Charity & Grassroots in Downtown

Select Local Merchants

While it?s impossible to know what Seattle?s skyline will look like in the future, the Seattle Architecture Foundation hopes that citizens at least have some input and interest in the developments. To do this, the organization arranges a slew of architecture- and design-related walking tours, lectures, youth workshops, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Ideally, the activities help people become more informed and enthusiastic about great design and more willing to become involved when the city finally launches into space.

1333 5th Ave
Seattle,
WA
US

The Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust's Education Program teaches classes of students in grades 5–10 about the challenge of balancing environmental conservation with the needs of a growing population. The organization's programming combines an in-class, inquiry-based science curriculum with a hands-on field trip. Students travel to a nearby forest to take in tree-strewn mountaintops and vast, green valleys. Leafy visuals provide a backdrop for lessons about soils, environmental concerns for forests that border cities, recycling biosolids, and the effects of urban development on the life cycle of salmon. Last year the organization's educational programming served more than 3,000 students and it relies on donations to continue to provide this service.

911 Western Avenue
Seattle,
WA
US

An octopus gently pushes itself through crystal waters, sea otters twist and flip at the surface as they work through a crab, shore birds perch over pools, and between them all visitors smile in wonder. Seattle Aquarium has attracted millions of guests to its waters with such exhibits since it opened more than 35 years ago. By combining environments for fish, mammal, and avian species, the aquarium captures a slice of the Puget Sound ecosystem, inspiring guests to examine the breadth of life off their shores and how their daily actions impact it. Feedings and daily talks about the animals expand on the wealth of information, whereas touch pools allow many to experience life in the waters in a way they never have before.

In addition to being the ninth largest aquarium in the United States, the Seattle Aquarium is home to biologists who conduct critical research on northern sea otters, the giant Pacific octopus, and other Puget Sound species as part of efforts to contribute to the health of the local marine environment. Focused exhibits work to raise awareness about conservation by imparting an understanding of the threatened orca whale and the sixgill shark—the third-largest predatory shark in the world.

1483 Alaskan Way
Seattle,
WA
US

Northwest Harvest took root more than four decades ago when a group of community leaders got together to empower underserved people. The group learned that hunger was one of the largest causes for concern in Seattle and beyond. As the years passed, Northwest Harvest's leaders found that it was more than the underserved populations who experienced food insecurity, and in fact many out-of-work middle-class families were in the same situation. So they worked to establish a partnership network of more than 325 food banks and meal programs to help extend their reach and supply nutritious food to people across the state.

Today Northwest Harvest focuses on delivering healthful meals and teaching families about nutrition while reducing overall hunger in a way that respects individual dignity. With the organization's partnership network, thousands of volunteers prepare more than 1.6 million healthful meals every month with adequate servings of fruit and vegetables. Furthermore, the distribution centers are spaced across the region to ensure rural and urban communities have an equal access to food.

711 Cherry St
Seattle,
WA
US

The staff at Rotary First Harvest have a single mission: to help end hunger within the Washington community by making fresh fruits and vegetables available to those in need. Its methods for carrying out this vision, however, are quite numerous and innovative. In addition to connecting a network of farmers, truckers, and volunteers, the workers organize corporate volunteering days and seasonal events such as gardening workshops in the summer and a Harvest Hoedown in the autumn.

1201 1st Ave Suite 327
Seattle,
WA
US

During the challenge, teams of two or more individuals will run helter-skelter around the city in a frantic race for cash prizes and personal pride, with a first-place award of $200. Not only will participants have to solve strands of interconnected clues that would test the deductive powers of even the most seasoned consulting detective, they'll need to plot spatiotemporal stratagems while exploring undiscovered corners of the city. Although being physically fit is a plus, quick wits and wise planning will ultimately determine the winners. Participation in the challenge gets contestants a clue packet, race-number bib, and T-shirt, and fees also help toward contributions to partner charities and the prize pool. The website offers a regular FAQ and Groupon FAQ page with further details on the intricacies of the race, what to wear the day of, why it's not okay to bring a boa constrictor, and more.

1201 1st Ave S
Seattle,
WA
US