Sing United!

By United Way of King County, on November 28, 2023 | In Breaking the Cycle of Poverty, Emerging Leaders 365, Events, Fighting Homelessness, Helping Students Graduate, News, Volunteering

How good are you at karaoke? When it comes to carrying a tune, do you get carried away? Does your singing voice remind people of American Idol or American Graffiti—Jackson Browne, James Brown, or Judge Joe Brown?

Regardless of how you answered the questions above, you need to show up tonight at Ozzie’s in Seattle for a karaoke fundraiser to benefit people experiencing homelessness in our city. Songs for Equity invites singers of all skill levels (or the lack thereof) to bellow their favorite melodies and support housing equity and opportunities for our neighbors in need.

Songs for Equity is among the many cool fundraising opportunities being offered courtesy of Lead United for Equity, a peer-to-peer, creative fundraiser that allows everyone to get involved. Lead United for Equity events enable people to give by launching their own fundraising campaigns in real-time or donating—all to make sure that everyone has access to resources, quality education, enough to eat, and a safe place to call home.

Fundraisers aim to reach a $10,000 goal each. Microsoft, a generous sponsor of many United Way of King County events and programs, matches dollar-for-dollar each time someone raises $10,000.

“Each of the volunteers used their own connections and their friends to put together [Lead United for Equity] fundraisers,” said Taylor Roberson, United Way marketing program manager. “This is the biggest year we’ve seen ever because of so many options.”

Songs for Equity will be hosted by Emerging Leaders 365 member Kiki Roper in partnership with the International Karaoke Federation. Tonight’s event also allows you to select how many songs you’d like to perform based on donation amounts.

For a $10 donation, you get to sing one song (no time limit is mentioned in Roper’s ad, so you can croon the 12-inch disco version of McFadden & Whiteheads, “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” and no one would complain).

But for $100, you can practically perform your own mini concert (four songs), plus get two free drinks as well as your name and photo in the upcoming Emerging Leaders 365 newsletter.

This karaoke event is just one of many Lead United for Equity events folks should attend. Another, coming up this weekend, is Step for Equity: Step Aerobics at Wellness Gaines Fitness in Renton on Saturday. The aerobics fundraiser is being sponsored by Emerging Leaders 365 member Marcus Ramirez, who says that donations to the fundraiser will support United Way initiatives such as Home Base and the Home Grocery Delivery Program.

One of the most recent Lead United for Equity events was the Breathe Hot Yoga/Hot Pilates fundraiser at Breathe Hot Yoga Studio in West Seattle. Participants donated the dollar equivalent of a 60-minute hot workout.

Philanthropy can be for anyone when we all come together to do what we can.

Taylor Roberson, United Way marketing program manager

“The class was abbreviated to be not too hot for newcomers,” said Roberson, who attended the Hot Yoga/Hot Pilates event. “The volunteer who put on the event led the class. It was accessible and she did three modifications for every workout. It was hard and hot, but I liked it.”

Roberson said that events such as Lead United for Equity show how young professionals are rewriting the tenets of philanthropy.

 “Philanthropy can be for anyone when we all come together to do what we can,” Roberson said. “No matter your age or whether or not you’re a millionaire. These fundraisers are for young people who want to give back, who have free time on their hands after graduating, who care about the community.”

“While no one has the capacity to donate $10,000 individually,” Roberson added, “when we come together, use our connections, donate what we can, and give our time, we can raise $10,000 and have a lot fun while doing it.”


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