Nowhere to turn: Steve’s story

Steve Kelly in the radio booth.

Steve Kelly in the radio booth.

For people living in Palm Springs who tune into KPTR 1450 AM from 4-6 p.m., Steve Kelly’s voice should sound familiar.

That’s because Steve hosts his own talk radio show down in the Palm Springs desert and serves as Program Director for KPTR and KPSI 920 AM. But before becoming a public media personality, Steve struggled with alcoholism.

Thanks to the help he received from the Millionair Club Charity, he was able to turn his life around.

“I moved to Seattle in 1990 with very little money and a drinking problem,” says Steve. “I worked out of the Millionair Club for ten months, including having Thanksgiving dinner here.”

Steve worked at several general labor and cleaning jobs before finally getting his life back in order. He says he’s been sober for 23 years.

“Even though I had an alcohol addiction, the Millionair Club Charity showed me kindness at the lowest point of my life. And I never forgot it,” Steve says.

When he’s not on the radio, Steve works as a freelance journalist. Some of his career highlights include covering the US Open in 2008 down in San Diego and broadcasting live from Ground Zero on the fifth anniversary of 9/11 through ABC. But through his highs and lows, Steve is especially thankful for the Millionair Club Charity for being there when he had nowhere else to go.

“I am so thankful for the Millionair Club. There are great people and great stories coming out of here,” Steve says.

Temporary staffing solutions provide new opportunities for our workers

A team of Millionair Club Charity workers at a recent event at Pike Place Market.

A team of Millionair Club Charity workers at a recent event at Pike Place Market.

If you ever find yourself at CenturyLink Field cheering on the defending Super Bowl champions Seattle Seahawks or losing your voice rooting for the Seattle Sounders FC, odds are you will also meet several workers from the Millionair Club Charity.

Seattle Sportservice, a company that offers concession services to sporting venues, has recently hired more than 40 Millionair Club Charity workers to work on game days at CenturyLink Field in food service. In October a team of 21 workers worked at a Starbucks-led event at Pike Place Market.

Thanks to support from our donors, men and women in our employment program are getting work opportunities with many respected businesses in our region.

“By partnering with local companies who contract our temporary workforce for events, projects and peak workflow, the Millionair Club Charity is creating new pathways for our workers to gain the skills, experience and confidence needed to transition out of poverty and into full-time employment,” says Cary Calkins, director of business development.

Give the gift of warmth and a holiday meal

turkey lunch plated

There are many ways to give back to the men and women who come through the Millionair Club Charity this holiday season. We are seeking donations of cooking oil, butter, flour, spices, canned goods (like green beans and yams) and hams for our annual Thanksgiving and Christmas special meals. For more information, please visit millionairclub.org/give-in-kind.

We also could use new or gently used hats, gloves, scarves, long underwear and socks to help our participants stay warm during the cold winter months. For more information about dropping off your items, please visit millionairclub.org/Winter-Coat-Drive. Drop-off times are 6 a.m. – 2 p.m., Monday through Friday and 6 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Saturday.

Amazon employees tackle homelessness with home-crafted beers

amazon event

Employees from Amazon’s Accounting Department hosted a rooftop Charity Homebrew Competition on July 30 with all proceeds benefiting the Millionair Club Charity.

Amazon employees tasted eight different home-brewed beers in the sunshine while helping to support the Millionair Club Charity’s mission to rebuild lives of men and women in our community through jobs. One of the Amazon employees had a special reason she was happy to have the Millionair Club be the beneficiary of the event.

“I have been a board member for the Millionair Club Charity for over a year,” says Clarissa Inglehart. “When my accounting colleague Kim Wolf told me about the event, I was delighted to suggest they be the beneficiary.”

Supporters of the Millionair Club Charity can sign up for AmazonSmile and designate the organization as its charity of choice. Amazon then donates 0.5 percent of eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the Millionair Club Charity. It’s an easy way to help the individuals we serve while you shop!

Learn more at smile.amazon.com

How we are realigning our pay structure to better help our workers

Pay structure blog post photo

For the past 18 months the Millionair Club Charity has placed 117 workers in long-term temporary or permanent jobs and more than 100 people into stable housing as a result of listening to our workers who wanted an avenue to self-sufficiency. As a result, the Millionair Club Charity is realigning its hiring and payment model to provide higher wages and additional benefits to the workers who use our services. Our temporary workers have said that the day labor model helps, but it doesn’t assist them in the long run with resume building, securing a full-time job or providing them with a source of consistent income.

Therefore, beginning Sept. 1, 2014, all workers will become employees of the Millionair Club Charity. What this means to you is that if you would like to hire our workers for your home or business, you will sign a contract through the Millionair Club. We will take care of the hassle of paperwork and pay your employment taxes, Social Security and L&I insurance costs. You pay $18 per hour, and we invoice you on a weekly basis. We will no longer offer an option to pay the worker directly at the end of the day. This new structure will provide greater protection for our employers, our workers and us as a nonprofit organization.

Thank you for your support of the Millionair Club Charity as we help men and women achieve self-sufficiency through jobs.

For questions, please e-mail paymentchange@millionairclub.org.

Join us for Chef Showcase!

Chef Showcase crowd

Join us for Chef Showcase on Thursday, September 18, 2014 from 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. at 415 Westlake.

Register for Chef Showcase today!

Enjoy a festive evening of delicious small plates prepared by four of Seattle’s top chefs paired with exquisite wine and chocolates by Sozo Friends and dessert from Seattle Sorbets. We will also honor three inspirational heroes with the Millionair Club Charity Employment Excellence Awards as we kick off our 2014 Annual Campaign.

Cost is $50 for individual, $90 for a couple and $100 for VIP access.

All proceeds benefit our mission to rebuilding lives by providing employment opportunities, job training, housing support, hot meals and other essential services to men and women experiencing unemployment or homelessness in the Seattle area. This event is 21+.

Meet Stella, one of our youngest donors!

Stella (r) with Cary Calkins, the Millionair Club Charity's Director of Business Development.

Stella with Cary Calkins, the Millionair Club Charity’s Director of Business Development.

We would like you to Meet Stella, perhaps the youngest donor who has ever given to the Millionair Club Charity!

Stella is 9 years old and visited the Millionair Club Charity back in December when her school created artworks that decorated the downstairs dining hall during the Christmas season. The one aspect of our organization that struck her interest the most was our showers facility.

Not wanting anyone to be unable to take a nice hot shower, Stella decided that instead of receiving gifts for her birthday, she’d rather raise money from her friends and donate it to the Millionair Club Charity!

She recently stopped by the Millionair Club and happily dropped off a check for a little more than $100 that she wishes will provide more showers to men and women in our community.

Stella, her brother Luca and her mom Kim plan on returning this December to put together hygiene kits for our participants. Thank you Stella for your inspirational generosity!

Stella with her brother Luca and her mother Kim.

Stella with her brother Luca and her mother Kim.