GiveBIG Update 
"Never underestimate your ability to change the world." -- Scott Harrison

Housing is the foundation of life. Having a safe place to live is absolutely vital to our physical, mental, and emotional health. Our community thrives when women, many of them grandmothers, have safe, healthy and affordable housing.

You helped us raise $32,000 by being a part of our #GiveBIG Campaign.  Your donations  will help shape the lives of women experiencing homelessness right here on the Eastside.

We are committed to helping women get back on their feet with both dignity and respect. With your help, we are addressing extraordinary challenges with unique solutions. 
Thank you for helping The Sophia Way continue to give women the shelter they need to get through life storms.

Thank you for Giving BIG!
Ricardo Lockette's visit to our shelter  
It was an exciting afternoon at our Day Center as we welcomed a very special visitor - Ricardo Lockette, former Seattle Seahawks player!
 
Ricardo and Cheri, the board chair of his foundation, who is passionate about many causes, were taken around the shelter by our board member Karina O'Malley. The clients were thrilled to meet him and even more thrilled when he presented them 10 gift certificates to Yuan Spa. This was his way of giving back for Mother's Day, so that some of the women we serve can get the pampering they deserve!

 Thank you Ricardo, and we hope to see you again soon!
Affordable Housing Week 
 
King County is growing fast. While the benefits are real, and many, this rapid growth has also created an economic gap that threatens to divide our clients into those who can access housing and those who cannot. That is why the Housing Development Consortium's 130+ member organizations and businesses work hard to ensure that all people live with dignity in safe, healthy, and affordable homes within communities of opportunity.

As part of the Housing Development Consortium's second annual Affordable Housing Week, we hosted a discussion with Arthur Sullivan, Program Manager, ARCH - A Regional Coalition for Housing about what we can all do to help alleviate the housing crisis. Everybody walked out feeling empowered to make Housing Affordable on the Eastside. The session concluded by inviting our guests to tour our shelter.

Thank you all for being there!

Mother's Day Community Brunch 
 
Our partner, Assistance League of the Eastside (ALE), organized the community brunch this quarter. This was on a very special day - Mother's Day Weekend. 

The Community Brunch is held every quarter so that ladies from all our programs - Night Shelter, Day Center, Transitional Housing, Permanent Housing and Emergency Winter Shelter can get together and enjoy a nice brunch and "shopping." We had clothes, shoes, hygiene kits, coats, and more, for the ladies to choose from. We also had a makeup artist from Mary Kay volunteer her time to do makeovers for the ladies! 

The ladies from ALE made a beautiful spread for the clients. They came the day before, did the complete set up, helped serve, played Bingo with the clients, and helped clean up afterwards. The partnership between The Sophia Way and Assistance League of the Eastside has grown over the past several years. We are lucky to have such a committed group in the community!

Thank you ALE for everything you do! 

Thank you, Alison!  
 
Our wonderful volunteer,  Alison Dildine, retired earlier this month after 5 years volunteering at our office. She has been actively involved with us longer than almost any of our other volunteers and staff. While  Alison won't really be leaving us completely (she'll still fill in on occasion,) she has stepped down from her regular weekly volunteering, so we will all be seeing much less of her. She has been here through thick and thin, through a lot of volunteer and staff turnover, and to say that she has done so much for us over the years would be a gross understatement. She has lead up the office team, run the holiday gift drive, organized all the volunteer files, tracked volunteer hours, answered phones, and so much more. All of the rest of our current office volunteers were trained by  Alison, at least in part, as well as some of us that are now on staff!

To thank and  celebrate  Alison for all she's done over the years, had a small party for her on her last day with us. We shared some snacks and reflected on her experience volunteering with us.

Thank you Alison for your years of service!

Community Service Day
 
Saturday, May 20th was the annual Sammamish Community Day of Service, headed by Sammamish Hills Lutheran Church. Each year, volunteers from all over the Sammamish area, representing faith communities or just on their own, sign up for various local volunteer projects, and we were thrilled to have two groups come work at our shelter this time!

In the morning, we had a group of six women come bright and early and worked non-stop until  noon deep cleaning our sleeping rooms. They moved all the beds, lockers, (which are pretty heavy!) and nightstands to make sure every inch of floor and wall was swept, mopped, dusted, and wiped. With 21 individual cubicles in two rooms, this was no small task! In the afternoon, a smaller group of three came to finish up the cleaning and do some paint touch-ups on the walls. Over the years, a lot of spots had been bumped, rubbed up against, or damaged by hanging things with tacks or tape, so being able to cover these spots and make the walls look brand new really made a huge difference! We even had a little extra time to do paint touch ups in other parts of our shelter where it was most needed!

We love the fact that we are able to not only provide a safe and warm shelter to our residents, but a beautiful space that they can enjoy and feel at home while looking for a home of their own. We would not be able to do this without the support of our amazing community of donors and volunteers. Thank you!

If you would like to schedule a tour of our Sophia's Place Shelter, please contact Kavya Dharmarajan at kavya@sophiaway.org.