December 3, 2015 Mitchell Derrey

Season of giving: Part 1

As we come to the end of the year, the spirit of giving seems to appear everywhere. Volunteers are lining up to help at soup kitchens, food and toy drives are kicking off, and donations are pouring in for the holidays.

While these are all wonderful examples of giving back to the community, we’ve been wondering where that spirit goes when the holidays are over? Is it still there? Is there an “off-season” for giving? Do charitable organizations struggle to make it through to the next season of giving?

As storytellers ourselves,

we decided to go on a journey to not only find out the answers, but to see if there are meaningful and sustainable ways our team can give back. Over the month of December, we’ll be meeting with three local organizations to see what the world looks like from their point of view and hopefully find the answers to our questions.

We had the pleasure of working with Rex Hohlbein for his TEDxRainier talk in 2014. The audience was
amazed by his stories and inspired by the impact he’s having facing homelessness in Seattle. Does Rex have difficulty providing resources to the homeless at certain points of the year?

Within walking distance of our Pioneer Square offices, the Union Gospel Mission is working to
solve the causes of homelessness and poverty in our community. While they probably have to turn away volunteers during the holiday, can they find enough help on the 4th of July or Super Bowl Sunday?

FareStart, a culinary job training and placement program/restaurant, helps train homeless men and women in the food service industry and gives them the on the job experience that they need in order to transition into employment and get back on their feet. What economic challenges does FareStart face and when?

With Seattle being an economic hotspot,

home to some of the greatest companies in the world, prosperity seems to be everywhere. But according to the count in January 2014, about 10,000 people are homeless in King County. We need to remember that not everyone who lives here is able to experience this prosperity.

We’re wondering what else we can be doing to support these services during their times of need and when those times are. Are the holidays the best time of the year to be assisting these programs or could we be
supporting at other times when the spotlight isn’t as bright?

Check back with us throughout the month of December as we dig deeper into what motivates giving, how we all can give back to our community in meaningful ways, and what actions will come out of this for our team in 2016.