Exciting News To Share!

Over the last few months we have been working on something pretty big here at FamilyWorks. Well, the time has finally come when we can talk about it. (drum roll please . . . )

Beginning today Wednesday, April 20th . . .

FamilyWorks will be operating a new food bank in the

Greenwood neighborhood!


FWX & Salvation Army staff setting up the new food bank

This new food bank will be called the Greenwood Food Resource Center and is the result of a partnership between FamilyWorks and the Salvation Army.

You may have recently heard that the previous Greenwood food bank closed its doors on March 31st, leaving hundreds of households without emergency food services in the Greenwood neighborhood.

The Greenwood Food Resource Center will fill this gap in service and provide healthy, fresh food to hundreds of households in the north end.

While we will certainly have more news to share in the coming months about this new venture we wanted you to know this was happening so you could share in our excitement!

From now until May 3rd you can support the Greenwood Food Resource Center with a financial donation through GiveBIG. CLICK HERE if you’d like to make a donation that will support food insecure households in the Greenwood neighborhood.

Lastly, check out this “behind the scenes” video we made of the Greenwood Food Resource Center before it opened!


FamilyWorks Behind The Scenes: Greenwood Food Resource Center from FamilyWorks on Vimeo.

Below is the press release announcing the opening of this new food bank –


 FamilyWorks-logoSalvation Army Pic








SEATTLE – April 11, 2016 – FamilyWorks and The Salvation Army Seattle Temple are joining forces to restore emergency food services in the Greenwood neighborhood starting April 20.

Together FamilyWorks and The Salvation Army are opening a new food bank for the neighborhood, the Greenwood Food Resource Center. When the Volunteers of America Food Bank closed at the end of March, the community and area service organizations feared a lack of emergency food services would mean less food for area families in need. The Greenwood Food Resource Center will fill this gap in service and provide healthy, fresh food to hundreds of households in the north end.

The Greenwood Food Resource Center will serve area families and individuals every Wednesday 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Salvation Army is providing space, staffing and volunteers at their location at 9501 Greenwood Ave North. FamilyWorks, which also operates a food bank and family resource center in Wallingford, will supply the food and staff for operations.

“FamilyWorks is pleased to be able to extend our healthy food distribution to our neighbors to the north in this partnership with the Salvation Army,” said Jake Weber, executive director of FamilyWorks. “We look forward to getting to know the Greenwood community and invite you to join us in nourishing our most vulnerable neighbors!”

“The Salvation Army stands ready to offer assistance to the community whenever the need arises,” stated Major Rob Reardon, corps officer of The Salvation Army Seattle Temple. “It was our automatic response to step forward and expand our services to the Greenwood community when we learned of the Greenwood Foodbank closure. We are excited to work side by side with FamilyWorks in this new partnership to help our community.”

About FamilyWorks Resource Center & Food Bank in Wallingford

FamilyWorks nourishes and strengthens individuals and families by connecting people with support, resources and community. FamilyWorks operates both a food bank and family resource center, offering healthy food distribution and delivery, parenting and other educational classes, parent/child playgroups, family advocacy, a teen parent program, WIC information and referrals and more.

About Salvation Army Seattle Temple

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination. This is accomplished through afterschool tutoring, music education and character building programs, basic family and social services, senior meals, programs and activities and other opportunities for worship and service.

For media inquiries please contact:

Jake Weber, Director
Family Resource Center & Food Bank
(206) 694-6726
Rob Reardon, Major
Corps Officer/Pastor/Administrator
The Salvation Army Seattle Temple
(206) 783-1225

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GiveBIG Is Coming!

GiveBIG begins April 18th and ends May 3rd

*UPDATE – 4/26/16*

FamilyWorks has received a challenge grant of $5,000 from an anonymous donor!!!

This means that all donations, up to $5,000, will be matched dollar for dollar! AND this is on top of the GiveBIG match from the Seattle Foundation.

You can help us meet that challenge by CLICKING HERE and making your GiveBIG pledge today.



You’ve likely seen that phrase in a number of FamilyWorks blog and facebook posts over the last couple of weeks. AND, if you’ve been involved with FamilyWorks during the last couple of years you’ll know that GiveBIG is the Seattle Foundation’s one-day, online, charitable giving event.

In 2015, 127 individuals made donations to Familyworks during GiveBIG! That’s crazy. Even crazier is that those donations were partially matched by the Seattle Foundation to the tune of over $2,000 (but more on that in a minute).

The money donated by those 127 individuals nourished Food Bank participants like Jenn, connected Resource Center participants like this family, and empowered families like Mike, Jennifer and Caleb.

GiveBIG is an incrediblePatrica M. event not simply because it raises a lot of money, but because it coalesces our community in support of our most vulnerable neighbors.

It is for that reason that we’d like to invite you to support FamilyWorks through GiveBIG. Here’s how you can do it:

1) Make A Donation

  • May 3rd – For 24 hours (starting at midnight) if you make a donation to FamilyWorks via GiveBIG your donation will be partially matched by the Seattle Foundation (see, I brought it back). How cool is that?!?
  • April 18th – For the FIRST TIME EVER, starting April 18th, you can actually “schedule” your donation in advance of May 3rd and still have it count toward the GiveBIG total.

So, if you just can’t wait to make your GiveBIG donation CLICK HERE to “schedule” your donation. 




2) Spread The Word

  • Through the month of April we’ve been sharing stories (like this one, and this one) about the people and lives impacted by FamilyWorks. We would be honored if you could like our facebook posts and forward any stories you’ve enjoyed reading.
  • Challenge your friends – if you decide to make a donation to FWX during GiveBIG challenge your friends to join you.

Needless to say GiveBIG is kind of a “BIG” deal for FamilyWorks, and we would be honored if you’d partner with us by either sharing our stories or making a donation to FamilyWorks during GiveBIG . . . a donation that will nourish, connect and empower our most vulnerable neighbors.

If you have questions about GiveBIG you can call Joey at 206-694-6725.


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“Tuesday Social Group”

The following letter was written by one of our Food Bank participants. This participant wrote this letter voluntarily to explain why she was so grateful for the staff and volunteers of FamilyWorks. (emphasis added)

“I have been receiving food from FamilyWorks for more than 2 years.

I am so grateful for the food, but further, I am amazed at the current staff and group of volunteers. Not only are they respectful and competent in their jobs, they are very personable and nice. They are patient and helpful.

Coming to the food bank is a “good” outing for me. I feel like a part of a Tuesday social group. Many of the recipients look forward to seeing each other and talk about everything, including the food bank.

With the current staff and helpers we often help out in anyway we can. We will try and mostly succeed at calming down or administering to the mentally challenged or disturbed. Some of the smiles are the only comfort some of the folks have all week. People are impressed. Lots of people go to other food banks and they say the same thing that those of us who only go to FamilyWorks say about your staff. Thank you!


*Name has been changed to protect anonymity

Something that we don’t FXW 201620160223_0098often talk about is the emotional impact of hunger; how it negatively affects one’s confidence and self-esteem. We are a society that doesn’t like to ask for help, that values independence. When someone is in the humbling position of having to ask for food they likely feel embarrassed or ashamed at their need. It’s possible that when someone is hungry and vulnerable, and they feel unwelcome at a food bank they would avoid accessing services altogether.

This is why the “patience,” FXW 201620160223_0014“helpfulness,” “respect” and kindness our Food Bank team extends to our participants is so vital. As Jenn puts it, “Coming to the food bank is a ‘good’ outing for me.” Operating a food bank that participants “look forward” to coming to is vital if we are going to nourish our most vulnerable neighbors and eliminate hidden hunger.

At FamilyWorks we are so fortunate to have such an awesome team of staff and volunteers who operate our Food Bank, and make this a “good place” for so many. Thank you team!

If you’re interested in volunteering in our Food Bank CLICK HERE for more info.

*GiveBIG is coming May 3rd! CLICK HERE for more info about GiveBIG.

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“This Is Our Favorite Place To Come.”

One of the lesser known gems of FamilyWorks’ programming is our Parent/Child Playgroups. “What is a ‘Parent/Child Playgroup?'” you say . . . Well, as Lauren Berntsen (our Family Programs Coordinator) tells us, “Some days, it’s really just a chance for children to play with other toys in a different environment and for parents to chat and relax a bit.  However, FamilyWorks’ playgroups consistently provide a great community for connecting, sharing and learning from one another.

While children are playing and playgroup3developing social and motor skills, vocabulary, routines and more, parents and caregivers are creating a community of support.  Many are going through or have gone through similar experiences and often share parenting tips, resources and their experiences with each other.  Children even share sometimes too. ;)”

As you can imagine, families love the playgroups. One parent recently told us, “This is our favorite place to come. My son asks for it by name and I love it because it’s such a great space and there is lots for him to do and I know Lauren can help me with the baby if I need to do something with my son.”

AND get this . . . FamilyWorksplaygroup9 even offers playgroups for Spanish and Japanese speaking families! How cool is that?!? Oh, and did I mention that all of the playgroups are entirely free? Yep, with no prior registration necessary families can drop in for any of our scheduled playgroups.

Oh, Lauren wanted to add one more thing . . ., “If you’d like to come see what our playgroups are all about you can join us for a playgroup Tuesdays (11-12:30), Wednesdays and Fridays (10:30-12:00)!”

CLICK HERE if you’d like to read more about our playgroups OR check out this video about our playgroups that features our former Program Coordinator Sarah Turner:


*GiveBIG is coming May 3rd! CLICK HERE for more info about GiveBIG.






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Jerry’s Update #2

The following was written by Trish McNeil, wife of Jerry McNeil – FamilyWorks Board Member. Jerry is in Nepal climbing to the Everest Base Camp and raising awareness of the problem of senior hunger. You can read the rest of Jerry’s story HERE.


Jerry reached the top of Lobuche (20,000 ft) and made it down safely!!!

He said it was the hardest thing he has ever done. From high camp it was 1500 feet of sheer ice to the top and he had a cold! So proud of him and all he has accomplished and so glad he met his goal and is back at base camp. Tomorrow he starts the trek back.

Before making the climb to the top, Jerry spent 3 days at Lobuche base camp where he celebrated his 70th birthday. Then the group hiked 7 miles over rough terrain to Everest Base Camp. Once at EBC they spent some time seeing the camp, practicing ice climbing with a harness, and experiencing another ceremony for his brother Dan and a Puga for all climbers.  Here are a few more pictures:

P.S. To date Jerry has raised over $2000 for our neighborhood food bank.


image2 image3


















“Jerry will soon be on his way to Lobuche Base Camp where his group will be acclimatizing and taking some short climbs. He doesn’t actually go for the top until April 12. After three days at Lobuche Base Camp, his group will travel to Mt. Everest Base Camp for another three days, then back to Lobuche for the actual climb to the top.

I’m including six pictures from his week. He spent two days in Namche, then the group traveled to Deboche and spent two days there. On Saturday, April 2 they trekked to Pangboche and met with Lama Geshe for their blessing ceremony. He is an internationally known Lama, and “keeper of Buddhist Knowledge of the highest order” says blogger and Jerry’s fellow climber Paul Pottinger.(His blog is pottinger.net and he’s blogging about the trip if you want to tune in.) The Lama prayed over and blessed each climber and presented each with a prayer scarf and card to take to the top of the mountain. He also performed a special ceremony with the ashes of Jerry’s brother, Dan. Jerry said this was incredibly moving and emotional for him and for the rest of the group. (You can see all of the pics below)

After the ceremony the group headed on to Pheriche for the night.”

CLICK HERE to join Jerry in the fight against senior hunger.


Jerry On The Trail

Jerry On The Trail

Panboche, Home of Lama Geshe

Panboche, Home of Lama Geshe

Lama Geshe Blessing Jerry

Lama Geshe Blessing Jerry

Jerry with Picture of His Brother Dan

Jerry with Picture of His Brother Dan

Lama Geshe Blessing Dan's Ashes

Lama Geshe Blessing Dan’s Ashes

Yak On The Trail

Yak On The Trail


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Climb To Fight Senior Hunger

*UPDATED – 3/31/16

The following message and pictures were shared via Trish McNeil (Jerry’s wife): 

Jerry arrived in Kathmandu after staying the night in Seoul. Turns out there were 8 other people on the flight to Seoul who were either IMG staff or fellow climbers so that made it easier to get through the complicated customs operation and then catch the flight to Kathmandu the next morning. He spent a day and a half in Kathmandu where he delivered three computers to a school. The group headed to the airport at 5 in the morning to catch a flight to Lukla. Weather in Lukla delayed their departure. Jerry was on one of the first flights out; some people rented a helicopter; and the rest of the group couldn’t leave until the next day.

Meanwhile 7 people, including Jerry, had food poisoning. Thankfully, he recovered and headed out to meet his group at their first Tea House (no heat) but nice tea with Yak butter and milk. Yum! The group hiked up to Namche and spent a rest day there. Soon they will head to Deboche where they will spend a couple of days. The first picture is in Kathmandu; second in Namche; third is the entrance to Sagarmatha National Park; and the fourth is with Lopsong Sherpa, a guide, and their Sadir (head Sherpa) in front of a statue of Lakhpa-Tenzing Norgay (Jerry’s tent mate when he climbed Aconcaqua).

Jerry 1Jerry 2

Jerry 3Jerry 4

CLICK HERE to join Jerry in the fight against senior hunger.



The following was written by Jerry McNeil (FamilyWorks Board Member, Volunteer, and Supporter). He is climbing to the Mt. Everest Base Camp and Lobuche East in Nepal this month to draw attention to the problem of hunger amongst seniors in our community.

I am on the board of our local food bank,jerry-smaller FamilyWorks. At our January meeting I was dismayed to hear that 43% of our food bank customers are seniors (55 years and older). More alarming is the fact the number of seniors needing services has grown by 80% in the last three years.

As I trained in the winter rain on muddy Pacific Northwest trails for my journey to the Everest region of Nepal, I had this idea that maybe I could raise awareness of the hunger problem among seniors and raise money to help feed seniors.

There have been times when I wanted to give up on my quest to trek to Everest Base Camp and climb Lobuche East (20,075). However, when I thought of the many seniors I see at the food bank I felt I should challenge myself, be thankful for what I have and challenge others to fight senior hunger.

Please join me in donating to the FamilyWorks Food Bank. Together we can make a big difference.

Thanks for your help,

Jerry McNeil
Seattle, WA

P.S. – You can follow my progress with IMG Team One – March 23rd – April 20th, 2016 – by clicking HERE.



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To The Benefit Of Both

The following was written by Michael Moore, a FamilyWorks supporter who utilized his talent and vocation to raise awareness and funds for FamilyWorks. We at FamilyWorks are honored by supporters like Michael who have partnered with us by sharing their time and skills in order to create a more vibrant and resilient community for everyone.

In October, 2015 I was approached by ROMP, a play space for children in the Bellevue/Redmond area, about shooting family portraits for some of their members to use as part of each family’s holiday correspondence.  ROMP offered a shooting fee for taking the photographs.  I have known about FamilyWorks for many years through my friendship with Jake Weber, their Executive Director, and it occurred to me that the fees generated photographing the ROMP families could be used to assist FamilyWorks in supporting their client families.  So I suggested that the ROMP families donate any shooting fees to FamilyWorks in lieu of paying me.

I have made a project out of using photography as a tool to raise awareness of and funds for nonprofits whose work I support.

We picked a Saturday in mid-November to shoot the photographs, and allocated about 45 minutes to each family to allow for setup, photography, and a little transition in between.  We ended up photographing 9 families, each of whom made a donation to FamilyWorks.  I have made a project out of using photography as a tool to raise awareness of and funds for nonprofits whose work I support.  I know that even in these boom times in the Puget Sound region that there are many families struggling to make ends meet, and that FamilyWorks has a long and successful track record of connecting families with the things they need.  So it seemed natural to me to connect the families I was photographing with FamilyWorks, to the benefit of both.

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by | January 19, 2016 · 2:58 pm