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January 2013

Make 'day of service' into year of service

Dannette R. Smith


On January 21, 2013, we honor the life Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a national holiday and a day of service. This is fitting and extremely helpful to the community agencies and local governments that benefit from the generosity of time and effort by thousands of volunteers.
It's also important to remember that nonprofit organizations, especially human services agencies, often need volunteer help throughout the year.
Every bit helps, and in the spirit of the King holiday, I am pleased to provide a listing of local human services-related volunteer opportunities in the January edition of Life Lines. This is by no means a comprehensive list, so if you don't see a particular agency or program below, please contact that organization to see if volunteers are needed.
Thank you for supporting the human services community and helping to serve our region's most vulnerable individuals and families.
Dannette R. Smith
Director, Seattle Human Services Department
Volunteer for human services!

 MLK Day

MLK Day of Service on Jan. 21
United Way of King County has compiled a list of volunteer opportunities for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, January 21, 2013 and is actively recruiting volunteers for that day. Individuals and volunteer groups can select and sign up to volunteer for projects right now. If you're interested, please visit this Web site. For more information, contact Erica Ellis, United Way of King County, at or 206-461-3644.


United Way of King County
Upward Bound United Way of King County is a good place to go for ongoing volunteer opportunities in the Seattle/King County region. United Way maintains an online volunteer database where any King County nonprofit can list their volunteer opportunities year round and volunteers can search and sign up for opportunities. If you're interested, please visit this Web site. If you know of any agencies that need to recruit volunteers or board members, let them know about the site. 



New Beginnings
New Beginnings provides shelter, advocacy and support for battered women and their children. Certain requirements must be met before volunteering.

Volunteer opportunities:

* Provide information referrals with callers on the Help Line

* Serve as a Legal Clinic Advocate to provide options to women in legal disputes

* Volunteer at the emergency shelter to organize food pantry and other tasks

* Co-facilitate a support group

* Increase New Beginnings presence in the community by tabling at events

* Help with office tasks such as data entry and filing

* Serve as a board member or on a community task force

* Put together bags of new back-to-school supplies for children

* Host a party or event to benefit New Beginning

Contact: Erin Pankow, New Beginnings, at or 206-926-3016

For more information: See this Web site.


Volunteer Chore Services
A program of Catholic Community Services, Volunteer Chore Services matches low-income seniors and adults with disabilities or chronic illnesses with community members who want to help.
Volunteer opportunities: Help with light housework, companionship, and other simple chores.

Contact: Volunteer Chore Services, or 206-328-5787

More information: See this Web site.


Arc of King County
The Arc of King County serves individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families in the Greater Puget Sound area.
Volunteer opportunity: Member of Board of Trustees. Are you looking for a way to build your leadership abilities? Do you want to help drive key decisions at a local nonprofit? Consider joining the Board at Arc of King County.

Contact: Sylvia Fuerstenberg, Arc of King County, at

or 206-829-7005.

More information: See this flier.  

Discovery Learning Center
Volunteer opportunity: Help the agency improve its grounds through work on landscaping and in the garden.

Contact: Dee Hirsch, or 206-282-3848

More information: See this Web site

Northwest Center Kids After-School Program
The program serve kids ages 5 - 12, both typically developing and with special needs.
Volunteer opportunity: The center is seeking volunteers to participate in the after-school program, a wonderful opportunity to play with kids, observe behavioral interventions and learn more about Northwest Center's mission of inclusion.
Contact: Molly Fay at or 206-286-2322.
More information: See this Web site
Northwest Center Teen Program
This program serves teens and young adults.
Volunteer opportunity: The center is looking for teen mentors to spend time at the teen program, participate in activities, and provide teens with disabilities a positive peer model.
Contact: Amy Bender, or 206-963-3025
More information: See this Web site.


Epiphany Early Learning Preschool (on Jan. 19th)
Volunteer opportunity: Help spread help spread wood chips and mulch on our playground and to do some painting in our preschool on Saturday, January 19th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Contact: Julie Bisson, Epiphany Early Learning Preschool, or 206-324-2920
For more information: see this Web site.


Chinese Information and Service Center International Family Center
Volunteer opportunities at International Family Center: 1) Welcoming Ambassador to greet clients, maintain the resource booth, provide program and other information, handle drop-in traffic, provide clerical support. Requirement Bilingual in Chinese and English. Commitment: 3 months. 2) Interpreter to provide interpretation for Chinese immigrants for health fair, legal clinic, various educational workshops.
Contact: Karia Wong at  
or 206.624.5633 x 4119

For more information: See this Web site.


Low Incoming Housing Institute's (LIHI's) Urban Rest Stop
The Rest Stop is a hygiene center in Seattle for people experiencing homelessness.
Volunteer opportunities: The Rest Stop seeks 1) a barber to cut hair of our patrons after they have showered; 2) a general helper to enthusiastically and respectfully engage with patrons and help to maintain a clean, orderly, and dignified environment; 3) a tech helper to help with data entry, database reconciliation, or Web site development; 4) a volunteer to run sock or hygiene supply drives in schools, neighborhoods, community and faith centers, and workplaces.
Contact: Tommy Frasene, LIHI, or 206-639-1025
For more information: See these Web sites: Urban Rest Stop or LIHI.


Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI)
Volunteer opportunity: Computer and job search tutor to help formerly homeless and low-income families and individuals become more self-sufficient by working with them to use computers and gain employment.
Contact: Sarah Tapp, LIHI, 206-957-8067 or
For more information: See this Web site


Korean Women's Association
Volunteer opportunities: 1) Bilingual (Korean-English) volunteers needed to help clients by disseminating health insurance information, especially Medicare parts A, B, C and D; 2) bilingual volunteers in Korean, Cambodian, Vietnamese, and Samoan for senior meal sites working in the kitchen or as a dining hall receptionist.
Contact: Celeste Myong Suk Lee, Korean Women's Association,
or 253-538-8355

For more information: See this Web site


Downtown Seattle YMCA
Volunteer opportunity: Welcome Center Volunteer to greet and welcome members and visitors to the Downtown Y's Healthy Living Center. Help build a sense of community where all people feel they belong, and are supported in the pursuit of their health and wellness goals.
Contact: Jasmin Lundheim at   
For more information: See this Web site.  

One simple question


CISC logoSeattle's family centers provide a variety of services and programs to clients in many Seattle neighborhoods, helping them to meet their needs in a holistic way. One recent example, described below, was submitted by the Chinese Information & Service Center International Family Center's Karia Wong.

Shan walked-in without an appointment. "Good afternoon. My name is Karia. How can I help you?" I asked.

"My name is Shan. I just have a simple question. Can you help me?" He stepped in my office, sat down and sighed, "I don't even know what to ask. I came a few months ago with my two young daughters. My wife is still in China."

"Do you need a place to live?" I asked.

"No. I stayed with my parents and my brother's family in an apartment in Chinatown," he said.

"Are you looking for job?" I asked.

He nodded. "I was a digital media professional in China," he said. I did photo and video editing. I thought I was able to get a job as a technician. I could repair most electronic devices and I am specialized in LCD and plasma TVs. I don't even know how to start. Finding a job has been a lot more difficult than I expected."

While I was offering him some employment resources, he added, "I need to take care of my two young daughters at home, one aged two and one aged four. It is hard for me to make child care arrangements. I am using up my savings and I don't really know what to do."

Our conversation continued for about another 30 minutes. I offered him some other resources, helped him prioritize his needs, line up appointments, and set some goals. Like a lot of immigrants, his home professional experience and education may not be recognized in this country. In addition to child care, he may also need housing and other assistance down the road.

A simple question usually turns out to be not-quite-so-simple questions. At CISC, we believe everyone deserves an opportunity of a better life and we are here make a positive difference and impact in people's lives. 

Reduced-fare bus tickets allocated
The Seattle Human Services Department recently announced,Metro buses that in 2013, the City of Seattle will allocate $1,171,875 in Reduced Fare Bus Tickets to 71 nonprofit agencies, government agencies, and community-based organizations through an annual allocation process. Organizations purchase tickets at a reduced rate (20 percent of actual cost), and then distribute the tickets to clients. The King County Metro Transit Human Services Reduced Fare Bus Ticket Program was established in 1993 to provide subsidized bus tickets for people who are low-income and/or experiencing homelessness and in need transportation assistance to critical services such as emergency shelter, employment, and child care. Applications for 2014 will be available in early November 2013. If you are an agency interested in applying, e-mail Lindsey Zimmerman for more information. If you are an individual seeking transportation assistance, please contact the Community Information Line 2-1-1 or a local human service agency.
Two funding opportunities

This month, The Seattle Human Services Department's (HSD's) Aging and Disability Services (ADS) will accept applications for funding in two service areas: Senior Nutrition and Kinship Navigator. Both applications will be posted on HSD's Funding Opportunities Web page or this Web page

  • Senior Nutrition Program Services: On January 11, 2013, ADS will issue a Request for Investment (RFI) for Senior Nutrition Program Services. The Congregate Meal program helps meet the dietary needs of adults age 60 and older by providing nutritionally balanced meals in a group or community setting. The application deadline is Feb. 27, 2013. For more information contact Maria Langlais at 206-684-0651 or
  • Kinship Navigator and Collaboration: A "kinship caregiver" is a relative who cares for a child whose own parents are unable or unwilling to do so. On January 21, 2013, ADS will issue an RFI for the King County Kinship Navigator and Kinship Collaboration programs. The Kinship Navigator is responsible for connecting kinship caregivers to community resources such as health, financial and legal services, support groups, and emergency funds. The Kinship Collaboration award pays for a coordinator to staffs the King County Kinship Collaboration (KCKC). The deadline is March 6, 2013. For more information contact Doug Ricker at 206-684-0292 or
FREE tax prep

TaxesUnited Way of King County is providing a Free Tax Preparation service from now through early April for any household making $51,000 or less.

Hundreds of IRS-trained and certified United Way volunteers help people file their tax returns. The service is easy, gets clients' refunds quickly, and is absolutely free. Along with tax preparation, volunteers help clients with additional services such as savings bonds purchasing, assistance applying for public benefits, and pulling credit reports.

In 2012, United Way of King County served more than 3,000 clients aged 55+ and helped return $5.5 million in refunds to the clients. In total, UWKC volunteers prepared 14,400 tax returns and helped return $20.7 million in federal refunds to the community, including $7 million in Earned Income Tax Credits. The tax campaign saved local residents more than $1.5 million in tax preparation fees. There's still time for new volunteers to receive training, if you or someone you know is interested.

HSD's Sara Levin moves to United Way 

Sara LevinSeattle Human Services Department's Fiscal and Contracts Director Sara Levin has accepted an executive leadership position with United Way of King County as Vice President - Community Service at United Way of King County. At United Way, Sara replaces the recently retired David Okimoto and will direct the agency's grant allocations, public policy, planning and evaluation, and volunteer management. She will oversee a team of about 30 staff and allocations of approximately $30 million a year. She was with HSD for seven years and a total of 13 years with the City of Seattle. Congratulations to Sara as she embarks on this wonderful new opportunity!

New chair of ADS Advisory Council
2012 Aging and Disability Services Advisory Council chair Diane Snell hDiane Snell and Tony Provineas passed the gavel to incoming chair Tony Provine. Elected by the Council in November, Tony joined the Advisory Council two years ago. He has experience in government, the nonprofit sector, and business development, with expertise in aging services, caregiver education and support, and consumer protection. Tony was a seminar presenter for the Seattle Nonprofit Leadership Series sponsored by the Center for Nonprofit Success. He serves on the board of his neighborhood community association, co-chairs the Northeast District Council of Neighborhoods, and is their representative to the City Neighborhood Council. Tony recently served on the board of the Friends of the Seattle Public Library and as a delegate for the Seattle Youth & Families Initiative. For more information, click here.
Senior Coffee Hours in February

Thursday, January 17
Tom RasmussenSpeaker: Tom Rasmussen, City of Seattle Councilmember
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Location: Central Building, 810 3rd Avenue, 1st Floor Conference Room 

Wednesday, January 22
Speaker: Terrie Johnston, Seattle Police Department Crime Prevention Coordinator
Time: 10-11 a.m.
Location: Four Freedoms House of Seattle, 747 N. 135th Street  

Conference on emergency planning for vulnerable populations

HandsCommunity-based organizations, human services agencies and anyone interested in emergency planning and response for vulnerable populations are invited to attend the Vulnerable Populations Disaster Planning Conference on March 20, 2013, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Emerald Downs in Auburn, WA. Sponsored by Seattle Urban Area Security Initiative, the conference is free to all participants. The conference will cover a range of issues within three tracks: Social and Human Service Agency Preparedness, Transportation, and Notification and Warning. For more information, e-mail Karimah Cooper, Seattle Human Services Department, at

HSD history

Did you know that that the Seattle Human Services Department department was once known as the "Human Resources Department?" The name was changed in part because staff received many calls confusing us with City Personnel. Here's some interesting background about our department including a brief history and a list of HSD directors.  

HSD on Facebook, Twitter!

FacebookYes, even the human services world has entered the realm of social media. Many service providers are on Facebook and Twitter, and so is the Seattle Human Services Department. It is another way to stay connected and hear about the latest news and information about funding opportunities and other need-to-know. Please visit us on Facebook and "like" our page. Follow us on Twitter @SeattleHSD 

HSD logo

Life Lines is published monthly by the City of Seattle's Human Service Department. Our mission is to connect people with resources and solutions during times of need so we can all live, learn, work and take part in strong, healthy communities. For more timely or breaking news, visit our blog, Human Interests, or visit our Web site. If you have questions, please e-mail David Takami or call 206-684-0253.

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