You know, I truly don’t understand how Death to Smoochy (the movie from which the above title is taken) bombed at the box office. It had Edward Norton, it had Robin Williams, it had Danny Devito. It had Jon Stewart! And it was a dark, hilarious take on the dirty dealings that occur behind the scenes of kiddie shows – how do you not love that? Although, I will admit, the very first time I viewed the opening scene, my brother took one look at my face and burst out laughing.
Edward Norton's impersonation of a kid-friendly rhino.
“There is this look of horror on your face,” he’d managed through all the chuckles. “It’s – yeah, you look – just keep watching!”
Well, I did, and it was good! Not in the least because the I rather took the above quote from Edward Norton to heart and, as a result, someone called me beautiful today – because of what I did, not just what I look like (that’s what makes this different from any other day, of course).
I volunteer at the Seattle Public Library – mostly because I love books, and I love libraries, and I like doing something for the community. Well, also because if I didn’t have something that I had to do on Sundays, I’d probably spend the whole day in my pajamas and not do anything, ever. I’m a welcome desk volunteer, which means interacting with library patrons, pretty much constantly, throughout my shift. The nice thing about this is that you get to know regulars, by face, if not by name. And one of them made a point to come up to me today and say (dudes, he really said this), “If it were possible to be proud of someone you don’t really know, then I would be proud of you. You work five days a week, you volunteer here, and you are so amazing. I wish there were more people like you, you make this world a more beautiful place.”
Since that little compliment made my week, I’d like to share some volunteer opportunities with you in order that you, too, may experience the loveliness of a compliment that makes you feel like Wonder Woman (or, possibly, He-Man…Master of the Universe!). Seattle is apparently rife with organizations that are glad to take advantage of a willing, however unpaid, workforce.
Seattle Works: I actually heard about Seattle Works through another friend. You might think of Seattle Works as a match.com for volunteers and available gigs. Seattle Works is a one-stop shop where you can choose between one-time commitments and monthly service projects that allow you to work with the same team of individuals each time. You don’t have to already have a team in place in order to volunteer on a monthly basis – you can choose from an existing team, each of which posts a description of who they are and what they’re about (and whether they hit happy hour once the volunteer work is done). Seattle Works teams with many different community organizations, so you have a wide breadth from which to choose – some upcoming projects include helping out at the Braille Library (ha! did you know we have one of those?), working with Ballard Sustainable against climate change, and assisting the Annunaki Project with the production of a Halloween dessert show.
Seattle Children’s Hospital: That’s right. You go help children. How can you say no to that? Even if you hate children. Seattle Children’s offers you the opportunity to work directly with patients, to have limited patient contact, or no patient contact at all. You can go help out and never even have to worry about coming into contact with people who have been forced into those awful open-back hospital gowns.
Seattle Art Museum: If you have an interest in art – whether viewing or creating it – surely getting yourself some free admission to our downtown art museum is right up there on your list of priorities. At the moment, they are looking for people to help in the children’s art studio, hosts for their special events, art-lovers who’d like to assist patrons with the Picasso Exhibit, and friendly people to attend to visitors. Really, as of today, they are looking for people to fill those positions, so if any of those appeal, I’d go here to apply.
I’m still trying to figure out how you can volunteer to assist the Seattle Sounders be even more awesome (triumph over Chicago this past weekend, wooOOOooo). No luck yet, but when I find out, I will apply and do everything in my power to ensure that you aren’t my competition. And, on the subject of the awesomeness of our trophy-winning soccer team – even THEY take the time out of their immensely busy schedules to volunteer. They’ve been busy in the last two weeks traveling 18,000 miles to play several games in two different leagues, so they haven’t been on any service projects lately. But see below some of the things they’ve done before in their spare time.
James Riley coaches a Washington Special Olympics soccer team.
photo courtesy of Soundersfc.com
Steve Zakuani launched his nonprofit organization, Kingdom Hope just this last month, providing scholarships, camps, and opportunities for children to build character through soccer.
Seattle Sounders FC are still sponsoring the Nothing but Nets campaign, where you donate $30 and save a family in a malaria-stricken region from contracting that debilitating disease. Last year, Seattle Sounders fans donated $20,000 to the campaign; goal this year is $50,000.
And, finally, I included this video because it features a couple of my favorite Sounders – Taylor Graham and Nate Jaqua – doing something wonderful off the field. I’m the first to admit it’s old news, but it’s heartwarming, all the same. My gift to you. Happy Monday!