Give Big is an annual celebration of our non-profit service organizations and a time to encourage you to donate to support them. It is sponsored by 501Commons, an organization that supports non-profits in many ways. This year the focus is on May 3 and 4 as days to Give Big, although you can, of course, donate to your favorite non-profit at any time.
The Give Big website lists and lets you connect with 1,200 non-profit organizations in Seattle and surrounding Puget Sound neighboring counties, from Olympia to Bellingham. On this website you can search for a particular type of organization, say, environmental organizations, that you’d like to support.
Included in the Give Big effort this year are eight organizations active in Wallingford. If you would like to help any of these we’ve listed below, just click on the organization name to go to their website. Look for a tab or a button to Donate.
Assistance League works to remove barriers to education for at-risk, disadvantaged students by providing them with new clothes and school supplies each fall through Operation School Bell. For young kids this can be important to their self-esteem so they fit right in with better-off kids in their school. They provide scholarships to summer programs for teens to allow them to pursue their interests and gain new skills. And they provide a limited number of college scholarships, particularly for older students. The Assistance League funds their work, in part, through a Thrift Shop located at 1415 N 45th St.
Boys and Girls Club provides support to young folks in the community through an after-school program and summer day camps. The Wallingford Club is located at 1315 N 45th St. They offer separate elementary school-age and teen programs. The after-school programs include homework assistance, arts and crafts and gym activities. Small group programs include activities such as drama, chess, photography, athletic instruction, cooking and reading games. The summer programs also include age-appropriate field trips and lunch.
Family Works operates both a Resource Center and a Food Bank next door to the Wallingford Branch Library at 1501 N 45th. The Resource Center hosts guided playgroups for children in English, Spanish and Japanese, referral to family support services, parenting classes, nutrition classes and a Community Closet where parents can pick up clothes and toys for their children. The Food Bank provides access to a wide variety of fresh produce and groceries, including baby food, three days a week. Also emergency food boxes that can be picked up at other hours, grocery delivery to the homebound and kid-friendly sack meals that are distributed to elementary students on Friday afternoons for the weekend.
Historic Wallingford honors the rich, interesting and diverse history and architecture of Wallingford. It seeks to raise awareness of the significant cultural values of that place we love, called Wallingford. By sharing knowledge of our past, Historic Wallingford enrichs the lives of today’s Wallingford residents and visitors. It recently completed a detailed survey of the buildings in and cultural history of the area between N/NE 45th St and N/NE 50th St and has summarized the information in an application to designate that area as an Historic District in the National Register of Historic Places. It will continue the effort for the area south of N/NE 45th St next. Its website hosts videos and detailed information about Wallingford residential styles, stories and pictures. On its website you can sign up for a monthly email newsletter.
Solid Ground is an advocacy and social service organization that focuses on issues such as housing and homelessness, hunger and nutrition instruction, transportation services, advocacy for persons needing to access public benefits and training in financial skills. Solid Ground developed and operates six buildings that were surplused when the Navy left the Sand Point Naval Air Station, now Magnuson Park, and new townhomes and apartments on the Sand Point site, for a total of 175 housing units. It also operates a shelter for families leaving domestic violence situations and a family shelter that offers short-term housing in apartments. The housing services include case management and community resource and support services with the aim of finding permanent housing for the families as soon as possible. Solid Ground operates the free downtown circulator bus and the ACCESS bus service that provides bus service for elderly and disabled folks who can’t rely on the Metro bus system.
Stone Soup Theatre provides drama education enrichment programs at public and private schools, after-school programs and youth drama training. They produce two or three real plays each quarter, such as A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which you can attend at the Wallingford Presbyterian Church, and school break period and summer camps that also culminate in real play productions. They offer separate elementary school-age and early teen programs.
Tilth Alliance promotes organic and sustainable practices using farms, gardens and kitchens as classrooms where people from all backgrounds can learn to grow, prepare and eat food. Tilth operates a growing garden and a children’s learning garden at the Good Shepherd Center, the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Bradner Gardens Park in south Seattle. In May it will again host its edible plant sale at the Good Shepherd Center. It operates a Gardener’s Hotline and teaches classes for educators and gardeners on topics like vegetable gardening, food preservation and cooking, permaculture, and urban livestock. Tilth also runs school break, weekend and summer gardening camps for pre-K, elementary school age and early teens. It advocates for farmers and supports adoption of organic, regenerative, and sustainable agricultural practices.
Wallingford Community Senior Center is located on the first floor of the Good Shepherd Center. As it name implies, its programs serve both seniors and the broader Wallingford community. It offers a wide range of classes, discussion and game groups, lectures, events, excursions and social services. Some of these are still offered over the web and others are in-person at the Center. Some of their most popular classes are the Enhanced Fitness exercise classes offered three mornings each week. On Tuesday’s there’s a crowd for cards, Mah Jong and other games. An active group is working on their P-Patch. The Center makes a Social Worker available who is a geriatric mental health specialist. She can assess for dementia, depression, loneliness and fall risks. She assists not just elders but also adult children as they learn to care for their parents.