Volunteering at the Northwest Harvest’s Cherry Street Food Bank

As somebody living right in the center of Seattle, surrounded by high-rise office buildings, various apartment complexes, hundreds of restaurant establishments, and just as many retail shopping stores, it’s sometimes hard to fathom that millions of people in the United States go hungry every single day. Washington is the 22nd hungriest state in the nation, with 14.3% of the state’s inhabitants not having constant and reliable access to food.

Northwest Harvest

The Northwest Harvest is a 501(c)(3) based in Seattle, Washington. Besides providing food for over more than 370 partner programs, they operate the Cherry Street Food Bank in downtown Seattle. Cherry Street is one of the busiest food banks in the state, and provides nearly 1.5 million meals every year to anybody who walks through the door.

Continue reading

Givin’ Back

Volunteering has always been one of my passions. We all have a finite amount of time on Earth, so why not try to help out others? Even something as simple as buying a stranger a cup of coffee can completely change their day and also change yours. We can all use a helping hand every once in awhile, especially those of us that are less fortunate than others.

I haven’t volunteered much since I graduated from RIT, so I’m excited to be involved in the Rochester community once again as an active participant in NimbleUser’s 1-1-1 program. Salesforce’s 1-1-1 initiative was started over 13 years ago and has currently “given over $40 million in grants, 445,000 hours of community service, and provided product donations for over 17,500 nonprofits.”

The company I work for has decided to adopt that model, with its initial efforts being put toward improving the non-profit Full Circle Home – specifically, their website and backend operations. Full Circle Home is a Rochester-based non-profit organization whose mission is to ensure that the significant others of deployed Armed Forces members are able to receive a personalized letter and care package from their separated loved one on Christmas and Mother’s Day.

NimbleUser will also continue to support the Bushnell’s Basin Fire Department and be an active participant in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Rochester’s Bowl For Kid’s Sake. (We raised over $2,200 for BBBS as a company this past year!)

If you couldn’t tell, I’m excited to get more involved in volunteering this year. I’m also starting to think of organizations in Seattle where I would also be a good fit to help, especially now that NimbleUser is offering a “Volunteer Day” as part of our yearly benefits. I hope to be posting more updates throughout the year on our progress!

Race Volunteering

While I know it’s not life-changing by any means, I’ve also begun volunteering at a few local races in the Seattle area this year. As a frequent race participant, I have rarely been on the other side of “running” an event and it just seems like something that every runner should do when they have the opportunity to spare a handful of hours.

Even for smaller races with 50-200 participants there is a lot of work involved, especially if the courses are of greater distance and are more technical. So far, I’ve volunteered for two races put on by Northwest Trail Runs – the Frost Eagle Half Marathon and the Redmond Watershed Races – by helping to set up the event and man the remote aid station.

Really, it’s been a win-win-win situation for me: I get to experience new trails without having to subject myself to the hell of running 10 miles without knowing anything about the race or the terrain. I also get to help fellow runners and make a few new friends, in addition to getting to participate in future races for free! Why wouldn’t I do it?!

I’m not entirely sure what my next volunteering event will be. I am redeeming some of my volunteer credits for the Soaring Eagle Half Marathon at the end of April though, so hopefully that goes well.

If you know of any volunteering opportunities in the Seattle area, let me know in the comments below! Until next time,

– Robert