Gabriel St. John

It’s been a while since the last Featured Volunteer Post, but that doesn’t mean that our volunteers aren’t superstars! I would introduce you to Gabriel St. John, but if you’re reading this blog, you know him already. Gabriel is our Online Content Manager, in charge of keeping the Jolkona blog fresh, informative and engaging. He first got involved with Jolkona as the Editing and Writing Intern in the fall of 2011, working with Laura Kimball on the blog. Since then, he became the lead on the blog team, establishing his personable and understandable style in a series of increasingly successful posts.

I met Gabriel by working with him as the 2012 summer Editing and Writing Intern. In addition to being a quick-witted, likeable individual, he effortlessly orchestrated our blog schedule for the entire summer, and taught me so much about effective communication. Gabriel has a great passion for creative writing, and uses these skills to tell the more personal stories from Jolkona. Yes, we can see the projects, the statistics, the need. But without Gabriel’s work on bringing the stories behind many of our issues to light, it isn’t necessarily easy to see why we do it.

My experiences with Gabriel are echoed by the rest of Jolkona:

Gabriel is such a critical part of the Jolkona team. He’s an amazing writer and helps tell the Jolkona story and that of all the partners we work with through our blog. He has done an amazing job curating, editing, and writing content for our blog ever since he’s led the team. What I especially like about Gabriel is how he makes the social issues we talk about personal, bringing in stories from his own childhood or experiences to make it real. I really love reading our blog posts and learning more about the issues I didn’t know as much about or simply getting even more inspired to do something about them. Thanks Gabriel for bringing your dedication, passion, and fantastic writing skills to the Jolkona team! -Nadia Khawaja

Working with Gabriel is always incredible; he has a unique ability for developing (and editing) compelling stories that resonate with Jolkona donors and readers and he is also aware of how to work within the limited resources of a nonprofit. Gabriel is a huge asset to the Jolkona team, not only for his online content management skills but excitement about the organization and how he’s always willing to jump in and help out whenever needed. He brings a plethora of information and writing experience to his volunteer work at Jolkona and we are lucky to have him as part of our team. –Daljit Singh

Storytelling is critical to Jolkona. Whether it is telling the impact of our partners or the work of our volunteers, Gabriel has helped us to tell our stories and connect with our communities. He and I don’t agree on football, but, I respect all that he has done to support Jolkona over the past year! The way he really took ownership over the blog and works with interns really embodies the sort of volunteers Jolkona and any non-profit strives to have on their team. –Adnan Mahmud

Gabriel At S4SC

Gabriel’s ability to seamlessly spin together the tales of Jolkona, the stories that make our work real, is invaluable. The fact that he can find time for us in addition to working his day job shows his dedication and resourcefulness. Jolkona is incredibly fortunate to have each and every one of our volunteers, and Gabriel is a stellar member of that group. Thank you, Gabriel, for being a fantastic volunteer, and for sharing Jolkona’s story around the world.

Follow Gabriel on Twitter! Has his volunteering story inspired you? Do you want to join us in changing the world? Find out more information by emailing us a We’ve got a Twitter too! You can find us on Facebook and Pinterest as well.

Editor’s note: This blog post relates to our Corks & Forks dinner/auction in 2012. For information about Corks & Forks dinner/auction planned for Oct. 10, 2013, visit this page

Jolkona’s 1st annual Corks & Forks auction and dinner event is coming up quick! Join us on October 4th from 6:30-9:30pm at the Blue Ribbon Cooking School for an evening of cooking, drink-making, and bidding to unite the community around a mission of giving. Hosted by auctioneer Jim Dever of Evening Magazine, the night is sure to be full of laughs and fun!

The assortment of hands-on classes will teach you how to craft everything from savory truffles to sophisticated cocktails to mouth-watering soups and salads. Come ready to wow family, friends, and co-workers at future dinner parties!

Excellent prizes and getaways will be up for auction – not to mention the plethora of items available in the silent auction! Take a look at the complete auction item list for the big night.

Grab yourself a ticket while they are still available right here!


A huge thank you goes out to the major sponsors of Corks & Forks, Coinstar, Inc. and Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance. We went ahead and asked them a couple of questions about partnering with Jolkona and the importance of food to them.

Coinstar, Inc.

A local company, Coinstar, Inc got its start in Bellevue, WA in 1991. Jolkona is so excited to have Coinstar onboard for the upcoming auction and fundraising event. By backing our mission, their resources and reputation help illuminate the projects we are dedicated to.

Thank you Coinstar for your sponsorship and support!

Why are you a sponsor for Jolkona?
Coinstar, Inc. is proud to sponsor Jolkona for its innovative approach to giving. Jolkona’s use of technology brings donors and grantees closer together by reporting on impact. It’s an excellent method to entice more people to give!

What has food meant to you?
Like Jolkona, we feel lucky our company is headquartered in Seattle, surrounded by a robust local food movement. Our region’s focus on food feels special and serves as another way to bring our community together, whether that’s at the community garden, co-op grocery or family dinner table.

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance

Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance is made up of a team of fitness professionals who provide mobile services for exercise, nutrition, and rehabilitation needs. Jolkona is thrilled to have Jaa’ Warren’s involvement and support. It means a lot to have meaningful, local sponsors for a special event like Corks & Forks.

Once more, thank you to Jaa’ Warren Hooker Fitness Performance!

What has food meant to you?

Thanksgiving and Christmas have always been my favorite holidays, gathering with friends and family to tell stories and create a positive community. Besides the food always being spectacular, food brings people together.

Local Projects

Jolkona works intimately with a number of local organizations dedicated to furthering education, employment, and personal well-being. We would like to spotlight a few of these to give you a better idea about the kinds of non-profits we support in our own backyard.

Washington CASH aims to educate and motivate low-income individuals with entrepreneurial ambitions. Their means of empowerment include personalized business training, professional workshops, business development training courses, and even microloans to help legitimately finance start up businesses. CASH strives to give people the skill sets and confidence necessary to achieve success in today’s tumultuous economy.

The Pacific Science Center is a leading light for education and culture in Seattle. It has been a pillar of the community for fifty years as the nation’s first science and technology-based museum. Jolkona partners with the Pacific Science Center to give children the opportunity to attend science camp by sponsoring campers. Camps for Curious Minds are made up of countless programs for every age and inclination. These experiences prove to be exciting, edifying, and life-changing for our youth.

Jubilee Women’s Center provides housing, staffing resources, and life improvement services for homeless women in the community. They are determined in their undertaking to restore dignity and self-sufficiency to the lives of women who have endured an array of struggles. Jolkona facilitates shopping excursions for women to boost self-confidence, as well as thorough one-on-one professional care. Jubilee’s focus on comprehensive services from employment to education to mental health makes it a meaningful hub in our community.


100% of the proceeds from Corks & Forks go to the Kona Fund for Jolkona, which sustains our goals in several ways. The contributions help maintain our operations, which allow us to take young philanthropists under our wing, while also ensuring 100% of the donations we receive are given to their rightful cause and actualized. It is because of your generous support that Jolkona is able to devote its time and energy to those in need.

Please, come join us for this exceptional opportunity to show your support for one another in the community and Jolkona!

General Tickets are currently $120, while tickets for our NextGen young philanthropists are at the special price of $100. VIP Tickets (which include awesome bonuses like champagne and wine, appetizers, and your own apron) are $175 a piece.

Buy tickets now for you and your party before ticket prices increase on Oct. 3rd at 5pm!

See you at Corks & Forks on Oct. 4th to celebrate the generous world of giving!

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we are doing and the impact you are making.

Consisting of 10 letters and 4 syllables, philanthropy is a big word. It is a big word associated with big ideals, big plans, big money, and often, therefore, with big people – the real adults. It is one of Jolkona’s central missions to prove that this is in fact a myth, at least the “big money” and the “big people” part.

We want to encourage and grow a new generation of philanthropists. We want to show that you don’t have to be a big name with a big pay check to engender change. You can just be you. And with as little as $5 you can make that change and see that change happen. $5, what is that? – half the price of a movie ticket, an appetizer, a glossy magazine, a trip across the 520 bridge between 3pm – 6pm (without a Good To Go! pass).

Young adults are big part of our vision, our hope. And this infographic shows why. Read it and watch the “big money, big people” myth begin to disappear. If you want to make it disappear forever, then go here and browse any of our 120+ projects. Give. And be the change you want to see to in the world.

[click to enlarge]



Be the change you want to see in the world here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we’re doing and the impact you are making.