The end of each year is typically marked with office parties and holiday celebrations. In 2020 however, MAKERS skipped the traditional holiday gathering due to ongoing pandemic concerns. Although we were disappointed to miss the annual festivities, something positive did come of it—$8,000 in donations to Mary’s Place and Northwest Harvest.
MAKERS partners, wanting to put the holiday party budget to good use, distributed a portion to staff to acknowledge their great work and asked staff to help donate the rest. We wanted to support nonprofit agencies that address food and housing insecurity in the Greater Seattle area. Social justice and equity have always been priorities for MAKERS and the work we do, so we also looked for organizations that carried out their work with equitable goals in mind.
We are pleased to announce that we’ve made a $4,000 donation each to Mary’s Place and Northwest Harvest, two organizations that do amazing work for individuals and families in Seattle and Washington state.
Nearly 80% of Mary’s Place guests are Black, indigenous, and people of color
Mary’s Place believes that no one’s child should sleep outside. Across five 24/7 family center locations and a women’s drop-in day center in King County, the organization provides safe, inclusive shelter and services to support women, children, and families on their journey out of homelessness. Mary’s Place housing and employment specialists are on hand to work with guests to develop budgets and financial independence and find permanent housing. During this health crisis, front line shelter staff are working with families to facilitate remote learning, provide nutritious meals to kids and parents who are on-site for more hours each day, and continue to encourage and assist guests to achieve their housing goals during this challenging time.
Nearly 80% of Mary’s Place guests are BIPOC. The work that they do centers on the need to address equity and social justice and to acknowledge the disproportionate impact of our triple crises of homelessness, health, and systemic racism on BIPOC communities. Learn more about Mary’s Place at https://www.marysplaceseattle.org/.
1 million people per month are helped by Northwest Harvest’s food services
Northwest Harvest is Washington’s only statewide nonprofit food bank distributor. As a food justice organization, it works to ensure equitable access to nutritious food for all in Washington by distributing food, promoting community nutrition initiatives, and participating in advocacy and policy work. Northwest Harvest’s direct service programs distribute more than 2 million meals’ worth of exceptionally nutritious food every month through a network of 375 food pantries and hot meal programs in 200 communities, reaching every corner of the state. Due to COVID-19’s economic impact and unemployment, the agency’s food services have reached an all-time record high of 1 million people per month.
To help meet extreme need for food, Northwest Harvest partnered with 30 additional community-based organizations who helped them reach people especially impacted by the coronavirus: patients at community healthcare or recovery/treatment centers; migrant workers; those in shelters, senior or transitional housing; and immigrants. Learn more about Northwest Harvest at https://www.northwestharvest.org/.
Continuing impactful work in 2021
2020 was a year like no other, and we are thrilled that we were able to end it on a positive note by supporting these organizations. We encourage you to visit Mary’s Place and Northwest Harvest websites to learn more about the important work they do.
Last year MAKERS stood up our volunteer staff Philanthropy Committee, which has been hard at work developing the framework for our firm’s charitable activities. This year we look forward to sharing more about the committee’s and MAKERS’ efforts to make an impact in our communities through philanthropic work.