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Does your organization seek to end poverty in our community? Do you need capacity and sustainability help to achieve it? We may have just the resource for you!   United Way of Thurston County is excited to announce that the 2018 - 2019 AmeriCorps VISTA Program Host Site Application process is now open. This year we are expanding our ongoing partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and AmeriCorps VISTA and are looking to site 20 VISTA Members. This federal program is crucial to many organizations throughout the country, and now counties in the South Sound...
Post date: Monday, January 29, 2018 - 5:07pm

The United Way Reading Buddy Program received overwhelming community support at our final orientation on January 10.  While 31 community members RSVP’d to attend, a whopping 52 people showed up! A BIG thank you goes out to all our media partners, such as The Olympian, ROXY and many Facebook “shares” who helped spread the word! A special shout-out goes to Pastor Pete and his staff at First United Methodist Church for taking last-minute measures to re-assign our room and move in more tables and chairs in record time to accommodate our group.

This school year we have been able to...

Post date: Monday, January 29, 2018 - 7:03am
Marisela Gomez Raffo’s journey to Olympia and United Way of Thurston County’s VISTA program was long. Born and raised in Chile, she moved to Miami when she was in high school. She studied TV production at Miami Dade College and then moved to California where she completed her bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication and Media Studies online from Arizona State University.

Marisela’s husband is in the military, and they relocated to Joint Base Lewis-McChord two years ago. She had been working remotely in social media and customer service for Macy’s but decided to follow her interests...

Post date: Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 1:06pm

We are happy to announce we have filled all of our positions for the 17-18 service year. We will begin recruiting VISTA members for the 2018-2019 service year in June with start dates in July-November. If you are an organization interested in hosting a VISTA member, we are currently accepting applications. For more information on the process, please contact Stacy at

Post date: Tuesday, January 9, 2018 - 9:57am

At the holidays, giving thanks is always top of mind. 

But it is effortless to do throughout the year. Anytime is the perfect time to give thanks to your volunteers.

An intentional thank you is the perfect motivation to keep them coming back to support you for years to come!

Here are some super simple ideas:

Send a monthly email to your Reading Buddy team inviting them to the cool events going on in the school or changes in schedule. When you stay connected, you show you care. 

Write a personal card. Everyone loves receiving a handwritten note. How...

Post date: Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 4:42pm

We're happy to announce that we have scheduled new volunteer orientations for early next year. Some school partners have requested more support and we hope to meet their need. Peter G. Schmidt and Hansen said they could each use 5 more volunteers, and Mountain View would like 6! We also hope to bolster small teams at some of our schools like Jefferson Lincoln, Bordeaux, Lacey and Lydia Hawk.  And, Lincoln Elementary school, new to the program, needs a team as well.

Orientations take place the second week of January for final placement after Winter Student Assessments are...

Post date: Thursday, December 14, 2017 - 2:36pm
The Community Care Center is requesting donations of food to have on hand for clients who need food for medical reasons.

Food needed: Granola bars, breakfast bars, juice boxes, single serve crackers, single-serve nuts, single serve trail mix, applesauce, cup of noodles, single-serve soup and (non-perishable) milk boxes.

Please bring your donations to United Way of Thurston County and we’ll deliver them to the Community Care Center. Thank you!

United Way of Thurston County
1211 Fourth Ave E Suite 101
Olympia, WA 98506

SPREAD THE WORD. We've created a PDF for...

Post date: Wednesday, December 13, 2017 - 10:09am

Volunteering is a gift packed with benefits for everyone involved not only the recipient of services but the volunteers as well. No matter your age, the benefits from volunteer engagement are substantial.

Did you know that the act of volunteering has anti-aging properties?

A 2016 government study gave evidence that older adults who volunteer 100 hours or more per year have better health maintenance regimens. That's just over two hours per week! Forty-four percent, who volunteered at two or more volunteer jobs lowered their mortality rate over a five-year period. In addition,...

Post date: Friday, December 1, 2017 - 12:00am

Bill Clark is a United Way of Thurston County volunteer. For eight years, Bill has been our “go-to guy” to distribute our annual Kindergarten Readiness Calendars (KRC). 

United Way’s Kindergarten Readiness Calendars are full of fun activities already prepared for parents to engage their three-and-four-year-olds to ensure they are ready for kindergarten.

Did you know that by the age of three, 85 percent of our brain functionality is in place? From birth to three, engaging in enriching dialogue, reading to your kids, playing games, and singing songs wires their brains for...

Post date: Friday, October 20, 2017 - 1:58pm
August 7, 2017, Olympia, WA - United Way of Thurston County is pleased to announce that Cathy Wolfe will receive the distinguished Gladys Burns Human Service Award, a lifetime service award, celebrating the philanthropic and volunteer spirit within our community.   The award honors the service of the late Gladys Burns, human services advocate, and tireless volunteer, and United Way’s first professional staff person. This award recognizes an outstanding volunteer or professional from the human services community who embodies Gladys’ example of caring, commitment, and dedication.   “Cathy Wolfe...
Post date: Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 3:28pm