the Pooh, and Snow White!  The Sea Gals were also in attendance with the Mariners mascot, Moose.  Kids got to play games, do arts and crafts with us, and even received gifts at the end of the day.  What a fulfilling day and incredible feeling to take part in such a special event. 

Holiday Service Shift

Most recently, I spent a morning over in Issaquah at Eastside Baby Corner with 13 members helping to sort and stock donated items, such as diapers, clothing, and toys.  EBC provides these items to 500 families in need – per week! – through local social service agencies.  I absolutely loved spending my time in this way while getting to know other Junior Leaguers, one of whom had even brought her husband to participate with us.  It was clear that the work we were doing made a big difference. 

There’s a lot of power in numbers, and I think that’s one of the strengths of the Junior League.  Together, we can accomplish a great amount, and I can already tell that our community partners – who are changing lives across the community – are so appreciative.  For me, the difference we’re making together is the most rewarding part of being in this organization.

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Another Great Year of Rebuilding Together

Another Great Year of Rebuilding Together

Rebuilding Together 3The Junior League of Seattle has a long-standing partnership with Rebuilding Together Seattle, an organization that provides free home repairs for low income homeowners (specifically elderly, disabled, families with children, and veterans in need). This spring, the ladies of the League came together with their friends and family to help one Seattle citizen get her home in tip-top shape. It was a gorgeous day with perfect weather for home renovations and lots of smiles and laughter.

In a little over 8 hours, a group of 20+ volunteers peeled paint, repainted, did yard work, installed a drainage system in the yard, repainted the living room, installed several new windows, retiled the bathroom, and so much more. We were able to support a long-time community partner and make an impact thanks to our members, the Done-in-a-Day committee, Rebuilding Together leaders, and volunteer contractors.

Rebuilding Together 1

It was exciting to see just how much could be accomplished in one day!

 

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

Downtown Seattle Rocks the Runway

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!

Tips to Keep Kids Safe and Healthy This Summer

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

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

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.

Let’s Get Ready to Build!

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

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.