Giving Tuesday December 2nd 2014

By Katharine Dunn Evans


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

YWCA Easter Baskets

On the evening of April 2nd, a group of Junior League ladies showed up at Allie Okner’s house in Wallingford to create 50 spring baskets for kids living in shelters around the Seattle area. The YWCA, whose homeless shelters are a safe haven to families coming off the street or fleeing domestic violence, sponsored this event and delivered the baskets to the happy kids later that week. We know that these baskets (which were actually beach buckets that they can re-use) put smiles on many kids’ faces as they opened them up to find coloring books and pens, Rubik’s cubes, books, and candy!

After arriving at the shift, the ladies got straight to work, unpacking mountains of goodies, dividing them up into proper age groups, packing up the baskets, and wrapping them all up with ribbon. It was a casual and fun shift and gave the ladies time to chat with other JLS members, have a glass of wine, enjoy some sushi and, of course, do something positive for the Seattle community!

Here’s a note from the volunteer coordinator at the YWCA:

Dear Wonderful Donors,

Hop Hop Hop went the Easter Bunny all through the shelters, delivering over 550 baskets! You helped put smiles on kids’ faces here and there, no need to find anyone, as the kids came from all over to pick up their special Spring Basket!

The happiness you helped make happen not only makes a difference to the kids, the families, the case managers and staff, but also from all the volunteers and I that saw your generosity first hand, it was truly amazing and I thank you for it!

I hope your holidays were all as wonderful as you made theirs, and I wish you the best spring ever! Thank you all for your help and ongoing support; I have the best donors in the world!

Thanks! Nichelle Hilton YWCA

Thank you to all of our volunteers who participated!

YWCA Easter Baskets assembled by the JLS.

The Styles to Shine Closet – TWCA Girls First Program

One of the initiatives by the Junior League (DIAD) Committee is working on this month is the launch of The Styles To Shine Closet, part of the YWCA Girls First Program, which is geared towards girls aged 14-16. This program gives them job skills and helps them prepare for the job force by helping them with internships and after school jobs.

The Junior League of Seattle is helping them build the boutique with paint and mirrors and clothing racks, but we also need the items to fill the boutique! This is where you can get involved.

We are collecting work appropriate outfits and/or professional accessories for the Styles to Shine Closet.  Please see the list below of the items that are needed! Our goal is to have enough clothes for the girls have a true “Shopping” experience when the Boutique opens in May! So clean out your closets, go shopping, and encourage your co-workers to donate to this great local initiative to prepare young girls for the work force! I thought you might use this opportunity to do some spring cleaning and donate to a wonderful cause. Remember your first job interview? Most likely you had someone from your home to take you shopping for a new outfit or even help you select from your wardrobe and teach you how to dress appropriately. Perhaps your friend loaned you a leather portfolio or bag so your resume copies didn’t get wrinkled. These girls might not have that support at home, but their they’re getting it through Styles to Shine. Your donations will make it possible.

I will collect the items at home & work, or make arrangements to pick them up from you. We are also doing a couple of drop off locations. If you are interested in donating, email me and I’ll send you the drop-off information. We will even take care of the dry cleaning so you don’t have to do that! The collection dates are throughout the month of April. Thank you so much for your consideration- this is one of those times where your donation will make a big impact on a young woman’s life.

(JLS members can get shift credit- see DC for more details)!

Clothing Donation Suggestions:

  • Youthful, work-appropriate clothing and accessories in ALL sizes (including petite + plus size):
  • Button-down shirts Tops/blouses
  • Cardigans
  • Skirts
  • Blazers
  • cardigans
  • Pants
  • Trousers
  • Shoes (sizes 5.5-12)
  • Accessories:
  • Portfolios Shoulder/handbags
  • Jewelry
  • Pantyhose

Thank you so much for thinking of us and these young women.

We are taking collections at the office through April 30th. Bins and Racks will be set up in the next few days. The contacts for this project are Kim Aber, DIAD Member, kimberlyaber@gmail.com, KJ Johnson, DIAD member, kellyannaj@gmail.com , and Farrah Zemke, farrahmotley@hotmail.com

Donors who want credit should inform us of their donations by signing up for the shifts posted below.  If they decide to drop off their donations at the JLS office instead of during a shift, they still need to sign up on one of the shifts but inform us that their donation is at the JLS office and properly bagged/labeled so we know who to assign credit to once their donation is approved.

Sat Apr 14th 2012 10:00am-2:00pm DIAD: YWCA: Styles to Shine Clothing Drive (Donor Drop off)
Tue Apr 17th 2012 5:30am-6:30pm DIAD: YWCA: Styles to Shine Clothing Drive (Donor Drop off)
Wed Apr 25th 2012 6:00pm-8:00pm DIAD: YWCA: Styles to Shine Clothing Drive (Donor Drop off)

Life Skills For Women Collaboration Luncheon Celebrates, Looks Forward

WRITER: Gretchen Griffith

On January 25th, the Project Development committee hosted a Collaboration Luncheon for three of the League’s newest community partners: YWCA Young Parent Program, New Beginnings, and Mary’s Place.

Junior League Director Jeanette James led a lively discussion among key League members and partner representatives about their collaborative efforts to provide adult women with a variety of practical skills and education. Focusing on the League’s newly formed Life Skills for Women committee (LFW), the League specifically sought to evaluate its relationships with these partners by looking at current project collaborations and exploring potential areas of expansion and opportunities for advocacy.

Community partners praised their interaction with the League, citing the passion, consideration and professionalism of its members. “Junior League of Seattle volunteers listen and incorporate the actual needs of participants,” remarked Liz McDaniel of Mary’s Place. “Other non-profits come in and say, ‘Here’s what we want to do.’”

Recognizing the LSW committee’s early success, the Project Development committee will offer feedback and make recommendations, likely including:

  • Develop a set of best practices for working with new community partners.
  • Continue to address the high demand by partner clientele for job skills training and financial literacy. Partners enthusiastically responded to a proposed League-branded curriculum that could be implemented with multiple organizations, thus reaching more women.
  • Consider expanding LSW committee offerings via mentorships.
  • Share relevant areas of opportunity with the Done in a Day, ENERGY, and Kids in the Kitchen committees.
  • Continue exploring advocacy opportunities by further understanding the community partner’s needs and issues facing its clientele.

“It’s clear that the Life Skills for Women committee and its community partnerships are off to a great start,” says Charlotte Comer, Project Development chair. “Susan Evani, Allie Switaj, and their team have done a tremendous job laying the foundation for success. We are thrilled to see these relationships thrive and benefit women in need.”

DIAD & YWCA Mom’s Night Out

YWCA Moms Night out
January 27, 2012 6-9
2820 E Cherry St
Seattle, WA 98122

Seven Hair Salon donated a hair stylist who did consults for hair, helped women figure out what colors look best on them, and brought 30 bottles of nail polish for the Junior League of Seattle YWCA Mom’s Night Out. She also passed out cards for free hair cut and style at the downtown salon.

Seattle Executive Fitness and Spa donated a masseuse who did chair massages. Many women had never had a massage from a professional and enjoyed their first experience. The masseuse was busy the majority of the time, but when she was not busy she engaged the women as they were getting their nails done with shoulder massages.

Our fellow Junior League member, Christi Olson, donated non-slip headbands that she makes for her company ChicAthlete. The women loved them and a couple of them were wearing them over their hijabs. Other Junior League of Seattle members donated chips, croissant sandwiches, spinach rolls, bottled water, and cookies, which we all enjoyed snacking on while we did manicures and talked.

We spent about $100 for all the nail supplies (minus nail polish) which I let the YWCA women have at the end of the night. The Junior League of Seattle also provided music, which ranged from The Black Eyed Peas to Enya!

The women of the JLS painted nails while visiting with the women of the YWCA. About 12-15 women from the YWCA showed up. One of the JLS volunteers actually didnt get a chance to paint nails but she said she “had a great time talking” with the women and sharing stories.

One of the women we talked with was a woman who was 27 with 4 kids and was going to college to get her Sociology degree, and would like to go to law school. Two women had just moved here from Somalia and barely spoke English. One JLS member sat with them the whole time and I could see her using hand movements to communicate and you could tell the Somalian women were enjoying themselves. Another woman had a job interview the next day and wanted us all to help her pick out a color that would look good with her outfit. A grandmother told me she hadn’t had her nails done since last time the YWCA had an event like this, which was about 4-5 months ago.

I asked for feedback from the JLS women afterwards. I got nothing but positive reactions. Our members loved having interaction with the women they met at the YWCA. If the opportunity arose, they hope more women from the YWCA would come this event if it was offered again, which they probably will if we provide child care next time.

Quote from Nichelle “Essie reported that the Mom’s night was a huge success, yes numbers low, but your team’s down to earth and graciousness was such a blessing, and the mom’s really loved it. So way to GO!”

Santa’s Helpers shift & the YWCA toy drive recap!

Our volunteers had great success shopping at Target, where we filled 4 shopping carts with all of our purchases. Our group of merry shoppers split into teams to better tackle the different departments and be sure to collect all the items YWCA said they needed. We focused on boy toys, girl toys, clothing, books/baby items, aiming to buy all items within a $10 price-point per toy. That was much easier than it sounds, since Target had a lot of great sales going on the holidays. Happily, we were able to secure items that covered a wide age range and looked unique and fun.

At check out, we were helped by a wonderful lady who enjoyed taking on the huge task of checking out all 4 of our fun-filled shopping carts. We had two people from Oregon on this shopping trip, so we were able to remove the sales tax and save about $60, which meant we were able to buy six extra toys for the YWCA.

Toys bought:

  • 25 Outfits
  • 8 Board Games
  • 1 Digital Camera
  • 16 Books
  • 8 Craft Sets
  • 45 Miscellaneous Toys

GREAT night!  Lots of fun, easy to do and so worth it! Everyone loved shopping for the kids, and took pride in finding the best toys for the best prices. We worked hard to make sure we were able to secure the most we could for the YWCA!

YWCA Toy Drive

Last year the Junior League of Seattle donated over 100 items to the Holiday Toy Drive.  This year we fell short of that goal with about 30 toys procured.  There were a good number of donations brought in at the December General Meeting, and then there were only a few collected at the JLS office.  While it wasn’t a lot collected, it still made an impact to those at the YWCA.

Done-in-a-Day Toy Drive for the YWCA.

Christmas time usually brings smiles to children’s faces. Sadly, many children throughout the Seattle area will go without something to open during the holiday season.

In 2010, YWCA of Seattle helped over 60,000 women and children throughout King and Snohomish counties. The need is even greater in 2011, and the Done-in-a-Day Committee is asking its generous Junior League of Seattle members and friends to give the gift of holiday cheer to many children in need this holiday season.

We are collecting donations of new toys, gift cards, movies, books, board games, and new clothing items geared towards kids from infant to teen ages. Done-in-a-Day will match all donations- so if you donate, your efforts will be doubled!

The Junior League Done-in-a-Day Committee will be collecting unwrapped new toys this December. Items can be dropped off at the Junior League General Meeting on December 4th at Nordstrom or at the League office. All donations must be collected by Monday, December 12th.

For more information on this initiative, please contact Mary Ellen Jilek at mejilek@gmail.com