Thanksgiving holiday meals usher in the merry season

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Two volunteers showing off a delicious Thanksgiving pie.

Every November and December, our meals program participants look forward to a delicious Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday lunch that ushers in the merry season while not skimping out on all the traditional fixings.

This year, we will host three Holiday Special Meals – the day before Thanksgiving, the day of Thanksgiving and one on Christmas Eve. But these meals would not be possible without the help we receive from our generous community partners.

A large volunteer group from Seattle City Light will help serve food and beverages to our men and women. Earlier this month Northwest Harvest donated several turkeys from Foster Farms to be used for all three meals.

“The Thanksgiving lunch service is something special,” says Brent Herrmann, director of programs at the Millionair Club Charity. “Community volunteers set the tables with tablecloths and decorations, and folks have a chance to sit down and be served turkey lunch, followed by pie.”

We also team up with Full Life Care to provide holiday meals for home-bound seniors. Volunteers from the organization arrive early at our building and dish up to-go boxes of turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and dessert for older folks who may not have family they can visit.

If you want to support our program participants this holiday season, it’s not too late! We’re looking for donations of butter, celery, stuffing mix and cash to supplement what we already have. Please contact Lindsey Webb at if you have any further questions.

Saul’s story: Philanthropy as a family tradition

Saul (right) with his famous family.

Saul (right) with his famous family.

If there’s one thing Saul Spady is familiar with, it’s burgers. But not just any sort of burgers. Saul is the grandson of the founder of Dick’s Drive-In, a cultural icon in the city of Seattle.

Saul is the President and Creative Director of Cre8ive Empowerment, a company that provides social media and digital marketing campaigns for philanthropic causes. His journey to becoming socially-minded began with the legacy his grandfather left behind.

“My grandfather’s philosophy was always, first make a profit; followed quickly with always respect your workers,” says Saul. “So, he started giving scholarships to our workers to go to college. We celebrate every person who joins our work family and is enabled to get schooling so they can move forward with their life.”

Saul’s mother continued that tradition with a small, inconspicuous addition to the restaurants that had a major impact.

“’Change for Charity’ is a little box on the counter of every Dick’s restaurant where our customer can donate their change,” Saul says. “Mom started this project 20 years ago and you’d be surprised how quickly change adds up. “

“We are able to collect $10,000 each month and give it to six charities that benefit people who are homeless in our community. I’d estimate over a quarter of a million dollars have been donated over the years,” he says.

This explains why Saul started Cre8ive Empowerment. His social media-driven malaria awareness campaign was nominated for Africa’s Best Social Media Campaign in 2015. He’s also directed campaigns here in the United States – including Mary’s Place in Seattle.

Last month, Saul teamed up with the Millionair Club Charity to combat homelessness by launching a campaign to help us upgrade our commercial kitchen, which supports our meals program.

“What gets to me about the Millionair Club Charity is that all of their services – food, showers, laundry, clothing – are geared towards finding people a job. And by giving them a job, you give them a reason to go forward,” Saul says.

Saul tells us meeting face-to-face with the individuals who come through our programs inspire him to believe that issues of homelessness and unemployment can be solved and don’t have to persist.

“Sleeping under a tree might not kill you physically, but it can do something to your mind; your self-esteem and self-worth,” he says. “That person needs someone like the great people at the Millionair Club to say you CAN solve your problems and get a job.”

Did you know?

Since 1954, Dick’s Drive-In co-founder Dick Spady has led one of the most popular food service establishments in Seattle, earning both “best burger awards” and community service recognition.  Around 13 years ago, Dick started making special deliveries of burgers and milkshakes for the Millionair Club Charity’s community lunches. Since then, they’ve donated items for auctions, sponsored events, and continue to provide hundreds of burgers every week for our hungry men and women.

Serving the most influential people in the world

An event catered by Compass Group.

An event catered by Compass Group.

When the biggest and most influential corporations in the world need food services for their employees, events and special visitors, few do it better than Compass Group.

Compass Group is an international food service management company with more than 220,000 associates across North America alone. One of them is located in Redmond on the Microsoft campus. The task of having to feed tens of thousands of employees daily means Compass Group consistently needs new help to get the job done.

So naturally when Tim O’Brien, Compass Group’s director of operations, catering and a former Millionair Club Charity board member, is looking for new workers to join his staff, he comes to us for assistance.

“We deal with many temp companies and so far the [Millionair Club Charity’s] professionalism and excellent tools are better than the more established organizations,” says Tim.

The workers who have been hired by Compass Group do kitchen prep, cooking, delivery, and event support/logistics. Tim has only kind things to say about our temp-to-hire staffing program.

“Many of our best employees have come from the Millionair Club,” he says.

When our workers first step onto the premises of the Microsoft campus, they immediately hit the ground running to feed all the people spread across 120 buildings. Compass Group feeds everyone, ranging from entry level employees to the CEO and foreign dignitaries. In fact, Tim’s team was responsible for catering the visit of Xi Jinping, the President of China who travelled to the area in late September.

Many restaurants and catering companies tell us they need more and more workers skilled in the food industry, but often struggle to fill their needs. The Millionair Club Charity’s Employment Program is working diligently to train and connect our workers to jobs that are actively hiring right now. Our partnership with Compass Group is a step in that direction.

Our 2015 Strategic Plan

How will the Millionair Club Charity continue to serve men and women in our region who are struggling with homelessness and unemployment?

Find out in our 2015 strategic plan, which outlines how we will create more pathways toward permanent employment, strengthen our organization’s financial base and enhance community awareness through strategic partnerships. The core of our mission has not changed since 1921, but the programs and strategies we use to serve our workers and participants are always being reassessed.

Millionair Club Charity 2015 Strategic Plan

If you have questions about the Millionair Club Charity, our mission or how we are serving our community, please give us a call at (206) 728-JOBS (5627) or e-mail us at

Enjoying five decades of customer satisfaction

Dee McQuesten

For nearly five decades, Dee McQuesten has hired workers from us on a consistent basis. From the 1970s to the present day, Dee has one glowing observation about the quality of services she’s received:

“One of the things that continues to impress me is, not only are your people skilled, but they never fail to be prompt,” Dee writes to us.

Recently Dee decided to downsize and move to a new home. She requested a team of Millionair Club Charity workers to assist with her move, and they did not disappoint. She had especially nice things to say about James, the leader of the moving team.

“A special thanks to James Woods, who is a superstar mover and supervisor,” Dee says. “He led the team and was terrific. Brennan, Gabriel and Jeremiah were all GREAT!”

Click here to find out how our workers can serve your home, property or business. Learn more about Dee’s business, McQuesten Framing & Fine Art Services.

Meet Betty: Long-time donor issues a Hobart Mixer challenge

Meet Betty, a long time supporter of the Millionair Club Charity.

Meet Betty, a long time supporter of the Millionair Club Charity.

Since 1949, Betty Wagner has supported the Millionair Club Charity’s multifaceted approach to touching lives of men and women in greater Seattle.

“People who need a job, need a place where they can find a job,” Betty says. “However, if people are ever going to be able to make anything of themselves, they need a place to live, take care of their health, and be educated.”

Betty continues to support the Millionair Club Charity because she thinks our combination of job training, hot meals and housing assistance is a smart approach to philanthropy.

“Now that the Millionair Club Charity has the Kasota apartments, they have all the components to assist people to connect successfully with work,” Betty says.

On a recent visit to the Millionair Club Charity, Betty noticed the kitchen’s Hobart Mixer – an important piece of equipment that helps us serve 89,000 hot meals each year – was so old that replacement parts were no longer available if anything were to break. Betty donated $500 to kick-start a replacement fund for the $2,000 needed to buy a new mixer.

“I hope others will join me,” she says.

Thank you, Betty! So, what’s your story? Why do you donate? Share your inspirational story by e-mailing Chris at

You’re invited to the Kasota Open House on August 15!

This is your chance to get a good look at what a typical room at our Kasota apartment building looks like.

This is your chance to get a good look at what a typical room at our Kasota apartment building looks like.

Interested in checking out the Kasota apartment units you’ve heard so much about?

On Saturday, August 15 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. at 2212 1st Avenue we’re inviting you to our Kasota Open House! This is your chance to look inside the renovated building and see how we’re providing the men and women in our Employment Program a secure place to live.

The Kasota apartment building is a 48-unit affordable housing option for our workers. Complemented with the security that comes with a steady paycheck, our vision is to provide the men and women we serve a sturdy foundation for rebuilding their lives.

Escaping homelessness and poverty can be a daunting challenge. Barriers to employment combined with the high cost of living in the Seattle area contribute to the struggles of so many in our community. The Kasota apartment is one more way we are actively addressing these issues.

At the Kasota Open House, we will take visitors inside a typical room. You will see the furniture, kitchenette and amenities our tenants now enjoy. There is no cost to attend. We hope to see you there!