Birthday Dreams’ volunteers devote themselves to one simple principle: all children deserve a birthday, regardless of economic circumstance. By working with homeless shelters and transitional-housing agencies throughout the community, they’re able to help children in need enjoy one special day of celebration. Their meticulous party planning leaves no detail unaccounted for—everything from eating utensils and personalized gifts to decorations and a fresh-baked cake ensures the child's day will be full of smiles. They encourage community involvement by soliciting handmade gifts from local crafters and inviting volunteers to bring their own children to help out at the party. Since its founding, Birthday Dreams has curated more than 1,100 birthday parties across the greater Puget Sound area, averaging about 60 celebrations each month.
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The Tavon Center eases the transition from high school to adulthood for young people with disabilities by providing respite, care, social activities, and vocational-skill development in a specialized day program. The 5-acre center focuses in large part on horticultural activities such as planting in the gardens that stretch across 2,000 square feet and the greenhouse that grows everything from zinnias to artichokes. Clients can also tend to animals, such as goats, chickens, and rabbits, which roam the grounds. Every summer, the staff sells the center's produce and goods at farmers' markets to give clients a sense of pride and accomplishment while raising awareness about the disabilities. In addition to gathering eggs, baking, and painting artworks, the young adults in the program can also develop a network of friends and receive individualized care from The Tavon Center’s staff.
The team at Burien C.A.R.E.S. has a huge responsibility. The non-profit organization is responsible for Burien's animal control, which means?among a slew of other tasks?they rescue cats and dogs, help them get care, and ultimately find homes. A glance over the organization's Facebook page reveals that this is a never-ending effort, though there are plenty of stories with happy endings. The staff of animal lovers often share information about dogs returned to their owners or cats that have found new homes.
While they mostly cater to furry clients, Burien C.A.R.E.S. also works with the occasional human, mostly through educating the community about pet care, responsible pet ownership, and what to do once a dog learns it can order pizza online. To support these efforts, the organization hosts occasional fundraising events.
Communities In Schools, a nationwide organization, supports students in more than 200 communities across 27 states. Within Auburn, the organization reaches youth at all 22 area schools. Giving more than 5,000 hours of their time per year, the Auburn branch’s 118 volunteers organize donation drives for school supplies, join with local food banks to distribute nutritious foods, and run high-quality tutoring programs for students from low-income families. Last year the team tutored 247 students and provided 5,983 Auburn students with school supplies, clothing, shoes, and hygiene products. Driven by these passionate volunteers, the organization proves the strength of its services with a slew of measureable results, such as the fact that of the 247 students that it tutored last year, 87% improved their test scores.
As part of its mission to empower students to stay in school and achieve in life, Communities In Schools works with schools, social-service providers, and businesses in more than 200 communities across 27 states, including Federal Way, Washington. Its volunteers and outreach coordinators work to equip each young person they serve with the specific tools they require to learn, grow, and succeed, whether they need a pair of eyeglasses or afterschool tutoring. Programs such as Communities In Schools' mentoring program have experienced proven success and resulted in higher graduation rates, according to recent third-party findings.
A Pampered Pooch cares for its canine clients with grooming, daycare, and boarding services, each designed to cater to owners as well as pets. A bath, brush, and dry leaves coats fluffy and free of grime, and nail trimming or grinding keeps pets from scratching up floors while tap-dancing. Dogs who arrive for daycare entertain in off-leash areas, where they play with other pups or with plenty of provided toys. Humans headed out of town can sign up their pets for boarding, which includes large personal suites and dog beds raised off of the floor. Owners can also opt for boarding add-ons that cater to their dog’s personality; staff can take active pups for a walk around the park or treat mellower dogs to one-on-one cuddling time or a midday bath and groom.