Today we worked at Westside Baby. Westside Baby is an agency that collects used children's clothing and other necessities. Besides donated items, they also provide a 10 day supply of diapers to every family they serve with an infant in their household. Nonprofits in the greater Seattle area go online and place orders for clients in need of various items. There is an admin building, a warehouse where the items are tidily stored by size/age, and another warehouse with recently donated supplies. We worked in one of the warehouses taking car seats apart so they can be recycled. Car seats only have a six year lifespan because the plastic degrades. Four out of five car seats donated is either too old or has been recalled. To recycle a car seat, the plastic and metal must be separated which is very time intensive. Because of this factor, it is very challenging to find an organization which will recycle them. The task does not sound difficult but it is actually quite complicated to take apart a car seat. There are so many car seat designs; each one is a little bit different. It also takes a decent amount of muscle to separate some of the pieces. We had quite the project ahead of us as there was a mountain of car seats but we were able to finish the majority of the pile. The staff and local volunteers were welcoming and appreciative of the work we did.
Next we voyaged out to the Ballard locks. Built in 1917 by the Army corps, the locks connect the Puget Sound to Lake Union. The locks also contain a fish ladder where Salmon and trout journey through twice a year. There are four panels of glass viewers can watch the fish swim by. Although this is not the prime time to see them, we caught a glimpse of a couple of the early birds- I mean fish. While at the locks we also took time to sit to reflect on our week and the experiences we gained.
From there we headed to the greater Seattle Live with Passion potluck. Supporters of the program were gracious enough to host us at their home in Edmonds. The potluck had a nice turn-out with thirty attendees. Good conversation and food were enjoyed by all. Volunteers shared their experiences from the week and locals gave us an inside perspective of living in Washington. Pickle ball, a favorite local past time was played. A volunteer's thirtieth birthday was celebrated and we ended the evening with stomachs full of scrumptious desserts.
The week went by so quickly. We are amazed at how fast time flew by. We all learned so much about Seattle and enjoyed everything the area has to offer. We learned it is not always rainy in Seattle, observed the benefits of a city that is environmentally and locally conscious and took in breathtaking views. We spent time with the last, the lost and the left out and will carry our memories from this week with us in our hearts. We invested our love to impact Seattle and will forever invest our lives in community, service and reflection.