How to be awesome to your Seattle neighbors: 15 stories of everyday kindness

Every day, we zip around the city doing what we gotta do. Sometimes we hit a speed bump that throws us off our groove. But the people around us — our friends, family, coworkers, and so many others — help steady us again.

As part of our Giving Guide project, we opened up part of The Evergrey newsletter to publish kudos to your favorite locals for the big (and small) things they do to make our city a better place.

Some of you shouted out friends, family, and coworkers — and yup, even your garbage truck driver — to celebrate those moments of kindness that often get lost in our daily rush. Here are some of your stories about the Seattleites who…


“To our local garbage truck driver Joe, who always looks up and waves as my two daughters (3 and 1) enthusiastically shout for his attention while he hustles about his job. And double thanks for last Thursday when he went back to his truck, returned with three temporary “tattoos,” and left them for my three-year-old to joyfully apply to her legs… where they remained for nearly a week. Thanks for making Thursday mornings a highlight of our week!”

Brian Stout to Joe, a garbage truck driver in Queen Anne

“Thanks to the CenturyLink Field worker who greets Sounder fans with a fist bump on our way into the stadium. This happy lady always brightens my day!”

Zina to her favorite fist-bumper

“I have a super-duper no joke phobia of going to the dentist and they have been so genuinely warm and welcoming and all around awesome (as well as giving me top-notch dental work), that it makes me slightly teary thinking about it. I was considering sending them donuts to express my gratitude, but that seems inappropriate given they’re a dental clinic… I hope this shout-out about them to all of Seattle will convey the magnitude of my appreciation.”

Jill Doran to Dr. Vicki Fidler and staff at Fidler on the Tooth in the University District


“I can’t thank Sam at Hello Bicycle in Beacon Hill enough for the fine friendly service he provides. Whether it’s simple questions, complex problems, or just stopping by to chat about bikes and gear, he and his staff are always game!”

Justin Resnick to his favorite bike nerd

“Shout out to Abiola Akanni for bringing the fire to her Friday night trap vinyasa class. She created a safe and juicy space for us to let loose, shake off the week, and move our bodies the way they want to move. Plus, the beats were dope.”

Rachel Van’t Land to her badass yoga instructor


“Grayson Crane at the Ingersoll Gender Center, well and everyone there. Grayson is very knowledgeable and helpful in navigating the many paths trans people must travel on our journeys. Advice, support, a link to an online form, help with an application fee, Grayson and the Ingersoll team have been there for me and many others. This is critically important in this time when trans advocates are being driven out of the country by [white supremacists]. Their courage and assistance make life better for trans people in Seattle.”

Giuliana Isaksen to a fantastic advocate


» “To my neighbor who only knows me through our Buy Nothing Facebook group: YOU RULE. Thank you for letting me borrow your super comfy air mattress for guests twice now! Your generosity has made our little apartment much more hospitable.”

Former Evergrey fellow Sara Gentzler to one of her Fremont neighbors

» “One of our neighbors tripped on a sidewalk near our house recently, so we filled out the nifty form the City of Seattle has — and voila! In less than 10 days (!!!) the magic elves of the city came out and fixed our sidewalk and the neighbors! How’s that for customer service?”

Hillary to some quick city employees


“A million thanks to the cashier at Trader Joe’s who brought a big smile to my face after we chatted about her new move to Seattle and my recent wedding. She stepped away from the check-out stand briefly and came back with a gifted bouquet of flowers to congratulate me on our wedding. Does it get sweeter than that? I felt more connected to our beloved city after that moment with a thoughtful stranger.”

Sarah Worley to a rad cashier

“Recently, after a long day of soothing my fussy son, my husband and I walked to Essex, a bar in Ballard, and were relieved that we could have our baby there with us. … I decided to splurge on an incredibly delicious ~$15 cocktail and sipped it happily while bouncing my son. When the waitress asked if I wanted another, I laughed and said unfortunately no, babies are expensive. Five minutes later, she brought out another cocktail for me and said, “I don’t want to hear it. Just enjoy it. You deserve it — you’re killing it at the parent thing…” (read more here)

Evergrey cofounder Anika Anand to a kind waitress at Essex in Ballard

“I’ve commuted to work by bus for over a year, riding the #545 from Seattle to Redmond three times a week. In that time, I’ve never had a driver display Care Bears on the front dash with their little friendly faces peering out the window. “Welcome! It’s good to see you! Hope you’re having a great day!” Bonnie, the bus driver greeted every new passenger with booming enthusiasm. I had been in this woman’s presence for less than a minute and I wanted nothing more than for Care Bear Bonnie to be my new best friend. Because, the truth is, I’ve been kind of lonely. After a 25-year-absence, I’m back home in my native city. I didn’t think it would be that hard for an extrovert like me to meet new people and make meaningful connections. It’s not until I watched Bonnie put herself out there that I realized I’ve stopped.” (read more here)

Susan Fee to a bus driver named Bonnie


“Shout out to the member of our coworking space who is always our biggest cheerleader. It always makes me smile to overhear him talk about community in such a way that is approachable to other members, so it makes them feel more included. It makes my job a little easier and my days brighter!”

Veronica Foster to a member of her coworking space in Belltown

“She is constantly cheerful, efficient and goes out of her way to be helpful. She’s a petite spark plug with a stand up comedian inside. I’ve seen her handle the holiday waiting lines cracking jokes while acknowledging the bummer of a line. People arrive grumpy and after her interactions leave with a smile on their face. She seems to never be depleted of her positive and caring energy.”

Kim Mulligan to Sonjia, a post office worker in Greenwood

“Scott Kralik, our veteran bike ride leader, makes every rider feel welcome and leads us on mysterious journeys of discovery, usually ending with good food. He stresses safety and fun, and knows age is no predictor of cycling ability. And he takes a personal interest in each new rider, with an invitation to join the after-celebration at his favorite pub. Folks can identify him by his compact Brompton folding bike, a.k.a. his daily driver (he doesn’t own a car)! PS – he’s been leading weekly summer rides for more than 28 years; his most loyal followers have ridden with him for decades.”

Judy to the head of her biking pod

“Celeste and Shayla at the Celesto Espresso coffee truck, outside King Street Station, are truly amazing. (The truck, a refurbished classic old milk truck whose name is Annie, is as cool as the people inside.) They know my name, they know my order, they’re friendly and funny and great conversationalists. They make mornings a lot more pleasant than they’d otherwise be. Sometimes when they see me standing in line they jump up and down in the truck and shout my name. How could anyone experience that and not have a better day?”

Al Boss to two badass coffee-slingers


Big thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which made this project possible. For more stories and resources to help you give like you live here, check out the other posts in our Evergrey Giving Guide