Thursday, August 27, 2015

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August 2015
Growing Stronger
This gigantic beauty can be found in our Sophia's Place gardens!
Our garden at Sophia's Place is in full bloom and ripening with fresh delicious vegetables.  Thank you to all of the Volunteers that made that possible. The summer has also been a time of new growth for The Sophia Way as we continue to improve our programs and implement some beneficial changes with the intent of better serving our women.  We are in the process of hiring new staff at our overnight shelter.  I would also like to welcome six year veteran staff member, Karie Stearns, as our new Programs Director of case management and Sophia's Place.

I continued to be awe inspired by the overwhelming amount of generosity from our donors, volunteers, staff, the faith based community and the dedicated Board of Directors. We are grateful for this much needed support, especially since the demand continues to rise. Throughout July, our Day Center served an increasing number of women on a daily basis and our Shelter was at full capacity. Thank you for helping us give the women respite from the heat and show them that someone cares.

- Angela Murray, Executive Director
Summer Movies in the Park, August 25th

Please join us for a fun family evening at Summer Outdoor Movies in the Park, this year at Hidden Valley Sports Park. We will be enjoying the family-friendly Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb (PG,) starring Ben Stiller and the late, great Robin Williams. Admission and popcorn are free! We will be collecting donations which will go towards helping us end homelessness for adult women on the Eastside. We hope to see you there!
Each new resident of Sophia's Place is welcomed with a beautiful quilt and a care basket- a uniquely and thoughtfully put together collection of donated essentials.

Susan, (not her real name,) was just about to run out of money. She had been paying premium prices to stay at a motel, and even though she saved money by paying for a week's stay at a time, it was still much more than she could afford.

Susan had recently lived in a lovely apartment in Queen Anne, but steady work had tapered off, her rent rates suddenly rose, and a mild elbow injury was making it difficult to find more work - that was the tipping point. She lost her home. And now she was about to lose her shelter and be out on the streets. She only had enough money for one more night in the motel. That's when she came to the Sophia's Place Day Center.

Susan received assistance and a listening ear at the Day Center from staff that know the ins and outs of various local services agencies. They encouraged her to put her name on the Sophia's Place Night Shelter vacancy wait list, and assisted her in finding other shelters and transitional housing to apply for, so that she could save what money she was earning and have a little more to work with while she was in transition. Susan cried  tears of relief - she was finally getting the help she needed!

Today is Susan's birthday. And it will be one to remember, because patience and persistence finally paid off. Today Susan's turn came and she moved into Sophia's Place Night Shelter. She will have a safe, secure place to sleep and store her belongings. She will have a case manager cheering her on as they work together to make her a fresh start. And, as she remarked to Day Center staff today, she could finally stabilize and start rebuilding her life.

Happy Birthday, Susan!  Let's see what this year will bring!
Welcome Meyyammai Subramanian to our Board!
Maya is passionate about helping women and children everywhere. Since moving from New Delhi, India in 1997, she has been actively educating herself on women's issues, and increasing her presence through volunteering and fundraising for local organizations. In late 2012, her friend introduced her to The Sophia Way, and she volunteered as a companion for almost 3 years. It is her experience as a companion that inspired her to join the board in the summer of 2015. Maya has been part of the tech industry all her life, and for the last 16 years, she has been with Microsoft, Redmond. She lives in Redmond with her husband and two young daughters. She spends her spare time worrying about how she ended up with spare time.
Volunteer Spotlight

Meet Helen, Our Wonderful Day Center Intern!

I am an incoming junior at UW Bothell, and I decided to intern at The Sophia Way because I wanted to give back to my community. I also believed that working here would help me with my professional goals since I want to work in the non-profit sector where I can help people along their journeys to improve their quality of life. I am glad
 that I can offer practical support, such as helping to prepare and serve meals and taking care of the kitchen.

Interning at The Sophia Way has been a rewarding experience because I know that I am making a difference, and I am learning how to be a better leader and become more aware of the diverse experiences around me. Understanding the women at this organization has helped me improve my communication skills, so that I can make sure they always feel welcomed at the day center.

Want to volunteer with TSW? We have lots of diverse opportunities for all skill and experience levels! Please e-mail to learn more.

We Couldn't Do It Without Our Meal Donors! 
Jean Harris is a member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. Jean comes the first Tuesday of every month since the beginning of The Sophia Way to bring a meal to our clients. Jean is the representative, but reports that its very much a team effort of 12 ladies who donate funds, dishes, fruit for Sophia's Place each month. 

Patricia (left,) is a resident of our shelter who also volunteers with Lake Sammamish Four Square Church. They provided her with the means, and she cooked and delivered chicken, mashed potatoes, and all the side dishes to share with the other women in the shelter!

Meal donors provide a variety of hot, delicious, and healthy meals to our Sophia's Place every day! If you are interested in donating a lunch or dinner to our clients, get more information or simply sign up for a meal here!
A Very Special Party

All of us at The Sophia Way would like to extend a huge THANK YOU to Lorraine Stromswold. She received a grant fromThrivent  "Live Generously" program, which empowers community members to meet the needs of their community, and decided to use this to collect much-needed items for The Sophia Way.

Lorraine threw a party on March 25, 2015 to collect donations. Eight people attended; Thrivent sent out black with blue trim tee shirts for everyone to wear. Everyone gave generously: one couple went shopping at Bartell's and brought a big bag of stuff, one woman gave bags of travel soaps and shampoos. A salon supplier gave a case of hair conditioner. This program through Thrivent Action Team also gave Lorraine $250 credit card to spend on anything she chose, so she bought underwear from Marshall's, which is always needed. The estimated worth of the donation was $400-$500 total.

Sterling Benson encouraged her to do this project since she is a member of Thrivent. The party is the Thrivent requirement to reach out, get others involved in giving and strengthen communities. She felt she was reaching out beyond the church, to the greater community as a whole.

Thank you again, Lorraine and Thrivant Financial!

Our Van is Clean, Thanks to Brown Bear Carwash!
Thank you to our friends at Brown Bear Carwash for donating vouchers for two washes! Our green van is now sparkling clean!

In This Issue
July Numbers
71 visitors to the Day Center

4 new clients at Sophia's Place Shelter

3 women moved from Sophia's Place Shelter to housing

64 referrals for much-needed services given by our case managers
Wish List 
We are always in need of supplies for our shelter and our clients!
Visit our Amazon Wish List here if you'd like to make a much needed In-Kind donation
August 25 and September 17 & 22 at 2:00 PM

Join board member Karina O'Malley for a tour of Sophia's Place Shelter & Day Center. Karina will explain why we are here, what we do, and opportunities to help end homelessness on the Eastside.

Email to sign up

Save the Date

August 25th
Movie in the Park

October 1st
"You are the Key"
Thank you to all of our incredibly generous and creative donors!
From all of us at The Sophia Way, have a safe and fun rest of your summer!
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The Sophia Way | 700 108th Ave NE | Suite 201 | Bellevue | WA | 98004