Friday, November 30, 2012

The magic of the season


Our Eastside Winter Shelter for Women and Children has been open for a full month now ... how time flies! We thank the Redmond United Methodist Church for their dedication to the mission of helping those who are homeless during this time of year and need an emergency life line of shelter.

Our ladies have had many wonderful experiences offered to them this month! The very popular Seastar Restaurant invited our clients for a wonderful Thanksgiving meal. And, a resounding thank you to The Kirkland Seventh Day Adventist Church and the Aras Foundation Harvest Festival for their contributions to making this a memorable Thanksgiving Holiday for our clients.

Our holiday "elf" this year is Karen Carnahan. She is busy gathering holiday gifts so that our clients can experience the love and magic of the season. She can be contacted at

As we herald in the winter months and the danger of the cold and the looming loneliness faced by those experiencing homelessness compounds, the gifts that our community bestows on our clients warms me as the magic of the season is sprinkled by you time and again - many work so hard to provide for those in need. Thank you!

With warm regards,
Helen Leuzzi
Executive Director

Introducing Our New Merchant Partners in "One For Sophia" Community Giving Campaign

A heartfelt thank you to the merchants below who are supporting our "One For Sophia" Community Giving Program. While you are out and about please visit them and remember to order an extra (symbolically, of course) "One For Sophia". If you can't make it out to these great businesses, then please express your appreciation with a "like" on facebook.

St. James Espresso
A locally owned family business, located across the street from the Performing Arts Center. They strive to bring great coffee, teas, wine, and beer to their customers.

Two Twelve on Central
- Bistro & Bar
Two Twelve specializes in Mediterranean small plates and comfort foods as well as a compliment of local wines. It's a full bar with musical acts Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
Like Two Twelve on Facebook

Cheeky Cafe
Asian Fusion ... with a twist! Comfort Food ... for the masses! There's a lot of ways to describe them, but whatever your tastes, they have something for everyone.
Like Cheeky Cafe on Facebook

Immortal Dog Pet Supply & Bakery
They specialize in pet nutrition, helping your pet live their best life. In store you will also find toys, chews, treats, supplements, grooming products and other goodies you need for your canine and feline friends.
Like Immortal Dog on Facebook

Want to see your favorite establishment participate? Tell them you'd like for them to participate in our "One For Sophia" Community Giving Campaign...give us a call and we will let them know the details of the program and deliver the marketing materials! Thank you for your ongoing support!
In This Issue
Introducing Our Merchant Partners: "One For Sophia"
Cell Phone Recycling
Winter Shelter Enters Its Second Month

Don't throw away that old cell phone

Do you have old cell phones or know someone who has them? We can put those to good use. Not only will they help raise funds for the women we serve, if unusable, they will be recycled in a environmentally friendly manner.

We are partnering with Phones 4 Charity in this cell phone recycling program. Funds raised from this program will benefit The Sophia Way in providing services to the women experiencing homelessness in East King County. We accept any cell phones, new or old, functional or not including accessories. The amount of donation we receive depends on the phone and can vary a lot. Phones 4 Charity use a Greystone Zero IT data erasure machine that destroys all electronic data on the phone. This machine is used and approved by DOD (Department of Defense) to erase high priority classified data.

Older phones that do not
have any market value will be used for 911 use. Any and all phones will be recycled. All scrap phones, batteries and accessories will be recycled in an environmentally responsible manner.

Please let your friends and family know about this program. If you know of any business that will be interested in keeping a box to drop-off cell phones at their location, let us know and we will make that happen.
Winter Shelter Enters Its Second Month

December will mark the second month of our winter shelter this year. We have served many women and children for a total of 181 bed nights already in our opening month so far. As we transition to Bellevue First Congregational Church for December and January and the weather continues to become more inclement we expect our numbers to rise significantly. We welcome your help with meal provisions, please contact Andrea Ligget if you wish to serve this way at 425.442.2712. Aid with laundry and supplies is always appreciated as well as any volunteer assistance. Please call Barbara Woontner at 425.463.6285 if you can help out.

Friday, November 16, 2012

One for Sophia


We are starting a new community giving campaign, "One for Sophia", that moves people in our community to give in small amounts through establishments they would ordinarily frequent. Proceeds from the campaign benefit women we serve while it provides an opportunity for every socially concerned person a way to help women in their time of greatest need. You can find more details about the program below.

With the Ribbon Cutting for Sophia's Place at St Luke's behind us, We are preparing for our clients to move into their new home this coming weekend. Thank you to all of you who have supported us in this endeavor. Dreams really do come true.

And, in addition to Sophia's Place becoming home to many, we opened the Eastside Winter Shelter for women and children on November 1st at the Redmond United Methodist Church. We are are here to provide warmth, shelter and a hot meal to many women and children as we enter our most inclement weather conditions here in the great Pacific Northwest.

I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

With warm regards,
Helen Leuzzi
Executive Director
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"One For Sophia"

"One for Sophia" is a community giving program that awakens the philanthropist inside each of us.

This campaign moves citizens to give in small amounts through commercial establishments that serve as agents for social giving. Basically, it is a fund raising event involving the generous participation of volunteers, corporate sponsors, and commercial establishments, i.e. restaurants, drinking establishments, coffee houses, and theaters. Proceeds from the campaign benefit our clients.

When a person frequents a coffee shop, cafĂ©, theater  restaurant, bar, etc. they can elect to purchase "one for Sophia." The purchase is monetary and symbolic; it doesn't result in the preparation of an additional meal, coffee, or movie ticket. The patron simply pays extra to support the Sophia Way in a transaction amount comfortable to them. This gives restaurants, coffee shops, and other establishments a NO-COST way to become an agent for social giving. The establishment collects the payment, records the transaction, and keeps track of "extras" purchased for Sophia. At the end of the accounting period the establishment provides the funds collected, minus transaction expenses, to The Sophia Way.

  • What: a micro-philanthropy campaign that serves to raise funds and friends for The Sophia Way
  • Who: The Sophia Way and the women it serves, individuals and businesses, local government
  • Where:in restaurants, theaters, coffee shops and other establishments in Seattle and the Eastside
  • How: simply ask to buy "One for Sophia" when you are doing your regular shopping, buying a meal, coffee, movie ticket, etc.
  • Why: to raise funds to serve women experiencing homelessness

With your support, we are sure, this will be another successful campaign this year.

Friday, November 2, 2012

A New Shelter. A Better Tomorrow.


A Celebration to Remember: Yesterday our long awaited and much publicized Ribbon Cutting Ceremony for the opening of our new shelter, Sophia's Place at St. Luke's, took place! And, what a wonderful celebration it was. I have attended several ribbon cutting celebrations and I say with enormous pride and humility, ours was an overwhelming and outstanding show of support for The Sophia Way, the organization we have built from the ground up, and the women we are proud to serve. Joining in our celebration were city mayors, at least 15 city councilmembers from various cities in East King County, King County City Council and Senator Patty Murray's representatives, foundations, businesses, congregations, community members, and not to mention over 50 volunteers!! This show of support bodes well for our ability to aid women who need shelter but more importantly we will continue to need all of you as we execute new initiatives that will help our clients build personal wealth in an effort for them to break the cycle of homelessness.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention a VERY BIG THANK YOU to my staff and my Board of Directors who work tirelessly behind the scenes and "front and center" in an effort to positively impact the work we do and the women we help on many different levels. Truly, without their ongoing support and general enthusiasm for all things possible, The Sophia Way would not have been able to make the impact we have made in the past several years.

Do not miss the Q13 Fox News coverage on our new shelter here. You can check out their story at:,0,2909585.story.

Our work is never done, however. Yesterday we opened our Eastside Winter Shelter for Women and Children just in time for inclement winter weather. We continually strive to provide shelter, warmth and comfort, safety, and a hot meal for anyone who needs these essentials.

Below you will see many lovely photos of our celebration yesterday. Thank you to everyone who attended and a resounding thank you to everyone who made our new shelter, Sophia's Place at St Luke's, a reality.

With warm regards,
Helen Leuzzi
Executive Director

Ribbon Cutting for Sophia's Place
Ribbon Cutting for our new shelter. From Left - Kenmore City Mayor David Baker, Helen Leuzzi, Executive Director, Bellevue City Mayor Conrad Lee and Kirkland City Mayor Joan McBride.
Cubicle for our clients with raised beds, lamp, night stand, a locker, full size mirror and other essentials.
Kitchen and the hall area of our new shelter

Thank you to all our guests who spoke at the occasion. From clockwise from top-left corner: Uriel Ybarra from State Senator Patty Murray's office; Helen Leuzzi, Executive Director, The Sophia Way; Mayor Conrad Lee, City of Bellevue; Bill Vadino from King County Councilmember Jane Hague's office; John Stokes, Councilmember, Bellevue City Council; Pastor Tom Kidd, Senior Pastor, St. Luke's Lutheran Church; Mayor Joan McBride, City of Kirkland; Sue Sherbrooke, CEO, YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish; and Mayor David Baker, City of Kenmore.