01.20.2016

Celebrating Through Service: MLK Day 2016

By Shaunessy Jones, Treehouse Senior Manager of Community Engagement

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To honor the vast and remarkable legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Treehouse staff elected to forgo their traditional day off of work on Monday and instead spent the day participating in various acts of service and community celebrations across Puget Sound.

Hope Place
Staff rocked hair nets while prepping food and serving lunch for women and children served by this South Seattle shelter.
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“I am constantly aware of the homeless communities close to Treehouse as I drive to and from work each day. I chose to volunteer at the Union Gospel Mission’s Hope Place because I wanted to meet some of the people who are most impacted. I spoke with a number of women about their life story, how they ended up an addict or in an abusive relationship, how they got to Hope Place, what their experience has been like there and their hopes for the future. It was incredibly touching and my biggest take-away is that this can really happen to anyone. We met people who had college degrees, owned homes and have families of their own. It made this issue much more personal and I plan to continue volunteering there.” –Alexis McMahon

Hugo House
To support Hugo House’s upcoming move, one team completed a huge inventory project at this creative space by counting and recording every item in their building.

treehouse-staff-volunteer-at-hugo-house

“Being able to provide a day of service with my coworkers in the Seattle community was an invaluable experience.” -Freddy Abramson

MLK Day Celebration in Seattle
At the event, Treehouse staff attended workshops at Garfield High School, listened to speakers and performances, and then marched to downtown Seattle for a rally outside the Federal Building.

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Soulumination
Team Soulumination created beautiful handmade photo booklets for families who utilize their network of volunteer photographers to take professional photos of children and parents facing-life threatening conditions.

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“I initially signed up to volunteer at Soulumination because I thought doing craft projects would be fun, and it was located near my home. But then they took us on a tour of their facilities, and showed us the beautiful portraits they take of children with terminal illnesses. It was then that I really felt my contribution was more than just a crafting project but part of something truly powerful and meaningful.”   -Scott Weimer

Mountains to Sound Greenway
Treehouse’s outdoor enthusiasts headed to Lake Sammamish to plant seedlings in a nursery.
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“It was great to get outside and play in the dirt! I loved potting trees at the plant nursery with co-workers and other community volunteers, knowing that we were helping to restore our natural areas. It was a really fun and positive experience overall!” –Michelle McBreen

Franciscan Apartments
In Burien, Treehouse staff provided friendly company to seniors and completed light housework in their apartment complex.

treehouse-staff-volunteer-at-franciscan-apartments

MLK Day Celebration in Tacoma
At this community celebration, Keynote speaker Dr. William Bell, president and CEO of Casey Family Programs, shared how our community can better support the rights of every person, especially young men of color.

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“I really enjoyed hearing from youth as they expressed themselves in the form of poetry. Our youth have a voice and the event I attended made sure that it was heard.” -Kiera Thomasson

Treehouse Wearhouse
Finally, a few staff volunteered for the first time in our Wearhouse store by sorting and organizing donations. A few of their children (and one beloved dog) were able to join in the fun.

treehouse-staff-volunteer-in-the-wearhouse

“Volunteering in the Wearhouse allowed me to see how much the community supports Treehouse through donations. It also showed me how hard the Wearhouse team works to ensure that our youth have what they need to succeed in life. Plus it was a great way to make some new friends since I joined Treehouse’s staff recently!” –Edward Brown

We are so thankful for this opportunity to get out into our community and live out the lessons that Dr. King championed throughout his lifetime.

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About the Author

Shaunessy Jones is Treehouse’s Senior Manager of Community Engagement. In addition to leading Treehouse’s Young Professionals Board and Speakers Bureau, Shaunessy has used her creative vision and impeccable eye for detail to guide the organization’s event-based fundraising efforts for the past nine years.


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