Bedford Stuyvesant – Peace Camp 2000 – There is a future PV Volunteer in this picture : )
Throwback to the PV Volunteers 1st Soccer Camp – Glen Rogers, WV 2000
This is the mission of Westside Baby where the PVs worked today. Westside Baby is the only social service agency in the western King County area that collects, inspects and distributes free diapers, clothing, cribs, and safety gear for babies and children. Our group of eight were given two tasks for the day. The first was to unbox 6 pallets of donated car seats and prepare them for distribution. After that task was done we helped to pull orders that were placed by partner agencies throughout the area for kids with needs. The orders included clothes, toys, books, car seats, diapers and anything else that a child may need. In all we were able to help pull about 100 orders while we were there. Westside Baby has been doing a lot of wonderful work in the county for years and we were happy to help once again.
After our service day was done, we had a picnic in Lincoln Park in West Seattle. While it wasn’t really warm, the weather was still beautiful and it was great to sit and eat outside. After the picnic, we headed back to our home base for a closing reflection on our service week. We each shared some of the most impact moments of the week. By all accounts it was a good week, a week of experiences that we won’t soon forget.
Before the night was done, we decided to head back to downtown for one last Seattle experience, going to the top of the Smith Tower, Seattle’s highest skyscraper in 1962. After taking in breathtaking views we went to another Seattle staple, Ivar’s seafood restaurant on the waterfront. Good food, good friends, great week!
Today was our long day as we spent the morning at Mary’s Place prepping and serving a meal and the evening with the Union Gospel Mission and their Search and Rescue Van bringing food and supplies to the homeless and people living in RVs and tents. Since it is late and the day was long, I will let the pictures speak for the great day we had.
We had another great day today, and the weather was absolutely gorgeous. We spent the service part of the day at St. Francis House in Seattle. St. Francis House was established 50 years ago in the spirit of St. Francis of Assisi to be a presence in Seattle to serve those in need and to inspire simplicity and charity in its volunteers and those they serve. The ten PVs worked alongside their regular volunteers for the day. We were each given different tasks in different areas ranging from greeting the people when they came in and offering them sandwiches, doughnuts and coffee, to helping people find clothing and housewares that they needed, to sorting donations in the back to get them out and available. This was the 5th year that the PVs lent a hand and as always were inspired by the volunteers and the organization.
After our day at St. Francis House, it was time for a little sightseeing. We went to the Seattle Center where the Worlds Fair was held in 1962, also the home of the Space Needle. We then headed a little north to the neighborhood of Ballard and went to the Ballard Locks. The locks help boats get from the lakes to the sound, or visa-versa, where the water levels are different. (Think Panama Canal on a smaller scale.) After the locks we decided to eat at an old favorite, Totem House Fish and Chips. It was delicious and allowed us to miss the traffic through downtown. Once we got to back West Seattle is was just about sunset so we had to take in the views and the beauty of the sun setting over the Olympic Mountains and the sound.
It seemed rather appropriate that we spent today, May Day, outside all day. Our activity for the day was working with Nature Consortium helping to keep the many parks in West Seattle alive and well. Through their Urban Forest Restoration Program, we worked with Nature Consortium at Firefly park removing invasive species of blackberries along the trail. By removing the blackberry bushes, it allows the native species of plants and trees to grow and provide a stable environment for the forest to grow and flourish. It was a great day of hard work in the sunshine! (There are more pictures from our work day, but we are having a technical difficulty getting to post…will post more later)
After our work was done, we headed down to Alki Beach in West Seattle to have our annual bonfire on the beach. We had a few folks join us for a hot dog roast, relaxing and watching the sunset over the mountains. It was such a peaceful and relaxing evening out in nature.
The morning started off with probably one of the more unique PV commutes to a job site, West Seattle to Downtown via a water taxi.
Our destination for today’s service activity was OSL, (www.oslserves.org) a wonderful organization that serves three meals a day, seven days a week working with more than 32 partner organizations. In 2017 they served a total of 648,908 meals. The eight PVs were tasked with working in their main kitchen preparing meals. We sorted bread, cleaned fruits and veggies and did anything that was asked of us. After the prep work was done, we served the meal at Compass House, whose kitchen OSL uses. Once that was complete and the volunteers ate, we headed up to the OSL’s outdoor meal site under the freeway. There we were able to serve more than 200 people who came for warm, hearty meal. This site is unique as anyone can come and have a meal here, three meals a day, seven days a week, no questions asked.
Once we wrapped up our full day with OSL, it was time to take advantage of the fact we were downtown and explore the city. We went to the Pike Place Market, the infamous Gum Wall and down to the waterfront. By the time we stepped back onto the water taxi for our trip home we were ready to rest out feet.
As with all PV experiences, finished up the day with a shared meal and spent time reflecting on the day together.
Today, two of our volunteers that traveled for the service week in Seattle arrived. They left cold, snowy Minnesota to be welcomed to sunny and relatively warm temperatures of Seattle. After a long flight we decided to stretch our legs a bit a go for a hike in Discovery Park. Discovery Park is a 534 acre natural area park, the largest in the city with beautiful views of Puget Sound and lots of green, mossy forests to walk through. While it ended up being a little more grueling of a hike than planned (due to the navigator getting all turned around) we did have so gorgeous views looking back over Puget Sound towards West Seattle.
After the hike we returned back to our home base for the week and had an orientation to the week and discussed some of the issues and struggles that many in the city are now facing. We wrapped up the evening with the PV Commissioning Service. We are looking forward to our first day tomorrow! We hope you follow along on this journey with us.