Nonprofit Scavenger Hunt
As a part of their on-site orientation the new AmeriCorps VISTA team went on an afternoon scavenger hunt to visit the downtown Seattle area. They met with a few local nonprofits and also visited a few key downtown areas. Click through for their full re-cap...
As a part of their on-site orientation the new AmeriCorps VISTA team went on an afternoon scavenger hunt to visit the downtown Seattle area. They met with a few local nonprofits and also visited a few key downtown areas. Alex Green wrote up this brief recap of their afternoon and a few things they learned.
It was a beautiful Thursday afternoon when Aimy, Jess, WA Service Corps VISTA members Liz, Rachael, and myself left the office early to embark on a scavenger hunt to familiarize ourselves with the local nonprofits in downtown Seattle. As relatively new VISTAs, some of us were still getting acquainted with the area we will be serving in. The experience proved to be fun and informative on many fronts. One stop had free cookies and milk! Each destination exemplified the variety of organizations within this community's nonprofit sector.
United Way of King County
Our first stop in Seattle brought us to Pioneer Square. We were greeted by Liahann Bannerman, the Volunteer Center Director of the organization. Liahann discussed with us the challenges of being a bigger player in the nonprofit sector. She also shared information on how to get more involved. United Way also hosts an annual event called “Day of Caring”, which is the largest day of volunteering in the state of Washington. This year there was a total of 12,122 volunteers from 138 companies completing 448 projects all over King County. Estimated volunteer labour was $1.3 million!
See the full details here: http://www.uwkc.org/ways-to-volunteer/day-of-caring/
Seattle Central Library
Our second stop was the beautifully designed Seattle Library (very close to United Way). The building was opened to the public in 2004. It is a true marvel of architecture and green energy. Even the escalators were unique! While we didn’t have time to peruse the shelves, we achieved our goal of climbing to the top and taking a picture of the lobby downstairs.
Library view from top floor
Our third stop was a bit more difficult to find, as it was tucked away in a corner office in a building on Denny Way. But we were rewarded with its rebranded appearance, their office dog, and a fun set of employees; making this destination one of my favorites. We got to learn more about a nonprofit that focuses on one of the foundations of escaping the poverty cycle: communication.
You can learn more here : http://springwire.us/seattle/
We found it!
Peg (Deputy Director) tweeting about our visit.
Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
This may be the last stop on our scavenger hunt, but certainly not the least. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is focused locally on Early Learning, Family Homelessness, and Community Grants. The visitor center was a perfect example of how to make volunteering fun. The center was filled with movies, quizzes, and other interactive media that allowed us to learn how the philanthropic foundation supports its community. Definitely an uplifting way to end the work day!
For more information, visit their site: http://www.gatesfoundation.org/Pages/home.aspx
Over 8 billion dollars in grants - yes, billions, with a “B” - in North America since 1999!
- Alex Green