by Tara Binge, HR Director of Williams Kastner and PSALA 2017–2018 President-Elect

Last night, Lisa Wabik, Jennifer Miller and I had the opportunity to assist at ROOTs.  For those not familiar with ROOTS, it is a young adult shelter that builds community and fosters dignity through access to essential services and a safe place to sleep for young adults experiencing homelessness.  The experience was both eye-opening and rewarding.  

There were many people to serve (unfortunately two potential guests were turned away but left with plates) and few volunteers.  We began the evening with a quick assessment of food and a short grocery list made.  Jennifer and I made a grocery dash as Lisa and two non-PSALA volunteers began preparing the meal.  It was a beat-the-clock challenge that resulted in success.  The guests were served and complimented us several times on the meal prepared.

I said the event was both eye-opening and rewarding.  It was eye opening in the sense that there are so many in our community that need assistance and so few volunteers.  Rewarding in that I had an opportunity to meet the guests and gain a better understanding of their life circumstances.  The volunteer need is currently higher than usual because ROOTS is run through the University of Washington.  The students who volunteer have returned home and are presently unavailable to assist.

Lisa, Jennifer and I are already thinking about our next ROOTS volunteer project and what more we can do to assist this organization.  If you’re interested in participating at the shelter, please email Jennifer Miller:

As an aside, ROOTS will be the featured guest at PSALA’s Annual Summer Social held on September 14th. All fundraising will be donated to ROOTS with an emphasis on back to school items. If you are interested in donating to this event, please contact