Happy Valentine’s Day From The Butterfly Effect

The Butterfly Effect Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone! Earlier this week The Butterfly Effect celebrated our second Valentine’s Day with our friends at the Gardens at Juanita Bay Senior Community. We were excited to be back with the residents for another year, and they were so happy to see us again.

Preparation for this event started on February 5th when our group met to make valentines and favor bags and address cards. When the big day came we arrived at the Senior Community loaded up with beautiful potted roses (thanks to Trader Joe’s in Kirkland), favor bags full of candies and snacks, warm socks, and of course our homemade valentines. It was a fun day full of good friends, laughter, and spreading love and warmth in our community.

Days like this remind me of how far our Butterfly Effect group has come since we started 4+ years ago with ten founding members. We have grown to 60+ members, do a charity project each month, and have given over $25,000. I love being part of such a generous group that gives monthly and makes a difference one ripple at a time.

The Butterfly Effect at The Interfaith Shelter

Lynn Holiday Collage

As members of The Butterfly Effect we try to make every month feel like a holiday for those in need through our projects, but the Holiday season is a particularly special time for us and our chosen charity. This month we adopted kids at the Interfaith Shelter in Everett and planned a fun and heartwarming day full of festivities. We brought them gifts, decorated holiday cookies, made holiday cards, and arranged a visit from Santa. Hopefully it brightened their day as much as it did ours!

My Feature in the Women Who Give Series

15025285_1875156092714758_8491087674513718471_oI’m so honored to be included in the Women Who Give series, which celebrates women who are dedicated to serving their communities. Read about why and how I give back and one of my favorite moments from volunteering.

This article was published as part of #GivingTuesday’s #WomenWhoGive series, which celebrates women who give back in their communities.

Lynn Sanborn is an Advisory Board Member at Attain Housing, based in Kirkland, Washington.  Read about what inspires Lynn to give back in the interview below.

Q1: How do you give back?

I give back to many charities. Besides having served as Board VP and now being on the Advisory Board at Attain Housing I’m a founding member of a giving group called The Butterfly Effect who gives of cash, needed items or time to many local charities on a monthly basis. I am committed to giving monthly of my time or money. The charities I support are Windermere Foundation, Attain Housing, Union Gospel Mission, Morelove, Planned Parenthood, Babies of Homelessness, Studio East, Friends of Youth, FSH, and many others.

Q2:  What inspired you to start giving?

I served many years on the Windermere Foundation Eastside Board and that started my real passion for giving back. I chaired some of the Windermere Foundation’s largest Eastside Fundraisers. I then was called to help Attain Housing in 2008 when they were really struggling. Over the years our events grew from $75K to over $300K+ a year. I love planning events and reaching out to the community for help.

Q3:  What does giving mean to you?  Why do you continue to give your time, talents, money, or more to your community?

I get way more than I give by knowing I make a small difference. I am rewarded daily by constantly seeing the generosity of people who want to help. I love knowing I set a good example for others and have had many people step up to help me. I have been blessed with a great life and feel it is my duty to help those less fortunate. Plus, I know I have earned my wings in heaven.

Q4: What would you tell others who are looking to start giving back?  Share a  piece of advice will help them get started.

Find something that you find really compelling, read about local charities and the work they do, volunteer some time and figure out how you can best contribute your talents.

Q5:  Please share a favorite moment or story from when you volunteered or donated to an organization.

I could share so many stories, but the most recent one is this February our Butterfly Effect group decided to visit a senior center and have a party for them for Valentine’s Day. We made each resident an invitation, a handmade valentine, made lots of desserts, treat bags, made them each a flower arrangement and bought them all socks plus had two gals sing and one play piano. It was so much fun for all of us and the residents said it was the best party they had ever had. We left with full hearts.

This post originally appeared on Giving Tuesday.