by Michael Sarko
- The Capitol Hill Times -
When people think of the holiday season, the first thoughts that spring to mind usually involve bright decorations, indulgent foods and some much-needed time off school or work. Of course, the period between Thanksgiving and New Year’s is also a big time for selfless actions and the support of those in need. There are a variety of charity and volunteer opportunities around Capitol Hill this holiday season and we’d like to make a shameless plug for a few of them to hopefully inspire some readers to spread cheer and social justice in our neighborhood and beyond.
Since November, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Abbey of St. Joan have been hard at work gathering grocery donations through the Sisters’ Pantry 2. Last year’s kickoff drive was a success, but the 2013 Pantry is even more important. This drive supports the Chicken Soup Brigade, a program of the Lifelong AIDS Alliance that provides food and other essentials to needy people living with AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Lifelong AIDS Alliance has taken some budget cuts in the past year, so every little bit truly helps.
The Sisters are asking for toiletries, canned goods and dry goods. Collection boxes for the Sisters’ Pantry are at several community businesses, including R-Place, C.C. Attle’s, the Wild Rose, Madison Pub, the Lifelong AIDS Alliance Thrift Store and Changes in Wallingford until Dec. 13. The Sisters will also spend this Saturday doing a bucket drive around the neighborhood, culminating in a food drive party at R-Place at 10 p.m.
If you’re planning on getting a Christmas tree this year but haven’t had a chance to sneak into the Arboretum with an axe, you might as well take the easy route by picking up a pre-chopped tree at the SASG Tree Lot. Seattle Area Support Groups runs a thriving community center in Capitol Hill, promoting health both mental and physical, acceptance and friendship among our friends, neighbors and selves. SASG’s tree sale is at 303 Seventeenth Avenue E. and goes from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. every day until Dec. 23. Funds raised through the tree lot support SASG’s group programs, individual assistance services and HIV testing kits.
All Pilgrims Church, Capitol Hill’s proudly inclusive church on Broadway, is transforming its regular Beer and Hymns program into a seasonally appropriate Beer and Carols event on Dec. 15. As promised, there will be holiday songs, cold brew (and root beer for kids). All proceeds and donations go to the many great programs All Pilgrims supports, including national and international ministries for disaster relief and humanitarian aid in 47 countries.
This Saturday, comedienne Stephanie Miller is coming to the Paramount Theatre on her Sexy Liberal Comedy Tour. Together with John Fugelsang and Hal Sparks, Miller will share her politically-charged brand of comedy with the community. A portion of the proceeds from the show will go to Gilda’s Club Seattle, an organization at the corner of Broadway and Union Street that provides support and advocacy for people living with cancer.
Tonight, Dec. 12, Volunteer Park is opening its doors for the annual Holiday in Volunteer Park community event. There will be free snacks and drinks, music, decorations and free admission to the Conservatory and Asian Art Museum. While you’re there getting your complimentary treats, maybe consider tossing a few dollars to the Conservatory, as it’s a beautiful part of our neighborhood that relies on donations to stay up and running.
Community Lunch on Capitol Hill is a great organization that provides hot meals and clothes to homeless people throughout the year. It operates out of Central Lutheran Church at 11th Avenue and East Olive Way. They’re collecting gloves and shoes to help those in need endure the especially cold weather we’ve been having lately. They especially need walking or athletic shoes for men at this time. You can make your donations at Central Lutheran on Tuesdays and Fridays between 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
As always, keep your eyes peeled for grocery donation opportunities at your neighborhood supermarket. QFC and Safeway both run food drives throughout the holiday season, providing specially labeled paper bags you can fill with dry goods, canned goods and toiletries for families in need.
And hey, did you know that the Broadway Sunday Farmers’ Market is now open year-round? Even in nasty winter weather, our neighborhood’s intrepid vendors of delicious goods keep the farm-to-table process rolling. There are always chances to donate to good causes and learn more about volunteer events at the market, so put on your scarf and mittens and support the Broadway Farmers’ Market in its first year of winter operations.