You can help Santa provide families the joy of giving and receiving by filling the Mary’s Place Santa Store with gifts! We need to stock the shelves with new toys for children, and gifts for children to give to their parents and grandparents at our Holly Jolly Holiday Party on December 19.
UPDATE: We’re no longer sending tags, but if you would like to help, consider planning a drive to collect toys or other warm weather items, or send items directly from our Amazon general Wish List and our Santa Store Holiday List!
Unwrapped gifts and donations should be brought to our warehouse location at 9 South Nevada Street, Seattle, no later than Saturday, December 16. Drop off hours are as follows:
- Monday-Friday, 9am-3pm
- The SODO Donation Center will be open on Saturdays during the Holly Jolly season 12/2, 12/9, 12/16 from 9-3
- Extended drop-off hours of 9am-7pm will be available Thursday, December 14 through Saturday, December 16
Our annual Back to School Extravaganza will take place on September 1 where we will make sure that nearly 300 kids are ready for the school year with new shoes, haircuts, back packs, notebooks, and pencils–everything they need to feel confident and ready to learn!
**UPDATE: The event was huge success! So many happy kids and parents with new clothes, shoes, backpacks, supplies, and haircuts for the new school year!
Thank you to Amazon.com for hosting this year’s BIG event and sending such awesome volunteers to be personal shoppers, and to Comcast and Vulcan Inc. for sponsoring! More than 300 kids and their parents came by! So many made this day possible! Awesome volunteers, and over 50 companies and organizations that held drives to collect all these supplies and clothes! Thanks, Radford Creative | Still + Motion Picture for the back to school portraits!! Thanks to the Church of Scientology of Washington State for their interfaith drive that collected more than 250 backpacks, to Old Navy for a great deal on clothes, REI Inc for water bottles for all, and Taco Time NW for the yummy taco bar!
Truly a community effort!!**
Mary’s Place has a Girl Scout troop that meets weekly to learn, sing, play, and get some time away from thinking about anything else but being together with friends! The troop is made up of girls of all ages! Recently, KIRO Radio’s Rachel Belle visited a troop meeting and talked to the girls about how they came to Mary’s Place, what they like about Girl Scouts, and the one thing they’d love to do most: GO CAMPING! Check out her story here: Homeless girls join their first Girl Scout Troop at Mary’s Place
UPDATE! The troop has scheduled their first overnight camping trip for early September and we need some supplies! Can you help make this trip possible? We have a list of items to make a camping trip possible for 20 girls, donations have already started coming in here’s what we still need:
- $100 gift cards for groceries
Cash donations (make yours in honor of Scouting) will help us buy supplies and any extra will be used to start a fund to support troop activities for girls and boys in the future!
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!
December is a very busy month at Mary’s Place and we are starting to plan for holiday meals, Santa’s visit, and lots of shopping and wrapping! We need lots and lots of volunteers – individuals and groups to make it all happen. If you can help, email email@example.com.
Saturday, December 13 – Holiday Meal and the Santa Store This year our holiday celebration dinner and Santa Store for kids to shop for moms, dads, and grandmas will be held at the Seattle Center. New this year, young ladies can pick out a new Christmas dress at the Dress Corner! We need volunteers to help as greeters, holiday meal servers, personal shoppers at the Santa Store, help kids shop and wrap the presents they pick our for their families, and dress fitters.
December 15-17 The Santa Store at the Mary’s Place Day Center is where moms, dads, and grandmas shop for gifts for their children. We need volunteers to help lead crafts for the kids while they wait for their parents to shop and to help with lunch prep and serving.
Monday, December 22 – Pictures with Santa Santa will visit the Mary’s Place Day Center from 10am-1pm for pictures! We need a photographer to take pictures of kids, women and families with Santa, people to lead game and crafts to keep the kids busy while they’re waiting to see Santa, carolers, and help preparing and serving lunch.
Tuesday, December 23 – Bon Mary’s Holiday Sale It’s the last shopping day of the year and an all-day shopping extravaganza at the Mary’s Place Day Center! There will be a Bon Mary’s for the adults and Bon Jr.’s for the kids. We nee personal shoppers, volunteers to set up and restock the store shelves, gift wrappers, and help preparing and serving lunch.
Thursday, December 25 – Christmas Day Mary’s Place Day Center is closed on Christmas Day, but all of our family night shelters will be open all day. We need volunteers to bring in a special holiday lunch for our families at one of the three locations: Julia’s Place in Madrona (22 people), Emergency Family Shelter in Belltown (48 people), and Bianca’s Place in South Lake Union (80 people); and there are lots of opportunities to host games, decorate cookies, and help our families celebrate the day.
We need you to help make the holidays special for our women, children and families! Contact Erin@marysplaceseattle.org for more information or to sign up.
Two years ago this month, Pastor Mark Zimmerly from Madrona Grace heard that Mary’s Place was offering night shelter for families that rotated between several area congregations. He wanted to help, and offered the use of the Madrona Grace basement to help homeless families year round. The Presbyterian Network to End Homelessness volunteered to help renovate the space and the Pritt family donated funds to the endeavor. The shelter, that now houses 25 family members each night, became Julia’s Place, named after Julia Pritt, a long-standing member of the Madrona Grace congregation.
The Madrona community has supported the families at Julia’s Place by bringing in meals each night, groceries, blankets, love and community. This year, the Julia’s Place staff, Jocelyn, had some wonderful stories of her time at Julia’s Place. She recalled a six-year old African girl, Hana, who developed a deep sister-friendship with another family’s daughter, two-year-old Ilse. Every evening the two played together, and even though they spoke different languages their hearts sung! Ilse looked up to Hana and followed her around wherever she went. When Hana’s family was suddenly offered a home, they packed up their things to move out of Julia’s Place. Hana said goodbye and hugged all the families, but she spent time saying a special goodbye to Ilse’s family. It was a bittersweet moment for everyone at Julia’s Place.
Jocelyn was touched by a mother who had been a Christian singer in Mexico and had a CD of beautiful songs. She remained artistically inspired and drew beautiful scenes each day and hung them up in Julia’s Place to brighten the space.
In 2013, Julia’s Place provided over 6,000 bed nights families who would otherwise be on the streets. The need continues to grow and this year already Julia’s Place has provided 4,800 bed nights.
You can learn more about Julia’s Place and how you can get more involved at an Open House on October 14th from 6pm to 8pm at Madrona Grace Presbyterian Chuch, 832 32nd Ave. Seattle. RSVP to Abbey@marysplaceseattle.org. More at www.Juliasplace.org.