Tutu’s Pantry and the Backpack Brigade help keep Capitol Hill school kids fed

Can by can, donations help Tutu’s Pantry keep kids fed (Image: CHS)

Hundreds of students at local schools don’t have reliable access to food, particularly on weekends, and a network of volunteer-run organizations has stepped in to assist them.

There are a number of programs in place to help students from lower income families get meals during school. Most common is the free and reduced meals program administered by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. The federal government helps provide funding that gives children from families below a certain income threshold (this year in Seattle, for a family of four, it is an annual income of less than $46,435 for reduced price meals and $32,630 for free meals) access to breakfast and lunch every school day. Across the district, 34% of students qualify for the program.

Then the weekend comes, and that assistance dries up.

So Seattle schools have developed a patchwork of parent-run groups to help fill the gap. Typically, the programs provide needy students with a backpack full of food on Friday to help get them through the weekend, though the specifics can vary greatly by school.

At Stevens Elementary, which serves children in North Capitol Hill, the program is known as Tutu’s Pantry.  Tutu’s Pantry provide backpacks on Fridays and larger boxes of food in advance of longer breaks. They also try to accommodate dietary restrictions.

It might be difficult to imagine that a school flanked by multi-million dollar homes has children in it who are food-insecure. “A lot of the families that we serve are struggling,” said Lori Bugaj, who runs Stevens’ program.

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Eat Out 2016 for Country Doctor: 21 bars, restaurants, and cafes supporting nonprofit’s quest to build new Capitol Hill home

14040017_10153958119527545_4576690007042986366_nCountry Doctor Community Health Clinic is making progress towards raising the funding it needs for a new structure to replace its old office space on 19th Ave E. A capital campaign to raise the remaining money necessary for the project is underway. Thursday, you can boost the nonprofit provider of community health care by going out to eat.

“A portion of your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner bill will be donated to our organization to help our patients get the high quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary health care they need and deserve,” the promo reads.

The list of participants is below: Continue reading

CHS Pics | Cupcake Royale effort to Make America Gay Again pays off with $8K check for National Center for Lesbian Rights

Cupcake Royale’s quest to Make America Gay Again had done more than provide a good, subversive chuckle of a response to the warped circus of the Donald Trump campaign. A portion of proceeds from sales of the hats and shirts and the bakery’s much-loved The Gay cupcakes during this year’s Pride was poured into a giant prop check and handed over Thursday night to Kate Kendell of the National Center for Lesbian Rights:

We did it! In June, with money raised from the sale of The Gay cupcakes and Make America Gay Again apparel, we (our whole community) raised $8000 for the National Center for Lesbian Rights. Come join us as we celebrate the NCLR and present them with this donation! Meet members of the NCLR and learn more about their work advancing the human and civil rights of LGBT people and their families.

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‘The Pledge’ stickers help Capitol Hill businesses tell homeless how they can help: water, food, restrooms, more


Silvernail and Dubs outside Kaladi Brothers E Pike (Image: CHS)

The Pledge Sticker Example

Devin Silvernail has been trekking all over Seattle this summer trying to start a movement of businesses helping the homeless in their neighborhoods by placing stickers in their windows. He has made pretty solid progress — even with a big bump in the road.

The program’s stickers are black with white symbols letting people in need know that cafe or shop will let them use the bathroom, charge their phone, or get a drink of water.

“Whoever wants to do it can do it,” Silvernail told CHS.

On Wednesday, another business decided to participate, bringing the total to 12 across Seattle, including three in Capitol Hill. He hopes to reach 15 businesses by the end of August. But he did hit a setback with one of the first dozen.

Kaladi Brothers Coffee on E Pike was another location participating in The Pledge. Before joining, the leads at the shop used their creative know-how to start their own project to help those in need called the Community Card. Sean Dubs, assistant manager at Kaladi Brothers, said he hoped the Community Card and The Pledge program could grow together. But this week, Kaladi’s ownership decided to exit both programs over concerns about non-customers entering the building also home to Gay City the nonprofit that sublets the cafe space to the Alaska-headquartered coffee chain. It was a disappointing development for the efforts, Dubs said, but he is hoping to continue his work on the Community Card and working with Silvernail and The Pledge. UPDATE: Gay City referred CHS’s questions to Kaladi management for more details. We’ll follow up when the Seattle cafe’s manager is back from vacation. The building’s owner, Chip Ragen, tells CHS he wasn’t involved in the decision as Gay City manages the sub-lease with Kaladi and that he hopes to learn more about the program.

UPDATEx2: Kaladi has responded to our request for more information with a letter documenting their concerns about the program and why they decided to drop out:

Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 2.28.26 PM

The full letter is below the jump.

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2015 donation drives, feed the hungry, and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill

Snowflake, tree lights, and half moonWith a “state of emergency” boosting spending around 17%, Seattle is poised to spend $47 million in 2016 on its homeless and low income programs and services. Of course, it’s not enough. Here are opportunities to help around Capitol Hill and District 3 including meal programs and donation drives at your favorite bars and restaurants. CHS will update this post throughout the holidays so let us know about anything we’ve missed or need to add. You can also add your area giving events to the CHS Calendar. Happy holidays.
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WestSide Baby ‘Stuff the Bus’ tour ends with Capitol Hill stop

IMG_9339Friday, CHS found the WestSide Baby Stuff the Bus bus at 19th Ave’s Hello Robin making a stop on its 2015 tour to collect diapers — and smiles — around Seattle.

WestSide Baby, which now has an area presence at 18th and Cherry after a 2014 merger, collects second hand items for babies and children that providers such as social workers or other agencies can distribute to families in need.

Sunday, the 2015 tour comes to an end at Capitol Hill’s St. Joe’s:

What: Stuff the Bus diaper drive finale event – inviting the public to donate diapers at the school bus
When: July 26 2015 10 am to 2 pm 
Where: St Joseph’s Parish, 732 18th Ave E, Seattle, WA 98112

Nonprofit WestSide Baby will be closing their fifteenth annual Stuff the Bus Diaper Drive on July 26th in Capitol Hill, inviting the public to come along to the brightly colored school bus, donate diapers to benefit local families and share a smile at a photo booth. Stuff the Bus is Seattle’s largest diaper drive, this year aiming to collect 500,000 diapers to distribute to families in need across King County.

WestSide Baby Executive Director Nancy Woodland said: “Every child deserves to smile and every parent should experience baby giggles.  However parents who are struggling to provide food, pay bills and purchase diapers miss the joy of their child’s smiles because they are so stressed and because uncomfortable children scream rather than giggle. Even though a dry diaper is critical to keeping an infant healthy and happy, diapers aren’t covered by food stamps, so for the 10,000 children under the age of 3 living in poverty in King County, parents must often choose between feeding and changing their baby. Stuff the Bus is an opportunity for the whole community to help and we encourage everyone to donate and share a smile.”

You can visit http://westsidebaby.org/stuff-the-bus-2015 for more information about Stuff the Bus or text DIAPERS to 80888 to make a $10.00 donation.

Meanwhile, another fun fundraiser takes place Sunday afternoon at Bobby Morris field at Cal Anderson where the annual Seattle Bat ‘n’ Rouge charity softball game will play out.


2015 Body Basics drive collects ‘often overlooked’ donations

bodybasicsThis week kicks off the 2015 edition of a unique donation drive focused on collecting items “often overlooked” for the Downtown Emergency Services Center, Lambert House, North Helpline Food Bank, and Mary’s Place.

The Body Basics drive organized by the Sissy Collective seeks “items like pads, underwear, and razors to benefit homeless and low-income women and trans*folks.”

Drop-off locations in our area include Summit Ave’s Analog Coffee and E Union’s 20/20 Cycle. Thursday night, E Union’s Hollow Earth Radio is hosting a benefit show to get the 2015 drive started. To get in, organizers ask that you bring a donation of “tampons, pads, diva cups, otc pain relievers, bras, underwear” or “etc etc.”

You can learn more at sissycollective.wordpress.com

Tampons. Bras. Condoms. Many of these items are often overlooked as donations, but for many they’re necessary to basic health, hygiene, and wellness. From July 15 to July 31, Sissy Collective will be collecting items like pads, underwear, and razors to benefit homeless and low-income women and trans*folks.

Drive drop-off locations include Analog Coffee in Capitol Hill, Community Fitness in Roosevelt, Hollow Earth Radio and 20/20 Cycle in the Central District, Brown Paper Tickets in Fremont, and Patty Pan Cooperative in Shoreline.

Items will be donated to Downtown Emergency Services Center, Lambert House, North Helpline Food Bank, and Mary’s Place.

Sissy Collective will also be hosting a kickoff/fundraising event to get the drive started on July 16 at Hollow Earth Radio, featuring Lilac, Mikey Nike and Hoop. Details to follow.


* Pads

* Tampons

* Bras (new or gently used)

* Underwear (new)

* Socks (new)

* Over-the-counter pain relief

* Diva cups

See the full list of donation items at sissycollective.wordpress.com.


Sissy Collective exists for nerds, geeks, outcasts, wimps, weaklings, survivors, gender deviants, People of Color, queer folks, trans folks, and anyone who has ever felt on the outside. We hold ourselves accountable to continually grow, change and evolve in our goals, events, and community building.

45 Capitol Hill restaurants and bars sharing the love for 2015’s Dining Out for Life

(Image: Lifelong)

E Pine’s Fogon will be one of four “Golden Fork Restaurants” on the Hill this year donating 50% or more of their Dining Out for Life revenue (Image: Lifelong)

Dining-Out_logo_2014-1024x477 (1)Don’t eat out Wednesday. Or, if you do, eat out again — breakfast, brunch, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and second happy hour — on Thursday. It’s time again for the annual Dining Out for Life at restaurants and bars across Seattle and all over Capitol Hill. Proceeds benefit Capitol Hill’s very own Lifelong:

On Thursday, April 30th, over 100 restaurants throughout the Seattle metropolitan area will donate 30% or more of their proceeds to Lifelong. Thank you in advance for joining thousands in your community to help fight hunger and illnesses such as HIV/AIDS. By dining out, you made a huge difference. Because of your support (and the support of others like you!) in 2014 we were able to feed over 1,600 individuals by providing 37,047 bags of groceries and 161,401 nutritious meals to those in need. Dining Out for Life is one of our biggest, most important fundraisers of the year—it’s been going strong in Seattle for over 20 years, and ensures that our food program, Chicken Soup Brigade, can continue to provide our clients with healthy food catered to their specific medical conditions. We’re excited to see you dining out on April 30!

The Hill roster of participating venues is below. You can learn more about the event, see the latest roster of participating Seattle-area restaurants, and, if you’re feeling it, donate online at diningoutforlife.com/seattle.

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Capitol Hill food/coat/games/etc. giving drives 2014

Gamma Ray Games is ready to help you make sure foster kids have new games for the holidays

The superheroes at Gamma Ray Games are ready to help you make sure foster kids have new games for the holidays

Did December sneak up on you? We’re feeling a little behind schedule, ourselves. All the more reason to not delay and donate a warm coat, some gloves, or, yup, even games at various Capitol Hill restaurants, bars, and shops this holiday season. If you know of any neighborhood drives we should add, let us know or add a comment. We’ll update this roster through the end of the year so check back if you’re feeling giving. Happy holidays.

  • Via Trib X youthcare donation POSTER[1] (1)Via Tribunali
    Via Tribunali on Capitol Hill is doing a donation drive for YouthCafe from November 28 through Christmas Eve. Customers can select hangtags on a small Christmas tree in the restaurant to donate most-needed items from the organization’s wish list like coats, books and more. 
  • Gamma Ray Gamesinfo
    While there’s always a lot to talk about, (seriously, have you SEEN the new bathroom yet? Your eyes will be blinded by cleanliness), what we’re talking about today is — like it or not, ready or not — it’s December (yes, already). Continue reading

Give Big Capitol Hill — 2014 edition

It’s difficult to say there are a lot of humanitarian delights about working for a large company but one warm fuzzy bonus is matching on nonprofit giving. All day Tuesday is warm fuzzy bonus for everybody. The Seattle Foundation’s annual Give Big “online charitable giving event” runs all day Tuesday:

Each donation up to $5,000 per donor, per organization, made to the 1,600 nonprofit organizations profiled on The Seattle Foundation’s website between midnight and midnight Pacific Time today, May 6, 2014, will receive a prorated portion of The Seattle Foundation’s matching funds, or “stretch pool.” The amount of the “stretch” depends on how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day. As long as you have access to the web and a credit card, you can participate!

Below, we’ve featured some pitches from the CHS Facebook page for Hill-related nonprofits for you to consider. You can add more ideas to the page or in comments. Thanks for giving!

  • “Country Doctor Community Health Centers!” — John
  • “Mägi Ensemble is a women’s vocal ensemble that is the Artist-in-Residence at St. Mark’s Cathedral (Thomsen Chapel). It’s mission is to bring people together through music and start inter-cultural dialogues. Their focus is on music from the Baltic Region (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania)” — Heather
  • “Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest.” — DeAnna
  • “Capitol Hill Housing” — Joe
  • “Support Neighborhood House! We are doing great work in Seattle to alleviate poverty and support communities. Since 1906, Neighborhood House has been building strong families and strong communities.” — Neighborhood House
  • “New Century Theatre Company is doing some amazing professional theater in Seattle and giving a lot of smashing artists jobs with good wages to boot. They are a true CapHill company moving into the theatre in the new 12th Ave Arts Building and their office is on 10th under Super Genius. Keeping dynamic and exciting art here in the hood!” — Kayti

There are also a handful of Give Big events on the CHS Calendar including this “Big Happy Hour” at Central Cinema:

Hosted for you by a 2014 theatre trifecta – Theater Schmeater, MAP Theatre & Playing in Progress.

Of course you want to GiveBIG this year! Why not do it in style? We’d like to invite you to enjoy cocktails and camaraderie with us to celebrate Seattle’s giant day of big-hearted giving.

Central Cinema has a kick ass Happy Hour, and they are graciously letting the Seattle Theatre community take it over! Drop in for a few minutes to say hi, or settle in to raise a glass or two and have a bite to eat. Computers will be available for you to make contributions to your favorite non-profit. (And just for stopping by, you get a free hug and a souvenir button!)