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After a long stint at this address, this blog is finally moving to its new home within our website. We invite you to visit us there




Join MOHAI this Valentine’s Day as they throw a party to celebrate the opening of their new exhibit on LGBTQ history in Seattle, called Revealing Queer, created in conjunction with a variety of community partners. The evening is a celebration full of fun activities, including a popular DJ, burlesque, gay bingo, and of course access to the museum galleries.

Volunteers will help with coat check and guest registration in this busy party atmosphere. The shift is from 6:30pm to 11pm and you will be volunteering with a fun group, so sign up today! 

What does it mean to be hungry? For some of us it means waiting until the last minute to decide on what we’ll eat for dinner. But in Western Washington, every day 690,000 children, seniors and adults truly don’t know when they’ll have their next nutritious meal.

Food Bank Photo 7

This is the challenge that the Food Bank at St. Mary’s has been trying to solve since its inception as a food pantry in the early 1940’s. The food bank, located in the Jackson neighborhood in Seattle’s Central District, provides over 6,700 Seattleites a month with groceries.

Food Bank Photo 6

Several TWIF volunteers, including myself, donated their time last Saturday morning to handing out grocery products at the food bank. We volunteered on the floor of the warehouse, sorting through crates of donated food and handing out hundreds of cans of beans and corn, bags of flour and rice, fresh fruits and vegetables, assorted meats and endless cans of orange soda.

Food Bank Photo 3

We arrived at 9:15 am and a friendly worker guided us back to the food pantry kitchen.  There we met Tina, the Program Manager, who told us we arrived on a good day and provided us with some training related to the task at hand.   Our job was simple: hand out groceries to individuals.  While we got ready for the doors to open and the crowds to fill the small sorting area in the warehouse, I reminded myself to smile and make sure to offer everyone the items I was responsible for distributing.   I loved watching the concentration on the faces of the other TWIF volunteers as they were helping hand out groceries, answering questions or restocking their crates.

It was a rewarding experience to be responsible for helping families or individuals choose which items went into their bag. In a way, we were helping individuals decide what they were going to eat for the next week.

Food Bank Photo 1

We were pleasantly surprised to hear that during our 15-minute break we would get a lunch that included chicken, rice and lentil curry sauce. The meal was prepared on site by one of the volunteers which made it even more delicious.

Our four hours of work felt like a breeze compared with the support the food bank needs from the community. But at the end of our shift, food bank employees told us that our group had helped accomplish a lot and offered us a bag of groceries, which we gladly accepted.

Prior to leaving, we helped sort through and pack away hundreds of crates full of produce, meats, cheeses and other food items into walk in coolers and freezers. Our overall work required a lot of sorting and packing food products, being able to lift heavy crates and stand for long periods of time.

Food Bank Photo 4

As we walked out of the food bank, I felt so proud of the work we had accomplished by helping people in our community. Our volunteer experience was fun, inspiring and humbling. It really made us feel fortunate for what we have.

-Alina Aaron, TWIF Volunteer Coordinator

  1. Silent Movie Mondays at the Paramount February 10th: Monday evenings can be slow and uneventful, so why not jazz them up with some good old-fashioned cinema and quality snacks? The Paramount Theatre is hosting another Silent Movie Monday tomorrow night, February 10, 2014 at 7:00 pm.
 This time it’s the epic 1926 Buster Keaton masterpiece, The General. Complimentary movie snacks provided by Trader Joe’s.
  2. Northwest Symphony Orchestra February 14th: Still looking for something to do this Valentine’s Day? How about taking your special someone out for a night of “Latin Passion.” This year’s Valentine’s Day concert features a variety of Latin influenced compositions that will surely melt anyone’s heart.
  3. Comedy of Love February 14-15th: How about starting your night off on a light note this Valentine’s Day and heading over to the Market Theater for a night full of hilarious V-day themed improv!
  4. Revealing Queer February 14- July 6th: MOHAI is opening an exhibition called Revealing Queer, which explores how the Puget Sound LGBTQ community has grown and evolved through the years.  This wonderful exhibit is not only educational, but a powerful look at the history of the LGBTQ community within our nation.
  5. Free Entrance Day at National Parks February 15-17th: This President’s Day Weekend opt to head outdoors and take advantage of free admission to any of Washington’s National Parks.
  6. Seattle Festival of Improv Theater February 19-23rd: This five-day festival features improv and comedy groups from all across the country.  This will mark their 12th year hosting the festival in Seattle, to much critical acclaim.  SFIT has solidified our city as the center for improv theater in America.  That being said, you don’t want to miss it!
  7. TWIF Intro Hour February 20th: TWIF is a hosting an informational meet and greet in Ballard this month, and we would love to get to know you or answer any questions you may have for us! Beer and snacks will be provided (of course).  Why not give yourself a chance to give back to your community, make a difference and meet some great people. Come check it out!
  8. Washington Beer Open House February 22nd: Take advantage of this one-day only event to explore any one of your local participating breweries.  The Washington Beer Commission gathered up some of our state’s greatest breweries to participate in this event, where you can explore your local brew house, meet the brewers, and sample some of the best beer around.
  9. Everett Film Festival February 21-22nd:  This unique event is dedicated to promoting women within the film industry.  For years, the festival was focused mainly on hosting films that showcased films about women, created by women.  But within the last few years, they have broadened their festival’s film pool—hosting a wide variety of films that are not only created by women, but also showcase what challenges the modern day woman must face on a daily basis.  Check it out!
  10. Chilly Hilly February 23rd: Do you love cycling? Well, then plan to attend Chilly Hilly this year!  This 33-mile route around Bainbridge Island lets riders explore the scenery as well as enjoy a beautiful morning ferry ride.  This ride was recently names “One of Four Classic Rides” in the nation, by Bicycle Magazine.
  11. Wintergrass February 27- March 2nd:  Do you like Bluegrass? If so, then you need to check out Wintergrass, which features a wide variety of very talented bands.  Not sure if Bluegrass is for you? Then check out their informative video and see if the festival is something you want to check out!

-Aryn Higgins, TWIF Blogger

 February Seattle Events

One of my New Years resolutions was to make a bigger effort to explore the North Pacific West.  So, I took advantage of one of our less rainy weekends and decided to hike the Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Serene trail.

For those who aren’t familiar with Lake Serene, it is a glacial lake nestled in Washington’s Cascade Mountains.  The trail is about 7.2 miles (round trip) and has an estimated 2,000ft elevation gain.

I confess, I am not an experienced hiker, but I was initially drawn to this particular trail for its close proximity to Seattle, as well as rumored beauty.

But before leaving, I wanted to do a little background research on Lake Serene.  I discovered a collection of beautiful photos capturing a pristine, aquamarine colored lake nestled in between dramatic mountaintops.

However, most of these photos were taken during the summer, and it being January, I was fully prepared for the clear and present danger of snow and ice.


That being said, I decided to take my chances and embark upon this new experience.  The trail begins on an old logging road just off of Highway 2, and about an hour and a half from Seattle by way of I-5.

The trail starts off pretty easy, as you walk along a wooded path.  Gradually the trail begins to start its incline (Remember that 2,000 ft elevation gain?) as you make your way towards Lake Serene.

Unfortunately, on the day that I went, the trail was icy and I wasn’t able to make it all the way up to Lake Serene.

But, I was able to get a feel for what the trail would entail and I will definitely be going back during a warmer time of year.

From what I can tell, during the summer, the Lake is a great place to picnic and even (if it’s warm enough) a great place to go swimming.

I definitely recommend this trail for anyone that is looking to get some fresh air.  It is a great hike for people of any skill experience—just don’t forget to pack one essential item: snacks!


-Aryn Higgins, TWIF Blogger

 Pacific Northwest

It’s the end of January and we’ve reached that mid-winter lull when we’re no longer motivated by the joy of the holidays to power through the chilly days with a smile. We find ourselves wanting for Spring rather than being satisfied with a cozy fire and a winter warmer in hand. But the PNW has had many a rainless day lately and countless breathtaking sunsets, so don’t wait for Spring’s distant arrival to embrace the outdoors. Here are 4 reasons you should get off your couch and get outside:

1. Because the views downtown offers are too majestic to miss. And while you’re there, be a tourist in your own city. Have a cocktail at the Alibi Room, use the Gum Wall as a photo backdrop, and don’t forget to head downstairs to Orange Dracula, an eccentric little shop that houses one of the best black and white photo booths in the city (trust me on this one, the exposure and white balance are flawless).

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2. Because houseboats. Take a stroll through the unchartered corners of Gasworks Park and you’ll find darling houseboats that gently rock on Lake Union’s wake. It may seem a little peeping-Tom-ish—obviously you should respect the residents—but it doesn’t hurt to daydream a little.

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3. Because the Bainbridge Island ferry guarantees lovely views of both the city and nature, but also because the 30 minute ride gives you just enough time to plan upcoming adventures—like where you’ll journey on the first warm day of Spring.

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And, since you’ll be visiting the Island, stop in at Island Vitners for an $8 wine flight and an ever-welcoming atmosphere. If vino just isn’t your thing, head down the main drag to the beloved Mora Iced Creamery; your taste buds will thank you.

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4. Because hiking to Twin Falls at Olallie State Park makes you feel like you’ve stepped into an enchanted forest. Bring your camera and your endurance, guys, this place is gorgeous. Olallie is about 45 miles east of Seattle and boasts six miles of hiking trails. Winter just happens to be the best time to see the waterfalls. So, couch or roaring falls hedged in an old growth forest? I think we both know the correct answer.

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Sometimes life is better spent outdoors, so go have your adventure!

On Thursday night I lead my very first TWIF event. Luckily all the volunteers were awewome, so my job was made exceptionally easier. The venue: Axis Pioneer Square. The event: Yelp’s Holiday Hangover. The perks: free grub from Contigo Modern Mexican and Ezell’s Express food trucks, assorted swag and the company of other great people.

Yelp HH 1

By far the most popular table at any event–the one that sells drink tokens!

Upon arriving at Axis, I joined my fellow event lead Michelle, and we got ready for more volunteers to arrive. Our TWIF table was right in front of a wall of globes (the kind you might have found in your elementary school classroom).  Which is a perfect backdrop considering our organization’s name.

And I must say, the Yelp staff was great at explaining the tasks at hand. There were three drink stations—one serving Old Fashioneds, another serving Dark and Stormy’s, and another serving punch. We were instructed in mixing and serving each one. I didn’t actually get to work at any of the drink stands, but heard it was a fabulous time.

Yelp HH Caricature

Dueling caricature artists.

Along with Michelle and another volunteer, I helped sell drink tokens. Things went quickly after I figured out how to use the card scanner! Thanks to all the other great volunteers and the folks who showed up to the event, TWIF was able to raise money to sustain our programming and our ability to help other great Seattle non-profits.

Does this kind of thing sound like your jam? Check out our events page for similar experiences. Don’t miss out—our next event is already full!

Slinging Dark n' Stormy's for TWIF.

Slinging Dark n’ Stormy’s for TWIF.


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