Our communities know.
They know the power of collective action and community-based response. They demonstrate that every day in their work. This month’s featured article highlights a collaboration between Rainier View Elementary PTSA and RVC Partner Organization AGE UP; 25 families who are members of the PTSA receive grants from AGE UP. And as always, we highlight the vital work of a partner organization in our Partner Updates Section.
Community Care During the Pandemic: We Are in This Together
25 families who are members of Rainier View Elementary PTSA received $500 (per family) from RVC Partner Organization AGE UP
No matter the obstacles, what was needed was action. As the president of the two-year-old PTSA at Rainier View Elementary School, Sarena Li said the reasons her initiative aims to support families in need are simple: she lives in the communities she serves, and the families in need of support are her neighbors, fellow parents, and her child’s classmates’ families; “And I have a responsibility to help because I’m in a position to help. It is only by sheer luck and privilege that I’m in a different situation than some,” Sarena said.
Finding resources through RVC: AGE UP connection
“Every so often, we will hit a wall and come to an end with our funding. It is always a discouraging and desperate time as families continue to reach out and request support,” Sarena reflected. She was given RVC Capacity Building Director April Nishimura’s contact.
I reached out to April and told her a little bit about our story and asked for direct help as well as help in making community connections. April responded with the most heartfelt response and was so sympathetic and encouraging. She was the only person I reached out to that responded in that manner. She offered to connect me with a few other organizations and followed up immediately with those connections. She was exactly what we needed at that moment.”Sarena Li
AGE UP grants for families
One of the organizations that April referred Sarena to was RVC Operations Support Partner Organization AGE UP, which has been doing exceptional work providing direct financial assistance to young people and their families as well as others from the schools in the greater South Seattle area.
I emailed Hana [from AGE UP], and she replied that day. She said she had one-time gifts of $500 for 25 of our families. We have an equity tool that we use to decide which families to give to in what order. We figured out the families with the most need and gave the names and email addresses to Hana. She sent a very accessible, easy form to the families to fill out online and then will send them checks in the mail. For any families who didn’t have email or needed cash, Hana was very willing to work out other arrangements for them. Overall, it was a very accessible process, and Hana was so positive, flexible, and responsive. Really an amazing overall experience.”Sarena Li
To support families in need, donate to Rainier View Elementary COVID-19 Relief Fund at the link below: https://bit.ly/34lz6f1
RVC Partner Updates
RVC is powered by our partners, who tailor their work to the strengths and needs of the communities they serve. Every month, we highlight their amazing work.
Weekly Food Distribution for community
Update from RVC Partner Organization West African Community Council
By Operations Director Seydina Muhammad
The COVID-19 outbreak in our region has created a lot of uncertainties for most of us and indeed prevented many people from completing some basic tasks or their daily routines. At the West African Community Council, we are very aware of the unprecedented challenges that our community members are facing as a result of this pandemic. As community representatives, we are committed to responding to our people’s needs in a variety of ways.
After closing our learning center, transitioning our home visits to online platforms and pressing the pause button for a number of services and organizational projects, we have decided to partner with Food Lifeline to provide free perishable and non-perishable food boxes to our community members that have been affected by this novel coronavirus outbreak.
Weekly food distributions
Every Thursday, all members of our management, administration, along with direct-service providers gather at our Columbia City, Seattle location to pick up, sort, and dispatch food boxes to the families enrolled in our programs and others in need in the King-Pierce-Snohomish counties region. These boxes usually contain a mix of fresh produce, dairy products, and long-shelf-life food items.
This food distribution program has been of great help not only to our community members but also to our own staff members. With the stay-at-home orders and other public health recommendations, we are all forced to stay in our homes as much as we can to slow the spread of the disease. However, this food distribution program has given us the opportunity to be around our colleagues while respecting social distancing standards set by public health officials. All WACC staff members look forward to this as it help us satisfy our craving of being around other people as social beings!
Check out West African Community Council’s website at the link below to learn more about their work: https://waccofseattle.org/
Be a Changemaker
RVC Changemakers are folks who believe that leadership development and capacity building in communities of color should be spearheaded by the individuals working within these communities. By committing to giving $80 or more a month, you will be making a pivotal impact in communities of color in the Greater Seattle area.
Changemakers will get a shoutout in our annual report, be invited to our special events, be invited to further engage in other ways, such as through volunteering, lunch and learns, or maybe even mentoring. Our Changemakers will also just be lavished with so much appreciation for their commitment to social justice at the grassroots level!
Job Opportunities In Our Network
- RVC is hiring an Operations Associate
- RVC & Seattle Music Partners are hiring Development Manager-RVC Fellow
- Voices of Tomorrow is hiring a Mental Health Director
- Rainier Beach Action Coalition is hiring for multiple positions
- Oxfam America is hiring a Director of Public Policy and Government Relations
- The Management Center is hiring for a Vice President, Content & Communications
- Intiman Theatre is recruiting for a Managing Director
- Literacy Sources is hiring a Development and Communications Manager
- Seattle JazzED is hiring a part-time Finance Director
- Washington State Opportunity Scholarship is hiring for a Programs Director
- Imago Works is hiring a Strategic Administrative Role
- Progress Alliance of Washington is hiring for an Executive Director
- Washington Coalition Against Domestic Violence is hiring for an Accountant
- Casa Latina is hiring multiple positions
- Solid Ground is hiring for multiple positions
- Ventures is hiring a Retail Manager
- United Way of King County is hiring for multiple positions.
- Wellness series offering starting Friday, August 28 (6-8 PM) RVC Partner Organization Totem Star has a new wellness series offering for womxn and non-binary artists in the community. Learn more at Totem Star’s Facebook page.
- Communities Rise is offering COVID-19 Small Business and Nonprofit Legal Clinic. Register at the link below: https://bit.ly/2CezVtH
- United Way of King County, Food Lifeline, the City of Seattle, and Metro Access are offering home delivery of emergency food boxes across Seattle, North King County, and East King County during COVID-19. To order a food box, fill out this online form, or call Toll-Free at 833-540-0800, Mondays to Fridays from 11am-4pm.
- Free testing is available in King County regardless of immigration status. Find a testing site near you at the link below: https://bit.ly/3faKlcA
Community Care During the Pandemic: We Are in This Together, written by RVC
What my work at Got Green taught me about environmental justice, Written by Shaylea Pilarski, RVC Green Pathways Fellow
Reflection on Ramadan During Quarantine, by Anbar Mahar Sheikh, RVC Capacity Building Lead
How do we support ourselves and our communities during COVID-19?, written by Tracey Wong, 2019-2021 RVC Community Impact Fellow
We need to retain and invest in our staff during this crisis, Written by Ananda Valenzuela, Interim Executive Director of RVC
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