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

“These small kindnesses . . . “

We at FamilyWorks are fortunate to support local families and individuals seeking nourishment and connection, and to partner with these families and individuals as they step into greater resiliency.

Recently a family shared with us how FamilyWorks partnered with them to help them through a very difficult time. This story illuminates the many, integrated ways FamilyWorks serves our community but it also highlights how “small kindnesses” can pave the path towards bigger things.  

Admittedly this story is a little long, but it’s worth reading all the way through for the happy ending.

*All names have been changed to protect anonymity

When we first came to this area, we were living in an apartment in Shoreline. Mike (my husband) worked, driving a pedicab. I (Jennifer) work as a home health aide. We switch off working so we can care for our son.

Like a lot of people, we were doing ok, making the rent, paying bills, etc…until we weren’t. It didn’t take much–someone got sick, missed a week of work, didn’t get paid as much. First, we couldn’t afford our electric bill and the lights were shut off. Then, we couldn’t afford our rent. Before we knew it, we were staying in a motel on Aurora. At the time, Caleb was 3 years old. We were able to afford the weekly cost of the motel room (about 300 dollars) but not much else. One day, while walking down 45th street, we saw the signs for FamilyWorks. It said “free playgroups”. We were greeted by friendly faces and a happy toy-filled room for our son to play and meet other kids. It was so great to have a place where we could bring him to sing songs, play, make friends, and have a snack. Sometimes that snack was the only food he ate between breakfast and dinner. It was also great to talk to the other parents. The staff helped us understand some of Caleb’s behaviors and come up with positive strategies to address them.

We learned that Family works also has a food bank. This turned out to be a huge help to our family. In the motel, we didn’t have a kitchen where we could prepare meals. It cost us so much money to buy pre-made food. At FamilyWorks, we got “no-cook bags” that were filled with food we could make easily in the kitchenette or eat on the go. The kind people who worked in the food bank would often give Caleb an extra piece of fruit and some juice when we went through the line. These small kindnesses meant so much to my family.

There were other ways that FamilyWorks helped us–we got diapers, wipes, clothes, toys…when we moved into the motel, we didn’t have any toys for Caleb, but we ended up with 2 boxes, all from FamilyWorks! We got bus passes which were the only way I could get to work. At this point, we’d sold our car to make the rent.

Right around Thanksgiving last year, things got a lot harder. We were late on payment to the motel and the owner kicked us out. We had nowhere to sleep and the weather had turned cold and rainy. We spent our nights riding the bus, trying to stay warm and keep Caleb out of the cold. A few nights, we had to sleep in an abandoned house with no phone and no food. We taught Caleb to stay quiet by pretending we were secret ninjas.

We came into FamilyWorks and met with the family advocate. Unfortunately, housing is not easy to come by in this city. We called several agencies and put our names on wait lists for shelters and transitional programs, including the family housing connection. At one point, the agency paid for 3 nights in a hotel for us, just so we wouldn’t be on the streets over Thanksgiving. We also got a hot meal at Nickerson St. Pub on Thanksgiving Day. Then I got paid again and we were able to pay for another week at the motel. We continued to meet with the advocate almost every day. We wanted to rent an apartment, but we couldn’t save enough for first, last, and a deposit. Finally, after about 1000 phone calls, we got connected to an agency that helped us with move-in costs. We just had to find a place that would work with us. We went all over, looking for a place we could afford and finally, finally found a place in Mountlake Terrace. It was January 9th, just a few days before Caleb’s birthday. He had his own room with a bed and a place for his toys. We were sleeping on the floor, but we didn’t care! We finally had a home.

The staff at FamilyWorks continued to work with us after we moved in. They helped us find a futon on a Buy Nothing group and even convinced the person to deliver it to our house for free! And the family advocate helped us sign our son up for Head-start where he started earlier this month.

Now, we are doing well. I am working weekends doing the same job. Mike is working at a landscaping company. Caleb is thriving in his stable environment. We are so grateful for the help we got at FamilyWorks.

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They “Give It All Away” To FamilyWorks

Holiday GGG“So good we give it all away!” is the business motto of Greater Good Granola and this holiday season they’re giving all of the profits from the sale of their amazing granola to FamilyWorks!

From now until December 31st, 2015, Greater Good Granola will donate all of their profits to FamilyWorks. It’s incredibly generous AND incredibly delicious. GGG’s granola is a favorite of our staff and if you haven’t had it yet you don’t know what you’re missing. Don’t believe me? Seattle Child’s magazine recently called Greater Good Granola the “true breakfast of champions.”

Last year GGG was able to make a $1,500 donation to FamilyWorks because of all the holiday sales. I’m guessing we can easily beat that and raise even more money this year!

To put in your order today go to Greater Good Granola’s order page. You can buy your granola in one-pound bags and right now GGG is having a special holiday promotion – when you buy 6 pounds you get one free! When you buy 12 pounds you get two free!!! Awesome right?

Spoon logoA bit about Greater Good Granola: it was founded by Mandy Levenberg, a consumer insights expert who has spent her career “advising companies and nonprofits about how to do good while doing good business.” Levenberg has only two goals for GGG: making delicious granola and donating 100% of the profits back to the community.

Levenberg explains, “Our granola is small batch, handcrafted, and custom-baked each time. We only use the highest-quality ingredients, choosing organic whenever possible. There are lots of special additions that make this baking logogranola so tasty — like pepitas [pumpkin seeds], unsweetened coconut ribbons, house-made vanilla salt, dried cherries, and real Vermont maple syrup!” Other ingredients include all-natural oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, organic olive oil, and homemade organic vanilla salt.

We hope you’ll support this amazing, local business and in turn support FamilyWorks!

For more information or to start purchasing this tasty granola check out the Greater Good Granola website, call 206-390-3682 or email greatergoodgranola@gmail.com.

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Help FamilyWorks Create a Happy Holiday for Children in Our Community!

If you are looking for a tangible way to help families who visit FamilyWorks, help us stock our ‘Holiday Shop.’ Our goal is to be able to give parents of 200 children the opportunity to ‘shop’ for a gift for their child. You can help by donating NEW gifts for our holiday shop!

If you are doing any shopping on Amazon or want some good ideas, check out our Amazon wish list. It has a variety of toys, art supplies and books. Select FamilyWorks for the destination and it will be shipped right to us!

Alternately, you can buy items when doing other shopping around your neighborhood and drop items off at FamilyWorks. We are looking for a variety of items for children ages 0 – 17.

Some ideas for gifts include:

* Warm clothes – ranging fromeng image baby to teen sizes/designs such as hooded sweatshirts, jackets, pants

* Shoes – ranging from baby to teen/adult sizes

* Kid-friendly art and craft supplies, journals, colored pens

* Stickers, sticker books, activity books

* Kids puzzles

* Dolls

* Legos, small Lego kits

* Character/Themed toys such as Superheroes, Frozen, My Little Pony, etc.

* Science kits, STEM gifts (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

* Lip balm, nail polish, hair ties

* Ear phones/ear buds

* Children’s books: ranging from board/crinkle/baby books (English and Spanish) to young adult books

* Board games

* Gift cards to Bartell Drugs, Target, Fred Meyer, Old Navy, etc. for $10-$20

Look at the Amazon wish list for ideas or call FamilyWorks at 206-694-6727 if you have any questions. Alternately, if there is something a child you know likes, there is a good chance our families’ children might like it too!

We aim to have all items at FamilyWorks by December 11th. You can drop off items at FamilyWorks, 1501N. 45th St on Mondays 9:30-12, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays 9:30-5, or Fridays 9:30-3.

Thank you for your help making a great holiday for all families in our community!

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2015 Sunday Supper

Thank you to everyone who helped make the 2015 Sunday Supper a huge success. The guests who attended, the event’s speakers and sponsors, and the businesses and individuals who donated items to the event helped make it the most successful Sunday Supper yet; helping us raise $100,547!!!

The Night Was Certainly Memorable

The evening’s program featured a short video from Bill Gates Sr., and another short video highlighting FamilyWorks 20 years of service. (you can see both at the end of this blog)

Gordon McHenry (Solid Ground CEO) and Rep. Frank Chopp accepting the Kerwin Manuel Impact Award

Gordon McHenry (Solid Ground CEO) and Rep. Frank Chopp accepting the Kerwin Manuel Impact Award

FamilyWorks Executive Director, Jake Weber, presented the first ever Kerwin Manuel Impact Award to partner organization Solid Ground. Through our 20 years of service Solid Ground has been a vital partner in our work to support our vulnerable neighbors.

Guests of the dinner also had the opportunity to hear a truly powerful testimonial from one of FamilyWorks participant families.

Drawing the raffle winners.

Drawing the raffle winners.

The evening concluded with the raffle prize drawing. Clare Breidenich won the Seahawks package and Will Lewis won the Pike Market package.

It was truly an incredible evening. We hope you’ll be able to join us next year.

To see more pictures from the evening CLICK HERE.

 

Thank you again to 2015 Sunday Supper Sponsors:

2014 dinner Adobe

2014 dinner mollymoon

 

 

 

Banner Bank          Palace Ballroom

Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants

Jamie Flaxman, Real Estate

Parks Family       RGP

Sunday Supper Videos

 

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Win Seahawks Tickets or a Savory Market Experience!

WIN one of these awesome prizes, made possible by some of our fabulous Board members!

Seahawks LogoPike-place-market-logo

FamilyWorks is hosting a raffle to benefit the Food Bank & Family Resource Center.
Tickets are $10/each.  The winner will be selected at the Sunday Supper Event, but you do not need to be present to win. Check out these prizes!

1st Prize:

Seahawks Package ($750+)
*2 Tickets to Nov. 29th game vs. Pittsburgh
*Richard Sherman and 12th Person Jerseys
*$50 to spend on food
*Super Bowl DVD, Hawks coffee table book, and more

2nd Prize:

Pike Place Market Package ($530+)
Overnight at Inn at the Market
Gift cards for dining at: Beechers, Seatown, Pike Place Chowder & Lowell’s
Savor Seattle Tasting Tour of the Market for 2

Tickets can be purchased at the Sunday Supper event or at the FamilyWorks office prior to the dinner.

Please call Joey Ashenbrenner at 206-694-6725 for more information.

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Real Estate Sale Supports FamilyWorks

The following post was written by Jamie Flaxman, FamilyWorks Board Member and current Board President.

Jamie Flaxman – FWX Board President

In June, I had the honor of listing the home of my fellow FamilyWorks board member Will and his wife Patty. Not only was the home a beautiful Seattle Craftsman and the sale exceeded the hopes of the sellers, the sale of this home resulted in Coldwell Banker Bain and I making a donation of $2,970 to FamilyWorks through our community partnership program.

Non-profit organizations who partner with Coldwell Banker Bain and I receive a donation equal to 10% of our side of the commission on the sale or purchase of a property. In addition to FamilyWorks, I have partnerships with Wallingford Boys & Girls Club, Central Area Senior Center, and the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. I would love to add additional organizations to the list, contact me for more information.

Will & Patty’s Home

Will and Patty’s home was listed on June 12th for $840,000, received 5 offers, and closed on July 6th at $990,000, 18% above list price.

If you’re thinking of selling or buying a home and would like to see how you can use this to support FamilyWorks please give me a call at (206) 352-4752 or visit my website www.jamieflaxman.com.

“Jamie was a tremendous help in the sale of our home in Wallingford. We would recommend her in a heartbeat.” ~Will and Patty Lewis

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