Explore more: volunteering edition

Four years, four Martin Luther King Jr Days spent volunteering via United Way’s partner agencies.

I’ve spent three of those four years pulling out blackberries, planting native species and/or sprucing up natural areas. But after three years of cold and wet days spent outside, I drew the line: my next MLK Jr Day should be spent indoors.

So I randomly chose a Seattle-based organization close to public transit that needed some sprucing: Global Visionaries.

If you haven’t heard of them, that’s okay: I hadn’t either before signing up to volunteer with them.

They’re a non-profit that goes to local schools to select diverse youth leaders — they go through a series of programs throughout the year, culminating in a trip to Guatemala to meet their Latin counterparts. Teens can come back a second year: to help guide first years. The goal: to become socially-conscious global leaders.

It’s a small, but mighty program with two offices in a former Seattle school (now the Centro de la Raza building).


So, myself and about a dozen other volunteers descended on the small space to give the offices a deep cleaning so that when workers come back tomorrow, they’ll think they came into the wrong building!

We were able to get the job done well before the allotted time (we were slated to work 10a-2:30p), but we finished at 11:30a! That left me time to explore the Beacon Hill neighborhood, a place I haven’t visited since I moved here.

Fortunately, some of the volunteers work nearby, so I tagged along for lunch at El Quetzal, a small Mexican restaurant next door to a closed Philipino restaurant (don’t worry, I’ll be back).


The food was so delicious, with so many great-sounding options, I think I’ll need to come back at least 30 times to try them all out! I had a pickled cactus torta, which tasted much better than it sounds!

Afterwards, we went next door to Victrola Coffee for a latte before heading back to our respective homes.


Thank you, Global Visionaries, not just for the work you do, but for getting me out to explore a neighborhood I’ve neglected: I’ll be back.


(oh, Seattle-ites…do you like mini-golf? GV is having a mini-golf fundraiser this weekend! Go out and have some fun!)



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