October 7

Give Back in SLU

Sign up to volunteer with these organizations.

South Lake Union is home plenty of organizations that are working to better the neighborhood and the greater Seattle community. And they need your help. No matter if you live and work in the neighborhood or are simply looking for a new cause to give back, SLU serves up plenty of opportunities to volunteer.

Here are five organizations where you can lend your time and effort to help with some important immediate needs.

Work a food bank
Immanuel Community Services’ mission is to alleviate the effects of poverty, hunger, homelessness, and addiction by providing community-based social services to those in need. ICS (1215 Thomas St.) currently has urgent needs in its food bank, home delivery, and grocery rescue teams. The grocery rescue team collects food donations from grocery stores on weekends, hours vary between 9am-2pm. The home deliveries team drops off food to those in need on Thursdays and Fridays, mid-day. And every Monday ICS needs volunteers to help with the food back. Set-up begins at 9am; doors open at 10:00am; clean-up until 1:30pm. Hours vary. Contact [email protected] for more info.

Go on Diva Duty
This SLU non-profit works to make a difference for women experiencing homelessness. Dignity for Divas started with outreach. Founder Nikki Gane-Butler and a handful of volunteers would go on Diva Duty and hand out Diva Survival Kits every month. These kits contain everything a woman would need if she found herself somewhere with no money and no roof over her head. Think personal care hygiene, razors, lotion, mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpastes, socks, underwear, perfume, earrings, tweezers, and much more. You can volunteer to build Diva Kits or go on Diva Duty to deliver these packages to those in need. Click here for more info on programs and volunteering.

Volunteer team passing out hygiene kits to homeless women.

Cook a meal for kids
YouthCare provides a variety of services for young people aged 12-24, including homelessness prevention, engagement and outreach, shelter and housing, employment, education programs, and a bridge continuum that provides specialized services to young people who have experienced sexual exploitation. One of the orgs biggest needs right now is food. YouthCare has put a call out for homemade, healthy, warm meals to be delivered to one of its shelters or housing programs. Looking for other opportunities? YouthCare has a nifty calendar where you can find different ways to help.

Tutoring and more
Compass Housing Alliance develops and provides essential services and affordable housing for homeless and low-income people in the greater Puget Sound region. The org has opportunities for groups and individuals, but some unique needs for folks looking to help out on their own include job search help, tutoring and childcare assistance, and more.

Host a diaper drive
Westside Baby provides basics for children in need. The org specializes in diapers, and it estimates that 23 percent of families with young children in King County struggle to afford enough diapers to keep their child safe, warm, and dry. You can help Westside Baby by running your very own diaper drive. This year, the most needed items have been diapers and Pull Ups size 3,4,5 and 6. You can drop off donations every Monday, from 10am to 2pm at the South Lake Union branch (435 Eighth Ave. N.). Check out Westside Baby’s Amazon Wish List for more ways to help.

Rows of red diaper boxes.

Want more ways to give back? Follow the South Lake Union Volunteers Facebook page to keep up with community needs, and check out the SLU Chamber’s volunteer page for other opportunities.

Story by Ethan Chung & photographs courtesy Immanuel Community Services, Dignity for Divas, & Westside Baby.

At The Center

SLU is the geographical center of Seattle