At Sightline Institute, our efforts focus on building sustainable communities throughout Cascadia; we believe we are all in this place together, sharing its burdens and benefits, rising or falling as one. Sightline stands for strong communities. To ensure our communities thrive, we must also work together to support the unique organizations addressing the complex challenges our neighbors encounter.
With Giving Tuesday happening today, Sightline is encouraging folks to give to causes close to their hearts and to bolster their local communities. If you’re seeking inspiration, our team has curated a list of impactful organizations that have captured our hearts this Giving Tuesday. On this global day of generosity, we hope that Sightline readers and fans will help support sustainable and strong communities.
Portland’s Community Cycling Center expands the community’s access to bicycling, giving more people a chance to use all that beautiful bike infrastructure across the city. It provides educational classes, repairs, low-cost bikes and parts, and other services to help get people out and about on (approximately) two wheels. Or if policy reports are more your style, they also provide crucial research on the barriers to bicycling across all parts of Portland. –Jay Lee
I really love the local food bank because of the way it is structured. It provides such amazing opportunities for local members of the community to be respected and treated with dignity. I particularly love the fact that the food items are set up in a grocery shop-like fashion that allows individuals to browse the shelves for what they need. There are also options for prepared food that does not require a kitchen. Even something as simple as a mail program for people to pick up their mail for free without a mailing address increases the respect for an individual immensely. I am proud to know that they serve all of Seattle. –Nashrah
The Wing Luke Museum in Seattle’s Chinatown International District focuses on the culture, art, and history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The Sightline staff had the privilege of participating in one of the museum’s informative and moving neighborhood walking tours during our annual retreat this summer. We learned about the history of dispossession, displacement, and incarceration of Seattle residents of Japanese descent in WWII and the destruction of much of the city’s once 20-block-long Japantown, as well as heard inspiring stories of resilience and community in the neighborhood. The Wing Luke Museum was unfortunately the victim of a racially motivated attack earlier this year. I recommend supporting this important institution, whose importance stretches beyond Seattle. –Emily Moore
Get Out the Native Vote (Be sure to choose GOTNV in the drop-down menu)
Get Out the Native Vote (GOTNV) was founded with the belief that the right to vote is a fundamental component of a healthy democracy. GOTNV’s roots are in working to ensure every eligible Alaskan is registered to vote and in removing barriers that prevent registered voters from casting their ballots. GOTNV encourages every Alaskan, regardless of background, to engage in the civic process at the local and state levels through nonpartisan outreach and education. –Jeannette Lee
Washington state has more than 250,000 undocumented immigrants, many of whom have fled violence or insecurity. Northwest Immigrant Rights Project provides legal aid and community education to help Washington’s immigrants navigate our complex legal system and receive fair protection under the law. –Kate Macfarlane
The Anchorage Housing Club is a new organization that welcomes all members of the community who are interested in ensuring Anchorage can become a community where everyone thrives. The club aims to actively influence housing and transportation policy by mobilizing Anchorage residents who share our vision of human-centric transportation and abundant, quality housing. –Jeannette Lee
Family Promise is a Bozeman-based organization that empowers families experiencing homelessness to secure a safe, affordable home, a livelihood, and the chance to build a better future for their children. Family Promise provides prevention and diversion services to prevent families from experiencing homelessness, emergency shelter when homelessness becomes a reality, and transitional and workforce housing to ensure long-term sustainability. –Alice Buckley
One of the highlights of living in the Seattle area is the abundance of outdoor recreation activities and how much you can learn about yourself just by getting out and playing in our beautiful surroundings. There are some real barriers to outdoor recreation for many marginalized communities, but for people with disabilities, it can seem insurmountable. Outdoors for All provides access to many outdoor pursuits through its programming and adaptive equipment rentals. Outdoors for All also offers group programming and provides training and equipment to make sure that social, recreational activities are as accessible as possible for all audiences regardless of ability. –Leah Quinn
This program is very special, as it builds small libraries in prisons to allow individuals a sense of adventure and transform a vision of what they could picture for themselves outside the walls of the prison. I love that the founder created this after his time in prison in solitary confinement and had a book completely change the course of his future. It is so special to know how important books can be for this population at risk for so many challenges as they reintegrate back into life outside prison. As its website states, “Books become essential when you want to imagine a new life for yourself.” –Nashrah
It will probably surprise no one that as a communications professional and a speculative fiction fiend, I deeply believe that today’s most important climate work is happening in organizing and storytelling spaces, especially those that reach beyond white-centering or apocalyptic visions and themes. The Uproot Project was founded “to address an urgent gap: the lack of representation of journalists of color in newsrooms across the country covering communities that are hit first and the hardest by the climate crisis…. We set out to create a network to support the work of our peers, while advancing the careers of reporters of color who have been historically underrepresented in environmental journalism.” While I can’t claim to keep up with its bustling Slack channels, I attended a great panel discussion it hosted last month on covering Indigenous stories as a non-Indigenous journalist, and I’ve read a number of articles from its member journalists to include in our Sightline Daily news roundup that I may not have stumbled on otherwise. –Serena Larkin
During my time as an AmeriCorps VISTA, I had the pleasure of serving at the Pike Market Senior Center and Food Bank. I witnessed the incredible work they do in downtown Seattle. The Pike Market Senior Center strives to make each day better and safer for older adults, while the Food Bank serves people of all ages who face hunger. Together, they provide services, activities, and support to promote healthier, more self-sufficient, and fulfilling lives. With increasing food prices and more demand than ever, it’s a vital part of the Seattle social safety net that’s under considerable strain. Every dollar given goes to creating a better life for our neighbors downtown. –Terry Satran
The Bureau of Fearless Ideas is a dynamic community of youth, adults, volunteers, and families committed to harnessing the transformative power of words. Its programs, which are entirely free, offer tutoring, writing guidance, and publishing opportunities to young people aged 6 to 18. By fostering strong writing skills and celebrating diverse communication styles, the organization empowers these young folks to share their unique stories and become engaged, confident leaders. In each neighborhood it serves, the Bureau of Fearless Ideas creates a welcoming space that connects with the local community, promoting the belief that words can open doors to opportunity, create understanding, and build a better world. –Alexa Woodard