Generosity Week March 2019

Erika Bigelow / 5th April 2019 / Comment / Culture

6 (days) + 41 (Wheelhouse employees) + 7 (non-profit organizations) = Values Exercised

The second week of March found us putting this equation to the test for our first-quarter Generosity Week.

Wheelhouse DMG is centered around a set of values that include generosity and helpfulness – values that we employ daily in work with clients and colleagues. We also feel that it’s critical to remember that we are just one small part of a greater community and that, to be good stewards in that community, we need to exercise those values outside the office. 

Quarterly Generosity Days have been a part of our culture for years. As we’ve grown though, so too has our approach to generosity and the time required to put this value into action. So, quarterly “Generosity Days” became quarterly “Generosity Week” and, about a year ago, our team members chose nine causes to rally around that align with employee passions;

  • Early childhood education
  • Senior citizens
  • Homelessness
  • Veterans
  • Hunger
  • At-risk women & children
  • Underrepresented or marginalized groups
  • Environmental concerns
  • Immigrants

Each quarter we coordinate with non-profit organizations that serve these populations and our team members work with them to create volunteer events.

So, in March, employees chose the event that interested them the most and set off in teams around the city. From the North End to the Central District to Burien, we did our best to be helpful, generous and open to learning.

The non-profits with which we worked this quarter included:

New Horizons Youth Homeless Shelter – An organization that works with youth to exit homelessness. Wheelhouse DMG volunteered in their South Lake Union shelter, cleaning various spaces and serving lunch.

Mary’s Place – An organization that provides safe, inclusive shelter and services for women, children and families. Wheelhouse DMG volunteered in the Women’s Day Center downtown, doing activities with the women and helping to serve lunch.

Wallingford Senior Center – An organization that focuses on building community across generations and navigating the network of community and government resources available to seniors. Wheelhouse DMG set up and supported a TED talk at the location and served lunch.

Puget Soundkeeper Alliance – An organization that protects and preserves the Puget Sound waterways. Wheelhouse DMG team members collected more than 16 pounds of garbage in the Ship Canal.

El Centro de la Raza – An organization that provides support and a voice for the Latino community through multiple programs. Wheelhouse DMG team members spent the day working in the food bank.

World Relief – An organization that works to help refugees and immigrants successfully transition to our country. Wheelhouse DMG team members assisted with an employment class and worked individually with students on their resumes and job interview skills.  

FareStart – Works to end homelessness and joblessness by providing job training in food service and the culinary arts while also providing meals across the community. Wheelhouse DMG team members worked in the professional kitchen to help prepare 1,800 meals.

Reflecting our his experience volunteering at El Centro de la Raza, one of our team members recalled walking in to the facility that morning and passing the child development center (just one of the many programs run by the facility). The children, ages 1-4, were reciting a poem in Spanish by José Martí called “Cultivo Una Rosa Blanca” (“I have a White Rose to Tend”).

Cultivo una rosa blanca,                                I have a white rose to tend

En julio como en enero                                   In July as in January;

Para el amigo sincero                                     I give it to the true friend

Que me da su mano franca.                           Who offers his frank hand to me.

Y para el cruel que me arranca                      And for the cruel one whose blows

El Corazón con que vivo,                                 Break the heart by which I live,

Cardo ni oruga cultivo:                                    Thistle nor thorn do I give:

Cultivo la rosa blanca.                                     For him, too, I have a white rose.

Listening to those words set the tone for the entire day. Here, he felt, was an organization that understood that a helping hand is not just extended to one type of person, it is extended to all. Differences are celebrated, and opportunities are provided for people to care about each other. He had not been aware of El Centro de la Raza before this experience, but it was the type of organization that helped him when he was growing up in Los Angeles, and to give back to the Latin American community was both personal and meaningful. In addition to the food bank, which is open three days a week and serves the 98108 and 98144 zip codes, El Centro operates:

Child development center                              Outreach to women veterans & veterans of color

After school program                                     Crisis advocacy

Youth leadership institute                              Senior nutrition & wellness

College readiness program                             Infant mortality prevention program

Youth violence prevention program              Support groups for Latina women

Homeless prevention program                      Parent-child home program

A youth job readiness training program         Bilingual tax preparation site

Life skills & job readiness education               Bilingual legal clinics

ESL classes                                                             Immigration & civil rights advocacy  

Low-income & transitional housing                Social justice & cultural events

“Thanks to Generosity Week, I have connections with my co-workers that I didn’t have before, and the knowledge of an amazing organization right in my own city that I want to return to and support in the future.”

For more about Wheelhouse DMG’s Generosity Week events, follow our blog posts at:

And, of course, we’d love to talk with you about Wheelhouse DMG, what we do, and opportunities with our team. Send us a message today!

By Erika Bigelow