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December 11, 2009

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December 11, 2009

It was 12 years ago, I was a Washington State Representative and received a visit during legislative session from about 7 first place 5th graders. By the time they left I was convinced that yes poor children can learn, they can behave and their teachers can love them as if they were their own. I went on to be on their Advisory Board, then on the Board of Directors and eventually Board President. First Place has grown and evolved to include not only homeless children but those of incarcerated woman and those at risk of homelessness applying preventives. The Director Dr. Doreen Cato has grown along with First Place and elevated her learning and knowledge along with the kids by securing her terminal degree. Working with her as a board President was an incredible experience, as she is a consummate team player. I am now retired from both the Legislature and First Place Board. But I am still thankful for that day I was introduced to First Place. One of the little girls is now herself a mom all grown up. She stood before a full audience and told them that without First Place there was no hope for her and her mom, now they are fine. In fact they are contributors to their community and for that we say thank you First Place for what you do to break generational cycles of poverty and failed lives.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

First Place always comes up with strategies for funding that keeps them afloat even during the worst economic times. Since they work with the poorest families (homeless or close)this makes them wonderful examples for their clients.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand advocacy for the children who leave First Place and return to public school. This occurs after the family is stabilized in housing (three years max)

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What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The relationships between the Director and Administration, Board President and Directors, Staff and clients is interactive and mutually respectful. There were events when you could not tell who was who.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Committed to the excellence for the families and students. Those were not self selected out of the organization. It is not the culture of America to seek and find excellence in the poorest of families. This organization does; succeeds in elevating lives.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Expand its transitional housing stabilization program, create year round education and enrichment for homeless children and expand their best practices for poor children living with trauma to others.

Ways to make it better...

My experiences with First Place has been a life evolving one and it is hard for me to find what would be better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

A sustained funding source The children have to return to public school and most often to cultures of failure.

One thing I'd also say is that...

If First Place can teach the children, reverse feelings and realities of hopelessness for families, so can other agencies and schools. Ask a FP client how is your life better in a sustained way because of FP and they will tell you of the positive outcomes

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

December 8, 2009

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December 8, 2009

I make sure to go to First Place's annual fundraiser breakfast every year because I truly believe in this organization and what they stand for. I can tell that they are dedicated to what they do---you can see it in the faces of the children they help. I feel honored to be a part of that every year.

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If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

change the lives of hundreds of thousands of children across the US. They could help shape the futures of so many people who just need the support to thrive and grow.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

December 4, 2009

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December 4, 2009

Every time I visit First Place, I am amazed by the warmth of the staff and the light in the children's eyes. They seem to appreciate every bit of love and support that pours in through the community. I go there with the intention of giving but receive so much more from the time I spend there. First Place is making a real difference in the lives of children and their families. I cannot help but be inspired by this organization's work.

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

friendly and passionate about their work.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

December 3, 2009

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December 3, 2009

Donating to a charity can be a rewarding experience as long as you feel confident in the organization. After visiting First Place in Seattle WA I am extremely confident in the people and the mission of this particular charity. I am just getting started with First Place, but the positive interactions with the staff and kids have me hooked for the long road! I would recommend getting involved and making a difference today!

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The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Positive people looking to make a real difference in the lives of people in need. I felt like the staff truely understood the issues effecting the children and their parents and created a program to address the issues.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009

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5 tips for getting reviews

5 tips for getting reviews...

  1. Sending an email to clients, volunteers, donors, board members, and other partners with a link to your profile page.
  2. Putting a link on your Web site
  3. Including a link in your email newsletter
  4. Putting a link in the signature of your email
    Putting a link on your facebook page and status updates
  5. Tweeting out a link to your twitter followers

3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Help in many ways!  Here’s a few examples:

• Teacher’s assistant in the classroom as a role model for student success.
• Mentor for individual students, encouraging them to achieve their potential.
• Tutor, helping students excel in the classroom.
• Event volunteer, so First Place can raise money in support of programs.
• Activity Supervisor, spending time with students outside the classroom.
• Receptionist, greeting the community as them come to First Place.
• Club Leader, using your skills & passions to help First Place families discover & develop their own interests.
• Professional partner, keeping our school & business in working order.

We especially need male volunteer mentors to spend 1 hour a week with First Place students ages 6 to 13. 

Contact Joyce Scoggins for more information.  jscoggins@firstplaceschool.org Volunteer