Everybody Can be Great Because Everybody Can Serve

Starbucks partners, family and friends

“Everybody can be great because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

On Monday January 17th, more than 300 Seattle citizens honored Dr. King’s legacy by rolling up their sleeves, getting muddy and giving back to our community and our planet by improving Cheasty Greenspace on Beacon Hill. “It’s our responsibility to steward this gift… [of the environment],” said Jevon Washington, who signed up to volunteer through his employer and City Year Seattle partner: Starbucks.

“Cheasty Greenspace is a big deal,” explained an EarthCorps staff member briefing the volunteers on Monday morning, “At 43 acres, it’s the largest woodland habitat in South Seattle, and it acts as a giant water filter, cleaning the polluted storm water that runs into Puget Sound.”

After the morning briefings were finished, volunteers went to work planting trees, spreading mulch, clearing invasive ivy and pulling dreaded blackberry bushes. “No one spends an entire day pulling thorny blackberry bushes without some scrapes and scars to show for it, but it was worth it,” City Year corps member Kiernan Patenaude commented, showing off her “scrapes of honor.”

City Year corps members are always energetic.

In addition to working with EarthCorps, who hosted the project, various companies and organizations from all over Seattle recruited volunteers. Starbucks showed up in force, turning out with 37 employees and their family members to serve and volunteer. Our friends at Starbucks also kept all of us volunteers warm through their donations of coffee, pastries and sandwiches.

“Starbucks is dedicated to making a difference in our community, which is just one of the reasons I enjoy working there,” said Kerry Chamberlin, who manages a Starbucks near a City Year Diplomas Now site and who regularly donates coffee and pastries to community events – including those sponsored by City Year.

Starbucks enthusiastically helps with blackberries

City Year Seattle/King County thanks everyone who honors Dr. King’s legacy by volunteering in our community day in and day out. Seattle wouldn’t be the same place without your heart full of grace and your soul generated by love.

Text and photos by Adam Nance, Development Director at  City Year Seattle/King County