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We are happy to announce that we are one of the contestants in Tray Creative’s 2012 Vote for Good Contest. Jolkona, as well as other local Seattle-based nonprofits that have collaborated with Tray over the last several years, are eligible for votes.

The holidays are an ideal season to invest your time, energy and contributions in worthwhile endeavors. We have worked hard this past year to achieve good – please place a vote for our good to help our chances at being awarded a $1,000 donation.

What Tray Creative Does

Tray Creative is a dynamic organization based in Seattle that clarifies, strengthens and empowers the messaging and branding of other companies. They utilize their diverse professional skill sets to aid the mission of both for-profit and non-profit organizations.

We are honored to be a part of their holiday charitable campaign this year. Tray Creative’s pro-active participation in philanthropic activities is something we affirm and admire.

How to Vote

All it takes is a couple clicks of the mouse and your vote for Jolkona will be cast. Visit the voting page on Facebook and ‘like’ Tray Creative to access the voting platform. Just click “Vote” for Jolkona – and feel free to share the link or spread the word about the contest via your Facebook profile or Twitter.

Support Jolkona’s Mission

We couldn’t do what we do without the incredible support from people in our community. This $1,000 end of the year donation would be a wonderful capstone to a great, productive year here. The contest runs through December 31st – please, take just a moment to cast your vote and tell a friend. You will be facilitating the success of future projects and partnerships.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

 

We are so excited to usher in this festive time of year with our very own giving campaign. Jolkona’s tireless volunteers and members have teamed up to present and advocate for projects important to them. This is, after all, the season of giving – and we believe genuine generosity is contagious. The holidays are special times for family and community, for gathering and storytelling, for being thankful and giving back. The spirit of giving is a malleable form that can manifest in many ways. We would like to share our spiritedness with you.

Launching our Gifts

Jolkona volunteers have been crafting videos dedicated to their chosen projects. Each day, beginning today, we will ‘unwrap’ a gift by unveiling a new video. The projects are meaningful and unique, one and all, which is why we want to let each one speak for itself on a given day. Visit the Campaign page here.

Our non-profit partners span focuses from healthcare to education to the environment. This campaign will give you an excellent opportunity to be exposed to different projects and choose one that really resonates with you. We are excited to have so many passionate team members on the Jolkona team to speak on behalf of these projects.

Take a look at the video below for our first gift of the season. It is all about our partner Calcutta Kids, an organization working hard in India to combat child mortality from diarrhea. Show your support for their ongoing health efforts by making a gift of $10.

A Gift of Impact

In addition to our 10 Days of Giving Campaign, we have a convenient gift option available for individuals looking to offer something different to a friend or family member. Our holiday e-gift cards can be easily purchased through the Jolkona platform; these can then be applied to a project of the donor’s choosing. Your gift to them will be a gift back to a community in need. It is a flexible and useful way to positively involve yourself in the lives of others. The gift of impact is a treasure.

Join the Jolkona family with your Support

People’s social support systems – family, friends, significant others, co-workers – play a vital role in celebrating the holidays. It is important to not lose sight of this love when considering the less fortunate. The spirit of giving is about philanthropy, yes – but it really comes alive through love and compassion.

We encourage you to commemorate this holiday season by getting involved in our 10 Days of Giving Campaign. Give to a particular project. Purchase an e-gift card to give to someone in your life. Spread the word about Jolkona’s projects through conversation and social media. Become a person of giving during this busy time of year. One individual’s impact is greatly amplified in the esteemed company of fellow givers.  

How will you give impact this holiday season?

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

The holiday season is a time brimming with joyous family gatherings, sumptuous meals, and shopping, shopping, shopping. Black Friday has become a feverish occasion in a culture obsessed with the notion of deals, sales and savings. Cyber Monday is a supplemental day to signal the online arena’s special promotions for the remaining year. From Thanksgiving through New Years, this surge of business brings innumerable companies out of the red and helps employ more people for seasonal work. Nevertheless, equal energy – if not more – should be expended on behalf of giving as well as receiving.

The beginning of the Giving Season

Giving Tuesday is today, November 27th, which marks the jump off point for a season of generosity and community. A wide range of collaborative organizations have made Giving Tuesday a reality, including but not limited to the United Nations Foundation, Microsoft, The Huffington Post and The Case Foundation. The motivation for organizing an official day is a simple but compelling case: help get people excited about giving. Take a look at the short video clip below which illustrates this vision of giving and social media:

A couple of Jolkona’s cherished projects

Support Transitional Housing Facility in USA: Homeless men and women in America often just need an opportunity for support to demonstrate their self-sufficiency and hard work. Downtown Streets Team (DST), which operates out of Palo Alto in California, affords these men and women the chance to give back while being supported. Homeless and unemployed individuals are able to work in exchange for food and shelter credits, job training skills, and more. Contribute to necessary supplies – like fresh linens or meals – to see DST’s impact continue to grow.

Provide Education to Girls in Liberia: Education is one of the best gifts someone can be blessed with in his or her life. In Liberia, girls need stronger support systems; the illegal sex trade, homelessness, and frequent impoverished conditions leave them vulnerable. More Than Me Foundation’s essential aim is to get the girls off the streets into the classrooms – and onto educated, safe, healthy lives. Give today and boost their scholastic path of success.

The Meaning of Giving

The holiday season can be taken back into the hands of generous, compassionate people one gift at a time. Rather than adopt the cynical mode of living often parroted by political pundits – that the U.S. is a culture of takers, not givers – demonstrate how invested we really are in one another’s lives. It is a joy couched in altruism as well as selfishness; truly helping someone in need is a wonderful feeling.

Our 10 Days of Giving Campaign

Jolkona has a special endeavor for the season of giving this year: our 10 Days of Giving Countdown. In the days leading up to Christmas, teams composed of our wonderful volunteers and contributors will each create their own campaign based on an important project. You will be able to pick your favorite(s) and help them reach their holiday goal!

Also, we will be offering e-gift cards for convenient gift giving this year. It’s as simple as purchasing one (say, worth $20), bestowing it to a friend or family member, and letting them peruse Jolkona’s website for a project that interests them. Check out last year’s Days of Giving Campaign to see what it’s all about!

Why not jumpstart your philanthropic mojo by giving to a non-profit today? The world will be better tomorrow because of it.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

The streets that pave our cities buzz a ceaseless din. Advertising bombards us with images teasing and confounding our wants and desires. Television, digital media and print media – their information cyclones inundate us with stories, facts, opinions, distortions and lies. Today’s global economic engine is a juggernaut with gale-force winds, flinging people from job to job and industry to industry. 21st century life operates in hyper-speed. Sometimes, one needs to apply pressure on the breaks and simply slow down.

The Human Spirit Compels Us

Here at Jolkona, we affirm the life-changing work being accomplished by our partners. We affirm the non-profit sector’s role throughout the world of helping create respectful, well-educated, creative and sustainable communities. We affirm the courageous, compassionate lives people compose for themselves out of an endlessly renewable resource: the human spirit, the will to live, the drive to make life worth living for all.

Affirmations aside, we recognize how easily individuals can become wrapped up in the pettiness of differences, the drama of conflict, and the chains of disillusionment. The following short film, We Are All One, succinctly and lucidly articulates an argument for life and the inherent kinship of all living things. Watch it below.

I won’t exhaust the contents of the film by breaking it down point by point – that would weaken the impact of its own presentation. Jolkona simply believes moments like these are critically important to allow for in our busy lives. Reflection is indicative of a curious, caring mind.

Connecting with your Environment

When it comes to philanthropic endeavors – or any meaningful undertakings for that matter – there exists the yin and yang of theory and praxis. Theory speaks to brainstorming, planning and strategic development. Praxis is defined by action; getting out there to complete tasks and accomplish goals. Theory without praxis is, ultimately, only words, only hypothetical conjecture. Praxis without theory may often turn out to be uninformed and unprepared. Both are essential characteristics to develop an open engagement with the world.

Reflection is equally important as the aforementioned qualities. Critical thinking breeds honesty, empowerment, and change. Life is not all sunshine and roses though – the narration confirms this fact time and again. The majestic footage captured in We All Are One is not intended to inspire surface-level, blind optimism about the future. Rather, it reminds us humans, who can become so distanced from the place we call home, that we are part and parcel of this world. There is no I without the other.

Building Bridges, Linking Lives

The ways in which we fortify ourselves from the earth in communication and conduct is illusionary and deceptive. We are not even merely stewards of this planet, here to establish goodwill and reverence for nature. As the classic Beatles song goes, “I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.” If we as a community truly desire a future that is sustainable and inclusive, it begins with personal moments of reflection. From there, a process of dialogue and ‘theory’ building with neighbors, friends and communities. This is followed by the execution of dignified goals. At the beginning of this process is reflection on self – and therefore – the world.

Align yourself with like-minded individuals. Align yourself with family and friends who may possess different values than you. Align yourself with inspiring non-profits. Align yourself with community leaders and local activities. Align yourself with life-affirming ways of being that resonate with what you have seen in the film above.

Jolkona wants to share its passion with people across the globe that we are confident share so much in common. Our histories and aspirations are much the same. Follow the link to Jolkona’s project center to get an idea of environmental projects we are involved with. But the buck does not stop there; Jolkona’s coalition of partners is ever-blossoming.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

When I was 15 years old and hanging out at home one day, I noticed my sister behaving strangely. She was lethargic and looked pale in the face. My parents and I had noticed her uncharacteristically large appetite and unquenchable thirst over the prior month. Yet she was mysteriously losing weight and was sapped of her usual energy. In the spring of 2004 on what was until then an ordinary day around the house – we rushed my sister to the ER. Much to our family’s shock and dismay, we found out that the root cause was type 1 diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects almost 350 million people in the world at present. When the pancreas stops producing insulin, or one’s body proves incapable of utilizing the insulin it creates, this is diagnosed as either type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Nearly 90 percent of all diabetics have type 2, which is often associated with obesity and long-term dietary issues. Type 1 can occur at any age, unlike type 2, which can develop overtime due to lifestyle habits. The first of the two is colloquially referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes. My sister was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; her body attacks the very little insulin she naturally produces meaning she must take daily injections of insulin to stabilize her quality of life.

Why World Diabetes Day Matters

Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects almost 350 million people in the world at present. When the pancreas stops producing insulin, or one’s body proves incapable of utilizing the insulin it creates, this is diagnosed as either type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes. Nearly 90 percent of all diabetics have type 2, which is often associated with obesity and long-term dietary issues. Type 1 can occur at any age, unlike type 2, which can be developed overtime due to lifestyle habits. The first of the two is colloquially referred to as insulin-dependent or juvenile-onset diabetes. My sister was 11 years old when she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes; her body attacks the very insulin she naturally produces meaning she must take daily injections of insulin to stabilize her quality of life.

World Diabetes Day implores all people of this planet to unite for diabetes. Humankind is, after all, most resilient when working toward a common goal. The International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization ignited the initial flames to start this day and allow its knowledge to spread like wildfire. Global awareness of diabetes along with prevention and support education is the battering ram with which we must push forward. Take a look at the IDF’s animated video below, which speaks to these critical matters.

Moving Forward

Tenacity and optimism: these are traits I see in my own sister, as well as in medical professionals, researchers, activists, advocates, and other diabetics. Please take a moment to consider that person or those persons in your life who must confront their condition on a daily basis. Even if you donate know anyone personally with diabetes personally, the degrees of separation are most certainly small. Have a conversation with a friend about diabetes; post a link or forward an email about World Diabetes Day; make a donation to the International Diabetes Federation or one of Jolkona’s own healthcare-related projects.

The blue circle plastered on the web and featured prominently in the video is diabetes’ universal symbol. Why a deliberate symbol, and what does it symbolize? The vibrant ring forms an identity for people to latch onto. Its blue color represents the United Nations’ distinctly global unity and the beautiful vastness of the sky above. The circle also embodies the strength and connection so vital to ongoing research and campaigns.

Just join in the dialogue – it is impossible to know what spark might catch.

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The United States’ forthcoming national election carries exceptional expectations. In one sense, categorizing the election season in such a way is more of a platitude; every Presidential run affirms itself as the biggest, most critical election yet. The media’s inundating hype-machine turns the complex ramifications of choosing political leaders into a horse-race. And yet, with the incumbent President Barack Obama squaring off against the Republican challenger Mitt Romney, major issues in healthcare, the economy, social services, women’s rights, clean energy and more remain at stake.

Every Vote Counts

Most vital to the continuation of a healthy, robust political process are citizens getting their votes out. Honest engagement with the system is key. The cliche ‘every vote counts’ is in fact a potent piece of reality that people need to be reminded of every now and again. Jolkona’s own namesake and mission closely mirrors this philosophy: the word means ‘every drop counts’ in Bengali, signaling the importance of every individual contribution. People can and do make a monumental difference when they utilize their time, energy, skill sets, or connections to speak up for the issues that matter.

Let’s take a look at one of the issues that matters. Although often overlooked in political matches, the candidates’ history in the philanthropic arena is of considerable value. Not only what they have done in the past, or the positions they take now, but how the candidates will conduct themselves in the future on non-profit issues is worth investigating.

Obama and Romney’s Records


President Barack Obama
He argued for and signed into law the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act in 2009, which boasted a substantial expansion on AmeriCorps’ budget and impact. Furthermore, the act created the Social Innovation Fund; it offers grants to help non-profits and expand funding to facilitate widening volunteer capacities.

Obama also completed the Promise Neighborhoods Program of 2011, a federal source for non-profits focused on disadvantaged youth. Funding is provided to aid non-profits working in tandem with schools, businesses, and foundations that are devoted to improving young people’s opportunities in low-income, high-crime communities.

Mitt Romney
During his term as Massachusetts State Governor, Romney led a bi-partisan effort to have state governors sign a 2003 letter arguing emergency aid be given to AmeriCorps. This proposal of national service aimed to have President George W. Bush lend immediate resources to the withering program and prevent drastic cuts.

He appointed his wife Ann Romney to assume an unpaid leadership role in the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. This organization helps allocate federal funds to religious organizations dedicated to offering tangible social services in their communities.

Arts & Culture Support

President Barack Obama
His 2013 proposed budget includes a small increase in the budgets of the National Endowment of the Arts as well as the National Endowment for Humanities (up an additional $8 million to a total of $154 million). These independent agencies extend funding and support to projects and events based around arts, culture, theater and more. In addition, flat-spending has been stipulated for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through 2015.

Mitt Romney
He has been chastised by the Obama camp for threatening to “kill Big Bird” if elected as President. Romney has clearly stated his intentions several times pertaining to the National Endowment of the Arts, Humanities, and PBS, which is for severe reductions if not eliminating their federal funding entirely. He believes federal subsidies to these programs are unnecessarily wasteful in this climate of a hurt economy and rising debt.

Make Your Voice and Vote Heard

The choice cannot and will not be black and white for this upcoming election. There are things to agree and disagree on with both candidates. But keep Jolkona’s mantra close in mind over the next couple of days – that every person’s voice is valuable, unique and significant. So too is your vote. Read up on your local and state officials as well; your city and state politics are just as important and relevant, if not more so!

Learn more about the Presidential candidates’  non-profit policies and beliefs over at The Chronicle of Philanthropy, an exhaustive set of news articles, resources and outreach avenues. Also check out Jolkona’s formidable and diverse project list to make your impact today. Election Day’s aftermath could very well impact these non-profits in the future.

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Halloween. All Hallow’s Eve. Pumpkin carvings, haunted houses and zany costumes. October 31st traditions are commonplace among U.S. households to bring fun, laughter – and inevitable sugar highs – to children. The first Halloween I remember involved cladding my young self in armor, a young but valiant knight. Another year around kindergarten age I danced in and out of the shadows as a trick-or-treating ninja. The vibrancy of kids’ imaginations, not to mention the overwhelming allure of free candy, turns an ordinary day into a happy, costumed spectacle.

UNICEF’s Inspiring October Month

Children deserve the stable health and peace of mind necessary to fully engage in cultural community traditions like Halloween. Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF is a riveting campaign created to assure such an accomplishment for our youth. UNICEF concentrates on developmental work and human rights for children and women all over the globe. If most adults are still just kids at heart, then helping children out in the world right now should be a no-brainer. The Trick-or-Treat campaign has already accumulated tens of millions of dollars for causes which champion the education and success of kids.

We admire the widespread efforts of UNICEF in its autumn campaign. Similarly, Jolkona would like to emphasize a few of its child-minded partners who continue to make life less scary for their communities of focus. Take a look below at engaging non-profits in the fields of healthcare, education and nutrition.

Children are the Future


Supply Medicine to Children in Sierra Leone: All As One is a non-profit medical clinic that combines professional nurses, doctors and resources under one roof for ailing children in Sierra Leone. Lack of access to proper healthcare services greatly contributes to the country’s high child mortality rate. Improve their quality of life in a substantive way today.

Sponsor a Child in Bangladesh: Underprivileged is an understatement for many Bangladeshi youth; Distressed Children & Infants International works tirelessly to secure children equality and education. School supplies, adequate medical treatment, clean clothes – these are essential factors during childhood and adolescent development. Partner with DCI by sponsoring a child’s future well-being.

Rescue Nepali Children from Severe Malnutrition: Poor nutrition, as well as a scarcity of food in general, significantly contributes to Nepal’s struggling population of kids and mothers. The Nepal Youth Foundation operates Nutritional Rehabilitation Homes where they can come to live, learn, and grow healthy and strong. Mothers learn how to prepare nutritious meals with local, affordable staples; children are periodically checked up on after returning home.

Halloween’s festive day is filled with otherworldly ghouls, goblins, witches and werewolves – but consider joining Jolkona in its aspirations for regular, extraordinary people. Children are in need of healthful treatment and care everywhere.

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As a follow-up to yesterday’s introduction to the United Nations’ set of Millennium Development Goals, I would like to share more exciting Jolkona projects that tie in with the remaining missions. Remember, United Nations Week runs through this Friday, October 26th!

Millennium Development Goals by 2015

Goal 5: Improve Maternal Health

  1. Target 5A:Reduce the maternal mortality ratio by three quarters
  2. Target 5B: Achieve universal access to reproductive healthcare

Provide Maternal and Child Healthcare in Guatemala through Jolkona by making a donation toward pre and post-delivery care. Project Concern International, a trusted partner of ours since April 2010, envisions a world devoid of preventable birth complications and health problems. To realize this dream, they have designed their Mother’s House program to ensure mothers and newborns in Guatemala receive excellent care.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDs, Malaria, and Other Diseases

  1.  Target 6A: Have HIV/AIDS halted and begin to reverse the spread
  2.  Target 6B: Achieve universal access to treatment for HIV/AIDS for who need it
  3.  Target 6C: Have incidences of malaria and other major disease halted

Give Care to HIV-Infected Cambodian Children by aligning yourself with New Hope for Cambodian Children. Their services are in extremely high demand; tens of thousands of children and their families are suffering from HIV/AIDs. The group’s ambitious project is the creation of “Our Village,” a miraculous 18 acre hub where orphaned or otherwise abandoned children may live, learn and receive desperately needed health services.

Goal 7: Ensure Environmental Sustainability

Plant Trees in Senegal in no time with the assistance of Trees for the Future. The benefits of planting new trees cannot be overstated. They are not only important for our future; they are part and parcel of any sustainable future — period. For about the cost of a latte you can get a whopping 50 trees planted. Trees for the Future’s agroforestry specimens grow quickly and live out long lives. Reduce your carbon footprint, contribute to land restoration in the region, and provide a struggling individual with an opportunity for income.

Goal 8: Develop a Global Partnership for Development

Sponsor Your Fellows to Help Earthquake Victims and contribute to a new generation of Japanese entrepreneurs and philanthropists. iLEAP/ETIC’s Disaster Recovery Leadership Program is an awe-inspiring 3-12 month commitment for determined individuals in their 20s and 30s. Myriad disaster relief and community development projects in Japan are in need of immediate, passionate leadership. Sponsor a young adult in their effort to cultivate their own social consciousness and work out tangible, positive changes in their community.

Do (UN)to Others as You Would Have Done Unto You

The UN is a leading light in the international community for good will and stewardship. Jolkona is proud to stand behind their Millennium Development Goals as defining characteristics for the partners and projects we connect with. By learning about the crux of the UN’s mission and Jolkona’s related ambitions, philanthropists can become informed about the present and optimistic about the future.

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I learned extensively about how the United Nations operates during my time in high school by participating in Model UN. Whether doing mock sessions in the classroom or attending multi-day conferences with fellow high schoolers, I devoted time to research, oratory skills and argument-building. My ability to think critically benefited greatly from this period in my life – but it is the diplomacy and goodwill that I experienced in the program which resonates with me most clearly to this day.

Show Your Support for Peacemaking

Today, October 24th, is United Nations Day, a moment to celebrate the UN’s impact, spread its mission, and build international support for its goals. Here at Jolkona, the United Nations’ Millennium Goals vitally inform the partners and projects we align ourselves with. They are a set of ambitious targets endorsed by all 193 member states in the UN. The breadth and depth of the goals serve to arm non-profits, governments, politicians, activists and citizens all over the world with a blueprint for change.

Jolkona’s projects below relate directly to the UN’s ongoing objectives. They are geared towards the health, education and empowerment of children, men, and women – among other exceptional missions!

United Nations Millennium Development Goals

Goal 1: Eradicate Extreme Poverty and Hunger

  1. Target 1A: Halve the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day
  2. Target 1B: Achieve Decent Employment for Women, Men, and Young People
  3. Target 1C: Halve the proportion of people who suffer from hunger

Feed a Hungry Family in Nicaragua and contribute to long-lasting food development for families in Nicaragua. Through the help of MADRE, donations will provide seeds, farming supplies, and agricultural training to men and women in need. Sustainable models for saving people from poverty and hunger are achievable with nonprofits such as MADRE.

Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education

  1. Target 2A: Ensure all children can complete a full course of primary schooling by 2015

Give Books and Education to Children in Myanmar by supporting Educational Empowerment, an organization Jolkona started partnering with in August 2012. Educational access and opportunity is their modus operandi; and with a simple $25 gift a library in Myanmar, Burma can be stocked with local books for elementary-age children. Do what you can to facilitate the UN’s goal to successfully provide primary education for all.

Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women

  1. Target 3A: Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education preferably by 2005, and at all levels by 2015

Provide Business Opportunities for Peruvian Women through Awamaki, a non-profit based in Peru that works on economic development in rural communities in the area, where opportunities for education and entrepreneurship are scarce. Basket-weaving women from Quechua-speaking villages are presented with workshops and materials to improve the quality of their product – and even resources for ascertaining greater business independence. Give to Awamaki through Jolkona and empower women today.

Goal 4: Reduce Child Mortality Rates

  1. Target 4A: Between 1990 and 2015, reduce the rate of mortality for children under five by two-thirds.

Save a Young Child from Diarrhea in India with a gift of only $10. Calcutta Kids has been tirelessly aiding Indian children since 2004, providing access to and education on health care, nutrition, and medicine. Oral rehydration solution and Zinc Sulphate is administered from top Calcutta medical professionals to ensure children do not succumb to deathly dehydration. Calcutta Kids’ follow-up therapy and life-counseling is life-changing.

Check in tomorrow to learn about the UN’s four additional Millennium Development Goals, and celebrate United Nations week all week long with Jolkona.

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Life and Times of the Seattle Center

I have fond memories of afternoons spent at the Pacific Science Center as a child. Interactions with the fast-talking robot were always entertaining, while the proto-virtual reality soccer sequences always had eager kids waiting their turn. And who can forget the dinosaur exhibit or the labyrinthine network of brightly colored tunnels that the naked mole rats amble through? My experiences were engaging and formative, and by no means a rarity among my peers; the Seattle Center has served as the literal and symbolic epicenter for our youth’s – or rather the whole city’s – engagement in education, technology and social connections for half a century.

For much of this year, the Seattle Center has been curating historic events to commemorate 50 years since Seattle’s 1962 World Fair. The Next Fifty aims to inform the community about past endeavors and inspire new aspirations and plans. Compassion Games, a month-long celebration of human kindness organized by Compassion Seattle and United Way Day of Caring, is tied into this year’s culminating events. Running from September 21st through October 21st (the final day of “The Next Fifty”), the Compassion Games rewrites what it means to be a winner, and how one goes about cultivating care and generosity in their daily life.

Living Selflessly

Compassion Games’ acts of compassion are intended to build trust and communion between you and friends, family, and strangers. Call a mentor to say thank you; donate blood; read to a child; or simply list what you are grateful for and share it with others. Use your imagination about how you can make the world better one gesture or thank you at a time.

I would like to take this opportunity to share what I am grateful for in my life, as well as include the thoughts of a few of my fellow volunteers.

Dania Primley
I am thankful for all of the wonderful volunteers and interns we see at Jolkona. The volume and quality of volunteer applicants I get always inspires me. The idea that smart, dedicated, passionate people would work for free to help others in need really makes my heart happy.

Mari Hirabayashi
As a new mother, I am thankful for the innocence I see in my son’s eyes and the compassion it gives me.

Santina Rigano
I am grateful for the fantastic experiences and opportunities that I have been given throughout Australia and America. It is absolutely unbelievable to think of what one can achieve, and although my notches are not off my belt as yet, they are getting there. I am truly grateful for the amazing friends and family that I have created here in Seattle and for the West Seattle community which are so supportive, fun, and always there for me. 

Gabriel St. John:
I’m grateful for my stellar community of friends and family – those near and those not so near.

Cameron LaFlam
I am thankful for the family and friends I call my own; I have learned so much about love, friendship, and generosity from our relationships together. I am also grateful for becoming a part of Jolkona – the good will and tenacity I see in others here is humbling and inspiring.

Thank you to the wonderful volunteers and philanthropists of Jolkona who took the time to share what they are grateful for! Here, here to making Seattle more compassionate hour by hour, day by day, and year by year.

In the spirit of Compassion Games’ community involvement and philanthropic gusto, consider giving a gift through Jolkona. Our endeavors range far and wide, capturing the hard work of non-profits in education, healthcare, employment, art and more. Check out our up-to-date project list to discover non-profits doing amazing work in the world; right now!

What will your compassionate act be today?

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GET INVOLVED!