Mayor’s ‘Day of Service’ includes Cal Anderson and Capitol Hill street clean-ups

(Image: City of Seattle)

Dozens of volunteer efforts this Saturday to “turn the values” of Mayor Bruce Harrell’s One Seattle vision “into shared action and meaningful improvement” will include clean-ups of Cal Anderson Park and the surrounding streets of Pike/Pine and Broadway.

CHS reported here on Harrell’s launch of the One Seattle Day of Service effort last month. As mayor and through his career in Seattle politics including years on the Seattle City Council, Harrell has often focused on the trash and graffiti end of public safety, sometimes stopping in his tracks on community visits to comment on a tagged building or busted glass.

The Day of Service push also is centered around his administration’s championing of philanthropy and volunteer efforts to help address Seattle’s issues of drug, mental health, and homelessness. In February, big givers led by the Ballmer family worked with Harrell to launch a $10 million program supported by philanthropists and corporate donors to place “peer navigators” to move campers into services and reduce the presence of homeless people in downtown Seattle.

Meanwhile, CHS reported on efforts from mutual aid volunteers to provide food and resources to Capitol Hill’s homeless community. Continue reading

Sad about the return of Seattle rain? Imagine 25,000 daffodils in Volunteer Park

(Image: Volunteer Park Trust)

(Image: Volunteer Park Trust)

If this weekend’s sudden arrival of fall rains has you down, maybe the thought of 25,000 daffodil bulbs blooming in Volunteer Park can help get you through to spring.

The Volunteer Park Trust is planning a massive daffodil planting party in a few weeks to honor a longtime volunteer and lay the groundwork for a beautiful burst of yellow: Continue reading

Green Seattle Day 2015 brings 10 years of ‘urban forest restoration’ to St. Mark’s Greenbelt

An annual effort to help keep the St. Mark’s Greenbelt green will mark its 10th year this weekend and you’re invited to volunteer to be part of it.

Green Seattle Day 2015 will organizer volunteers at 14 locations in the city “for a fun morning of urban forest restoration.” As we found out when we first visited one of the restoration parties way back in 2009, it’s also a lot of work.

The St. Mark’s crew headed by longtime chief Robert Hayden already had 26 of its 30 volunteer slots filled as of Monday night but you can also register to help at any of the other Seattle parks and green spaces.

GSD205_badge_smallMore information on the event and signing up to help is below.

Calling all volunteers for a fun morning of urban forest restoration at Green Seattle Day at 9 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 7. The 10th annual Green Seattle Day kicks off planting season with more than 10,000 plants ready for volunteers to put in the ground at 15 parks across Seattle. Green Seattle Day is a great opportunity to connect with nature and celebrate the dedication of thousands of volunteers working with Green Seattle Partnership throughout the year to restore over 2,500 acres of forested parkland.

Continue reading

Seattle Stand Down returns to Capitol Hill to offer services to homeless veterans

A Seattle Stand Down moment from 2011 (Image: Seattle Central)

A Seattle Stand Down moment from 2011 (Image: Seattle Central)

When veterans return home from war, they can end up feeling completely lost.

“They’re put out to pasture and they’re like ‘what do I do now?’” said Derek Mapes, who finished a stint in the airforce in 2010.

Often facing PTSD and homelessness, many veterans have a difficult time navigating the myriad of services and benefits available to them, Mapes said.

“It’s like dealing with the DMV,” he said. “You’re always in the wrong department.”

Mapes is a volunteer with Seattle Stand Down, a one-day comprehensive service program for homeless and disadvantaged veterans taking place September 11 that aims to address those problems. You can learn more and sign up to volunteer at

The program, named after the military term for relief from duty, is in its third year of operation. Veterans can receive help signing up for VA and HUD benefits as well as a hot meal, a haircut, and a foot wash.

Many veterans do not know the full extent of the benefits they are entitled to, including disability and pension claims, Mapes said.

“That’s money,” he said. “Not much, but it’s money they’ve been missing out on.”

By consolidating all of the resources in one place, Mapes said Seattle Stand Down will be able to ensure veterans have a better understanding of the help available to them.

“All of these services are in one house,” Mapes said.

FareStart will be providing the hot meals as well as recruiting for their culinary training program.

Mapes said Seattle Stand Down is expecting to serve around 400 veterans with their volunteer staff of 150. Over the next few weeks, Mapes and other volunteers will be reaching out to the homeless community with posters and radio ads, trying to get the word out about the services available.

“Our issue is raising enough money and volunteer support,” he said.

The Seattle Stand Down will be occurring Wednesday, September 11, 2013 from 9AM-2PM at Seattle Central Community College’s Mitchell Activity Center. Women’s services will be provided in the Broadway Performance Hall across the street. Parties interested in getting involved can visit Seattle Stand Down’s website.

Help clean up the greatest Capitol Hill of all Capitol Hills… in the world

A scamp (Image: CHS)

A scamp (Image: CHS)

CHS told you earlier about the expanded offerings of Pride 2013 on Capitol Hill including a new family picnic — and, next week (already!), the Gay Day of Service to help the Chamber of Commerce clean up Capitol Hill on June 1st.

Here’s the Chamber of Commerce’s Michael Wells with an impassioned plea for you to help sweep up your neighborhood and have some good clean fun:

The Clean Sweep is an annual event produced by the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce that sends hundreds of community volunteers out into the neighborhood to clean the streets and show stewardship for the Capitol Hill neighborhood. This year’s event will happen on Saturday, June 1, starting at 10am at the Cal Anderson Park Shelterhouse –with breakfast and coffee provided by Starbucks – and ending at 12pm back at the Shelterhouse with lunch provide by Pagliacci Pizza.

The Clean Sweep is a fun, family friendly event (kids love it) that the Chamber has been producing for the past 5 years. Previous to that it was produce by the Broadway BIA. Last year’s event brought out over 200 neighbors, students, families, seniors and community groups who cleaned over 23 city blocks. We expect this year’s turnout to be even greater! We’re partnering with Seattle PrideFest for their Gay Day of Service (an opportunity for LGBT community members to spend the first day of June volunteering in the community). We’ll be covering Broadway from Roy to Union, Pike/Pine from 15th to Melrose and Olive Way.

Clean Sweep is a great way for residents and the business community to connect in a way that benefits our neighborhood and builds community. It’s an act of stewardship that creates awareness and safety in our neighborhood. Making sure that public spaces are active, well-used and lively is the first step towards making those spaces sage for our community. And keeping those spaces clean shows that a neighborhood is engaged, attentive and responsive.

Cleaning supplies will be provided. Just bring yourself and your friends. We’ll provide coffee, pizza, music and (fingers crossed!) sunshine! This is a very popular event, lots of food, fun and good works. We hope that you’ll join us!

gayday-teaser3 UPDATE: Wells reminds there is also a food drive as part of the day of service on the Hill:

As a part of our annual Clean Sweep event we’ve added a food drive element benefitting the food bank at Jewish Family Service.  For over 120 years Jewish Family Service has been serving the Jewish and broader communities.  They deliver essential human services to alleviate suffering, sustain healthy relationships and support people in times of need.

The Jewish Family Service Food Bank is a member of the Seattle Food Committee. They serve people of all backgrounds who live in zip codes 98121, 98122, 98101, 98112…as well as providing kosher food for those in the Jewish community who request it.

By bringing a food donation to the Clean Sweep in Saturday, June 1st, you will be directly helping those in the Capitol Hill community.  It’s a great way to be a good neighbor.

Follow this link for more information information on donations and services at the JFS Food bank, including the most pressing donation needs.