Youth in action: Jackie’s Volunteer Network

Jackie contacted Solid Ground about adding us to her great website, Jackie’s Volunteer Network, which connects high school students with volunteer opportunities in the Seattle/Tacoma area. We think it’s great and wanted to help get the word out!

Hello! My name is Jackie and I’m in ninth grade. I began creating this website ( because I wanted to find volunteer opportunities but found that difficult since most volunteer opportunities are only for adults. As a result, I decided to create this website to help other teens find volunteer opportunities as well.

Visit for youth volunteer opportunities in Seattle/Tacoma!

Visit for youth volunteer opportunities in Seattle/Tacoma!

My parents kindly offered to pay for the website, and I have been building it ever since. My goal is to keep this project going and to always help teens find meaningful volunteer work. I have personally found that helping others find volunteer work is just as rewarding as volunteering myself.

Over time, I have also volunteered for a few of these organizations myself. These volunteer experiences have given me the goal to continue working with nonprofit organizations. For all the teens that use my website, I hope you find these opportunities exciting and meaningful. For all the organizations who have helped me build this site, I hope you find some wonderful volunteers!

If your organization has volunteer opportunities for youth, Jackie would love to hear from you! She can be contacted at

A bipartisan argument for National Service

Cartoon of national service members as superheroesCheck out this recent op-ed by Eric Tannenblatt about how National Service is a strategy that can be embraced by both Democrats and Republicans to meet our country’s most vital community needs:

Tannenblatt, who describes himself as a “lifelong Republican,” notes that:

1) AmeriCorps taps into the strengths and skills of grassroots community members to solve community problems.

2) AmeriCorps is a highly cost-effective program.

3) AmeriCorps has a transformative effect on its participants, “often putting them on a lifelong path of civic engagement.”

Voices for National Service, a national advocacy organization that works to educate the American public and our nation’s leaders about the power and impact of National Service, notes that funding for National Service has been included in the President’s 2011 fiscal year budget. Go to their website to learn more!

(Editor’s note: Tera Oglesby runs Solid Ground’s JustServe AmeriCorps program. JustServe AmeriCorps Members work with youth at risk of violence, support victims of domestic violence, help create alternatives to incarceration, support people coming out of the prison system, and mobilize community members of all ages to get involved in violence prevention.)

I’m in!

Seahawks tap the "I'm In" sign on their way to the field

I'm in! Seattle Seahawks players tap this sign on the way from locker room to practice field as a reminder of the commitment it takes to succeed.

At Solid Ground we talk a lot about the importance of advocacy. We work to get you involved in the political process. We lobby for funding and initiatives that strengthen our community by providing equal opportunities to people living on low incomes.

We’ve cajoled you online and in our newsletters. We phone bank you and blast emails to get you to sign petitions, send cards to the legislature and phone the Governor. And our Statewide Poverty Action Network has supported folks with low incomes around the state in claiming their political voice and building their power in Olympia.

As Solid Ground’s Communications Manager, I’ve personally reached out to thousands of you to engage you in the political system. And while I’ve made my share of phone calls to elected officials and written and signed many petitions, I need to own up to something here. I’ve never made the trip to Olympia to meet one-on-one with the people who represent me in the Washington State Legislature.

But this year, I’m in! And you need to be in, too.

We’ve all heard about the crisis in the state budget. You can bet that corporate interests will be well represented in the state capitol, protecting their slice of the pie.

Like the much maligned Seattle Seahawks, folks who care about the fate of working class people in our communities are huge underdogs. We really need to fully commit to the cause this year. We need to commit our hearts and souls, our phone calls, letters and visits, if we are to to protect the very fabric of our community— the ability to protect and provide for the most vulnerable among us. To keep our Hawks metaphor alive: We need to Always Compete and put it all out on the field, if we are to have any chance to succeed.

Poverty Action members rally on the steps of the Capitol

People power!

So, Monday, January 17, I am celebrating Martin Luther King Day by tapping the “I’m In” touchstone and joining hundreds of other people in Olympia to lobby the Washington State Legislature to strengthen our communities by:

  • Protecting people from foreclosure by implementing a foreclosure mediation process in the state. Foreclosure mediation would give homeowners an opportunity to sit down with their lender to discuss alternatives before losing their home and most valuable asset. Twenty-three other jurisdictions — state and municipalities — have some sort of mediation process to seek foreclosure alternatives. These programs have found that 60% of people participating in mediation avoid losing their homes.
  • Supporting programs that will help people with low incomes build up their assets and create opportunities to prosper.
  • Ensuring access to TANF, Disability Lifeline and other programs that help people maintain their dignity.

Join Poverty Action on the Capitol for MLK Day to advocate for the issues important to you and your community.

For more information or to reserve your spot, please contact Kate.

Transportation, breakfast & lunch, & interpretation are available. Children are welcome to join.

I’m in! Are you?

Fruit harvest wrapping up, thanks to our volunteers!

Asian Pears

It’s been a slower year for fruit in the Pacific NW, and so also for Lettuce Link’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest. The harvest has brought in fewer plums, but more apples and pears than last season, according to harvest coordinator Sadie Beauregard. Nevertheless, the fruit that volunteers have harvested and donated this season has been greatly appreciated by hungry families and individuals who received it through a variety of organizations. Including:

North Helpline, Sandpoint Family Housing, St. James Cathedral Family Kitchen, U-District Food Bank, Downtown Food Bank, Mary’s Place, VOA Greenwood, Ballard Food Bank, Hopelink Shoreline, Providence Regina Food Bank, Family Works Food Bank, CAMP Food Bank, Food Bank at St. Mary’s, St. Martin’s on Westlake, Loyal Heights Community Center, Silvercrest Senior Center, Union Gospel Mission, and Wallingford Senior Center.

It’s also been exciting to hear from past fruit donors who are harvesting their own fruit and making sure it gets donated. If you are interested in starting up your own fruit harvest effort, please see our free Fruit Harvest Handbook for advice!

Thank you for all of your volunteerism this past season – scouting, harvesting, donating, and organizing – we couldn’t make the fruit harvest happen without you! A big thank you to Elaine Corets, Morgan Nomura, Jeff Clausen, Chelsea Davis, Kalila Jackson-Spieker, Steve Gall, BJ Hedahl, Frances Posel, Tracey Marsh, Steve Gisel, Marni Sorin, Barb Burrill, Jan Foster, Maureen DiGiacomo and Hillary Moore for helping to organize harvests and orient new volunteers.

And special thanks to Sadie Beauregard who has coordinated the harvest over the past two summers! Sadie’s term as an AmeriCorps VISTA member with Lettuce Link is over. Thanks for all your work, Sadie! We’ll have another coordinator lined up in time for the next harvest.

Thanks, Sadie!

Community Fruit Tree harvest needs you!

Apples for Providence Regina Food Bank, South Park


As of August 24, Solid Ground’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest volunteers have harvested 1,530 pounds of fruit – mostly apples and Asian pears. The fruit has gone to a variety of organizations, including Mary’s Place, U-District Food Bank, Ballard Food Bank, CAMP Food Bank, Providence Regina House Food Bank, Hopelink Shoreline and our Sand Point Family Housing. A big thank you to those harvesting, scouting, organizing and donating! 

For folks who are picking on their own, we’ve updated our Where to Donate fact sheet. For meals programs and housing units, it’s a good idea to call ahead and verify that they can process your donation. Note, few locations are open over the weekend – North Helpline is a good option for Saturday mornings. 

If you would like to assist with a harvest, contact Sadie Beauregard to get put on the harvest email blast list. Then just reply to the emails announcing a harvest or trees that are ready for picking! If you’re not comfortable getting things sorted out on your own but would like to pick, let Sadie know. We’ll get you set to pick and out harvesting. Make sure to let her know what you harvested, how long it took, where the fruit was donated, and how it went!

Volunteers needed to harvest backyard fruit!

Lettuce Link’s Community Fruit Tree Harvest is gearing up for the 2010 season and we would love for you to harvest with us!

Volunteer holding a box of plumsFruit is a valuable community resource. In 2009, Community Fruit Tree Harvest volunteers harvested more than 19,600 pounds of apples, plums and pears from Seattle fruit trees and delivered it to people with limited access to organic produce (through food banks and meals programs). Harvesting this fruit depends on significant community support.

Community Fruit Tree Harvest volunteers…

  • “Scout” trees in your neighborhood to see if they are ripe before sending volunteers to harvest.
  • Harvest at scheduled work parties.
  • Be “on call” to harvest fruit in your neighborhood. (An email will go out to the volunteers in a particular neighborhood when a tree there is ripe. Available volunteers will make arrangements for picking.)
  • Provide garage storage for ladders, picking buckets and/or harvested fruit.
  • Deliver harvested fruit to food banks and meals programs.

If you would like to volunteer, please attend one of our volunteer orientations and fill out a volunteer application.

Tuesday, July 27, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Ballard Library (5614 22nd Ave NW)

Wednesday, July 28, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Wallingford, Solid Ground (1501 N 45th St)

Thursday, July 29, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Northeast Library (6801 35th Ave NE)

Monday, August 2, 6:30pm – 7:30pm, Douglass-Truth Library (2300 E Yesler Way)

If you’re unable to attend an orientation, we’d still love to have your help! Contact Sadie at or 206.694.6751.

If you have fruit to donate, please contact Seattle Tilth’s Garden Hotline at 206.633.0224 or

Volunteer picking Asian PearsOther fantastic Seattle Fruit Harvest programs:

City Fruit, Phinney / Greenwood

City Fruit, Crown Hill

City Fruit, SE Seattle

Community Harvest of SW Seattle, West Seattle

Colman Neighborhood

Broadview moms say “Thanks!”

Cool: The 32 women (including one grandmother) at Solid Ground’s Broadview Emergency Shelter & Transitional Housing program had a wonderful Mother’s Day this year due to the generosity of community members who “adopted” moms and purchased gifts for them.

Many of the women said that they have never had a Mother’s Day as good as this one, and all were thrilled with their gifts.

Thank you to…

Ann Rinehart & Gina Young, Bridget, Trevor & Jackson, Franz Bakery, The Iritani/Wong Family, Janet & Dennis F., Jeannie Ianelli, Jeff Rueckhaus, Jenny & Mark Hannibal, Julia Reese, Junior League of Seattle, Kelly Knickerbocker, The Lord Family, Lorrie & Colleagues, Megan Evert, Nancy & William Hanneman, Pamela Vines, Richelle Dickerson, Seattle Kappa Kappa Gamma Alumni Association Board & Members, Sheri B., Stokes Lawrence, P.S., and Susannah B.

You brought huge smiles and much joy to the women at Broadview this Mother’s Day!

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