By Ruth Bayang
Northwest Asian Weekly
SEATTLE — On April 18 in Little Saigon, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell, surrounded by community leaders, announced a major community volunteer effort called “One Seattle Day of Service,” and he’s looking for 2,200 volunteers to help pick up trash and clean up graffiti, among other things.
The event will take place on May 21 in the Chinatown-International District (CID) and throughout all seven City Council Districts.
“As my administration works to tackle urgent challenges, I hear every day from Seattle residents looking for ways to be part of the solution. Today, I’m excited to announce the One Seattle Day of Service—a new opportunity for everyone to get involved and give back,” said Harrell.
Harrell, who stressed graffiti removal throughout his campaign last year, briefly picked up a roller to help cover a spray painted wall during his announcement.
One Seattle Day of Service will kick off at 9 a.m. on May 21 with the last volunteer activity ending by 5 p.m. Most volunteer shifts are two to three hours, ranging from just a few volunteers to up to 100 per shift. Nearly half of activity opportunities are open to all ages, and more than one third are open to all abilities.
Everyone who volunteers will get a T-shirt. Three hours of volunteer work can also be applied to up to $50 of fines owed to Seattle Municipal Court.
There are many ways for you to help including:
- Cleaning and beautification—collecting trash, removing graffiti, building repair, and painting
- Gardening and restoration—weeding, planting, storm drain protection, and trail repair
- Helping neighbors in need—grocery packing, donation organizing, and tiny home construction
“My hope is that this One Day of Service will be more than just one day, but a day that sparks continued commitments and collaborations to address community priorities,” said Quynh Pham, executive director of Friends of Little Saigon. “I commend Mayor Harrell for continuing to support and elevate our community’s issues.”
More than 80 partner organizations are participating in the One Seattle Day of Service, including the Chinatown-International District BIA, Downtown Seattle Association, Pioneer Square Alliance, Chief Seattle Club, Food Lifeline, Urban League, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders FC, OL Reign, UW Husky Football, and more.
The Asian Weekly asked Harrell about the continued problem of homeless encampments in the CID and he said that the problem is “decades in the making” and that the City will continue to “lead with compassion in housing strategy.”
Linh Thai, regional manager of The Mission Continues—a nonprofit that helps connect veterans with community service work—has helped start a once-a-month litter pickup in the neighborhood.
He said, “The Mission Continues, serving side by side with community partners, has made significant impacts all over our great nation, particularly here in the [CID] and Southeast Seattle… On May 21, 2022, we…call upon the 28,000 Veterans residing in Seattle to join the movement to make positive impacts in our beloved city.”
Visit seattle.gov/dayofservice to learn more about the event and register to volunteer.
Ruth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.