Connecting Passions

When Pamela Hayden introduced EMC Vice President for Global Services Gordon Winters to Mary’s Place late last year, he was hooked. Here’s a video he created about Mary’s Place to share with his friends, employees, and anyone who will watch!

The first weekend of October, Gordon will be hiking approximately six miles and 6,700 feet up Mount Adams, to support Mary’s Place. The reason for doing this, he calls Connecting Passions. Gordon is passionate about helping others, his work at EMC where he has been leading success and working with and for amazing people for 16 years, and hiking! He loves hitting the trails (rain or shine) when he has the free time.

EMC is a company that has chosen to “Make it Real” when it comes to supporting their local communities, by encouraging each employee to take three days off in the pursuit of helping others.

Gordon will use three days connecting his passions – raising funds for Mary’s Place, while getting outdoors for a hike. He wonders… How are you connecting your passions?

If you would like to support Gordon’s hike, and help raise money for Mary’s Place, click here and select Gordon’s Connecting Passions!

Brunch for Beds on October 3rd

We’re excited to introduce a new fall fundraising event at Mary’s Place, Brunch for Beds! If you’ve been to our very fun Bingo for Beds, you’ll recognize a theme! Brunch for Beds will take place on Saturday, October 3rd at 10:30am at Benaroya Hall. Lite brunch will be served, and the entertainment will include a performance by the Seattle Symphony’s Lullaby Project.

As part of Seattle Symphony’s Community Connections program the Lullaby Project offers mothers in distressed situations a unique opportunity to write a personal lullaby for their babies and children. Its broader purpose is to empower these mothers both as artists and as individuals. This project includes a creative workshop session, recording session to create a professional CD and final gathering to celebrate and sing the new songs. We have been fortunate to have Seattle Symphony artists put our mother’s words about their children into songs and performed for the past two years. It’s an incredible gift. Some of these songs will be performed at Brunch for Beds.

We’re excited about this new opportunity introduce our families and their stories to our friends, old and new! Tickets for Brunch for Beds can be purchased online here for $30, or reserve a table of 10 and bring friends – we look forward to seeing you there!

A big loss for Mary’s Place – Margo the Cargo Van

UPDATE!!! After Alison Grande at KIRO TV ran a story about Margo last night we received 20 donations – one was a $10,000 gift from an individual hero, and one was a $25,000 gift from the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound! We are so grateful to all who contributed!! Margo will be back soon!

We were so fond of her and so grateful for the help she provided Mary’s Place that we gave her an affectionate name, Margo the Cargo Van. Sadly, the insurance company has just given us the bad news that Margo is totaled – and ours no more.

In the year or so that we had her, we came to depend on Margo to bring food to our shelters, pick up milk for the children, move families into their forever homes, and so much more.

Margo caught fire at Mary’s Place in July – our best guess is that a firework accidentally rolled underneath the van and went off. We hoped she could be repaired, but she was declared a total loss.

Margo came to us from Campbell Nelson, who generously donated her in the form of a two-year lease after we won an online voting contest last summer. Campbell Nelson has come to our rescue again! This time they will give us $10,000 toward a new van to call our own if we can raise $10,000 to match their donation.

We’ve grown to depend on Margo in so many ways to help our families. Can you help Mary’s Place get back on the road again? Click here to make a donation to the Replace Margo fund!

Thank you so much for your generosity and support!

Back to School Supplies Drive

It’s hard to face the idea that summer is coming to an end, but in homes around the country, families are organizing supplies and back packs for that looming first day of school. At Mary’s Place, it’s no different! More than 100 kids of all ages visit Mary’s Place with their families each day and most of them will be heading off to school next month. We need lots and lots of notebooks, paper, pencils, crayons, colored pencils, calculators, and backpacks! Here are a couple of ways that you can help:

image004Check out our SCHOOL WISH LIST  at Amazon Smile! And when you buy from Amazon Smile and select Mary’s Place as your charity of choice, a percentage of your purchase prices goes to help homeless families! Click on Wish List and search for Mary’s Place Seattle to find our school supply list.

On Wednesday, August 19th from 4-6PM stop by the #marysplacemoms School Supplies Drive in the parking lot of the Mary’s Place Family Center (13oth & Aurora Ave.). Join Diono, maker of child car seats and accessories, and Brooke and her team from Movin 92.5 and help us get our kids ready for school! Come by to drop off school supplies, enter a raffle for a Diono car seat, and meet our families!

On the Eastside? Join 92.5 Morning Show hosts Brook & Jubal at the Wilde Rover every thursday in August from 5-7pm. Everyone who brings in back to school supplies to donate to Mary’s Place gets a free order of crisps with beer cheese appetizer!

Thank you for your help filling this very important need!

Introducing our new Development Director, Katie Teplicky!

We’re excited to introduce you to one of our newest staff members! Katie Teplicky joined Mary’s Place in January 2015 as our events coordinator and immediately showed a knack for building relationships, bringing people together, and igniting passions (plus, she is a lot of fun)! She has been deeply involved with fundraising for the past 20 years, leading fundraising efforts for schools and other non-profit groups, and serving on many community, auction and fundraising committees. As the Mary’s Place Development Director, Katie is excited to be helping Mary’s Place develop the resources to continue to bring homeless women, children and families inside, together, to warmth, safety, and community.

Katie grew up in Anacortes, WA and has been married for 26 years to her husband, Bill. Outside of Mary’s Place she keeps busy being a mom to three: Allie, 22, a recent USC grad; Joey, 19, a current USC sophomore; and Dominic, 15, sophomore at Seattle Prep who is learning to drive!

Family Center Open House on July 9th

Join us at our new Family Center in North Seattle with special guest, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray! We’re excited to celebrate and thank everyone who helped make this location possible! Come by to see our new home, meet our families, and learn more about the services that Mary’s Place offers. Oh, and enjoy hot dogs, hamburgers, and ice cream!

We’ll be collecting school supplies and kids snacks at the party!  Hope to see you there: 1155 North 130th, Seattle

Mary’s Place Rotating Shelter

The Mary’s Place Rotating Night Shelter is hosted by 22 different faith communities. Congregations host at least one week a year, many much more frequently. This volunteer-run shelter provides two meals (dinner and breakfast) and a place to call home for 14 women and their children. Mary’s Place provides transportation to and from the Day Center during the week; congregations help out on the weekends, and launder bedding once a week.

Sending a big thank you to these congregations that provide shelter for families! If your church or synagogue has a space to host families and would like to help or learn more, please contact

• Church of Hope
• Calvary Christian Assembly
• Eastside Foursquare Church
• Evergreen Covenant Church
• First Covenant Church
• Hope Lutheran Church & West Seattle Christian Church
• Magnolia United Church of Christ
• Mercer Island United Methodist Church
• Mt. Baker Park Presbyterian Church
• Peace Lutheran Church & Westside Unitarian Church
• Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church
• Queen Anne Lutheran
• Ravenna United Methodist Church
• Sandpoint United Methodist Church
• Temple Beth Am
• Tibbetts United Methodist Church
• University Christian Church, University Congregational United Church of Christ & University Presbyterian Church

Announcing our new North Seattle Shelter

Earlier this year, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray formed a task force to identify solutions to housing homeless men, women and children who were currently sleeping outside. One of the recommendations of the group was that the City review its vacant properties for possible shelter locations.

The former bank building at 130th and Stone Way in North Seattle is slated to become the home of the Seattle Police Department’s new north precinct in early 2017. Until then, the City is making the building available to Mary’s Place for an emergency family night shelter. Thanks to the generosity of Perkins + Will architects and BNBuilders, modifications are already underway to turn the empty building into a home and we anticipate being moved in by June 7th.

We have so many friends and supporters to thank for this new space, including:

  • Seattle Mayor Ed Murray; Director of the City’s Department of Human Services, Catherine Lester; Steve Lee in the City’s Office of Policy and Innovation; and the members of the Mayor’s Task Force on Unsheltered Homelessness
  • Our hardworking and visionary Board of Directors that never stops working to bring families inside
  • Our relocation task force, led by Kris Ritchey Curtis of Kinzer Realty, has been hard at work to make this new space a reality. BIG thank you to task force members Jan Drago, Jessica Clawson, Tom Kinsman, Cameron Hall, and Rich Moore
  • And we could not have made this happen without help from the great people at the City of Seattle in the Dept. of Planning and Development, Human Services, Finance and Administrative Services, and the Fire Department

And thanks to YOU, for sharing your Real Help and Real Hope!

StoryCorps tells our stories

The “Finding Our WayStoryCorps project invited families who have experienced homelessness to tell their stories in their own words by sharing 40 minutes of uninterrupted conversation with a friend or a loved one. Three of our Mary’s Place families are included in the series and their stories are airing in June on KUOW’s Morning Edition. You can read and hear their courageous stories here:

Solomon Muche – From Homeless to UW At Age 16: “I Can Make It”
Charlotte Wheelock – Homeless And Sick: “I Would Just Go In The Restroom And Cry”
Zaneta Reid – Homeless Mom: “Just Waiting For The Sun To Come Up:

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews from more than 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Charlotte and her husband, Nick, told their story recently to a sold out house at a StoryCorps event sponsored by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Visitors Center and Seattle University.

REAL Love!

The numbers are in and we are overjoyed to let you know that we raised over $260,000 at our Spring Benefit Luncheon!

We are so thankful to all 850+ of you who joined us at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall on May 5th, thankful to our generous sponsors and partners who provided funding and food, thankful to our courageous women and families who inspired us with their Real Life stories of Real Help and Real Hope, thankful to our talented performers who entertained and lifted our spirits, thankful to our wonderful emcees, Lori Matsukawa and Mayfield Vashti-Roberts, who kept us on track, and thankful to our hard-working staff, board, committee members and volunteers who make Mary’s Place go! We could not do any of it without all of you – your support and generosity keep our families safe, warm, and alive!

On the same day, so many of you gave generously to Mary’s Place though the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG campaign – thank you!

AND, we collected over 500 blankets that we will distribute to area shelters to Blanket our Community in Love!

YOU are the Real Love in our Community!