"xmlns:og="http://opengraphprotocol.org/schema/" xmlns:fb="http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml" > Donor Squad: February 2011

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Nature Consortium and the Thorn People

The thorn people.  That is what the Donor Squad crew (above) named themselves after completing a day of Himalayan blackberry removal with the Nature Consortium.  On the brisk afternoon of February 26th, Donor Squad did their part to help restore the West Duwamish Greenbelt in West Seattle. 

After four hours of intense battle with the ruthless Himalayan blackberries, the thorn people declared victory until next time.  The crew paid their respects, packed their weapons, and retreated home to fish broken thorns out of their skin.  Every respectable soldier has scar wounds.
The Nature Consortium's Urban Forest Restoration Project is committed to restoring the West Duwamish Greenbelt.  This green belt is 482 acres and is the largest remaining forest within Seattle city limits.  The main goal is to reintroduce the native conifer species and to remove the invasive Himalayan blackberry plants, making this reintroduction possible. 
The best part about volunteering with the Nature Consortium is that they provide superb entertainment.  Their mission is to connect people, arts, and nature.  They support local musicians while entertaining their volunteers.  Not a bad way to keep the troops motivated!  To learn more about the Nature Consortium, please visit www.naturec.org.

Donor Squad is a Seattle start-up committed to connecting people with local nonprofits.  To learn more, visit www.facebook.com/DonorSquad.   To join the Seattle meetup group, go to www.meetup.com/DonorSquad.    

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How a Little Facial Hair, a Bar, and a lot of Pinball Benefited the Foster kids of King County

On the eve of last Sunday, guys and girls with beards and staches (both real and artificial) vowed to make a difference at a Belltown favorite, Shorty’s.  Among the carnival lights, hotdogs, hanging clowns, and frothy beers, the participants pinballed their big hearts out to raise money for the foster kids of King County.
Organized by The World is Fun (TWIF), a Seattle nonprofit, the Pinball Tournament at Shorty’s was one of many crazy and lucrative events of the Beard and Stache Festival.  During the month of February, TWIF is hosting Beard and Stache events at bars and venues all over Seattle.  At each event, guests donate money by sticking $5 in a can with their favorite hairy candidate on the front.  There are five to choose from; I never said it was easy.  To find upcoming events, visit http://www.beardandstachefest.com/.

All donations collected through the Beard and Stache Festival benefit Treehouse, a local organization committed to bettering the lives of foster children.  Their goal is to provide foster kids with the tools needed to lead a normal childhood.  Treehouse offers unique services such as raising money for extracurricular activities as well as providing nice clothing and school supplies for those in need.
TWIF highlights the social aspect of volunteerism.  Their mission is to involve a younger demographic in the community of giving and they are dedicated to helping local nonprofits with urgent needs for volunteers, donations, and fundraising events. 
Donor Squad has thoroughly enjoyed meeting the team at TWIF and helping out with volunteers.  We have received nothing but positive feedback.
To learn more about Treehouse, go to www.treehouse4kids.org.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Donor Squad Seattle’s First Volunteer Opportunity: The Aftermath

Saturday, February 5, 2011.  At a glance, it was just another typical winter day in Seattle.  Gloom ridden sky, constant mist and humid, heavy air.  You know the type of day that makes you want to sleep in till noon and watch endless movies.  The kind of day that looks way scarier than it really is.  On this particular day, 14 individuals decided to combat the elements and volunteer with Donor Squad in effort to end hunger among homeless youth in Seattle. 
The plan was to collect food from Capitol Hill homes and donate it to YouthCare, an organization dedicated to fighting homelessness for young people.  Donor Squad decided to involve the community from the comfort of their own living rooms.  A couple days prior to the event, flyers were distributed to homes in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in effort to prepare residents for the upcoming food drive.  Once people realized we weren’t trying to sell them something, we were pretty well received!       
On Saturday, the Donor Squad team set out with shopping carts (compliments of Madison Market) to collect food from the selected homes.  I must say, it was a great success.  In two hours, 14 enthusiastic volunteers conquered 4 miles of neighborhood, visited roughly 300 homes, and collected 74 bags of food accumulating to about 300 pounds of pure nutrition, totaling out to roughly an $800 value.  Not too shabby for a couple hours on a Saturday!  Our two hours of volunteer work will feed a homeless young person for about 160 days, or 160 homeless youth for one day depending on how you want to look at it!    

I would like to take a moment to give a special shout out and thank all the Donor Squad volunteers who decided to venture out last Saturday and collect food with us.  The time you donated will make a big difference in the life of a homeless youth.  Thank you! 

YouthCare is an amazing Seattle organization that is dedicated to helping homeless youth turn their lives around.  In addition to feeding hungry kids, YouthCare provides many tools to help get them permanently off the streets and into stable lifestyles.  Some of the other services they offer are case management, education, employment training, health and hygiene distribution, and drug and alcohol counseling.  To learn more about YouthCare, please visit www.youthcare.org.
To find out how about more volunteer opportunities with Donor Squad, please visit http://www.meetup.com/DonorSquad/. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Donor Squad Food Drive and Kickoff Party!

On Saturday, February 5th, don’t be alarmed if you see superheroes roaming the streets of Capitol Hill, Seattle. They are battling a social villain, a nasty little one called homelessness. They are on a mission to collect food for homeless youth at YouthCare.

Recruited by Donor Squad, a new Seattle start-up, volunteers will be traveling door to door to collect food for those who are less fortunate. Donor Squad will be delivering a bag and an informational flyer on Thursday to homes that the volunteers will be visiting, providing fair warning that superheroes will be stopping by on Saturday afternoon. The goal is to avoid heart attacks at all costs.

Unfortunately, homelessness among youth in Seattle is rapidly growing. Since the collapse of the financial market, YouthCare has seen a 63% increase in youth asking for help. Last year, 3,337 street kids received services from YouthCare. Sadly, some were turned away. The demand outgrew the funding.

YouthCare does more than feed kids on the street. They strive to battle homelessness, not sustain it. Some of the other services they offer are case management, education, employment training, health and hygiene distribution, and drug and alcohol counseling. As you can see, YouthCare provides many tools to help get kids permanently off the streets and into stable lifestyles.

On Saturday, Donor Squad is doing their part to help. Every year, YouthCare receives heaps of food around the holidays from holiday food drives and such. Then, like many other charities, there is a lull in donations for most of the remainder of the year. The Donor Squad team is hitting the streets to help break this trend. There will be an after party for the volunteers at Piecora’s New York Pizza. Feeding hungry superheroes is important. To find out how you can help, please visit http://www.meetup.com/DonorSquad/events/16169930/.