Emerging Leaders 365s Are Outside Investing in the Community!

By United Way of King County, on October 4, 2023 | In Emerging Leaders 365, Events, Fighting Homelessness, News

This blog post was written by Taylor Roberson, United Way of King County marketing program manager.

Emerging Leaders 365, United Way’s group of young professionals passionate about making a difference in our communities, hosted Happy Hour & Hellos on the 17th floor of Seattle’s Russell Investments Center. The event was sponsored by long-standing community partner, Northern Trust, a wealth management firm actively investing in the community and working in tandem with United Way to build an equitable future for everyone.

On September 26 at 5:30 p.m., the event kicked off. There was a palpable energy in the room, which was abuzz with conversations and connections. The space featured a grand interior with ceiling-to-floor windows that opened onto a spacious rooftop overlooking Pier 59 and historic Pike Place Market.

Above photo, from left: Mo Johnson, Northern Trust marketing team lead; Gordon McHenry, president and CEO of United Way; and Randi Stratman, vice-president of Northern Trust. Banner photo: Cristopher McMullin, Emerging Leaders 365 committee, and Donna Lee, Change Maker donor and community member. Lee won the grand prize of the evening.

The event was themed around investing in the community, with popular imagery from the board game Monopoly. Cristina Luevano-Santos, Emerging Leaders 365 co-chair, welcomed everyone into the space and acknowledged that we work on the unceded, traditional land of the Coast Salish peoples. Luevano-Santos shared her passion for staying involved with United Way so that services are available whenever people may need them.

“Services like these were available for my family and, though we’re okay now and don’t need those services anymore, that kind of opportunity needs to exist for other families like mine,” said Luevano-Santos  

Cristina Luevano-Santos, Emerging Leaders 365 co-chair

Marlo Klein, senior community impact manager, eviction prevention and housing stability at United Way of King County, highlighted the significance of the homelessness crisis unfolding across Seattle.

“The number of people experiencing homelessness across King County is at an all-time high,” said Klein. “But did you know that the number of households struggling to pay rent and meet their basic needs is even higher? If these families fall back on rent and experience an eviction, they are 50% more likely to experience homelessness within six months. Many of these families owe less than $600.”

Despite heavy rain and strong winds, 80 people joined in the fun. Three prizes were given away to guests who wanted to support United Way’s rental assistance work. Prizes included experiences around the Seattle community such as Mariners tickets, Seattle Art Museum tickets, Ethan Stowell Restaurant gift cards, and more.

More than 400 items were donated, and the generosity didn’t stop there. Folks signed up for the October 21 volunteer project at Rainier Valley Foodbank and donated $880 to support rental assistance. Together, with nominal ticket fees, the sponsored event put nearly $1,500 back into the community to help our neighbors thrive.

We encourage you to get involved. Sign up for the once-a-month Emerging Leaders 365 newsletter and keep up to date with all the efforts to start your year of impact.


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