Patterns, Colors and Community

Jul 25, 2023

Enchanted by the colorful design of this mosaic-tiled table top, I took this photo while sitting in the courtyard of ChildStrive, our nonprofit partner which has offices on Casino Road in Everett. It was July 2021, when the pandemic was still raging and we did almost everything outside or remotely. 

I remember the feelings I had that day, because it was one of our first forays out in the community after more than a year of isolation. How good it felt to be with one another, in person, re-engaged with the energy that is sparked when people of purpose share space together. The mosaic design felt symbolic of my feelings that day as I sat at that table and talked to those around me at a COVID-safe distance. 

To me, the mosaic’s circle patterns resemble the ripple effects of drops of water, similar to one another in many ways, but each circle pattern uniquely beautiful in its own right. It’s how I think about our Companis community, our Workers, staff, and supporters. Each person brings their own beauty to our mission: radiating outward, sometimes overlapping, always complementary, and in service of our mission: Building healthy community by fostering skilled volunteer service. 

Now, two years later, Companis volunteer engagements are back to a pre-pandemic level, serving agencies with post-pandemic staffing gaps. As we mark the half-way point of 2023, here are the highlights of our work and our growth:

From January through June, Companis has: 

  • made 59 placements with 43 nonprofits, nearly matching all of 2022’s placements (66 total last year).
  • grown our Snohomish County program to one-third of our overall placement numbers and nonprofit partner agencies.
  • received requests for assistance from area nonprofits at a rate of 25% higher from the same period last year.
  • increased our placements with agencies primarily serving BIPOC programs and communities to 33% of our total partner collaborations.

Nonprofits are still reeling from the impacts of the pandemic, including a significant downturn in charitable donations nationwide. And similar to private sector companies, our nonprofit partners are facing hiring challenges.  In response to this, we’re working hard to recruit more volunteers and stipend-supported placements. Companis is there to help. Our staff is extending service opportunities and encouragement to people looking to get re-engaged in meaningful and rewarding ways in their community.

Currently, we have requests that include volunteers skilled in case management, administrative assistance, bookkeeping, tech/data systems, social media and communications, strategy and organizational development, and more. Apply here to have a conversation with our program team.

As our volunteer numbers grow, the Companis staff is growing, too. 

We are delighted to share the news that Companis is the recipient of a capacity-building grant from the Murdock Trust, part of the spring 2023 cohort of grantees. The three-year grant will allow us to create the new position of Development Director. In the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing the job posting with you, and encourage you to also share it far and wide. Our goal is to onboard this new position in the fall. We are grateful to the Murdock Trust for their confidence in our community-building work. They, in turn, are inspired by the support Companis receives from so many people across our services areas in King and Snohomish counties.


Companis Showcase – Thursday, Oct. 19th. Showcase is our annual celebration and fundraiser. We’ll gather at Town Hall Seattle from 5 to 7 pm to share inspiration from our work, tell stories of our Workers through the eyes of our partner agencies, and raise funds to make our work not only possible, but to also grow it as we strive to meet the demand from our community. 

I invite you to be part of our community mosaic through volunteering, advocacy,  referral of our program to your friends, colleagues and family, and nonprofits you’re involved with, and through your financial support. No matter how you show up, the ripples of your engagement will touch many lives. Together, we can create the community we want for ourselves, each other, and for the future.



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