Serve Well Blog

September 2015 Entries

9.21.15

Launching the Service Journey: Service Volunteers Connect

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press

2015 Launching Service Journey

"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together."

Last Sunday's "Launching the Service Journey" event embraced these wise words! The Krista Foundation and six other local faith-based service organizations brought together their new volunteers from across the Puget Sound region for a half-day retreat to build community, explore best practices and seed a vision for transforming a year of service into a lifetime of service-centered leadership. Joined by alums from their service organizations and transitioned Krista Colleagues, these new volunteers probed the ethics of service and applied them in their urban US context. What social and racial lenses do we bring to service? How can seeing our own privilege make us more effective? How do we take care of ourselves in trying times, and how can we laugh more? What we learned will help all of us go far, together, for years to come.

Hosted in partnership with: Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest; Lutheran Volunteer Corps; Peace Community Center; Quaker Experiential Serivce and Training (QuEST); United Church of Christ Young Adult Service Communities; United Methodist US-2

Part of the Puget Sound Service Org Network:

2015 launching service journey mike davis

9.18.15

From ugly place to paradise: a new lens

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press

 

Jeremiah Sataraka '10

Understanding the "lens" we bring to service is significant.

When Jeremiah Sataraka '10 first began serving with the Northwest Leadership Foundation's Act Six program, he realized he was one of many people who regarded cities as "ugly places...where people ‘do service', somewhere I'd go to for work, and not a place to seek, create and sustain community." His service year launched his commitment to opening doors to first-generation college students. As a Resident Director at alma mater Whitworth University, Dorm Counselor for University of Hawaii Maui College Upward Bound program, and Program Coordinator for Chicago's Posse Foundation, he has sought to nurture and equip students to be agents of change on campus. Now in the Cultural Studies and Social Thought in Education PhD program at Washington State University, he is articulating a Pasifika or Oceania Critical Race Theory, especially as it pertains to the field of education, in order to reinforce Pasifika/Oceanic indigenous knowledge in the dominant culture.

At the 2011 Krista Foundation Breakfast, Jeremiah shared the story of his changed lens on the city, beginning with a poem by Denise Levertov.

City Psalm-Denise Levertov

The killings continue, each second
pain and misfortune extend themselves
in the genetic chain, injustice is done knowingly, and the air
bears the dust of decayed hopes,
yet breathing those fumes,
walking the thronged
pavements among crippled lives, jackhammers
raging, a parking lot painfully agleam
in the May sun, I have seen
not behind but within, within the
dull grief, blown grit, hideous
concrete facades, another grief, a gleam
as of dew, an abode of mercy,
have heard not behind but within noise a humming that drifted into a quiet smile.
Nothing was changed, all was revealed otherwise;
not that horror was not, not that the killings did
not continue, not that I thought there was to be no more despair,
but that as if transparent all disclosed
an otherness that was blessed, that was bliss.
I saw Paradise in the dust of the street.

If there's one lesson that I've learned since becoming a part of the Krista Foundation family, it's this:

The way we see our cities needs to change. My definition of "seeing" includes more than just what our eyes can see, but involves a fundamental shift in the way we think about urban communities.

For too long, many people have defined success in terms of "getting the heck out of here!" Tim Herron, director and founder of Act Six once told a story of how he ran into a kid in his Tacoma neighborhood and while talking about school, he realized that this kid's idea of success was defined by how soon he could leave his community, something shared by many others in communities across our nation. As a 2 year AmeriCorps volunteer who returned to Tacoma to work with Act Six, I knew this wasn't a healthy view of our urban communities.

I've come to recognize that many people define and see cities as frankly, ugly places. When I was younger, even I bought into the idea that urban communities were only places where people "do service," somewhere I'd go to for work, and not a place to seek, create and sustain community. But I began to recognize that the way I viewed the city impacted the way I engaged with it, it was as though I'd become involved in an abusive relationship; taking advantage of the benefits of being in the city, getting out of it only what was needed, but not caring enough to see it as beautiful and worthy of my attention, my affection. Today may have been the first time you've heard the adjective PARADISE to describe an urban reality, but I hope it won't be the last.

As Krista colleagues, we were awarded leadership grants that were to be spent on meaningful leadership development experiences. For my Krista grant, I spent a week in Washington DC at the National Coalition on Asian Pacific Islander American Community Development convention, a non-profit that exists to strengthen the capacity of community-based organizations to create neighborhoods of hope and opportunity. At this convention, I engaged with dynamic leaders from across the states who worked in urban neighborhoods and valued these communities. National CAPACD recognized that our cities are places of great need but also places full of treasures, a sentiment also shared by Act Six and the Krista Foundation. In all of these examples, success wasn't defined by "getting the heck out of the city," but the definition of success included embracing the city, flaws and all. I walked away from that experience energized and ready to continue working on behalf of not only the API community, but also our urban communities. A few months later, it was time to put the experiences from the convention to use as I helped organize an Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Day event in Olympia where thousands of people from across Washington gathered to make our voices heard on the verge of the Governor's proposed state budget cuts that would have disproportionately affected the API community. I stood in amazement as the day's events unfolded and our state leaders listened earnestly to our concerns.

It's been through the support of the Krista Foundation, my AmeriCorps experiences and many others who are seated here today, that I've forged a heart of service. Ever since I can remember, I've wanted to serve, to volunteer and get involved with things that challenge my mind and spirit. The past couple of years have served as a launch pad to the work I'm doing in Chicago and my hope of coming back to Washington and serving in government to make lasting change for the sake of all our communities.

Forging a heart of service - it's essential to the health of our nation, to our world and to future generations of leaders. Today I challenge you to see paradise in the dust of the streets. Thank you.

 

9.18.15

We are thankful for our sponsors!

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press

The Krista Foundation would like to extend gratitude to the amazing sponsors of our October 18th Spokane Breakfast Fundraiser. Without the generosity, support, and commitment to young adults practicing a life of service leadership this event would not be possible! 

breakfast sponsor
      

9.17.15

Joy Dance

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Service Ethics

If I cannot prolong your dance, I will

Proclaim it. I will proclaim your dance to God and to the world.

 

Jeremy Funk wrote those words after learning of Krista Hunt Ausland’s death. In his poem “Joy Dance”, the Mennonite Central Committee volunteer celebrated and grieved for the woman who invited him to dance for the first time in his life at a quinceñera.

"Joy Dance” is our shorthand term for recognizing hope in the midst of struggle and suffering, expecting that new life, joy and resilience grow from life’s most difficult challenges. While we can’t know when difficult challenges will arise, we can equip one another to engage them. As new Krista Colleagues and service volunteers settle into service placements across the country and globe, we are equipping them for the journey, walking alongside them on their first few steps, and nurturing a community for extended reflection. Inspired by Krista herself, in the midst of tough questions, the Krista community stays focused on hope and resilience. “I almost hear you singing hallelujah,” says Jeremy in the last line of his poem. Read Jeremy's Joy Dance poem here.

9.15.15

Zoka Global Citizen Coffee Circle

Valerie Norwood | Colleague Press, Developing Nations, Community, Integrating Service As A Way Of Life, Sustaining Service

Global Citizen Coffee Circle

 Better coffee for you,
Better wages for farmers,
Better leaders for tomorrow

Join the Global Citizen Coffee Circle and you'll nurture a worldwide community of small coffee farmers and young leaders intent on changing the world.

With every delicious cup, you'll help Zoka Coffee's independent growers create sustainable livelihoods for themselves and their families-and help the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship equip young volunteers with leadership skills equal to the challenges of our times.

As global as Zoka coffees, these young leaders serve from Tacoma and Chicago to Ulan Bator and Tegucigalpa, pursuing long-term, sustainable, game-changing goals.

Learn more about this amazing new partnership opportunity with Zoka Coffee!

9.12.15

Growing and Feeding Others

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press, Environmental Projects

Growing up in Tijuana, Daniela could see many women who lacked opportunities. A class on the food system at the University of San Diego opened a way to unite her love for inventing dishes to feed others with her long-time commitment to empowering women. "Yes,And is what I've done all my life," she says. Yes, she served for a year as a Garden Educator for the Learning Gardens Laboratory in Portland, where she taught 6th graders science and sustainability in the garden-And she is now enrolled in Portland State's Leadership for Sustainability Education program and helping low-income Portland residents grow their own food.

Daniela used her Service Leadership Grant to attend Oregon State University's urban farming apprenticeship program is the next Yes she is working towards. "I want to help people grow food, get access to healthy food, and feel the empowerment that comes from making healthy decisions," she says. "My dream is to go back to Tijuana and start doing this work there."

 

9.2.15

Annual Spokane Fundraising Breakfast

The Krista Foundation | Krista Foundation Press

Join us for a celebration of twenty-somethings whose service leadership is shaping our communities and the world. Hear their inspiring stories of "Facing into the Wind."
2016 Spokane Fundraising Breakfast

When:
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
7:30am-9:00am 

Where:
DoubleTree Hotel
322 W Spokane Falls Boulevard

The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship
Equipping young adults with skills to transform service experiences into lives of service leadership. A service year, when nurtured, becomes a life of service leadership.

RSVP by October 7th to jessica@kristafoundation.org