Seattle Volunteer Work
The History of One Brick
One Brick was founded in San Francisco in December, 2001 with the goal of providing an easy way to get involved and volunteer.
The founding team, Dave Shefferman, Charlotte Rayne and Brian Gee met while volunteering at the San Francisco Food Bank in June 2001. The trio recognized that while many non-profits have the need for volunteers, and many people are interested in volunteering, there are very few organizations that make the volunteer experience convenient and can sustain continued commitment from its volunteers. A new approach was necessary to build a sustainable volunteer pool to support these organizations.
With this in mind, the team set out to understand the motivations and barriers to getting involved in community service, and built an organization that addresses these issues and makes volunteering easy: One Brick.
Every One Brick project we arrange is treated as a stand-alone event. Our "commitment-free volunteering" allows people to choose when they volunteer, rather than having to make commitments for a certain number of volunteer hours, or agree to be available every week at a specific time. This flexibility makes volunteering convenient and provides opportunities to help when time and schedule commitments allow. This keeps volunteering from being a chore, but rather makes it an easy and enjoyable choice.
The Volunteer-Run Volunteer Organization
Perhaps the most unique component to One Brick's approach is that each chapter within the organization is run entirely by volunteers! One Brick does not have a physical office, or even a telephone. In fact, on a National level, we only have a single part-time employee who worksfrom home and is responsible for paying the bills, dealing with legal and regulatory filings and ensuring the wholething stays together. Everything else we do is facilitated by a team of volunteers working together to make a difference. Their efforts are returned exponentially with the impact wehave on our communities. And yes, there's always room for more people to join the team!
One Brick New York
In July 2002, eight months after our launch of One Brick in San Francisco, our fearless co-Founder, Brian moved to New York for graduate school. A One Brick junkie, Brian was determined to copy the model we built in San Francisco and launch a chapter in New York.
In September 2002, that vision became a reality as Dave joined Brian in NY to manage the first weekend of volunteer events in New York. Brianhas since completed graduate school and has turned the New York reigns over to the team he built there: Rose, Patrick and Margarethe.
One Brick Chicago
As if joining McKinsey in 2004 and relocating to their Chicago office wasn't enough, Brian set out to recruit a team to run a Chicago chapter of One Brick. In December 2004, One Brick Chicago was born with a great team taking charge and launching a successful chapter nearly overnight!
One Brick DC
It appears to be contagious. One of our fearless leaders from the Chicago moved out to DC for grad school. Familiar story? Yup, Amber was so enthused about the great workOne Brick does, that she wanted to bring it with her to DC. Conveniently, Brawley (also fromthe Management Team in Chicago) has a brother, Lindsay, in Washington DC. Lindsay, had heard so much great stuff about One Brick that in the summer of 2006 he teamed up with Amber to make it all happen. The rest is history...in the making.
One Brick Minneapolis
After the success of the first 4 chapters, the newly-established One Brick board decided to venture into even colder climates in the coldest of months! That's right- in February 2008, One Brick Minneapolis was formed. Minneapolis offered the perfect combination of an exciting group of people up for the challenge of starting a chapter, combined with a city in need of some great volunteers.
When Bruce was first invited out by this cousin Vicky to a One Brick New York event, he immediately dove in. He soon became passionate about the One Brick culture, ease of volunteering, and great relationships built. So when he moved back to Orlando, Florida he knew the One Brick would work the sun-filled community. Bruce teamed up with college buddy Joel to trailblaze a new One Brick chapter. In February 2010, they launched the chapter with a bang (over 100 attendees at the launch party! - a One Brick record).
One Brick's Impact on our Communities
The model we developed has been a huge success! In our first 8 years, a team of 500 volunteer Event Managers, Technology Developers, Marketers and Fundraisers has grown the organization to over 57,000 volunteers, spanning the San Francisco Bay Area, the New York Metropolitan Area, Chicago, Washington DC, Minneapolis, Seattle, Orlando, Indianapolis and Detroit.
To date, One Brick has completed 13,114 events, delivering 473,440 hours of community service!
Click here to meet the One Brick Team.
To find out how you can join the team and be a part of this incredible organization, please visit the Get Involved page. It does not require a large time commitment to make a HUGE impact on your community.