Spoken Gives Back at Treehouse
Seattle is one of the fastest growing cities in America, which brings fantastic opportunities for many, and genuine challenges for some. As a member of this community, it is important to give back, to lend a helping hand and ensure that the challenges of the region are met with more equal footing. While engaging with charitable organizations and community outreach is a responsibility many take on throughout the year, there is never more pronounced a need than during the holiday season.
This year, a group of employees from Spoken Communications had the opportunity to volunteer at one of the many worthy organizations in the city: Treehouse. Treehouse began in Seattle with a mission statement dedicated to serving the city’s children in foster care, providing both material and educational support. The org has been expanding in recent years, moving to school districts beyond Seattle with a five-year plan setting sights on becoming a state-wide entity. Through their educational outreach, Treehouse has seen an 89% graduation rate among the students whom they tutor and mentor. Through their Wearhouse department store, they have given thousands of children in the Seattle area and beyond an avenue through which they can meet the challenges of growing up in the foster system without worrying about having the clothes, school supplies and other goods necessary to keep pace with their classmates.
Our group of volunteers was greeted in the morning by our liaison Amy Shafer, Resource Specialist at Treehouse. After a tour of the stock and shopping floor facilities, it was time to settle in to the duties of the morning. Every day, Treehouse receives donations from across the county of clothing and goods that are evaluated, sorted, tagged and prepped for the Treehouse Department Store. The store functions just like a Nordstrom or Macys, however the customers don’t pay a dime. Everyone who qualifies for Treehouse’s services are allowed 20 free-of-charge new or like-new items a visit, and have up to five visits a year.
Over the several hours spent at Treehouse, members of Spoken were sorting through donations to categorize, tag and get ready for the department store floor. The Wearhouse receives new donations all the time, with several car loads being dropped off while our team was on site. While donations are coming in all the time, not all items make the cut. Those items that aren’t up to the new or like-new standards of the Treehouse store are separated and turned over to other donation-based organizations like Goodwill, who, in turn, give Treehouse gift certificates for what is called an “emergency shopping trip” – a chance for Treehouse to get items always in need and often in short supply.
Spoken’s time with Treehouse was relatively short – but the team was able to witness first-hand how necessary these organizations are to the community. While the holidays bring with them an extra need for places like Treehouse, the work they do occurs year-round. If you’re interested in learning more about Treehouse, signing up for volunteer shifts, or dropping off donations (they could always use more boy’s jeans), please visit their website.
Spoken is proud to be a part of the Seattle community, and beyond happy to be able to give a little back to our city.