Video: VIP visitors, volunteers at WestSide Baby for ‘Day of Caring’

September 21st, 2012 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, WestSide Baby, White Center news Comments Off

(Photos and video by WCN’s Patrick Sand)
Of course EVERY day is a “day of caring” at White Center-headquartered WestSide Baby, which helps thousands of families every year. But today is THE volunteerism-centered Day Of Caring” for United Way of King County - and this year’s campaign chairs, former Mariners baseball player Dan Wilson and wife Annie Wilson, started their day at WS Baby! Above, they posed with WS Baby’s executive director Nancy Woodland. They of course had something to say to the amassed volunteers, too:

Also as part of Day of Caring, volunteers from Virginia Mason are working at WestSide Baby, where there’s always lots to do, to take donations, diapers, car seats, and other necessities and make them ready for the families who will use them:

You can help WestSide Baby any time – here’s how to volunteer, and here’s information on other ways of giving.

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Holy Family School students: ‘Three years of service’

May 18th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Schools, Volunteering, White Center news Comments Off

By M. Barrett Miller
Special to White Center Now

For three years, middle school students, from a slightly improvised local school, have reached out to cheer an elderly group at a local Salvation Army.

When these kids were sixth graders they thought it “nuts” that they would go hang out with a bunch of old people once a month. When the idea was introduced to them, many had had little exposure to the elderly, thinking the “old folks” would be the stereotypes they tried to avoid, rather than embrace.

These particular kids were that unique combination of kids that comes along once in a while as a gift to the unsuspecting. Within the group, most were full of intuition, inquisitiveness, empathy, excitement and the desire to reach out beyond their classroom or school.

When the idea of service to a group of elderly was presented, the kids were already involved in a number of social justice outreach programs. These outreaches were at a distance rather than the one on one offered by direct service at the Salvation Army.

It was the direct contact that had a few of them nervous. Because of the following successes, they had the internal confidence to trust themselves, and me, and plunge into hands on service.

In preparation, and to build confidence, for their lunch service, to the elderly, the students had written letters to young girls in Kandahar, Afghanistan, who had been attacked on their way to school because they were girls who wanted an education. Federal Express delivered their letters and photos, of the girls in the class, to Dexter Filkins at the New York Times in Afghanistan. He delivered them to the school he had written about in the Times that sparked this particular class project.

These kids drafted a petition to recognize the Duwamish Tribe, which was delivered to Congressman Jim McDermott in support of his work towards this tribe’s federal recognition. The Congressman wrote them a wonderful letter commending their efforts.

A number of the kids began visiting a man living in Bailey-Boushay House who is fighting loneliness, isolation and abandonment issues that so often accompany the struggles with AIDS. He has become their friend and looks forward to seeing and hearing from them when they have the opportunity to visit.

Children’s Hospital received hundreds of hand-designed Christmas cards for distribution to young patients staying in hospital over the holidays. Homeless shelters, hospitals, clinics and outdoor camps of homeless all received glad tidings from these students either in writing or by organized visits to various locations to share some hope and some support.

Once the kids had their first visit to the elderly under their collective belts, they couldn’t wait for their next visit.
As the years rolled by, relationships bloomed between the generations. The kids, and the “gray panthers,” shared holiday events, letters, short interviews and biographies, photos and best of all the love that developed through being together.

The State of Washington recognized the kids with a Resolution honoring all they have done for so many in their greater community.

HOUSE RESOLUTION NO.2009-4652, by Representatives Cody and Nelson

WHEREAS, The people of Washington State acknowledge the community contributions and achievements of the student volunteers of Let Kids Be Kids, Inc. at Holy Family Parish School, West Seattle, Washington; and
WHEREAS, The members of Let Kids be Kids, Inc. have established a regular visitation schedule to the elderly at the Salvation Army in West Seattle, and provide meal service and offer heartfelt companionship; and
WHEREAS, The students have exhibited compassion, sympathy, and friendship by creating and delivering Christmas cards for children in Seattle Children’s Hospital; and
WHEREAS, The students have conducted a letter campaign in support of a girls school in Kandahar, Afghanistan, where girls have been attacked for attending classes, and have inspired courage, hope, and pride, and offered solidarity to the Afghan girls so that they might continue their path to acquire education and realize their own talents, dreams, and goals; and
WHEREAS, They exhibited their knowledge of local history, and empathy for treatment of
Washington’s Native Nations, by visiting the Duwamish Longhouse and drafting a petition supporting the tribe’s request for achievement of federally recognized tribal status (I); and
WHEREAS, Let Kids Be Kids, Inc. has planned a campaign to support the poor and the homeless and those affected by HIV/AIDS in the community, by providing letters, visitations, and meals to the most vulnerable residents of our state;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the House of Representatives recognize and honor Let Kids Be Kids, Inc and Holy Family Parish School, West Seattle, for its exemplary service to Washington State and to members of the global community, and commend the high standard it has set for all residents of Washington for its commitment to social justice and its legacy to our future generations.

I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of I hereby certify this to be a true and correct copy of Resolution 4652 adopted by the House of Representatives

Barbara Baker, Chief Clerk
Resolution 4652 adopted by the House of Representatives

These kids have humbled me more than once during these three years of watching them forge ahead, guided by their hearts.

It has been an honor and a pleasure to have the experience and the reconfirmation into what can be done when kids are honored and trusted.

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Scenes from White Center Spring Clean 2011: A day of teamwork

May 17th, 2011 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 1 Comment »

(Photos by Deanie Schwarz for WCN, unless otherwise credited)
By Deanie Schwarz
Reporting for White Center Now

Saturday’s annual White Center Spring Clean brought in nearly 600 volunteers to spruce up the White Center area with over 21 projects on the hit list for the day.

Teams of 30-60 people spread out in well-coordinated projects to put the shine on White Center under cooperative blue skies. Organized by the White Center Community Development Association, the annual event brings together folks from near and far who pitch in, build community and meet new neighbors.

In thanks, they are fed breakfast and lunch and receive the traditional I Heart White Center t-shirt – green this year!

King County Sheriff’s Office‘s new CSO Peter Truong worked with his team to add new flowers to all of the planter boxes on 16th SW in the main business district. Peter said, “I love the chance to work with our kids.”

New Angkor Market on 98th Ave SW at 16th now sports a fresh new mural on its wall, thanks to that team of participants.

With the croaks of native tree frogs audible from the White Center Pond in the background, this team worked on the hillside pulling weeds and picking up litter.

Over on 9th Ave SW and 108th Ave SW, the White Center Food Bank’s Volunteer Coordinator Audrey Zemke pulled weeds in the berm with her team of hard workers.

Looking up at his team, Mark Ufkes, president of the White Center Chamber of Commerce, evaluates the landscaping, painting, pruning and weed-whacking around the newly installed
“Welcome to White Center” sign at 10th and Roxbury.

Active WC resident Gill Loring led the way at North Shorewood Park, a somewhat hidden gem of a park with a swing set and gently sloping hillside trail under a canopy of native trees. Working with a King County Parks employee, the group planted about 100 native trees and plants in an area of former blackberries.

(Gill shared this photo of some of the other helpers at that site:)

One of the larger projects for the day was the breaking ground for a new P-Patch. Removal of brush and trees from the lot at 15th Ave SW and 107th prepare was the first step.

That’s Blair Johnson, former Highland Park Action Committee president, working alongside a church group from Wenatchee to reveal the lovely landscaping and bushes at the Delridge/18th triangle.

Working on Hicks Lake at Lakewood Park was Friends of Hicks Lake leader Dick Thurnau, who paused to pose with some of his team from West Seattle.

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White Center Food Bank needs pre-holiday help

December 17th, 2010 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off

The White Center Food Bank just put out the call for volunteer help. From volunteer coordinator Audrey Zemke:

The White Center Food Bank needs help this coming week handing out food to clients. The most urgently needed shift is 3:30 to 6:30 pm Monday, December 20. In addition we could use help Wednesday, December 22 from 12:30 to 3:30. Please contact me by e-mail ( to sign up.

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White Center Food Bank needs volunteer help today

November 23rd, 2010 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off

From Audrey at White Center Food Bank:

Because of the weather, we could use a few volunteers for the 9:30-12:30 and 12:30-3:30 shifts handing out food to clients. I don’t know how many clients will brave the weather but I want to make sure we can give them their holiday food if they do.

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How you can help White Center Food Bank this holiday season

November 17th, 2010 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, White Center Food Bank Comments Off

From Audrey at White Center Food Bank (we’re still checking on what food they need):

The White Center Food Bank needs volunteers to help hand out holiday food the following shifts

Mon., November 22 – 12:30 to 3:30 and possibly 3:30 to 6:30
Tue., November 23 – 9:00 to 12:30, 12:30 to 3:30, and possibly 3:30 to 6:30
Wed., November 24 – 12:30 to 3:30, 4:30 to 8:30

Mon., December 20 – 12:30 to 3:30 and 3:30 to 6:30
Tue., December 21 – 9:00 to 12:30, 12:30 to 3:30, 3:30 to 6:30
Wed., December 22 – 12:30 to 3:30

Families, individuals or groups are welcome to contact me at or 206-762-2848.

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Can you volunteer for tax-preparation help at Greenbridge (or elsewhere)?

November 1st, 2010 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, White Center news Comments Off

We were asked to share this because Greenbridge YWCA is among the locations in need of volunteers:

Get involved with United Way of King County’s Free Tax Preparation Campaign and join the nation’s largest anti-poverty effort! Help low-and moderate-income individuals and families in King County keep more of what they earn!

The United Way Free Tax Campaign Needs Volunteers!
By volunteering once per week during the 2011 tax season, you can help us meet our goal of putting more than $20 million back into the pockets of low-and moderate-income working individuals and families. Speakers of Chinese, Vietnamese, Spanish, Somali, Korean, Amharic, Cambodian and Russian languages are especially needed. Evening, daytime and weekend shifts are available at 18 sites throughout King County.

No Experience Necessary! All volunteers receive free tax preparation training and are certified by the IRS. All sites now recruiting, and have several slots still available! But slots at some sites tend to fill up very fast, so don’t wait! Sign up now!

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SPU students back to help clean up at Hicks Lake again this weekend

September 20th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Hicks Lake, How to Help, Volunteering, White Center news Comments Off

Once again this year, students from Seattle Pacific University are on their way to help clean up around White Center’s Hicks Lake. (Our photo is from 2008.) It’s part of a regional effort on September 25th in which the college sends nearly 800 freshmen and transfer students to various sites for a “community-service orientation” known as CityQuest. Between 10:30 am and 2:30 pm on Saturday, you’ll find students working to pick up litter and take out invasive plants. (That’s not the only White Center site where SPU students will be working that day – SPU also tells us that Neighborhood House in Greenbridge will have visiting students to “help with administrative organization, fall cleaning, and brainstorm ideas for future classes.”) You are also welcome to come join in the cleanup, by the way.

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White Center Spring Clean: Teams at work all over WC!

May 15th, 2010 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, White Center Community Development Association, White Center news 2 Comments »

It’s going on noon, and we’re just back from a quick tour of some White Center Spring Clean sites. First, above, we stopped at White Center Community Development Association HQ, where the Polynesian Club was helping out with a planting project – a few members stopped to pose with “Miss Piggy” outside the office. Across the street, the triangle’s getting some love too:

In the downtown business district, Rat City Rollergirls are working at several spots – this group was at the second of 15 businesses in need of window-washing:

Across 16th SW, King County Sheriff’s Office community-service Officer Vary Jackson was outside the KCSO storefront with planters and plants:

As we pulled up, a well-known White Center-based entrepreneur happened to be wheeling one of the planters away – Full Tilt Ice Cream‘s Justin Cline:

WCCDA had signed up more than 500 volunteers for White Center Spring Clean even before the big day arrived.

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Photos: Volunteers team up for the annual Hicks Lake cleanup

September 26th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Environment, Hicks Lake, Volunteering, White Center news 1 Comment »

What a beautiful afternoon it was at Lakewood Park when we stopped by Hicks Lake to check on the final hour of the annual volunteer cleanup and get some photos. Note the placid scene above – then the volunteers gathered for a group shot:

Just minutes earlier, they’d wrapped up their work clearing invasives and trash, among other jobs:

Dick Thurnau from Friends of Hicks Lake summed it up this way:

Twenty-five hard-working student volunteers from Seattle Pacific University came this Saturday to Hicks Lake located in King County’s Lakewood Park to remove invasive weeds. Two dumptruck loads of weeds, tree parts and litter were removed. We wish to thank the following: Disc Golf Club, Friends of Hicks Lake, a member of the NHUAC, managing engineer of King County’s surface water, providing their help to make this park and lake a better place.

Also the King County Maintenance crew cleaning up and filling the dump trucks with this trash all deserve a large THANK YOU. These students’ performance is a perfect example of what can be accomplished with proper guidance.

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“Day of Caring” volunteers help White Center Food Bank

September 12th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, White Center Food Bank, White Center news Comments Off

On Friday, coast to coast, the 9/11 anniversary was honored with a Day of Service/Day of Caring. As part of that, Microsoft workers volunteered on behalf of White Center Food Bank — helping at the food bank as well as working on a food drive at grocery stores in West Seattle and Burien. You can see a mini-photo album at the White Center Food Bank Facebook page (that’s the source of the photo you see atop this item).

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Help restore the Duwamish Greenbelt by fighting ivy this Thursday

May 18th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Gardening, How to Help, Volunteering 1 Comment »

The Nature Consortium is working to restore the West Duwamish Greenbelt.  As part of their efforts, they are clearing Ivy, which is an invasive species that chokes and kills native vegetation.  This Thursday is the Nature Consortium’s second official foray (first Thursday!) into the Greenbelt to start tackling the Ivy.  Per, organizer Kathleen Dowd-Gailey, “We made great progress on the Saturday event two weeks ago and cleared almost an acre of ivy and made 12 ivy rings on some great big trees! Good stuff!  Since this will be a separate event, not piggybacking on a regularly scheduled Nature Consortium event, I need to know for sure how many people will be able to make it. Please RSVP to me by Wednesday at noon so I can confirm with Nature Consortium staff. I will send out directions to those who can make it after I get your RSVP.”

Contact Kathleen at:

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Register TODAY for Spring Clean Up and get t-shirt and lunch

May 8th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, white center 1 Comment »

Registration Closes on Monday May 11th

The 6th Annual White Center Spring Clean on May 16th is right around the corner.

Come volunteer with your neighbors, meet new friends, see old friends and have fun – while we build community and make White Center a cleaner and safer place to live, work and visit!

We have 15 different projects scheduled for our volunteer teams this year! The more people we have come out – the more we can accomplish.

Folks MUST be registered by Monday to receive their free shirts and lunch!

Don’t hesitate – send those forms in TODAY!

Please forward this to anyone who might want to volunteer with this great event!

Hope to see you all on Saturday!

**Registration forms can also be found on our website:

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AmeriCorps wins White Center hearts with “Peace, Love, Chocolate”

February 21st, 2009 Tracy Posted in Greenbridge, Volunteering, White Center news Comments Off

Those two photos represent the “chocolate” in the AmeriCorps-organized “Peace, Love, Chocolate” event at the Boys/Girls Club gym at Greenbridge today — top, Seattle’s own fair-trade, organic Theo Chocolate brought free candy; immediately above, volunteers made necklaces from Hershey chocolate kisses. And then, there were non-edible examples of peace and love, starting with kids creating art at this table – what you see hanging on the wall behind it is a “peace quilt” of paper:

Of course, you can’t have a “peace” event in this area without representation from West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice:

AmeriCorps volunteers who work for Habitat for Humanity in East King County kept watch over a table where these young helpers were creating with clay:

And if you think 4H is just about farms, this table was there to remind you that’s not so:

The event was a service project organized by AmeriCorps members including Yichuan Zhao, who kindly showed us around to the various stations (he also works with the White Center Food Bank, site of another event today that we’ll be writing about later). He and his AmeriCorps colleagues also are very appreciative of the many White Center businesses and organizations that helped them out and promised to send a list that we can add to this report (among them, White Center Now‘s own Cafe Rozella, which donated coffee, and Full Tilt Ice Cream, which sent paletas). Yichuan was proud to say that, thanks to donations and volunteer help, the entire event cost only $200 to put on – and that was to procure a PA system for live music! ADDED TUESDAY: Here’s the list of sponsors they wished to thank:

Full Tilt
Salvadorean Bakery
Carniceria El Paisano
Samway Market
Cafe Rozella
Theo Chocolate
Trader Joe’s Burien
Little Caesar’s
International Market

West Seattle Neighbors for Peace and Justice
Seattle Center for Peace
Powerful Voices
Solid Ground
Habitat for Humanity East King County (AmeriCorps Team)

And people who donated stuff:
Goodwill (mugs)
Seward Park Clay Studio (Clay)

Alex Kajumulo
Seattle Peace Choir

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White Center-based WestSide Baby celebrates a milestone

February 12th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Volunteering, WestSide Baby, White Center news Comments Off

That’s just one of the cheery groups that joined in the WestSide Baby annual fundraising Valentine Tea this past weekend at South Seattle Community College. As reported earlier this afternoon on partner site West Seattle Blog (see the story here), the event made WestSide Baby history – the first sellout crowd, and the biggest total ever: more than $70,000. Even if you didn’t make it to the tea, you can help WestSide Baby any time – just go here.

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MLK Day of Service at Greenbridge

January 19th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Holidays, Volunteering Comments Off

That sign points the way to the Boys and Girls Club at Greenbridge, home base today for a big MLK Day/Day of Service event – with volunteers fanning out through White Center-area neighborhoods to distribute important info to local families. Glad the weather is cooperating for everybody working on DoS events today all over our area.

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White Center-based WestSide Baby needs help tomorrow night

January 14th, 2009 Tracy Posted in How to Help, Volunteering, WestSide Baby Comments Off

Got time to spare Thursday night? Just in from Nancy Woodland of WestSide Baby, which helps families in the greater White Center/West Seattle area – they’re looking for “after-hours” help 7-9 pm tomorrow (Thursday 1/15):

WestSide Baby is inviting volunteers to join us to help sort through the many wonderful donations received during the snowy weeks in December. We have mounds of items to sort through so that we can get them distributed out into the community. Our last event like this in December was extremely successful with almost 20 volunteers appearing to help us wade through the donations. It is very helpful for us to know if you are coming though so we can prepare with staff and projects. Please RSVP to Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult and it is especially important for us to know if minors are coming so we can prepare appropriate jobs for them. We also have an ongoing need for batteries (size C&D) and larger size diapers (Sizes 4-6) and Pull-ups (Sizes 3t and 4t). We have many diapers in smaller sizes though. The batteries are most often used for swings so we can get them back out into the community rather than waiting in our facility.

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White Center/South Delridge cleanup video: Mayor helps paint

January 10th, 2009 Tracy Posted in Video, Volunteering, White Center news Comments Off

That’s White Center Now/West Seattle Blog video of Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels joining in the Clean and Green cleanup this morning, helping give a kiosk a new coat of paint. More than two dozen people joined in the cleanup that launched from just outside the White Center Community Development Association, including WCCDA reps and volunteers from the Boys and Girls Clubs, and volunteers were treated to fresh coffee from nearby Cafe Rozella.

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Volunteer to Clean Up this Saturday – South Delridge & White Center

January 7th, 2009 Ricardo Posted in Businesses, Environment, Neighborhoods, Volunteering, white center 1 Comment »

Time to get out there and help spiffy up the White Center area.  Come and help with clean up and green up sponsored by the City of Seattle.  Mayor will be in attendance so if you want to chat with Mayor Nickels, here’s your chance.

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Storm heroes: White Center Food Bank leader, volunteers, donors

December 27th, 2008 Tracy Posted in People, Volunteering, White Center Food Bank Comments Off

Wanted to point you to this report on our partner site West Seattle Blog – where we got e-mail from White Center Food Bank friends/volunteers mentioning the lengths WCFB boss Rick Jump went to, to be there for clients. So many great stories like this are emerging as we all thaw out; keep ‘em coming.

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