While most of us become overwhelmed with thoughts of what to buy for loved ones during the holidays, it’s nice to take a step back and reassess. What do we and our families really want for Christmas? Can we shave our budget a bit and help those who are less fortunate? And if so, who do we help? In addition to the five organizations featured in an earlier post, we have five more local places to consider helping where you can actually see your dollars or your time make a real difference.
2022 Boren Ave.
Seattle, WA 98121
Housed in a safe and quite beautiful setting, Recovery Café is not your usual recovery support center. Recovery Café is a coffee shop open to the public and is used as a refuge for people trying to break free from the bondage of drugs, alcohol or other destructive behavior. The Café offers weekly accountability groups, 12-step programs, life-skill building classes and just a safe place to hang out that doesn’t feel sterile. You won’t find a more supportive staff helping those in need transition from a place of receiving help to one giving help.
Hand in Hand
14 E. Casino Road, Suite E
Everett, WA 98208
Hand in Hand offers a short-term “Safe Place” where children who have been forcibly removed from their homes due to drugs or violence can stay before being moved to a foster home. Here, the children receive a medical check-up, are fed warm meals, cleaned up and given clothing if needed and are offered a variety of activities to do while their case worker finds the right foster home for them.
Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission
3800 S. Othello St.
Seattle, WA 98118
Since the Great Depression, the Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission has provided emergency care and long-term recovery services to the homeless people in downtown Seattle. “We refuse to forget our poor and homeless neighbors,” states the website. “Our programs awaken hope in the hearts of people overcome with poverty and homelessness.” In addition, the center is dreaming of expanding its services beyond Seattle with the goal of reaching the entire King County with a goal of fighting hunger, homelessness, poverty, high-risk youth and addiction.
Domestic Violence Services of Snohomish County
PO Box 7
Everett, WA 98206
Victims of domestic violence and their children are offered a safe place to stay for 30 days with the DVS of Snohomish County. The fairly new 52-bed shelter (opened in November of 2013) is the only confidential shelter in Snohomish County, but is also a cheerful resting spot. The DVS offers food, clothing, counseling, support groups, education and more all in a non-depressing environment.
28901 N.E. Carnation Farm Road
Carnation, WA 98014
All of Camp Korey’s programs are free to children living with serious and life-threatening illnesses and their families. Centered in Carnation, the camp is a medically sound place where kids can escape their traditional care and just be a kid for a while. The organization focuses on safety, love, respect and empowerment in a fun camp environment complete with horseback riding, arts and crafts, swimming, boating, fishing and more.
Related: Best Winter and Holiday Activities
Jeffrey Totey is a freelance writer living in Seattle. He has a love for the arts and is a student of pop culture. He covers stories about the performing arts, theater, museums, cultural events, movies and more in the greater Seattle area. His work can be found at Examiner.com.