Non profits across the region are feeling the pressure as more and more people reach out for essential services and supplies due to economic hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. We recently learned of two local women who launched a non profit earlier this year to help those in need. Their non profit is called Provide Now and it has roots right here in Green Lake. Here’s our conversation with co-founder and Green Lake resident Alex Taylor.
Seattle Greenlaker: How is Provide Now different than other nonprofits?
Alex Taylor: Provide Now creates gifts-in-kind donation registries; we list items that charities need and donors can purchase listed items for those charities. Our mission is to promote transparent donations of material items to equip nonprofits and communities with the resources necessary to thrive.
Seattle Greenlaker: You mentioned you launched during COVID. Was this because you saw a need during this time of COVID-19 or had it been planned to launch previously?
Alex Taylor: We saw a need during the time of COVID-19. Our thought process was, “We can stand around and do nothing OR we can launch imperfectly and try and make a difference.” So, we decided to change our initial structure and in March set our website up as a crowdfunding platform that we kept open until the end of May. In July we re-launched our nonprofit as our intended gifts-in-kind platform.
Seattle Greenlaker: Can you tell me more about the Marketplace you launched within Provide Now?
Alex Taylor: Provide Now is similar to Amazon’s Wish List registry except there are a few major differences that set us apart:
Provide Now does not make money off of the items that we list on our website. 100% of the purchase a donor makes is used to purchase that intended item. Provide Now only makes money through additional donations and grant funding.
Provide Now is a 501c3 so any items purchased on our website are tax-deductible.
Provide Now tries to source as many of the products as possible from local vendors (e.g. we only source our animal products from All the Best and Pet Pros, both Pacific Northwest-based companies), minority and women-owned businesses (The Honey Pot), USA manufactured, or items that use organic material (Maggie’s Socks)
Lastly, we work closely with our associated organizations to determine drop-off days. Many nonprofits and government agencies have limited space available for housing in-kind donations, so Provide Now tries to do larger drop-offs to reduce their administrative work. This means less time spent on filing paperwork for the gift-in-kind donations and instead of getting those items to the people (or animals).
Seattle Greenlaker: Can you tell me about your Green Lake connection?
Alex Taylor: Gigi and I met at the University of Washington in 2009 (not too far from Green Lake) and during my time in college, I would run the inner-loop during the spring and summer.
My husband and I just moved to Green Lake this past November. Every week, Gigi and I meet at my house as our “work station.”
Seattle Greenlaker: What are your plans for the future?
Alex Taylor: Provide Now would like to expand its reach of the nonprofits and community organizations as well as increase our donorship.
Seattle Greenlaker: Anything else you think we should know?
Alex Taylor: Here at Provide Now, we really believe that a lot of small impacts can lead to a big difference. If 100 people came together and each person purchased a pair of wool socks, 100 people experiencing homelessness would have a better chance at keeping their feet dry and infection-free this winter.
We wanted to make a platform where people could donate in smaller capacity and then see a tangible result. On our Instagram page, we post photos of the items we drop-off to show people that their donation is making a difference. It’s really amazing and powerful to see carts full of donations that individuals made. One small act can truly make such a difference.
As restaurants and bars continue to navigate operations during COVID-19, one of the saddest realities is that many may not make it. Some are pivoting or expanding in new ways to try to keep their businesses afloat. As in many neighborhoods, Green Lake has some unique places that have been around for decades and they could use some love and patronage.
Since the beginning of the pandemic we have tried to encourage our Green Lake neighbors to get out and support restaurants. We aren’t saying you have to dine in, but with curbside pick up readily available, if you have the means, its a great time to get out there and support our local food scene.
One in particular that we haven’t mentioned a ton on the blog is Latona Pub. Katie from Latona pub recently reached out to us and shared that “The Latona Pub has been a fixture in the Greenlake neighborhood since 1987 and is one of the last freestanding post prohibition taverns in the city. It’s been a launching pad for 100+ special collaborations with NW breweries & the scene of many special beer events including first releases of all-stars like Manny’s Pale Ale by Georgetown Brewing & debuts by beloved breweries like Holy Mountain, Cloudburst and Stoup. Even though we can’t enjoy a beer release at the pub like we once did we still are involved with collaborations.”
She also mentioned that they launched their crowler canning program where you can now get a 32 oz. shelf stable beer (that’s enough for 2 pints) to enjoy at home. They also have a full food menu available online: https://latonapub.hrpos.heartland.us/menu. Current hours Wednesday + Thursday 4 p.m. – 9 p.m., Friday – Saturday noon – 9 p.m. and Sunday noon – 8 p.m.
Another place that should be on your radar opened just 8 days before the pandemic started called The Wick. The coffee shop is in the Triumph Seattle motorcycle shop on Aurora Ave and Winona Ave. After being forced to close temporarily not long after they had their grand opening, they returned this summer with a full menu of coffee and espresso as well as baked goods and bagel sandwiches to go.
One of the many things that makes Green Lake great is the chance to experience great food and beverages right here in our neighborhood. If you need other ideas for great local spots, please check out the Green Lake restaurants section of our blog.
Rae Vino, a natural wine shop, opened recently in Green Lake at 321 NE 72nd Street near the Green Lake Village complex. The owners, a husband and wife team, named their shop after their daughter and love of Italian culture. The company was founded in 2018 but opened its physical location in Green Lake just a few weeks ago on August 12.
The shop sells a variety of natural wine produced locally and around the world. They also offer a quarterly wine club where members can purchase a quarter, half or full case of featured wines. This quarter one of their features highlights “Fearless Females,” wine by trailblazing female wine producers.
It is clear from their website that their passion for natural wine runs deep: “Like many others, we’ve always enjoyed wine but hadn’t known that much of what we were consuming over the years was made industrially, using synthetic agrochemicals in the vineyards and various additives and forms of processing in the winery. Why would corporations manufacture a product with potential for negative health consequences and subpar quality? Whether for increased volume, shelf-life stability, or other unjustifiable reasons, the motivation is undoubtedly profit. But just as we scrutinize what we eat and reject the use of artificial preservatives, hormones, processed foods, and unethical treatment of farm animals, monitoring what we drink is of equal importance.”
They go on to explain why natural wine is so important: “This is real wine in its original form, a labor of love that we hope becomes mainstream with your help in spreading awareness of small businesses like ours and of the artisans taking painstaking measures and no shortcuts in nurturing what mother nature has given us.”
Rae Vino offers in store or curbside pickup. Rae Vino plans to host tastings in the future and may expand into a wine bar as well.
Rae Vino hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday – Thursday: 2 pm to 7 pm Friday & Saturday: 2 pm to 8 pm Sunday: 12 pm to 5 pm
Green Lake Community Council will hold board elections this September and is asking the Green Lake Community for participation in several available positions. Here’s more from the Green Lake Community Council.
“Community Councils have a long history in Seattle, and have played an important role in many neighborhoods. The design of new commercial developments, changes at Green Lake Park, improvements to pedestrian safety and much more has been influenced by Green Lake Community Council.
In September, the council will hold board elections. There are a variety of roles from Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary to At Large roles.
If you are interested in playing a bigger role in your community, please contact us. You can reply to Forrest Corbett at Fcorbett@comcast.netor use the contact form on our website. We’re happy to chat with you about the roles and see how the community can best utilize your service.”
Green Lake has a new cafe style walk up window. It’s called The Snack Shack and it is part of Shelter Lounge Green Lake. The window opened this week at the southern side of the Shelter Lounge (near the Starbucks).
Their Facebook post announced the opening August 10th: “We are really proud to introduce Snack Shack to the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle! Proudly serving @caffevita coffee & espresso! We have a full lineup of Seattle SuperSonics themed sandwiches, canned beer, wine & cocktails! Locally sourced honey, mustards, chocolates, & hot sauces! Our version of that sweet, creamy, frozen, orange drink that you remember as a kid…you might remember it as some that rhymes with Smorange Shmulius 😉 We call ours the Slick Squeeze – made with fresh squeezed orange juice and blended to order! Fresh salads, charcuterie, protein kits and other grab and go snacks! Come see us right next door to our @shelterlounge Green Lake location! Follow us for updates and rotating menu features!”
When Shelter Lounge opened back in 2015 the owners told Seattle Greenlaker that the area where the Snack Shack stands now was slated to be an ice cream window. That move was intended to be a sweet homage to the former building, a Baskin and Robbins. While that never happened, The Snack Shack seems to be the prefect solution to our current COVID-19 way of life. A safe, walk up window where food can be taken to be enjoyed at home or at the park.
In a time when few restaurants are opening, sadly quite the opposite, we are happy to see a business expanding. Green Lake’s Shelter Lounge had been closed for a few weeks while they worked on this project.
Snack Shack’s hours and full menu will be announced soon. For updates, go to their website.
After a review of potential future homes for the Green Lake Community Center and Evans Pool a recent public poll determined that people favored both sites staying in or near where the structures are currently housed on the eastern side of Green Lake. Now Park designers have created three options for that area and are requesting the public’s online input by August 20th.
Seattle Parks and Recreation Department are also hosting an online presentation of the options this Wednesday Noon – 1 p.m. To register go to their site.
For more information about the history of this project as well as the next steps, go to the Green Lake Community Center Redevelopment page.
Last week someone sawed off parts of the exercise equipment in Green Lake near the outdoor amphitheater. The area, managed by the Seattle Parks Department, was open to all to use for free and contained exercise rings and exercise bars. Chatter on social media sites like NextDoor had people asking if this was done by the Seattle Parks Department perhaps in a measure to safer social distance? Seattle Parks and Recreation Spokesperson Rachel Schulkin said it was a result of vandalism and that their crews found “the whole thing disassembled in pieces.” She added she didn’t know yet what the costs would be if they were to be replaced. If you saw the person/people sawing off the structure you are encouraged to contact the police using the non emergency help line.