Tag Archives: volunteering

Earn $150 and service learning for telling YOUR story!







  • learn how to talk about race & racism
  • tell YOUR story
  • build a social justice community
  • gain leadership skills & new perspectives


  • Start : February 23, 2015
  • End : May 23, 2015
  • Mondays + Wednesdays, 4:00-6:00 PM


Application Deadline is FEB 13, 2015.

For more details, check out the linked flyer!

Have you considered the Peace Corps?

sagalandwomencelebratenewlibraryMy name is Sagal. I am a Peace Corps Volunteer serving in a small land-locked country in southern Africa, Swaziland. I work as a community developer in a village with an emphasis on youth. My projects focus on youth empowerment, HIV/AIDS education, food security, income-generating and literacy.

My work is challenging but also rewarding. This month my community and I opened a library!  The library project was a complete success because the community was very involved.  The youth and the parents helped with the implementation of the library project.  As a result, we have a wonderful, inviting, library room that’s fully owned and operated by the community.

As a child, I loved libraries!  I grew up in northern Seattle and I use to spend countless hours at the Lake City Library.  So, when I arrived in Swaziland and a local teacher asked for my help in establishing a library in the community, I was very much excited.

Peace Corps Volunteers work with the nonprofit Books for Africa (BFA) to establish libraries in Swaziland.  BFA collects donated books throughout the United States.  They then sort, organize the books by reading level and prepare them for shipment.  The Peace Corps office funds half of the project expenses (transportation cost and the librarian trainings) and the other half is fundraised by volunteers like myself.  This year, we opened 30 libraries including the one in my community and next year we plan to open 30 more.

Libraries don’t exist in the rural communities and we are trying to change that. One village at a time!  I can go on forever about libraries but I will stop here!

–Sagal, Lake City, Guest Blogger

The Doney Clinic – vet service and more for pets of the homeless

Walk into the Doney Clinic at 3:00 and you’ll be met with the sight of people rushing from a white van packed to the brim with veterinary supplies to the inside of a well-worn building located in downtown Seattle.  Outside, a line of the homeless with their pets: dogs, cats, ferrets, parrots, etc. stand against the side of the wall, talking cheerfully to their neighbors. “Okay,  Number One,“ a woman calls from the doorway.  The first person in line dutifully comes inside, leading their mixed breed dog by his red leash.

The Doney Clinic is a volunteer-run veterinary clinic founded by Dr. Bud Doney in 1985.  It is dedicated to delivering veterinary service to the pets of the homeless, along with food, leashes, carriers, toys, etc.  In order to be seen at the clinic, you must have proof of an income of less than $750 a month, a residency in Seattle, and must be willing to neuter or spay your pet. Neutering and spaying services provided.

The Doney Clinic is located in the Union Gospel Mission, at 318 2nd Ave Ext S, Seattle WA, 98104. It is open on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month.

Rabies, Feline Distemper, Canine Distemper and Feline Leukemia vaccines are provided, along with de-wormers, thyroid medication and other such medicines. Gauze and antiseptic are available for more pressing injuries. Vials for blood and skin tests are on the right side of the picture. Flea medicine is extremely expensive for the providers of the clinic, so it costs $5.  Many animals receive shots at the Doney Clinic.

Many qualified, dedicated veterinarians volunteer at the Doney Clinic every other Saturday. They will see the pets at three metal tables set up in front of the vaccines.  They check the basic health of the animal, as well as any injuries, and administer vaccines.  If they find anything of concern, skin and/or blood tests are taken, and results of the tests come back on a following Saturday.  All results are recorded into the notebook for all test documentation.

There are also several pets that are regulars, and come in almost every Saturday the clinic is open. All pets, old and young, are cared for, thanks to the many volunteers and veterinarians.  Their doors remain open because of donations and a volunteer crew many of whom have volunteered for over 28 years. You can look the clinic up at www.doneyclinic.org.

Thanks to Paula Shifley, Carol Dougherty, and the other wonderful volunteers.

*It should be noted that while many of these pets in the photos are kittens and puppies, the majority are much older. These are just the pictures that I took that day.

 –Emma, Northeast, Teen Adviser




Editor’s Note:  Doney Clinic volunteers were just mentioned in Seattle Times!

Volunteering: how to find your niche

animal volunteer

Take me to the library!

In fifth grade, my teacher challenged every kid in my class to “do something to change the world.  Starting today.”  Every eleven-year-old in the room nodded, hopeful but also doubtful. Change the world, you mean, like, plant a tree?  I wondered.  What could a fifth-grader do the change the world?

One of my friends decided she was going to volunteer at an animal shelter.  She did all the research, and found exactly one shelter in all of Seattle that did not specify the minimum volunteer age.  This was Animal Talk Rescue, a non-profit, no-kill hole-in-the-wall with an owner who might have been just a little crazy.  In a good way, of course.  My entire friend group decided to start working there, and over the next two years I logged over 100 hours cleaning mice cages and feeding the iguana (his name was Boot).  It was a good way to get started volunteering, but didn’t really offer me any experience I could actually use.

I stopped going to Animal Talk somewhere in the seventh grade, mostly because I didn’t feel I was of any use.  My friends and I were not the only ones who had struggled to find suitable volunteer locations, it seemed.  Because of its lack of a minimum volunteer age, the people at Animal Talk were almost exclusively high-schoolers struggling to complete their service learning credit.  There were so many kids who wanted to work there, you had to sign up for spots sometimes months in advance.  I couldn’t help but wonder, am I really doing anything worthwhile, or am I just filling another spot? Continue reading

My Summer of Volunteering: Jesse

SWTA group of teens spent their summer volunteering at the Southwest Branch Library. This is Jesse’s second summer volunteering for the library.  Now he tells us what he really thought about his volunteer experience assisting with programs, planning a program for other teens, and helping out their librarians!


Jesse, what did you think about volunteering at the library this summer?

When I volunteered last summer, I was, for the most part, just an extra pair of hands. I was someone who catered to the odds and ends of the library whenever I happened to be around. While that was a great experience that I do not regret at all, it never really felt like I was part of the library. This year, I had the chance to a part of a larger project. Me and a small group of other volunteers organized and executed an event that we knew people of our age group would enjoy and be excited about. Alas, I was not able to see the final product first hand due to my unfortunate vacation schedule. But I still feel a strong sense of gratification knowing that I was a part of an organized event that hopefully made a small impression on the library and community. Continue reading

Fall Bucket List!


North Cascades in Autumn…Mt. Baker!

Leaf art:  Check out this book from the library for fun ideas.

Go hiking before it gets cold: Some ideas from Washington Trails Association.

Visit the Arboretum.

Host a pumpkin carving party.

corn maze

Star Wars Corn Maze!

Go to a corn maze.

Listen to some ghost stories.

Have a picnic at a park.

Halloween at the Woodland Park Zoo.

Bonfire with marshmallows.

Chocolate Festival

Go to a school sporting event.

Zombie Run

Drink or make apple cider.

Volunteer/donate to a food bank.autumn

Rollerblade around Greenlake.

Take a picture of a colorful tree & send it to a friend.

Decorate your locker for fall.

Bake something yummy.

Send something to a sibling or friend at college.

Run the Green Lake Gobble.

For a comprehensive list of events, festivals, etc. check out:

–RuthMabel, Greenwood, Teen Blogger


Greenwood TAB Volunteers Needed!

Teen AdvisoryThe Greenwood Library is looking for members to join the Teen Adviser Board during the school year!  The TAB meets once a month for an hour and half at the Greenwood Library and is a great way to earn volunteer hours while doing a variety of awesome things.  If you do join TAB you are expected to do something every month and will earn 3+ hours of service depending on how involved you get.

You can help out in a variety of ways including:

  • Writing blog posts
  • Writing shelf talkers (the little written things under a book on a shelf)
  • Helping run children’s programs
  • Creating displays

I’ve really enjoyed getting to know kids on the TAB as well as the kids that come to the events.  If you’re artistic, enjoy books of all kinds and even maybe some basic science, this is the opportunity for you!

**In case you’re wondering, there is no shelving books kind of thing.**

–Sophie, 14, Greenwood

Museum Seeks Music-Minded Teens

EMP guitarsDo you love music, especially the local music scene, and want to get involved without picking up a guitar?  Experience Music Project is currently accepting applications for their 2014-2015 Youth Advisory Board.  What can you do as a member of the Youth Advisory Board?

  • Screen and discuss Sound Off! submissions
  • Assist at events like Bumbershoot, Sound Off! and more
  • Help develop EMP’s youth and teenager outreach and programming
  • Help spread the word about EMP’s programming to Seattle
  • Get an inside peek at museum exhibits and special events
  • Participate and network on The Soundboard—EMP’s online community devoted to the NW’s all-ages music and arts scene

Applicants must be willing to attend twice-monthly board meetings, serve for nine months, be high school-aged (14-18), and of course, love music and want to share your enthusiasm.

Recent EMP events have included a surprise Macklemore performance, a visit from the Iron Throne, and this fall, EMP will host multiple concerts as part of Decibel Festival.

At the library, you can find tons of cds in all musical genres.  You also get three free mp3s per week from Freegal, that are yours to keep.   Check it out!

We need Homework Help volunteers! Spread the word!

HHThe Seattle Public Library is seeking volunteers to assist K-12 students with homework assignments and developing literacy and mathematics skills throughout the 2014-2015 school year.

Anne Vedella, the Library’s volunteer services coordinator, said successful Homework Helpers are comfortable interacting with students of all ages individually and in small groups. She explained that Homework Help is a drop-in program for students. “A volunteer does not work with one student throughout the school year,” she said. “Each week, the students and their requests for academic support may be different.”

“We are seeking volunteers who are well-rounded academically and enjoy helping students learn,” Vedella said. “You don’t need to be a subject expert to participate, although that is helpful, especially in the areas of math, reading, writing and science.”

You can find Homework Help (for all your school-related needs) at the following locations from Sept. 8, 2014, through June 11, 2015:

Continue reading

2 teens + 1 library = 389 volunteer hours!

The Southwest Branch is getting ready to say goodbye and good wishes to two AMAZING teen volunteers Christina and Andrey.  Why do we have to say goodbye?  Because they’re graduating from high school this week.  Woohoo!

SWTWe all know that teens are required to volunteer 60 hours to graduate high school.  We get that, and we can take it for granted.  Some teen volunteers are immature, some are responsible, and I have supervised all kinds as a teen librarian.  What I have not seen in over 10 years of working as a Teen Librarian are the qualities and skills these teen volunteers have shown over the years: dedication, responsibility, good communication skills, organization, creativity, and I could go on and on. Together, these teens have volunteered 389.5 hours at the Southwest Branch.

Let me say that again:


That. Is. AMAZING.

What have they done in that time?  They have:

  • created beautiful and elaborate displays,
  • assisted with reading programs,
  • boxed up books for the Friends of the Library,
  • placed posters and advertisements about library programs in places teens would go in the neighborhood,
  • helped give out prizes and food at programs,
  • collated Summer Reading finisher packets,
  • straightened the library so there are no tripping hazards,
  • disinfected children’s puzzles, and
  • done a whole host of other things that I can’t even remember.
SWT 2 teen volunteers

These two teen volunteers have done so much for the Southwest Library, and we are eternally grateful (and proud!).

Do you think these teens are going to continue to use the library as they go to college, get their first professional jobs, start families, and move through their major mile-stones of life?  I think so.  In fact, they have already asked for the adult volunteer application, so that once they get a handle on the college schedule they can continue to give back to their community.

I call that a success!

Congratulations on your achievement Christina and Andrey! Everyone here at Seattle Public Library wishes you happiness and continued success!

display at the Southwest Branch