Letter from the Executive Director

Jim Miller 1

Dear supporters of the Millionair Club Charity,

It is no exaggeration to say that supporters of the Millionair Club Charity in 2014 contributed to a historic year.

For the first time in Millionair Club Charity history, starting in September 2014, the employment program began operation as a temporary staffing agency — no cash allowed! Instead, all workers became “employees” of the Millionair Club, and are paid once a week by the Millionair Club. The great advantage to our workers is that they now have verifiable income that qualifies them for housing, health insurance, and other benefits. A weekly pay check also forces workers to learn how to budget their money – a life time skill!

This fundamental shift in our employment model injected huge positive energy into our program.

  • Just since September 1, contracts with companies like Sports Service — to staff Seahawks games at Century Link – have connected 80 workers to more than 9000 hours of work.
  • Trainings and business license certification have increased dramatically. Just since September, 341 workers took customer service training; 278 workers took safety OSHA training; and 123 workers received their food handlers permits.
  • In 2014, 75 of our 267 workers obtained permanent employment.
  • In 2014, 60 of our workers were placed in permanent housing last year.

And you can expect that 2015 will be another historic year: our Board of Directors is finalizing a strategic plan this month, and all of us look forward to implementing those results to strengthen our supportive employment program. I will also announce the leasing of a Belltown apartment building. Workers in our employment program will be able to rent a room in the building and live there for up to two years, with the requirement that they work each week. Having dependable access to housing for our workers is invaluable, and I believe, will greatly enhance their chance for employment success. You’ll hear more about this new enhancement of our employment program later this year.

Working in our community to rebuild the lives of men and women through jobs and other support services for 93 years has established the Millionair Club Charity with a solid reputation for a successful employment program. But I expect to continue building on that reputation and make our employment model even more effective for the people we serve.

Thank you for your support — and stand by for more invention and innovation in 2015.

Sincerely,

Jim Miller
Executive Director

Thank you for your support in 2014

We would like to thank our donors, supporters, partners and volunteers for contributing to the Millionair Club Charity and our mission to rebuilding the lives of men and women in greater Seattle. Please watch this short video made by our staff as our way of expressing our gratitude.

Without you, we could not help the hundreds of lives we touch every year through our jobs program, daily meals and support services. Every gift you make has a direct impact on the lives of the people we serve.

Thank you for your generous support! We look forward to what we can accomplish together in 2015.

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.