City Fruit harvests city $ for work in West Seattle, elsewhere

November 26, 2014 at 5:29 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

(2012 photo courtesy City Fruit)
You’ve probably heard that the City Council gave its final approval to the next city budget plan this week. Attention tends to be drawn by the biggest issues – but some of its relatively small points are notable, too. Tonight, we hear from one of the many nonprofits that will benefit from some part of the budget, City Fruit, which works in West Seattle and elsewhere to keep backyard fruit from going to waste if its owners don’t want/don’t need/can’t harvest it:

City Fruit is grateful to the Seattle City Council for including $68,000 in the 2015 City budget for the organization’s gleaning programs. City Fruit recognizes Councilmember Sally Clark for her leadership on this issue. The funding will support City Fruit’s harvesting efforts on both public and private property.

In addition, City Fruit thanks Councilmembers Jean Godden, Bruce Harrell, and Tom Rasmussen for their sponsorship of the budget package.

Hazel Singer, vice president of the City Fruit board of directors, thanked the Council, saying, “Funding from the City is critical to our harvest. With this support, we will be able to continue serving five neighborhoods in Seattle and add an additional area, Northeast Seattle, to our territory.”

With the City’s support in 2014, City Fruit harvested nearly 28,000 pounds of fruit, a record for the organization. Nearly all fruit was donated into Seattle’s emergency food system, including food banks and meal programs. In addition, the organization hosted over 50 work parties in support of public orchards and stewarded nearly 400 trees on public land.

As explained on the City Fruit website, the nonprofit pays for harvesting help rather than relying on volunteers, and that’s part of the cost it has to cover. If you want to donate harvestable fruit in the future, here’s how.

West Seattle holiday giving: How these preschoolers helped, and how you can too

November 26, 2014 at 10:22 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Thanks to Tauna Evans, pre-K teacher at Holy Rosary Preschool, for sharing the photo to let us all know about her students’ lesson in giving: “We have just completed our 3rd annual ‘Help the Hungry’ food drive. All donations were delivered to the Holy Rosary St. Vincent de Paul Society. The food will be distributed to those in need right here in our West Seattle community.”

IF YOU’RE IN THE GIVING MOOD TODAY, FOOD BANK DONATION HOURS: There’s still time for you to get donations to either or both of the nearest food banks – West Seattle Food Bank (southeast corner of 35th/Morgan) is open until 3 pm, White Center Food Bank (8th SW just south of SW 108th) is open until 5 pm. Beyond today, we are posting ongoing donation drives of all types in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide.

One more day to get in on WSHS Music’s fruit fundraiser

November 25, 2014 at 11:39 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Music Boosters supporting the West Seattle High School music department sent word of this – tomorrow (Wednesday) is the last day to get in on it – and note that if you don’t need all that fruit, you can still help the students while donating your donation to feed those in need!

The WSHS Music Department is currently selling 20-pound boxes of oranges or grapefruits, for $28.00 each. Funds raised will help offset student costs as both the orchestra and band will be traveling to perform in Disneyland this next May. Fruit can be purchased from any WSHS music student, or contact westseattlehsmusicboosters@gmail.com by 11/26, for more information. Boxes can also be purchased for direct donation to the West Seattle Food Bank. The fruit will be delivered around December 5th.

West Seattle giving: 8-year-old Joseph’s one-day food drive

November 24, 2014 at 11:56 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 18 Comments

The spirit of giving can start young. These pictures show what 8-year-old Joseph Meats, a third grader at Our Lady of Guadalupe, did this past weekend. His mom Christi Meats explains, “He wanted to do something nice for Thanksgiving and the up and coming holidays so he decided to go door to door and ask for food for the food bank!” So they distributed a flyer to some homes in Admiral and Arbor Heights last Thursday asking that people leave food donations on their doorstep for pickup yesterday.

Today, he brought it all to the West Seattle Food Bank after school.

His mom adds, “His goal is to inspire others so it was fun to watch him succeed in raising awareness as he left his wagon out during the Seahawk game and people kept dropping off food!” (And if you’re inspired – contact the WS Food Bank directly, or keep an eye on our daily calendar previews and Holiday Guide for giving opportunities of all kinds.)

Pre-Thanksgiving giving: ‘Lunches With Love’ needs you Wednesday

November 24, 2014 at 12:40 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Leading up to the holiday when many of us are lucky to be able to have and enjoy abundance … many also are looking for ways to reach out and help those who don’t. In addition to the opportunities we’ve been sharing (including the list in our West Seattle Holiday Guide), here’s one more – West Seattle/South Park volunteer/community advocate Lashanna Williams invites you to be part of “Lunches With Love” on Wednesday – here are the ways you can help:

A few times a year my family hosts an event called Lunches with Love. People donate sacked lunches, lunch supplies, and blankets. Volunteers spend the Wednesday before thanksgiving making paper sack lunches.

In the evening ,volunteers take lunches around town to those who need it. ( Pike Market park, near the bus stop, outside of shelters, under I-5, along West Marginal …)

If people want to make some sacked lunches or drop off lunch supplies – it would be amazing. This year, our goal is 500 lunches.

Pre-made lunches and supplies can be dropped off at my house – 9319 7th Avenue S (map)

Lunch hints: nothing that needs to be heated
(Sandwich, fruit, veggies, cheese, protein bar, sweet treat..etc)

If you are interested in making lunches, please feel free to come by any time from 10 am – 6 pm and we’ll head out downtown around 7.

Questions? Email lashannaw@gmail.com or call 206.715.5265

West Seattle weekend scene: WSHS auction success

November 23, 2014 at 2:30 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 1 Comment

Big fun and big giving Friday night at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor):

The West Seattle High School PTSA thanks the community for making the annual “Reaching for the Stars” auction a tremendous. success. The auction was held on Fri. Nov. 21. Principal Ruth Medsker and PTSA President Cathy DeVore welcomed guests and supporters, including Mayor Ed Murray and County Executive Dow Constantine (WSHS alumnus), pictured holding a member of the WSHS class of 2032:

If you missed the auction, you can still support WSHS students via the PTSA’s fundraising efforts – go here.

Aaron’s Kids Swim Program launched with family’s gift to the Y

November 22, 2014 at 8:55 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 6 Comments

(YMCA photo: L-R, Raymond Mann, Kathryn Mann, Allison Wherry, Josh Sutton)
Thanks to the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) for sharing the news that the legacy of a favorite Y staffer will live on, as an endowment started by his family, who presented the launch donation this week (photo above). Here’s the announcement from the Y:

An endowment fund is being established in remembrance of Aaron William Mann. Aaron was an employee and volunteer of the West Seattle YMCA and previously worked at YMCAs in Anchorage and Colorado Springs. During his more than 20 years at the Y, Aaron was a lifeguard, swimming instructor and a teacher of thousands of kids, families and members. More than anything, Aaron enjoyed teaching and being around “his kids,” and had a special gift for turning their hard work into fun. Aaron taught them swimming and water safety skills, along with life skills. Aaron’s Kids Swim Program is intended to honor his memory and continue his loving support of Y kids.

Aaron’s parents, Kathryn and Raymond Mann, are establishing the endowment fund with an initial donation of $20,000. The purpose of the fund is to “Provide scholarships to kids and families for participation in the West Seattle YMCA aquatics programs.” Scholarships will be awarded to kids and families to offset the costs of swim lessons and aquatics activities. Funds may also be use to purchase aquatics equipment, particularly to meet the needs of kids’ swim programs.

The Mann family has also pledged to match the first $10,000 of incoming donations to the fund and to actively solicit continuing donations to the fund, with a first-year goal of a $50,000 endowment. Once established, the program will be managed andadministered by the West Seattle YMCA. All donations will be tax deductible in keeping with the YMCA’s non-profit status.

Thank you to the Mann family for their generous endowment and also for helping us keep Aaron’s spirit of service alive in all of us.

Aaron Mann was just 44 when he died this past June. Contact the Y for information about donating to the new program.

Holiday giving: West Seattle Food Bank turkey drive Saturday

November 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

The West Seattle Food Bank is up to 300 of the 500 turkeys it needs for the holiday season. It’s just added another chance for you to help close the gap. From WSFB’s Judi Yazzolino:

We will be holding a last-minute Turkey Drive tomorrow at the West Seattle Food Bank, from 1 pm to 4 pm. Drop off your turkey/donation and get a tour of our facility from our Executive Director or Operation Managers. In addition to turkeys, we also need stuffing.

We’ll also be at the Junction True Value Christmas Open House, Saturday from 10 am – 2 pm greeting holiday shoppers and selling raffle tickets for $5. You have a chance to win wine tasting for 10 at Viscon Cellars on California Ave. with appetizers paired for the wine by The Bridge. Thank you to both of them for donating. See you on Saturday.

WSFB HQ is on the southeast corner of 35th/Morgan – donors can pull into the garage from Morgan just east of 35th. JTV (a WSB sponsor) is at 44th/Edmunds.

Holiday giving: Turkey drive this Sunday and other ways to help White Center Food Bank (which serves part of West Seattle too)

November 21, 2014 at 9:04 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

It’s time for our seasonal reminder … did you know that West Seattle is served not only by the WS Food Bank but also by the White Center Food Bank, whose “official” territory begins at SW Myrtle? We mention this so you can be sure to include BOTH in your holiday giving. We’ve been mentioning WSFB donation drives, and now we have some WCFB info too:

TURKEY DRIVE THIS SUNDAY: 9 am-noon at Fauntleroy Church (9140 California SW), drop by with a turkey – White Center Food Bank executive director Rick Jump (at right, file photo from 2011 holidays) will have a refrigerated truck onsite so you can drop by with a frozen turkey and know that it will get to a WCFB client before Thanksgiving.

IF YOU CAN’T MAKE IT TO FAUNTLEROY ON SUNDAY, STOP BY WCFB ON SATURDAY: For holiday food donations, the food bank has added extra dropoff hours at its HQ this Saturday, 11 am-2 pm – 10829 8th SW (map).

OR, DONATE FOOD DURING REGULAR HOURS: 9 am-5 pm Mondays-Fridays, you are welcome to stop by that same address with food donations. (Or a check! Speaking of which …)

DONATE MONEY: Most of the time, food banks can buy more with your dollar than what you can get for it at a supermarket. (Turkeys, we’re told, are the rare exception, given the Thanksgiving-season prices.) Here’s the “donate” page on the WCFB website.

P.S. WC Food Bank development director Kristina Dahl says food/financial donations at Roxbury Safeway (as part of Northwest Harvest’s “Hometown Harvest”) benefit WCFB. Ask for her if you stop by WCFB HQ weekdays, and she’d be happy to give you a tour!

West Seattle schools: Roxhill Elementary benefit Friday

November 19, 2014 at 9:27 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | No Comments

Another chance to support a West Seattle school is two days away. From the Roxhill Elementary PTSA:

This Friday, November 21st, the West Seattle (and beyond!) Community has an opportunity to support Roxhill Elementary School.

From Open to Close (as well as online), a percentage of purchases made at Barnes and Noble will go towards the school.

Mr. Robert – along with Teachers and Parents – will be live-reading in the Children’s section [at the Westwood Village store] from 5 pm – 8 pm. Put on your pajamas and join us! Thank you so much!

The voucher number to use that day (in person or online) is on this PDF – 11509577.

A chance to give AND receive: Marination ma kai, tomorrow

November 18, 2014 at 2:21 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | No Comments

As mentioned earlier, it’s food-drive season, with Thanksgiving approaching. Another chance tomorrow for you to give – and to get something in return. From Shawn Findley, general manager of Marination ma kai (WSB sponsor) at Seacrest:

Marination is currently holding a canned food drive for Food Lifeline. We are accepting donations through November 24th. In an effort to bolster donations, we will be giving out a free taco to anybody who brings in a donation to Marination ma kai tomorrow (Wednesday), November 19th.

Non-perishable, shelf stable food items that are high in protein; canned fruits or vegetables; infant formula and baby food are some of the items of greatest need.

Ma kai’s hours tomorrow are 9 am-8 pm.

Put the giving in Thanksgiving: Turkey donations tomorrow; Beer Church’s Turkey Bowl on Saturday

November 18, 2014 at 11:51 am | In Fun stuff to do, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

Two more chances for you to put the giving in Thanksgiving:

WS FOOD BANK NEEDS 400 *MORE* TURKEYS: Tomorrow, 4-7 pm at West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor), it’s the West Seattle Food Bank’s 2nd Turkey Drive of the season. Says WSFB’s Judi Yazzolino, “Thriftway has plenty of 10-12 lb. turkeys for you to purchase and donate. Too busy to shop? We’ll be set up outside the store for you to just drive through, hand us your turkey or $15 and we’ll buy the turkey for you! Our goal is to collect 500 turkeys to provide to our families for their holidays and we’ve collected the equivalent of 109 turkeys so far.” Any individual or business that would like to match what we collect at Thriftway tomorrow night, please call Judi, 206-932-9023.

BOWL WITH THE BEER CHURCH ON SATURDAY: It’s the 16th annual Beer Church Turkey Bowl, and founder Kendall Jones is amazed at that number. So are we. But you’ll be even more impressed by at least one of the numbers in the official reminder:

On Saturday, November 22 at 5:30 pm at West Seattle Bowl, Beer Church hosts the 16th annual Turkey Bowl. The event is a fundraiser and food drive benefiting the West Seattle Food Bank. In the past, the event has raised as much as $6,000 and gathered over 3,000 pounds of food. Organizers hope to meet or exceed those totals this year.

There are still a limited number of lanes available for groups interested in bowling. To reserve a lane, email Kendall Jones (beerchurch@gmail.com). The cost is $180 per lane in the form of a donation to West Seattle Food Bank. Each lane can handle up to eight bowlers.

Whether you bowl or not, everyone is welcome to stop by the bowling alley and support the cause by dropping off food donations, participating in the raffle, and having a tasty beer.

“We take over West Seattle Bowl – all 32 lanes – for three hours of bowling fun,” says Kendall Jones, who has organized all 16 events. “Also, there is a target raffle, which is kind of like a silent auction without all the stress: you buy raffle tickets for $1 and decide which prizes you’re interested in winning.”

Within the larger event, local breweries bring teams and compete in the Battle of the Brewers. Local pubs and bars bring teams and compete in the Beer Church Bar Brawl. There are trophies involved and the competition is fierce. Well, not really. It’s really just about creating a fun way for people to support the Food Bank.

Beer Church is the charitable arm of the Washington Beer Blog (washingtonbeerblog.com), which Kendall and Kim Jones operate out of their West Seattle home. The blog is a leading source for news and information related to the Pacific Northwest craft beer scene.

“A decade ago, I regularly volunteered at West Seattle Food Bank,” says Kendall Jones. “Back when they were in the old location, I helped unload the truck and stock the shelves on Tuesdays. Every week we would pack that building full of food, and then within a couple of days it would all be gone. That’s when I realized how important West Seattle Food Bank is to my community. Anything Beer Church does to support the Food Bank pales in comparison to the massive, ongoing efforts of the staff and volunteers.”

Eat, drink, and jam! Support student musicians @ West Seattle Community Orchestras’ gala

November 18, 2014 at 9:31 am | In How to help, West Seattle news, WS culture/arts | No Comments

Saturday night at Highland Park Improvement Club, you can enjoy food, beverages, and music while supporting student music programs via the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ fifth annual “Fall for Music” fundraiser. Tickets are on sale online, and WSCO has sent an update:

The weather may be getting colder, but our planning committee has designed a fun and family-friendly evening to bring out the warmth of the season. Doors open at 6 pm

Guests will walk in to a fall-themed scenery infusing the gathering, to celebrate and harvest the music education for our student musicians. The soiree will also include a silent and live auction, along with a 50/50 Raffle; new this year, our Wine Cellar Raffle.

Our attendees will enjoy a wide variety of scrumptious and flavorful fare such as Indian samosas with cilantro chutney, Thai chicken skewers, grilled veggie platter, pesto pasta salad, assorted local cheeses with grapes & crackers, olive oil poached shrimp cocktail platter, and much more. A dessert buffet with chocolate truffles, pies, cake, and cookies will also be offered.

Our bar will present delicious beverage concoctions like Veuve Clicquot champagne, and top liquor like Grey Goose Vodka, Makers Mark Bourbon, and local microbrew selection, just to name a few. Children are welcome to attend the event and we will supply non-alcoholic beverages.

Several WSCO musicians will showcase their love of music through small ensembles, featuring a flute ensemble and a performance led by student violinist playing fiddle tunes. After the auction, there will be an open jam session performing jazz standards. We invite all levels of musicians to bring their instruments and participate and have fun!

The West Seattle Community Orchestra continues to fill a much-needed role in the community for all ages. New this season WSCO has opened two music programs: Wind Symphony for musicians with experience of 6 years and a Student Beginning Strings Class. The goal is to provide more opportunities to explore their music abilities and become more familiar with classic repertoire.

Advance tickets are on sale now!! Adults $25/each; Students (K-12) $10/each; Seniors (65 & over) $10/each, 5 and under FREE. Purchase your ticket at www.WSCOrchestras.org. For more information about The West Seattle Community Orchestras, please email info@WSCOrchestras.org

HPIC is at 12th/Holden.

West Seattle holiday giving: ‘Soap for Hope’ drive

November 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm | In Holidays, How to help, West Seattle news | 1 Comment

We’re continuing to collect holiday-giving opportunity information for both our ongoing calendar and the forthcoming WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – some drives are already under way, and hoping for your help, like “Soap for Hope” at AAA West Seattle (WSB sponsor):

Want to be a part of something BIG? AAA Washington is kicking off the 7th annual Soap for Hope toiletries-donation drive, and we need your help!

The annual campaign provides basic necessities and personal care items for those in need, reaching more than 27 local charities throughout Washington and northern Idaho. By partnering with our members, the community and local organizations, AAA Washington has collected nearly 500,000 toiletry items for local charities the past six years, and distributed more than 8,700 pounds of donations last year alone.

While donations are accepted at our store all year, we invite you to participate in our holiday campaign by donating through December 31 to help those in need this winter. All donations will remain in our local community, benefitting Sojourner Place in Seattle. We will be collecting sample, or regular-size items including deodorant, toothpaste, shaving cream, lotions, shampoos, conditioners, soaps and other new and unopened toiletry items.

Items can be dropped off at our office in Jefferson Square at 4734 42nd Ave SW, or you may contact us to arrange a pickup of your donation. For more information about Soap for Hope, please visit our website at www.aaa.com/SoapforHope.

Thank you in advance for considering this opportunity and know that your contribution is more than just a bar of soap, it’s about providing an opportunity for those in need to have a fresh start to their day and maybe even a personal boost to their self-image.

Ongoing holiday donation/collection drive that could use community help? Send us info as soon as you can – editor@westseattleblog.com – thank you!

West Seattle schools: ‘Kindergarten technologists’ work with newly donated Snap Circuits at Lafayette

November 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | 3 Comments

With public funding of schools falling short, community and corporate goodwill is more vital than ever to help students keep up. The latest example was shown off this morning in Landon Bell‘s kindergarten classroom at Lafayette Elementary in The Admiral District. The “kindergarten technologists” in our photos are using Snap Circuits (shown and explained here) to explore electrical engineering, creating working machines on circuit boards.

Lafayette got the Snap Circuits via a request on the crowdfunding site for teachers, DonorsChoose.org, one of 19 projects at 15 Seattle schools that were funded in a donation by AT&T, according to the announcement of this morning’s demonstration.

Many DonorsChoose projects are funded by individual community contributions, but as was the case here, the corporate community jumps in too – you might recall the Google announcement at Highland Park Elementary last month. Much other supplementary funding comes via events organized by schools’ PTAs (at Lafayette, last month’s Walk-A-Thon – with community sponsors including WSB – raised $60,000 in pledges).

P.S. If you’re interested in donating to classroom projects, DonorsChoose is searchable by zip code, and our quick check shows lots of current requests from local teachers.

Update: Missing man turns up in local hospital

November 12, 2014 at 11:29 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

UPDATE: Minutes after we published this (which in turn was only minutes after we received it), the original sender sent word that Nate had been found in a hospital.

Click to read the rest of Update: Missing man turns up in local hospital…

Talk transportation at this Saturday’s Gathering of Neighbors

November 12, 2014 at 9:27 am | In Gathering of Neighbors, How to help, West Seattle news | 6 Comments

After another rocky (to say the least) commute, you might be wondering what’s being done, what can be done, how can you get involved in supporting a solution. So before we get to our preview of what’s up today – we’re reminding you about this Saturday’s Gathering of Neighbors, which includes a chance to spend an hour with the West Seattle Transportation Coalition, among other things. Transportation is not the only topic on the agenda, but it’s top-of-mind right now, so we’re nudging you. Details on the official flyer:

The Gathering of Neighbors is at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW), 9 am-1 pm but even if you can just drop by for the 10 am-11 am breakout sessions … see you there!

You can help! Brunette Mix benefit to help leukemia patient ‘concentrate on treatment and healing’

November 9, 2014 at 3:55 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 7 Comments

Sarah at Brunette Mix (longtime WSB sponsor) in The Junction e-mailed to let us, and you, know about two ways you can help them help a West Seattle native who is now fighting for her life:

We are currently trying to raise money for a friend of ours, Jasmin Egan. She is a former West Seattleite that now resides in Kent. She grew up here and went to Chief Sealth High School. Her maiden name is Jasmin Glover. She has just been diagnosed with ALL – Acute Lympholastic Leukemia. She will not not be able to work for a long time, and her husband can’t either right now, as she needs around-the-clock care. She has three beautiful children, and we just want to take the stress of money and bills away, so she can concentrate on treatment and healing. So Brunette Mix is offering deep conditioning treatments with any service for free with any donation. The conditioner is a $20 value.

Also, we are organizing a silent auction for her at the Feedback Lounge on Thursday, December 4th, from 6:30- 9:30 and are still looking for donations.

If you can offer a donation for the silent auction, e-mail Sarah at swillanger@hotmail.com. To make an appointment at Brunette Mix (4306 SW Oregon), so you can donate there and get the special reward, you can book online, or by e-mail, or by phone – 206-932-2401.

Happening now: Turkey drive in The Junction for West Seattle Food Bank

November 8, 2014 at 12:14 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | 2 Comments

You can help the West Seattle Food Bank make sure families in need have turkeys this holiday – by buying one and dropping it off (or a $15 donation so they can buy one) at HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) in The Junction until 2 pm. Above, one of the turkey donations that happened while we stopped by. HomeStreet is at 41st/Alaska – just look for the WS Food Bank van by the bank:

Also look for the friendly people, including Melodie VanHouten from HomeStreet and Jim Dean from the Food Bank board:

If you miss today’s drive, check the WSFB site to find the many ways you can donate, during the holiday season and the rest of the year.

Green Seattle Day tomorrow – with a local ravine looking for you

November 7, 2014 at 3:45 pm | In Environment, How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

(Photo courtesy Cindi Barker: Some of the plants that await you!)
Four West Seattle sites are part of the citywide Green Seattle Day workparty-a-thon tomorrow – but just one comes with the added notation “Needs some love” on the signup list: Orchard Street Ravine in the Gatewood/Morgan area. Organizers say it’s “a big effort (that) can use lots of willing hands”:

We are finishing some clearing and have 150 plants that need to get into the ground. After planting we will be laying burlap and bark down in preparation for the winter. So there are tasks of all kinds, please come for some or all of the time, tools will be provided, just bring your own gloves.

They’ll be working 9 am-1 pm, but even if you can only be there for part of that time, that would still be a BIG help. Directions are on this page, which is where you also can RSVP right now, to let organizers know help is on the way!

One week from tonight: Help the West Seattle Helpline!

November 7, 2014 at 2:09 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Every year, the West Seattle Helpline is a lifeline for people in need of short-term emergency help, and the community’s generosity is what enables that to happen. One week from tonight, you’re invited to help the Helpline and have a good time at its annual dinner/auction, 6:30-9 pm Friday, November 14th, at the Duwamish Longhouse in West Seattle (4705 W. Marginal Way SW). Getting your tickets is quick and easy – go here.

West Seattle High School PTSA’s 2014 auction: One more day for earlybird discount prices

November 6, 2014 at 4:53 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

Two weeks from tomorrow night, it’s the West Seattle High School PTSA‘s big annual auction fundraiser to help the school and its students. Earlybird-discount ticket sales have been extended until tomorrow, so you have one more day to get your ticket at the lowest price, $40. Just go here - and then be at Brockey Center on the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, 6 pm Friday, November 21st. (If you already have your ticket, check out that same link to preview some of the auction items!)

Grocery shopping? Get a turkey for Saturday’s donation drive!

November 6, 2014 at 12:05 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Hope the wind doesn’t whisk this bird away! It’s a reminder from the folks at West Seattle’s HomeStreet Bank (a just-returned WSB sponsor) that they’re hosting a turkey drive for the West Seattle Food Bank in just two days. On Saturday (November 8th), 11 am-2 pm, bring a 10-to-12-pound frozen turkey to donate, or $15 cash for WSFB to make its own purchase(s). HomeStreet is at 41st/Alaska.

West Seattle new-parent support group Early Days crowdfunding for facilitator training

November 4, 2014 at 8:59 am | In How to help, West Seattle news | 10 Comments

Parenthood can be joyful. It can also be harrowing. Especially those early days and weeks when you realize a brand-new life is entirely in your hands … and no matter how well you prepared, you’re not sure you’re doing the right thing. The nonprofit West Seattle support group Early Days is for families with babies, and it’s expanding to a second weekly session. That means three of its volunteer leaders need training, and they are crowdfunding to help with part of the cost. One of the new facilitators, Jessica, mom of Oliver (photo above), tells her story:

After Oliver was born, [dad] Daniel stayed home with us for 3 weeks. The first week he was back at work was hard on me. I don’t know what I expected, but it wasn’t crippling anxiety and isolation. Oliver had a lot of gas and grunted a lot, and while this was normal, I couldn’t shake the feeling that something could go terribly wrong at any time.

Sleep deprived and scared, I remember bringing him into the pediatrician, only to be told that what he was doing was very normal. That day, I told the ped that I was thinking about attending a support group at Nurturing Expressions called Early Days and she encouraged me to do so. The next day I threw some diapers in a bag, put clothes on and trekked down to the West Seattle Junction. And I am forever grateful that I did.

During that meeting parents at different places in the first year of their baby’s life talked openly about their struggles. I talked openly about mine, cried and was offered a reflection by one of the facilitators that I was not alone, that many parents had been through much of the same things I was going through. And I felt less anxious, less isolated. It was a major turning point for me.

When I decided to see my midwife about my postpartum mood disorder and start medication, I did it partly because I knew others had done the same, and that I wasn’t weak and this was something that would help me.

The days with a baby are super long and the friends I have made have made them bearable. If I ever need someone, they are there for me.

Early Days is invaluable. For me, becoming a facilitator is an honor and a calling to give back to someone what was given to me. I hope that I can help new parents the way that I was helped. Please consider donating so that we can make this happen. Parents are missing “the village” and we are trying to bring it back. We need each other.

The GoFundMe page, specifically for this training, is here. Early Days, meantime, can be found online here.

Early lesson about giving: Admiral Co-op Preschool 4-year-olds’ West Seattle Food Bank adventure

November 3, 2014 at 6:53 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle people | 3 Comments

The earlier, the better, to teach the youngest members of our community about giving and volunteering. In that spirit, the Admiral Cooperative Preschool 4-year-olds embarked on quite a field trip today. Karrie Riemer shares the photos: First, they went to West Seattle Thriftway (WSB sponsor) to collect nonperishable-food donations for the WS Food Bank. Then they walked to WSFB – about half a mile uphill!

Once there, they presented their collection: 74 cans/boxes of food and $136! But their work wasn’t over yet – they sorted the donations.

Then it was time for a tour.

P.S. WS Food Bank has a big event next Saturday – a turkey drive in the HomeStreet Bank (WSB sponsor) parking lot at 41st/Alaska, 11 am-2 pm – bring a 10-to-12-pound turkey or $15 cash.

Fighting Ebola: 2 events tomorrow, one for volunteer mapmakers, one to separate facts from fiction

November 3, 2014 at 9:04 am | In Health, How to help, West Seattle news | Comments Off

Two events of note, both tomorrow night, related to the Ebola fight:

If you have a laptop and time to spare volunteering, that flyer explains how you can be a volunteer mapmaker to help first responders dealing with the Ebola crisis. All this, without leaving your home. The event’s at 6 pm tomorrow (Tuesday, November 4th) at the West Seattle (Admiral) Branch Library, 2306 42nd SW; if you can’t see the embedded flyer, here’s the PDF version.

Second event is not IN West Seattle, but you’re invited by one of your neighbors, West Seattleite Kristen Tetteh, who works with the Washington Global Health Alliance: At Town Hall downtown (1119 8th), an event at 6:30 tomorrow will “touch on the state of Ebola globally as well as how Seattle is preparing.” Medical, policy, education, and humanitarian reps will address “Ebola Facts and Fiction.” Tickets are $10 and available online.

South Seattle College culinary fundraiser: ‘Pop-up restaurant’

November 2, 2014 at 8:21 pm | In How to help, West Seattle news, West Seattle schools | Comments Off

As the season of school fundraisers continue … here’s a tasty one: The Culinary Council at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) plans a one-night “pop-up restaurant event” to raise money. On November 18th, 6:30 pm at The Alhadeff Grill on campus, $50 will get you a five-course menu with wine pairings and an aperitif, with guest chefs including two alumni who also are current instructors. A silent auction will accompany the dinner; 100 percent of the night’s proceeds will benefit students and the program. Tickets are on sale now – you can buy yours, and/or find out more about the event, by going here.

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