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  • Marie McKinsey

The Antidote for the Seattle "Freeze" - Volunteering

Updated: Aug 25

The Seattle Times recently ran an article entitled: "Have you melted the Seattle Freeze? We'd like to hear how you did it."

The Triangle Park in West Seattle's Junction.
The former Triangle Park in the Junction was an all volunteer project completed in 1999.

I wish I'd known they were going to write this. I would have told them about my preferred way to make friends - volunteering.

I moved to Seattle in 1989. I've never experienced the freeze. When people brought up the subject, I didn't know what they were talking about. I thought maybe I was just lucky.

It took me a long time to look around and realize that most of the people I consider friends are people I have volunteered with at some point. Those shared experiences are part of the bond we have as friends.

Volunteering makes it easy to develop friendships.

  • You pick something you want to do. From the get-go, you have at least that interest in common with everyone else who shows up.

  • The focus of time spent is on the volunteer project, not "trying" to make friends. When you work with people on something, you get to know them and they get to know you. Friendships develop from there.

  • One of the joys of volunteering is accomplishing something as a team. There's a shared sense of satisfaction and appreciation that builds a bond.

Ready to get started? Here's a list of organizations that could use your help. Most of these are right here in West Seattle or have projects going on here. Know of other organizations that need volunteers? Add them in the comments.

A Cleaner Alki

Arts West


City Fruit

Delridge Grocery Co-op

Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA)

Friends of Seattle's Olmsted Parks

Heron's Nest

Mary's Place

Nature Consortium

Seattle Giving Garden Network

Southwest Boys and Girls Club

Southwest Youth and Family Services

Tree Action Seattle

Washington Farmland Trust

Westside Baby

West Seattle Bee Garden

West Seattle Food Bank

West Seattle Food Bank's Clothesline

West Seattle Garden Tour

West Seattle Junction Association

West Seattle Senior Center


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