Today’s Local to Know interview is sponsored by United Way of King County. United Way is working together with our neighbors towards a racially just community where people have homes, students graduate, and families are financially stable. This holiday season, we believe the good gets better when we give.
Who are you? What do you do? I am a 27-year-old non-binary person who likes doing anything art-related and wants to become a physician one day. I work as a research technician for Seattle Children’s Research Institute and I currently serve as a committee member for the Emerging Leaders 365 committee.
Why are you a United Way supporter through Emerging Leaders 365 and why should others join you? I wanted to connect with people who were genuinely motivated by philanthropy and enjoyed spending their spare time getting to know those in their community while finding ways to give back. Anyone who’s even the least bit curious about how to help people in our community should join us! There are so many different ways to be involved, and EL365 is a great start.
What is Lead United for Equity: Peer-To-Peer fundraiser and how did you see people come together during this campaign?
Our Lead United for Equity: Peer-to-Peer fundraiser had a goal of raising $10,000 to help address homelessness and food insecurity this winter in King County. Microsoft matches every dollar up to $10,000, and we managed to hit our goal on the morning of the last day! My fellow committee members were so creative with how they fundraised, and I admire the way we each approached it. There were so many people who participated this year, and each of us managed to get our individual communities involved. I think people were very willing to give because we all know how freezing, gray, and gloomy Seattle can be in the winter. No one should be without a home and have to experience that.
What do you think contributed to the success of your fundraiser this year? Was it different from previous years?
This is only the second fundraiser I’ve done with UWKC, and the major difference was in the number of people I asked and how often I asked. I promoted on social media, but I am more established in my workplace and felt comfortable sending out a mass email about the fundraiser this year. I was surprised that within 2 hours of sending the email, I had jumped from 19% to 84% toward my total goal, and I met my goal a couple of days later. I reminded people about my fundraiser in our workplace newsletter and also on social media every few days. My goal was $500 and I managed to raise $1,350! I think people are willing to give if you just ask them. Even a reminder is helpful; people can easily forget and become busy with life stuff, but they still want to find ways to give back.
What are you looking forward to next year?
I am looking forward to finding a way to give back that involves medical care. While it’s not directly addressed in UWKC’s mission, I think finding a clinic or healthcare organization to collaborate with and provide easier access to medical care is important. Part of creating a racially just community involves addressing the racial disparities currently in our medical system and ensuring our marginalized groups have access to basic health care. If there’s a way to make an event or a fundraiser for it, I’d like to make it happen.
Wax poetic for a minute and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?
Physically, probably the driving; I need to stay on my toes with all these hills and one-way streets. Spiritually, knowing I’ve made many memories in this city throughout my life and will continue to make them because there’s so much more I have yet to see and experience.
What’s your favorite Seattle activity to do around the holidays?
Not sure if I can really answer this question. I’ve lived on the outskirts of Seattle my whole life, and I spend the holidays at home with my family in Auburn. There was one year we decided to go into the city and do some ice skating. I can’t skate, so that was just a painful, sweaty day for me.
What are your top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Seattle day?
- T-Mobile Park for a Mariners game
- Bonfire at Alki Beach
- I really wish I was more of a foodie so I could list an area with amazing food, so my answer is anywhere with good food that will satisfy my craving that day
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
Use that umbrella if you want to. Don’t let others tell you how to be a true Washingtonian!