November 1st, 2013

Checking for Change: VOTE NOW for our 2014 Feel Good Checking partners!


Over the past two weeks, you have nominated more than 30 local non-profits. After reviewing all of these incredible organizations, we have narrowed it down to 21 finalists, including our current partners who are up for re-election, to be in the running to become one of SMCU’s seven 2014 Feel Good Checking® partners.

To choose the finalists, we carefully rated each nominee against a number of criteria, including how well they exhibited the Seven Principles in their organization and whether they are headquartered in and directly serving our community.

The finalists represent seven non-profit categories: Animals, Art & Culture, Education, Environmental and Sustainability, Family & Neighborhood, Health & Wellness, and Hunger & Housing. We will select one partner from each category, so you may vote for one non-profit in each category. The 21 finalists are…

Animal Category

Kitty Harbor
Kitty Harbor is a rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption facility for homeless and abandoned cats and kittens. At the facility, cats of all ages live together in a large, open, indoor-outdoor area, not locked up in cages. In this free-roaming habitat, the kitties become well socialized, very friendly, and develop great personalities.

PAWS is an organization dedicated to the welfare of all kinds of animals. They work to place companion animals into good homes and provide medical assistance and rehabilitation for injured wildlife, so they can be returned to their natural habitats.

Save a Forgotten Equine (SAFE)
Since 2005, SAFE has been rescuing and rehabilitating horses that have been starved, neglected, abused or are unwanted. Once a horse is ready for a permanent home, SAFE undertakes a rigorous screening process to find the ideal placement. They also provide assistance to horse owners struggling to care for their animals in the current economy.

Arts and Culture Category

Lake Union Civic Orchestra (LUCO)
The Lake Union Civic Orchestra is dedicated to the exploration and performance of symphonic and chamber music with energy and passion and to sharing that experience with individuals and organizations throughout the community. Each season, LUCO presents four full orchestral concerts and a special holiday concert.

The School of Acrobatics and New Circus Arts (SANCA)
SANCA is dedicated to improving the mental and physical health of children of all ages and abilities by engaging them in the joyous creativity of acrobatics and circus arts. SANCA provides quality instruction in unique physical arts in a safe, supportive, nurturing environment that provides both challenge and reward to the student.

Seattle Children’s Theatre
Since 1975, Seattle Children’s Theatre has provided children of all ages access to professional theatre, building a lifelong interest in the arts. Their programs focus on theatre education and empower young people to make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them.

Education Category

College Access Now (CAN)
College Access Now is dedicated to making college admission and graduation possible for talented, motivated and economically disadvantaged students. One-hundred percent of their students are low income, and most are the first in their family to pursue a college degree. They are serving 960 students this academic year alone.

Sister Schools
Sister Schools provides students the life-changing and character-building experience of personal giving to schools in Uganda. After gifts of school supplies are distributed in Uganda, a return presentation is given showing our local school children the direct impact of their specific gifts. Our children see the difference they’ve made in another child’s life, teaching them compassion and social responsibility.

Youth in Focus
Youth in Focus’s mission is to empower urban youth, through photography, to make positive choices for their lives. They provide free photography classes designed to build a sense of self-worth, social skills, artistic sensibility, and self-expression.

Environmental and Sustainability Category

Seattle Inner City Outings
Since 1992, Seattle Inner City Outings has provided opportunities for urban youth and adults to explore, enjoy, and protect the natural world. They provide food, transportation, and trained leaders who take participants on hikes, camping trips, and more.

Seattle Tilth
Seattle Tilth is dedicated to inspiring and educating people to garden organically and conserve natural resources. They produce a host of programs to help the would-be urban farmer to optimize their space and get the most from their available resources.

Zero Waste Washington
Zero Waste Washington is the public’s voice for zero waste. They protect people and our natural world by advocating for products designed and produced to be healthy, safe, and continually recycled and reused. They envision a just and sustainable world where society responsibly produces, consumes and recycles.

Families and Neighborhoods Category

New Beginnings
New Beginnings creates awareness around the issue of domestic violence and provides opportunities for individuals and organizations to take action to build communities free of abuse. They change attitudes and institutions that foster and perpetuate violence through violence prevention education in Seattle middle schools, community training, and outreach events.

Open Arms
Since 1997, Open Arms Perinatal Services has been providing strong community-based support for women through pregnancy, birth and postpartum. Their unique services include home visits during pregnancy, attendance at the birth of the baby, and early parenting education.

Seattle Young People’s Project (SYPP)
Seattle Young People’s Project is a youth-led, adult-supported social-justice organization that empowers youth to express themselves and to take action on the issues that affect their lives. SYPP believes that although young people cannot vote, they can use their voices to bring social change.

Health and Wellness Category

Lifelong Aids Alliance
Lifelong AIDS Alliance is an organization that empowers people living with or at risk of HIV or AIDS and other chronic conditions to lead healthier lives. They provide health insurance, so people can get the care they need, cook and deliver healthy meals, and ensure people have a safe place to live.

Pinky’s Passion for a Parkinson’s Cure
Pat “Pinky” Erickson was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2001 when she was just 45 years old. What started as a fundraiser fashion show blossomed into a permanent foundation that raises money, increases awareness, and supports research for a Parkinson’s cure.

Yoga Behind Bars
Yoga Behind Bars is Washington State’s only nonprofit organization offering yoga and meditation classes behind bars to dedicated youth, women and men, empowering them to take responsibility for their own well-being. They believe in the ripple effect and innate goodness. Every student has a family waiting outside. On the day they re-enter civil society, they will have tools to help them succeed instead of recede.

Hunger and Housing Category

Food Lifeline
Food Lifeline is dedicated to ending hunger in Western Washington by providing a link between food sources and hungry people. They provide food to over 745,000 people through a network of nearly 300 food banks, meal programs, and shelters.

Northwest Harvest
The mission of Northwest Harvest is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. With a network of more than 360 food banks, meal programs, and high-need schools, they provide more than 1.7 million meals every month.

Windermere Foundation
For the past 24 years, the Windermere Foundation has donated a portion of the proceeds from every home purchased or sold towards supporting low-income and homeless families in our communities. They provide shelter, clothing, children’s programs, emergency assistance, and other services to those who need it most.

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