Do you know a Casino road community member doing amazing things?

Spotlight a Community Member

We are so grateful & excited to spotlight you.

Check out these Community Members!
Luis Alvarado
June 14th, 2021

The hands of our organization are our volunteers. In 2020 when the pandemic hit our community, Madres de Casino Road planned a fresh food pantry but, in order to make it work smoothly we reached out to our people. That’s where Luis Alvarado comes into play. Madres was looking for someone to help us get the fruits and vegetables delivered to our office every week, and sometimes, twice a week. When we asked Luis if he knew of anybody who could help us, he offered himself. He said he could organize his work schedule and empty his trailer so; the community could get its fresh food every week. Luis paused his work to go pick up and deliver boxes to our office. Every Thursday he would start his working day earlier than normal so, he could “take a break” in the middle of the morning to go to Woodinville to pick up a trailer load of boxes thus, Madres could open its door in the afternoon to the community. There were many days that his teenage children accompanied him to do this work, because Luis wanted to show his children the importance of helping the community. Below is Luis’ testimony of this experience: The experience taught numerous things which I will use on my daily life to be a better person. First, I learned that even though I was helping, I benefited greatly by doing so myself. It is absolutely rewarding to be able to help the community when the need arises. I am thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to have been able to be a part such gracious project. Secondly, I met several awesome people along the way that basically became part of my life and that is priceless. I also learned that no matter how busy you are, one should always allow a small amount of time to donate to people in need. I genuinely believe that when you do good acts of kindness the blessings multiply. There are no words for Madres to express how grateful we are with the effort Luis did for our organization and our community. Volunteer Service runs in his blood and his willing to help anytime at any day is something to treasure. Luis, thank you for everything you’ve done and do for our people. Thank you for your helping heart. Thank you for teaching our people to give. Thank you for this beautiful gift of giving. Thank you for always being there. ¡Un abrazo grande, amigo!

Shared by Madres De Casino Road

June 21st, 2021

Speaking with Olivia Tsang, I get the feeling that she has found something on Casino Road. After time in Indiana and California, her family settled in Kirkland. But she is not Eastside Olivia. She has degrees in Religion and East Asian Studies from Oberlin in Ohio, but she’s not Midwest Olivia, Academic Olivia nor Reverend Olivia. She taught English in Japan for a year and a half before the pandemic brought her home: mostly middle schoolers, and it was hard and rewarding in the way that sharpens a person. But she is not, at least for now, Teacher Olivia. Her kickboxing dreams are on hold because of Covid-19, and she has no fights scheduled. She is not Warrior Olivia. So who is Olivia Tsang? “Olivia is an amazing volunteer. Dedicated, organized, dependable. She could easily run the Pantry operation on Tuesdays,” says VOA Project Manager Dave Jordan. When she returned from Japan because of the Coronavirus last Spring, “I wanted to help,” she says. “I love the people here and the volunteers. The spirit and the community.” Olivia volunteers every Tuesday at VOA’s Casino Road Food Pantry. On the day I’m visiting, they gave food to 163 households representing 756 individuals. Olivia credits Dave with creating community at the Pantry. “He makes everyone feel welcome. He sees us, you know?” At least for now, one day a week, she is Volunteer Olivia. And during this uncertain time, that is enough.

Olivia’s story is one part of VOAWW 2021 Volunteer Appreciation campaign. To learn more or discover how you can give back.

Shared by Dave Jordan of Volunteers of America Western Washington
original post:

July 2nd, 2021

Sherra Grasser was introduced to Second Chance Outreach through Denny Youth Juvenile Center in January of 2021. Since the day that she joined the circle, Sherra has met one on one with SCO kids one whole day a week at The Village on Casino Road. Not only has she brought delicious treats to the kids, Sherra also invites her mom to bring baked goods and spend time with the 10+ youth that meets 3 times a week at The Village. Sherra’s organization has brought light to the many youths in need. Her one-on-one talks with the students about values, short-term goals, and how to deal with life changes talks have brought a completely new life to the most vulnerable group of kids. Along with her voluntary kindness, Sherra has brought connections to other organizations and students to connect to SCO. This year Sherra shared her first mentoring group to Echo Glen Children’s Center in Seattle alongside Executive Director, Jose Garcia “Neaners”. To top it all off, sherry is one newest board members of SCO. Let us celebrate all the work and mentorship that she does for the youth this year. Cheers to more!

Shared by Jose Garcia (Neaners) of Second Chance Outreach
original post:


July 2021

Each Friday for ChildStrive’s warm meal program we needed someone to pick up fresh food from the VOA site on North Broadway between 9-11 am. ChildStrive board member Doug Smith stepped up and helped out for multiple weeks to help ease the burden on staff. His entire truck bed would be filled with boxes of fresh veggies and nonperishable foods that were given out to the community almost immediately each week. Doug even drove down from vacation one week to pick up the food! Thank you, Doug, for supporting the hot meal program and so much more!

Shared by Hayley Statema of ChildStrive

Cathrine Collins

August 1st, 2021

Catherine Collins is not just your regular Executive Director of Sound Experience. Catherine is a hero without a cape this week! When Connect Casino road and Sound Experience decided to provide a two-week session for youth, transportation was a big piece. As things go, Sometimes plan A, B, C and Z fall through. In this case, the lack of transportation for the second week of the Everett at Sea program almost caused a cancellation of the weeklong program. Thanks for the extraordinary collaboration and determination to make it happen, the group of 15+ youth were able to attend. Countless hours of brainstorming for other transportation ideas took place. In the end, Compass Courses donated their van for transportation and Catherine donated her time and spotless driving record to help the cause! Its things like this that really make you proud of the connections and partners in place. Happy Sailors this month!

Shared by Jessica Figueroa, The Village Coordinator


Stefania Ramos
August 2021

Stefania Ramos is an immigration Lawyer in Lynnwood by day, Admirable volunteer by night! When she was first contacted to be part of the DACA coalition (Keep Dreams Alive Foundation, Connect Casino Road, Familias Unidas) she was the first to sign up. After weeks of collaboration and making calls to her personal connections, Stefania brought in a number of key lawyers that would also join the dream to help first time DACA(  applicants submit their application. After two successful clinics at The Village on Casino Road, and KDAF independent appointments, more than 150 community members received a free lawyer consultation saving people upwards of $300! In addition, nearly $15,000 were awarded thanks to the Community Foundation of Snohomish County for 30 applicants in financial assistance for the $495 application fee. DACA opens up a temporary work permit that allows a very restrictive number of people who were brought in as young adults to the USA. This is a huge win for the undocumented families that we serve. Thank you Stefania for all that you do and the time you donated to this great cause!

Shared by Jessica Figueroa, The Village Coordinator