Social Engagement

 

Social engagement is the extension of our practice beyond ourselves and into the larger community. There are many ways to get involved. Below is a list of ongoing projects led by members of SIMS along with contact information. Information is also posted on the social engagement bulletin board at the Tuesday-night sits. (View a PDF of the SIMS social engagement guidelines.)

In addition to our social engagement projects, SIMS has many integral volunteer roles that support activities within our sangha. If you're interested in participating in this way, please check our Volunteer Opportunities page or look for the sign-up sheets at the back table on Tuesday nights. Any questions regarding SIMS volunteering options can be emailed to our volunteer coordinator.

 

 

Current Social Engagement Opportunities

  • Noel House

    Description:

    Since its inception in 1990, Noel House Programs has offered safe, comfortable shelter to a diverse community of homeless women, Over the years, their efforts on behalf of homeless women have grown to include a variety of services, including referrals to 15 emergency shelters, nightly meal service, and case management at the main Noel House shelter in downtown Seattle. In total, Noel House Programs assists 72 women with nightly shelter, 20 women with permanent housing and 180 women with nightly emergency shelter referrals.

    Any questions can be directed to Summer Halas at the email below.

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Web site:

    Contact:

  • Namaste Children's Fund (NCF)

    Description:

    Founded by longtime SIMS members Cora Edmonds and Phil Crean, NCF is a Seattle-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization  supporting schooling for predominately girls in remote and underserved regions of Nepal.  A major area of focus is the Humla region in far western Nepal.  NCF has established a boarding school located in Simikot, the largest town in the region.  There are over 50 girls living in our hostel and attending our primary school.  After graduation from the primary school the girls are able to transition to the NCF hostel near Kathmandu to continue their secondary education and hopefully on to University.  We currently have 10 students in this program. 

    NCF also supports the Gargen Chyoling Nunnery near Kathmandu  by funding two teachers who work with over fifty young nuns, helping their education in math and English.

    NCF has developed a sponsorship network to sustain the school over time and build connection between our communities.  Sponsorship opportunities are available through the NCF website link below.

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Ongoing

    Web site:

    Visit our web site

    Contact:

  • Embrace Guatemala

    Description:

    Guatemala has the second highest poverty rate in the Western Hemisphere and one of the greatest income disparities in the world between the wealthy and the poor; has a centuries long history of discrimination toward indigenous populations, including genocide during its recent 36 year long civil war; and a 70% rate of chronic malnutrition among indigenous children. For these reasons, Brian Stipek, founder of Embrace Guatemala, has been helping Guatemala’s indigenous children and families find a better life since 2003.  He lives and works with local families in the rural area of Nebaj in the Guatemalan highlands.

    Embrace Guatemala is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization formed in 2006 to assist Guatemala’s poor by providing financial aid to students, tuition assistance and school supplies, books and computers. They organize youth activities, build schools, homes, and fuel efficient wood burning stoves for families in extreme poverty. They purchase medicine and collect gently used clothing, shoes and boots to deliver to the children.

    Brian Stipek is a long time friend of sangha members Jerry and Janet Lockwood. For more information contact Jerry or Janet Lockwood, or email Brian below.

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Web site:

    Contact:

  • Project Amigo

    Description:

    Project Amigo is a 501 (c) 3 organization in California. Its work is carried out in Colima, Mexico. Its primary goals are to help poor children of Colima by providing programs that motivate them to stay in school; improving their access to higher education and promoting literacy; and providing dental and vision care. Project Amigo awards scholarships to junior high, high school and college students

    The people of Cofradia de Suchitlan, where this program began and where much of the work occurs, live extremely humbly, but hope for a better future for their children. The scholars take this opportunity and responsibility seriously. They know the grinding poverty they will face if they fail. College scholarship students (110 each year) are required to maintain a B+ average in school. They make a commitment to live in the area once they graduate from college, and to donate 3% of their income back to Project Amigo during their working years.

    You can help these people lift themselves, their families and future generations out of poverty by sponsoring a scholarship for a student or by making a small donation to the scholarship fund. There are many volunteer opportunities for a week or long term.

    Vision and dental clinics; helping children with English homework or reading to children (something their parents cannot do); Christmas party for hundreds of children where they receive a new set of clothes, shoes and a toy; a day at the beach (something most children have never done even though they live within a few miles of the sea); repairs to group homes; dentists, computer technicians, and ESL teachers are also needed.

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Web site:

    Visit our web site

    Contact:

  • Freedom Project

    Description:

    Work with a team to offer trainings in mindfulness meditation to men and women inside prisons or returning to the community after being incarcerated. For more information see the web site below or contact Ruby Phillips at the email address below.

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Ongoing

    Web site:

    Visit our web site

    Contact:

  • Project Kesho

    Description:

    Project Kesho ("tomorrow") is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in villages and orphanages located in Tanzania and Uganda. Primary emphasis is on improving access to and quality of education in the villages of Lundamatwe and Ulonge, near Iringa, Tanzania, and at the Little Angels orphanage in Kigogwa, near Mityana, Uganda. Building primary school classrooms has been a major part of the work that has taken place over the past five years, in addition to helping to provide the basic necessities that enable children to attend school, such as digging and securing wells to provide clean water, buying medical supplies, and starting a sustainable food source farm. At this time Project Kesho is also funding secondary school scholarships to allow children to continue beyond the primary level.

    In the past two years, Project Kesho has provided support to Little Angels, a privately run primary school and orphanage. Most orphans are children of parents who have died of AIDS. The school has 350 students, of which 150 are orphans, and 70 of these orphans board at the school. Food permitting, all orphans receive a meal at lunchtime, and the orphans who board receive two meals a day. This year's improvements have been construction of a bathroom, two classrooms and an office; purchased goats and home supplies; and the establishment of rainwater harvesting. 

    Sponsored by Joyce Michelson, a longtime SIMS member, and her husband, Guy, through the Village Assist charitable group. 

    Meeting day:

    Frequency:

    Ongoing

    Web site:

    Contact: