Who the Seattle Stand Down serves...
The Seattle Stand Down primarily serves Veterans who are experiencing housing instability. It is part of our mission to engage them in meaningful and therapeutic activities with other Veterans to "give them a hand up, not a hand out" through peer support.
Peer to Peer Activities:
- Recreational Painting:
Our Executive Director, Rebecca, and her assistant, Rachel, love to paint! They talked with many of the Veterans served by the Seattle Stand Down who expressed an interest in painting as well. So about once a month they lug all their art supplies to the Salvation Army William Booth Center and spend about 3 hours painting with their fellow Veterans. The skill levels range from "never painted" to "I can copy a Monet print!".
- Silent Art Auction:
We were so amazed by the talents we had discovered in our monthly paint sessions, we just could not keep it to ourselves. So we asked the Veterans for their permission to sell whatever paintings they wanted to donate back to the organization to sell at a fundraising event. The Veterans were eager to participate!
Thank you to the Seattle Elks Lodge for hosting our event at their lovely new facility in Lower Queen Anne. We had in attendance special guests Congresswoman Suzan DelBene and former Seahawk, Nate Boyer; who blessed us with his unknown painting talents as well.
- Kayaking & Salmon Fishing:
Partnering with NW Heroes on the Water, we are able to take about 30-40 Veterans experiencing homelessness, out for a nice summer day of kayaking and salmon fishing. No experience is necessary. Towards the end of the day everyone everyone enjoys a feast of barbecue salmon, laughter and camaraderie. One of the participants said, "How come no one ever told me kayaking was so relaxing?!".
- Special Visitor:
In 2015, the Seattle Seahawks picked up rookie long snapper Nate Boyer, former US Army Green Beret. Within moments of this news, our team started talking about how cool it would be to get Nate to support our organization. Next thing you know, Rebecca, our executive director says, looking up from her smart phone, "I found an e-mail address on his website...who wants to draft a letter to him?!". Within 24 hours, Nate responded to our request with, "Count me in!". Even though Nate did not make the final cut with the Seahawks, he has had a great positive influence on the Puget Sound area Veteran community. We keep in touch and expect Nate to visit Seattle often.
- Fun Night Out:
Thank you to the Seattle Storm, professional Womans National Basketball Association (WNBA) team, for providing complimentary tickets allowing the Seattle Stand Down to provide a fast paced night of fun for about 40 area Veterans experiencing homelessness. Each Veteran was paired, one to one, with another Veteran who had volunteered to purchase their "basketball buddy" a snack and drink to enjoy during the game. Fun was had by all!