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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Once a Year, We Do Something Good

posted by on October 1 at 12:21 PM

And that something is Strangercrombie, our annual exercise in fund-raising and do-gooding.

Last year’s Strangercrombie gift auction raised over $60,000 for FareStart, an downtown restaurant that trains homeless folks to work in professional kitchens and finds them beds, counseling, and social services.

Readers bought all kinds of improbable stuff like a private concert with superstar cellist Joshua Roman (sold for $1,225), a cover song of the buyer’s choice recorded by the Presidents of the United States of America (sold for $1,525), and pages of The Stranger (the cover sold for $3,350).

(There were more affordable packages, too. You can see all the auctions here.)


It’s time to choose this year’s good cause. The Slog vote isn’t binding, but it is influential. And if you don’t see a cause you like in the polls, nominate yours in the comments.

Who Should Get the Money?

RSS icon Comments


I was hoping one of the choices would be an animal shelter... What about the pit bulls...?!

Posted by Eric | October 1, 2008 12:31 PM

All I can see in the poll iframe is your ad banners for the Stranger Personals and Hump. No poll. This was the case with the last poll I saw posted here. Using Firefox 3.0.3, ditto for Safari 3.1.2.

Posted by Ivan Cockrum | October 1, 2008 12:33 PM

Clear your cache, close and restart your browser, Ivan.

Posted by Fnarf | October 1, 2008 12:35 PM

I nominate Country Doctor.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 1, 2008 12:37 PM

826 Seattle!

Posted by brinsonian | October 1, 2008 12:40 PM

Second for 826 Seattle.

Posted by kid icarus | October 1, 2008 12:42 PM

i second country doctor! those people ROCK!

Posted by jezbian | October 1, 2008 12:45 PM

Solid-Ground is amazing- they help with everything from the best food bank in king county to helping people keep their homes during this banking crisis, they provide voice mail numbers for the homeless- so they can seek resources and even get jobs. There's more. THey rock.

Posted by Lorelei Berndt | October 1, 2008 12:46 PM

I'd like to nominate Lambert House

Posted by curiousadam | October 1, 2008 12:49 PM

Family Services -- doing great work in helping homeless families.

Posted by Fremonter | October 1, 2008 12:50 PM

Those links are opening the pages inside the poll window, which I can't imagine is what's intended...

Posted by leek | October 1, 2008 12:51 PM

I nominate Pony. What? Fuck charity. Let's give something to someone who will give something back for a change.

Posted by I fucking hate the homeless. THIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIS much. | October 1, 2008 12:59 PM

826 Seattle, please.

Posted by Sweeney Agonistes | October 1, 2008 1:03 PM

I voted Solid Ground because I saw Tavis Smiley on their website and he is hot.

Posted by pgc | October 1, 2008 1:03 PM

Solid Ground is the most deserving. Their management and staff do great work and the money will be put to good use.

Posted by Steve Laine | October 1, 2008 1:09 PM

Those are great choices. I also suggest Family and Adult Service Center.

Posted by Steve M | October 1, 2008 1:10 PM

The Urban Rest Stop is a great great organization, working down in the trenches of poverty with realistic goals and a modest budget. I donate to them every year already, and a gift like this would go so far for them.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 1, 2008 1:12 PM


(you get the idea)

Posted by Kim | October 1, 2008 1:13 PM

Urban Rest Stop makes homeless people stink less, and stank-free air is something we can all enjoy. I hope the annual regrets issue regrets the Urban Rest Stop being last in the polling.

Posted by Anon | October 1, 2008 1:17 PM

@18: The VERA Project is a fine organization, staffed with wonderful people. That said, they have received more than a fair share of charitable giving over the years, particularly from the music and arts community.

If you would like to support VERA, I suggest taking part in their forthcoming "A Drink For The Kids" benefit, which begins this month and is an effective way of raising cash.

My vote is for Solid Ground, although I'd still like to see the Country Doctor receive a little Strangercrombie love.

Posted by kerri harrop | October 1, 2008 1:28 PM

Solid Ground hosts so many different social justice programs - they deserve all the help they can get!!

Posted by jj | October 1, 2008 1:29 PM

Planned Parenthood needs help- all the cuts in funding by Bush Administration + drop in donations from both individual donors and foundations etc, is making it difficult for them to take care of reproductive health needs in Seattle and elsewhere. They are the preferred place for std testing and birth control, not to mention the advocacy work they do daily. Donate to Planned Parenthood!

Posted by erin | October 1, 2008 1:31 PM

I agree with Erin @22.

Posted by Mikki | October 1, 2008 1:35 PM

@11 Problem fixed. That was my fault. Thanks for letting us know about it.

Posted by Megan Seling | October 1, 2008 1:44 PM

Arts Corps provides in school arts education for schools that have lost their arts funding (or never had any). They have measures in place to insure they are reaching the most needy schools in Seattle and King County.

They are also on the cutting edge of new research regarding the effect that art has on a child's ability to learn, think critically, develop socially, and synthesize information.

The classes they offer range from visual art and theater to breakdancing and spoken word. Their program works, and it needs help *constantly*

Posted by Think of the Children | October 1, 2008 1:45 PM

@20: I agree that Solid Ground is a great organization. That being said, looking at their 990 for the year ended 2006, it had $17.5M in gross receipts, $2.5M of which was from direct public support. In comparison, Vera's budget is $500K a year.

In any case, I think that Strangercrombie is great and the organization that receives the funds are very lucky (and all very in need)!

Posted by Kim | October 1, 2008 1:45 PM

I'd like to nominate Seattle Youth Garden Works. Homeless and underserved youth grow produce and sell it at the U-District Farmers Market. The young people learn job readiness skills while earning minimum wage and a share of the market profits. When they leave the program, the youth are empowered with the confidence and skills to succeed. They also have a new understanding and respect for organic food and the environment.

Posted by cinnimin | October 1, 2008 1:52 PM


What does Vera do that merits more contributions than a half million a year? I'm hardly objective, I really couldn't care less about that organization, but Solid Ground is helping people who are hungry and unemployed. It needs $17.5 million; Vera does not.

Posted by keshmeshi | October 1, 2008 1:58 PM

I'm a little surprised that there has to be a wrestle over ONE organization -- why not have multiple beneficiaries, especially if you're expecting to raise something like last year ($60k)?

For many of these organizations that people have suggested, perhaps Solid Ground excluded, $6,000 means a whoooole lot to their programming and getting through the first few months of a new fiscal year -- especially if they're not expecting it.

I'd like to vote that Seattle Young People's Project, Urban Rest Stop, Lambert House, 826 Seattle, Planned Parenthood, The Vera Project, and Home Alive are all beneficiaries.

(Or, shucks, people could just donate directly to them!)

Posted by Sarina | October 1, 2008 2:34 PM

I second Sarina (@29)'s suggestion! All those orgs should get something that'll be significant for them.

Posted by Yep | October 1, 2008 2:51 PM

Solid Ground gets my vote,over 30 programsn,300 staff providing so many needed services from shelter,to Commumity Voice Mail,Mortgage counseling,and a leader in the undoing institional racism mission that prohibits so many from getting ahead.They provide a hand up not a hand out!

Posted by nickj | October 1, 2008 3:09 PM

I vote for Hot Snowbound Half-Naked Dude in Earmuffs. He must need help with... um... something.

Posted by rob | October 1, 2008 4:10 PM

I agree with Sarina about donating to more than one organization. I think with this year's shitty economy many groups are struggling and a few thousand dollars can make a HUGE difference. Plus food banks and organizations that provide rent assistance need some extra help this year.

I would also like to see some money go to NW Harvest - they provide food to a ton of food banks, which I don't think Solid Ground does. Didn't the Strangercrombie money go to NW Harvest before?

Posted by asteria | October 1, 2008 5:33 PM

I vote for ArtWorks ( They take at risk youth and pay them to paint murals around the city after school. I'm on the board, and we really need cash!

Posted by Sarah Davies | October 1, 2008 5:50 PM

Solid Ground brings all the food from Northwest Harvest to the food banks. Solid Ground drives the trucks and loads the boxes. They also do rental assistance, and help thousands of families who are homeless or about to become homeless. These are the homeless you don't see -- not the drunks stumbling around Pioneer Square, but the families with children shuttling from their car to their friend's couch to shelters back to their car. They also run one of the area's best domestic violence shelters.

Posted by Solid Ground Fan | October 1, 2008 5:53 PM

I voted solid ground too (previously known as the fremont public association)

Posted by jkjk | October 1, 2008 6:41 PM

I voted for Solid Ground. One of Solid Ground's many programs is Community Voice Mail. Think about Community Voice Mail National ( and for next year's Strangercrombie. Community Voice Mail is a national organization based in Seattle and has been providing free voice mail to people in crisis for 15 years. On average CVM serves 40,000 people in tough situations (domestic violence, homelessness, unemployment, etc) connecting them to jobs, housing and hope each year.

Posted by Dance Fever | October 1, 2008 10:30 PM

FYI: In addition to voting to put money into worthwhile non-profits, we should also vote to ensure that non-profits don't lose current funding. Ballot Initiative 985, though the it may seem harmless at first glance, calls for a removal of an estimated 290 million from the General Fund to put into the Transportation Fund. That means that the Health and Human Services budget (funded by the General Fund) will be cut. If I-985 were to pass, it is inevitable that those organizations currently receiving state money will not be getting those needed funds to run the programs that we all admire so much. Such a cut would critically threaten an agency, like Solid Ground, for example. So, spread the word: Vote NO on I-985!

P.S. If you want to really spread the word, Poverty Action, a program of Solid Ground, is phone-banking in October. Sign up to phone-bank at

Posted by Greer | October 1, 2008 11:24 PM

Hey, consider voting for First Place School. It's an accredited K - 6th grade school that serves children from homeless and displaced families--a very important part of a social safety net for families in crisis. First Place changes lives in positive ways every day. It deserves your consideration, and is even in second place now, despite being much less well-known than Solid Ground! Website:

Posted by Sarah Schuyler | October 2, 2008 9:20 AM

First Place does amazing things for children who are dealing with the crisis homelessness brings. It offers case workers to the entire family, so children attending First Place receive support from 360 degrees. Vote for First Place -- you won't be disappointed!!

Posted by Jody | October 2, 2008 1:58 PM

Please consider voting for the First Place School, they are truly a fantastic organization that doesn't get much love, but does so much. All of the charities are very worthwhile, but until we, as a nation, address the issue of children that are homeless, inevitably we are not going to be able to put an end to end any of these situations. If you get kids started out right, the likelihood of success, is going to be that much greater.

Posted by lil | October 2, 2008 2:45 PM

powerful voices is a great organization that makes big differences in the lives of girls. just sayin'.

Posted by non-profit-lover | October 2, 2008 2:47 PM

First Place is awesome. I have had the opportunity of working with some of the kids served by this program. The program reminds me of a very successful program in Guatemala City. They have an understanding that you must support the family in order for the student to be successful in school and later in life.

Posted by Eriberto | October 2, 2008 2:52 PM

First Place is awesome. I have had the opportunity of working with some of the kids served by this program. The program reminds me of a very successful program in Guatemala City. They have an understanding that you must support the family in order for the student to be successful in school and later in life.

Posted by Eriberto | October 2, 2008 2:55 PM

the Vera Project!

Posted by Outreach | October 2, 2008 3:42 PM

My vote would be for prosthetics Outreach Foundation

Posted by Bernice | October 2, 2008 4:16 PM

Here's a vote for First Place - - - for the kids.

Posted by Mari | October 3, 2008 8:01 AM

To all who have voted or will vote for First Place School...I appreciate and hug each one of you. First Place is a place where kids in crisis are Honered and Respected with a DIGNITY they take with them the rest of their young lives. It is imperative to keep their spirits up-lifted and wanting to move up and out of poverty as they grow. PLEASE SUPPORT FIRST PLACE.

Posted by Gina | October 3, 2008 9:22 AM

And please don't forget to vote in November!

Posted by Lou Contreras | October 3, 2008 1:18 PM

Team Reba has supported Treehouse for years in their back to school clothing drive and other activities. One reason I am drawn to this organization is due to the fact that I am adopted, and I know that had my parents not taken me in at the young age of 3 weeks, it would have been very likely that I would have ended up in a foster program.

The kids that are in foster programs need more support than what the state and their foster family can give them. Typically they suffer from lower grades from being moved around, the stress of being in foster care, and this usually results in lower graduation rates – and foster kids, when they “age out” at 18, also have a higher rate of homelessness than any other demographic group (50% or higher). This also increases the likelihood that these kids will end up being the victim of assault, forced prostitution, drug/alchohol abuse, or murder.

As a person who’s living revolves around the successful housing of others, and whose own work in non-profit is geared toward lowering the incidence of human trafficking and sexual assault, reaching and supporting these kids in their younger years is imperative to improving their life-long condition.

I hope you’ll take a moment to do “a couple of clicks” that won’t cost you anything more than a few moments of your time. While these are all worthwhile organizations, I hope you’ll help support Treehouse in their quest to win this year’s generous program. Vote and forward it on!

Posted by Reba Haas | October 3, 2008 1:54 PM

Treehouse is a wonderful, extremely well run non-profit that benefits the most in need-foster children in our community. Treehouse provides stability for children who's lives have been turned upside down. Torn from family, Treehouse steps in to provide support for hundreds of local kids with School supplies, clothing, Holiday gifts and many other items when they otherwise would go without. With our current economy the way it is, the most helpless, these children, will suffer the most. This donation will provide so much for so many children!

Posted by Stephanie | October 3, 2008 2:19 PM

Treehouse Rocks!
Please vote for Treehouse

Posted by Michelle | October 3, 2008 2:32 PM

In addition to clothing and supplies, Treehouse has tutoring and other school coaching programs to support and encourage these kids, overall making a huge difference in their lives.

Every single one of these programs in the poll and mentioned above are reputable and contributes to our community in vital ways; each of them deserve all the support they can get. In addition to voting, please consider donating privately to these places or volunteering your time.

You've got me cornered from all angles here, they're all so good, I can't decide who to vote for!

Posted by Meryl | October 3, 2008 2:58 PM

treehouse is such an amazing organization, vote for them! they help so many kids, and we've all heard horror stories about foster care in america. treehouse is one of the organizations that helps the situations and

Posted by anonymous | October 3, 2008 4:19 PM

When the state brings me a child in the middle of the night wearing nothing but hospital pajamas, traumatized from whatever abuse brought them there, knowing that you won't have a check for that child for at least a month or so (or when someone can get to the paperwork), Thank god Treehouse was there to help us get clothing, car seats, back packs, what ever they needed.
These are all good programs, but kids need clothing to be able to get to those programs for help.

Posted by Grandma | October 3, 2008 6:11 PM

Treehouse rocks! Foster children desperately need resources and Treehouse is there with clothes, turoring and helping pay for a yearbook or Summer camp. Every cent goes to services.

Posted by Jeanette | October 3, 2008 7:55 PM

How can one choose from the selection? They are all worthy.

Posted by Debra Kumar | October 3, 2008 10:13 PM

There are a ton of worthy non-profits in Seattle and among those, these four are also worthy and in need. Thank you for putting Treehouse in the mix!

Posted by sizzle | October 6, 2008 9:31 AM

VOTE TREEHOUSE! Keep kids out of jail!

Posted by Natac | October 6, 2008 9:33 AM

VOTE TREEHOUSE! Keep kids out of jail!

Posted by Natac | October 6, 2008 9:33 AM

VOTE TREEHOUSE! Keep kids out of jail. . . and tacky orange jumpsuits!

Posted by Natac | October 6, 2008 9:34 AM

VOTE TREEHOUSE!!! We want to keep the kids out of jail!!!

Posted by Khrista | October 6, 2008 11:24 AM

VOTE TREEHOUSE!!! We want to keep the kids out of jail!!!

Posted by Khrista | October 6, 2008 11:25 AM

I volunteer with Treehouse and donate $$ every month. Treehouse provides a holistic approach to the needs of foster children operating under the belief that every child deserves a childhood (hence, the theme of the treehouse). The foster care program provides little more that a roof and food for children. Treehouse provides advocacy, tutoring, school clothes & supplies, and special wish help for baseball uniforms or ballet lessons. It's a very successful and inspirational program.

Posted by gabriela | October 6, 2008 12:21 PM

Treehouse is obviously gaming the vote here.

Posted by Fnarf | October 6, 2008 12:43 PM

I vote for Solid Ground knowing they need help and do a good job. Thank you.

Posted by Julie-Ann Traub | October 6, 2008 1:05 PM

I am so sick of this help for the homeless. Lets help people that help themsevles. Most homeless people are drug addicts who deserve to be where they are. Let help the kids or the single parents trying to better them selfs. We need more funding for things like MOMS HOUSE. they watch your children so you can go to college. GOOGLE it. We need more of these!

Posted by Jennifer | October 6, 2008 1:20 PM

I vote for Solid Ground as they provide a wide range of services that impact many demographics in the community.

Posted by Gerald Peterkin | October 6, 2008 1:42 PM

What date and time does voting end? Just curious. Thank you.

Posted by hey hey | October 6, 2008 2:47 PM

There is no greater gift to give than a hand up for children who are in need through no fault of their own. Please vote for Treehouse and the many children it serves in so many ways. They do awesome work for children. I am a foster parent and I am thankful for the assistance Treehouse provides. There are many activities and services my children would not have without Treehouse. Tess

Posted by Tess | October 6, 2008 3:24 PM

Treehouse is not gaming the vote. Clearly a lot of people know of the good work they do for foster kids.

Posted by anonymous | October 6, 2008 3:37 PM

I think all the money should go to each of these things because they all are need money

Posted by Melanie | October 6, 2008 5:39 PM

Treehouse has a four star rating from Charity Navigator. First Place has two stars, and the others aren't listed. So I'm inclined to think Treehouse would make good use of the money, but the others might be ok too *shrug*.

Posted by poltroon | October 6, 2008 8:44 PM

I am thrilled to see the surge of votes for Treehouse and hope that The Stranger will consider them as the beneficiary this year. Thanks to everyone whose been voting and brought up Treehouse from 11% a few days ago to being in the lead at this time.

I was just suggesting to my assistant today to donate some household goods to be used in their program to give items to foster kids that are moving out on their own after "aging out". This is yet another of their awesome programs to help these kids/teens get a footing toward a successful adult life.

Posted by Reba Haas | October 6, 2008 11:37 PM

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