Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Mistledole' (12) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 12

December 24, 2010 at 9:08am

Mistledole: wrap up

Santa Silvia will be delivering toys to Mary Bridge Children's Hospital today. We snapped this shot last night at El Gaucho just hours before her toy drive ended.

GIVE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

‘Tis the season for giving, and whether you're getting free drinks or just some feel-good cheer, there are plenty of reasons to be generous this month. Here are just a few local organizations offering means to help others out this season:

December 20, 2010 at 10:53am

Mistledole: Habitat for Humanity Store

Habitat Window Washer: Craig Illman, a volunteer at the Habitat for Humanity Store, cleans a window for resale. Photography bu J.M. Simpson

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Habitat for Humanity "Store"

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday
505 Puyallup Ave., Tacoma
253.779.8149

The notion that hope begins with picking up a hammer permeates the attitude one meets at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

"I would use the word ‘hope' to describe what we do here," commented Karen Roice, the store's general manager.

But with that hope comes a bit of history.

Karen Roice

Many individuals know of the Habitat for Humanity program.  Former president Jimmy Carter highlighted the program during the mid-1980s due to his volunteer work in building houses for families which otherwise could not afford to own a home without community support.

Simply put, the Habitat for Humanity program is designed to make it possible for low income families in substandard housing to own their own homes, purchased with a combination of "sweat equity," volunteer time and donated materials and labor to lower the costs of constructing a house.

Founded in 1976 by Millard Fuller and his wife, Linda, Habitat for Humanity is a nondenominational Christian ministry the meets the universal need of all people for decent shelter.

The Fullers called their vision "the theology of the hammer."

Since its inception, Habitat has built more than 350,000 houses around the world, providing more than 1.75 million people in 3000 communities with safe, decent and affordable shelter.

But in order for the hammer to do the work of building hope for a better future here in the Tacoma/Pierce County area, a Habitat for Humanity Store provides the means of making the dream of home ownership a reality. 

"This is where I was meant to be," continued Roice as she walked through the downtown Tacoma store, talking with some of the volunteer staff members.

"This is where prayer has led me."

The Tacoma Habitat for Humanity Store recycles overstocked, discontinued, new and gently used items donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals.  These items are sold to the public or used in Habitat for Humanity home construction.

Revenue from sales helps the local Habitat affiliate in support of its home building program.

Not surprisingly, the Tacoma Habitat for Humanity Store has a short but powerful history.

Asked in 2005 to start a store with an eye to funding Habitat for Humanity's construction, Robert Estrada took his 1997 Dodge pick-up truck and a donated 10 by 5 trailer and when to work.

"I liked the challenge of starting the store," he said as he stood in the spacious showroom.

Estrada said the store began in a donated building near St. Joseph Hospital.

"There was no heat, but we used it for about 15 months before moving here," he said.

Robert Estrada

Now located at 505 Puyallup Ave. near the Tacoma Dome, the brightly painted storefront offers customers a wide variety of home improvement products.

"Everything is accepted - including the proverbial kitchen sink," added Roice.

Donated items are cleaned up by volunteers and then sold at drastically reduced prices. The proceeds from the store help the Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity program buy the materials to build decent, affordable housing.

Everything from dining room furniture and lighting fixtures to plumbing, paint and appliance is available.

Funds from the store have helped the local Habitat reach its 2010 goal of building 15 to 20 homes.

As an added benefit, the store's ability to save, sell or reuse unwanted materials keeps unwanted items out of local landfills.

"Every dollar spent here keeps a pound of waste out of local landfills," commented Roice.

As Roice and Estrada went about their duties, volunteer Mac MacKinen put prices on donated items.

"We're kind of a box of chocolates here; you never know what you'll get," said MacKinen with a smile.

The Habitat for Humanity Store is a 501c (3) non-profit organization, so donations are tax deductible.

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.  Donations are welcome; pick-up  

Donations are welcome; pick-up is available. And yes, volunteers are always needed.

LINK: Donate to Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity

LINK: Donate materials to the Store

LINK: Volunteer at the Store

Previous Mistledole charities

Filed under: Mistledole, Benefits, Community, Tacoma,

December 16, 2010 at 1:59pm

Mistledole: Rebuilding Together South Sound

If you can saw a straight line while keeping your fingers intact, give Rebuilding Together South Sound a call.

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Rebuilding Together South Sound

2025 Mildred St. W., Fircrest
253.238.0977

Rebuilding Together became a national nonprofit organization in 1988 headquartered in Washington, D.C. There are now 260 affiliates of this volunteer organization in 49 states - including a South Sound chapter based in Fircrest - preserving and revitalizing low-income houses and communities.

The group performs home repair and maintenance services at no charge for low-income homeowners and nonprofit facilities. The organization reaches out to the elderly, the disabled and families with children in an attempt to help them remain warm, safe and independent in their homes.

"We have just begun an emergency repair program, and we could really use volunteers, donors and applicants," says Drew Carrigan, community outreach coordinator for Rebuilding Together South Sound. Emergency repairs are now part of RTSS's year round program that also includes home modifications for increased accessibility. The local affiliate has its sights set on completing 70 projects yearly.

Rebuilding Together South Sound seeks skilled volunteers who are willing to help fix actively leaking roofs, major plumbing leaks, and loss of heat. While some community volunteers have extraordinary skills, the construction industry's skilled trade professionals - plumbers, electricians, iron workers, glaziers and roofers - not only save time with their expertise but they also get excited about being part of the program. Much of the work for seniors involves building a ramp to eliminate steps to an entry. Recent statistics have revealed that the number of seniors seriously injured in falls continue to climb.

In 2009, more than 250,000 volunteers worked on more than 8,000 homes and nonprofit facilities nation wide. Since the program began, 87,450 homes have been rehabilitated with the help of more than 2.3 million volunteers.

Rebuilding Together relies on donations of cash, labor and materials from businesses and community groups before molding its schedule of projects.

LINK: Donate to Rebuilding Together South Sound

LINK: Volunteer at Rebuilding Together South Sound

LINK: Become a fan

Previous Mistledole charities

Filed under: Mistledole, Benefits, Tacoma,

December 10, 2010 at 10:45am

Mistledole: Lakewood Area Shelter Association

Lakewood Area Shelter Association's headquarters on Gravelly Lake Drive

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Lakewood Area Shelter Association

Open 10 a.m. to noon Monday-Friday
8956 Gravelly Lake Drive, SW, Lakewood
253.581.8689

The Lakewood Area Shelter Association is a support agency that works to prevent homelessness and the recurrence of homelessness.

The agency faces a constant challenge during the current economic times.

"The need for housing does not stop," said Janne Hutchins executive director of LASA.

Read more...

December 9, 2010 at 7:05am

Mistledole: Fisher House

Nikki Wasierski, operations assistant at the JBLM Fisher House, helps provide comfort, caring and compassion to guests. Photography by J.M. Simpson

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Fisher House

9999 Wilson Ave., JBLM
253.964.9283.

"I came here because I wanted to serve my community," said Nikki Wasierski, operations assistant for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Fisher House. "I wanted to do something that makes a difference, and being here I know that I am."

A volunteer at the house for over a year before assuming her present position, Wasierski is clear about the importance of the house and its impact on the family members of soldiers.

"What we do here for families is important; we are more than just a hotel," continued Wasierski. "We are a community, and being here we help families who are with people who understand them."

The Fisher House at JBLM opened 18 years ago.  It is "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at the Madigan Army Medical Center and the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital at American Lake.

Overseen by the Fisher House Foundation begun by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, the JBLM Fisher House is approximately one-half mile from Madigan at 9999 Wilson Ave.

During fiscal year 2009, the house served 122 families.  Approximately one-quarter of those families' members had combat injury related loved ones at Madigan.

Professionally decorated with a Pacific Northwest theme, the house has seven rooms available.  Families use a common kitchen, laundry facility, dining room and a living room with library.

The average stay is 20 days.  In addition to the families staying at the Fisher House, 15 to 20 other families per month are accommodated at various local lodging facilities.

The Fisher House Foundation pays for all room fees for guest families.

Charitable contributions are vital to JBLM's Fisher House.

"Donations make it possible for us to not charge fees and provide for the house," said Wasierski.

LINK: Fisher House's Holiday Wish List

LINK: Donate to the Fisher House

LINK: Volunteer at the Fisher House

Previous Mistledole charities

December 7, 2010 at 8:04am

Mistledole: Santa Silvia

Santa Silvia Cordova-Tapia

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Santa Silvia

El Gaucho
Bring toys 4-11 p.m daily through Thursday, Dec. 23.
2119 Pacific Ave., Tacoma
253.882.0009

You know that shoe box you're currently using to store your Very Important Piece of String and the Equally Necessary Plastic Fork?  The one labeled Toolbox? 'Tis the season to put your pack rat tendencies to good use. Transfer the contents of your toolbox to that plastic-lined container you keep in the kitchen and fill up the shoebox with toys. Then bring your box of toys and other unwrapped gifts to El Gaucho Tacoma Bartender/Santa Silvia Cordova-Tapia. For the 10th year, she's collecting toys that she'll deliver Christmas Eve to sick kids at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital.

We're freaking tearing up as we write. So awesome.

Read more...

December 6, 2010 at 10:05am

Mistledole: United Way

Drop by CORK! Dec. 7 and drink wine for United Way.

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Project:U

United Way of Pierce County
1501 Pacific Ave., Suite 400, Tacoma
253.597.7494

Community spirit means everyone working together for the greater good, not just the social workers, not just the politicians, and not just the wealthy but everyday people, because when there are people suffering in our community, eventually that suffering will trickle its way down to everyone, even the young and the beautiful. The suffering of others reaches out to us through our windshields as we drive past poor people walking down the street. It reaches out to us when we see stories about homeless and criminals on the news. It reaches out to us when we hear about people who died because they couldn't afford the cure to the illnesses with which they'd suddenly been stricken. Without community spirit these events could go unchecked. But we are Americans, and our motto is United We Stand.

project-u.org/?page_id=2" target="_blank">Project:U, a volunteer organization consisting of people in their 20s and 30s who support and serve the Pierce County community through events that benefit its parent company - United Way, an organization that focuses on education, income and health promoting a good life, hosts a fundraiser Tuesday, Dec. 7 at Cork! A Wine Bar in Tacoma. CORK! will donate 20 percent of all sales proceeds from this evening to the United Way of Pierce County in the fight to improve the lives of all in Pierce County. If you think strengthening our community is important, and want to get together with others who feel the same, drop by Cork! for wine, food, and conversation.  In addition, CORK! will be a toy drive drop off spot for the United Way's Season of Caring. CORK! is accepting new gift items for Pierce County families

Project:U Fundraiser
Tuesday, Dec. 7, 4-7 p.m.
CORK! A Wine Bar
3012 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
253.212.1492

LINK: Donate to the United Way

LINK: Volunteer at United Way

Previous Mistledole charities

Filed under: Mistledole, Tacoma, Benefits,

December 4, 2010 at 7:21am

Mistledole: Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation/Festival of Trees

Photo courtesy of Facebook

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Festival of Trees

Fundraiser for Mary Bridge Children's Hospital & Health Center
Saturday, Dec. 4-Sunday, Dec. 5
Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
1500 Broadway, Tacoma
253.403.1368

‘Tis the season to be jolly, and there's nothing quite like a lovely tree - or 70 - to help that Christmas spirit along. Many people kicked off their holiday season by participating in the four-day Festival of Trees event in Tacoma, which began Thursday.

The Greater Tacoma Convention & Trade Center has been transformed into a holiday wonderland complete with decorated trees, auctions, music and a visit from the man-in-red - Santa! This event is a fundraiser for the Mary Bridge Hospital & Health Center.

Last year more than 11,000 people attended the Festival of Trees, raising $1.5 million for Mary Bridge Children's Foundation.

"The Festival of Trees is the foundation's largest event based fundraiser raising approximately two million dollars annually," says John Xitco. Xitco, his brother, Luke, and their business partner Frank Pupo Jr. have been co-presenting sponsors of the Festival of Trees through their company Associated Petroleum Products, Inc. commonly known as APP, Inc. for many years. John has sat on the Mary Bridge Children's Foundation board for six years, and is currently the board chair.

"My involvement with Mary Bridge started with the premature birth of my nephew, Chase, who is now 6 years old," explains Xitco.  "I realized the importance and appreciated having premier health care like Mary Bridge Children's Hospital and Multicare right here in our own hometown." 

Being a father of two and wanting to in some way make a difference in our community, Xitco felt compelled to do what he could to assist with their efforts to provide health care to children in the South Puget Sound.

"The Festival of Trees has evolved in the last couple years adding ‘Ladies Night Out' and this year Vicci Martinez will be playing at Jingle Bell Jam Saturday. It's an amazing display of both the holidays and giving."

The public is invited to tour the trees from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. today and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. tomorrow. Admission is $6, $2 from students 13-18 and children 12 and younger are free.

LINK: Donate to Mary Bridge Children's Foundation

LINK: Volunteer at Mary Bridge

Previous Mistledole charities

December 3, 2010 at 9:19am

Mistledole: Catherine Place

Peg Murphy, executive director of Catherine Place (pink sweater) leads a "Kitchen Table Talk." Courtesy photo

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Catherine Place

923 S. Eighth St., Tacoma
253.572.3547

Editor's note: Today's Mistledole focus is written by Chiara Wood, a member of Catherine Place's WomanSpirit Circle, and collector of "Gathering Our Stories" – the love notes sent to us by the women we serve and convene with.

"When women thrive, all of society benefits and succeeding generations are given a better start in life." – Kofi Annan, former U.N. Secretary General

Catherine Place was established in 2000 by the Tacoma Dominican Community to be "an oasis for women," an urban center for women's personal growth and spirituality.  Our mission is to improve the quality of life for women, particularly women in poverty, in transition or facing the daily challenges associated with violence, loss, unemployment, immigration and illness. 

Read more...

December 2, 2010 at 7:27am

Mistledole: Emergency Food Network

The Emergency Food Network needs volunteers to stuff envelopes Friday.

DONATE TO A LOCAL CHARITY >>>

There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.

Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:

Emergency Food Network

3318 92nd St. S., Lakewood
253.584.1040

The ongoing economic downturn is costing people their jobs, stressing family budgets, and putting people out of their homes. People who never needed help before have been forced to look to public assistance for the first time. To meet that need, the Emergency Food Network has been working since 1982 "to provide a reliable food supply so that no person in Pierce County goes hungry." Each month in Pierce County, more than 140,000 people seek emergency food assistance. EFN provides food and other essentials at no cost to more than 65 food banks, hot meal sites and shelters for distribution to low-income families and individuals.

Stephanie Genton, a volunteer coordinator with EFN in Lakewood, sent us word that they're short volunteers to stuff their annual appeal letter into envelopes. We're talking 3,000 envelopes people. The letters need to get out Friday. Therefore, EFN is asking volunteers to drop by their Lakewood office at 3318 92nd St. S beginning at 10 a.m. Friday to stuff. Give Genton a jingle at 253.584.1040 for more details.

When asked what else the EFN is short on this holiday season, Genton said anything and everything food related. "The need is so high. Money donations are always great since we can turn $1 into $12 of food. We offer daily bulk-food repacking Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.," she explained. More information about the repacking can be found here.

LINK: Donate to the Emergency Food Network

Previous Mistledole charities

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