We Heart Seattle joins forces with local businesses to tackle trash, while offering individuals a path to work  

PRESS RELEASE – December 15, 2021   We Heart Seattle recently teamed up with Hilton Garden Inn volunteers to remove 6500 pounds of trash from the Dexter and Mercer encampment.  Another day last week, We Heart Seattle removed 8000 pounds of wood, metal and debris from the RV camp on Northlake Way, working side by side with several RV residents along with individuals participating in We Heart Seattle’s innovative work first program. See the fruits of their hard work here.  

We Heart Seattle Board President Kevin Dahlgren commented “Local businesses are telling us that they are getting crushed by the sheer volume of trash and unauthorized parked vehicles and tents. We won’t stand by and do nothing in the midst of this environmental and humanitarian crisis.” Through a unique partnership with Uplift Northwest (formerly the Millionair Charity Club), We Heart Seattle is also leveraging its trash picks to introduce individuals back into the work force on a day-by-day basis.  

We Heart Seattle is a 501(1)(3) organization that welcomes the opportunity to work with anyone and everyone in furtherance of our mission of making Seattle safe and beautiful for all.  

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director 

We Heart Seattle    

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle  

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events  

We Heart Seattle partners with Housing Connector to tap housing opportunities for families and individuals experiencing homelessness  

PRESS RELEASE – December 15, 2021   We Heart Seattle has joined forces with Housing Connector to tap excess housing capacity in Seattle for those most in need.  

Housing Connector offers qualified community partners such as We Heart Seattle access to an exclusive Zillow-supported listing platform of housing quickly available to prospective tenants.  We Heart Seattle then works with potential tenants to assess whether they are the right fit for listed housing and offers ongoing case management support to those accepted into the program.   

We Heart Seattle founder and Executive Director Andrea Suarez commented “A reference to “excess housing” is not something we usually hear in a conversation about homelessness but Housing Connector is tapping this resource by lowering rental barriers and partnering with property owners.”  

​ We Heart We Heart Seattle is excited to work with Housing Connector, drawing on the collective power of change to actively address Seattle’s longstanding housing crisis.  

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director 

We Heart Seattle    

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

  Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle  

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events  

We Heart Seattle gains support from businesses and neighbors by continuing to go where others will not

PRESS RELEASE – November 16, 2021

After learning that some City trash removal contractors don’t clear slopes, We Heart Seattle swung into action this past weekend, removing 2500 pounds from the slopes of Kinnear Park. With this latest effort, the group has now cleared close to 10,000 pounds from that park in recent weeks.  

 We Heart Seattle also teamed up this past weekend with Seattle Compassion Services to clear 4000 pounds of trash and debris from the Leary Triangle encampment in Ballard. While cleaning the area, volunteers from the two non-profit organizations actively engaged with residents of the encampment, many of whom worked side by side with the volunteers. 

 We Heart Seattle founder and Executive Director Andrea Suarez commented “We are heartened by the support we are receiving from local businesses and neighbors. But we could be even more impactful if the City would embrace the important role that civic volunteerism can play in addressing the city’s ongoing environmental and humanitarian crisis.” Her comments follow Councilmember Dan Strauss’ attempts earlier this month to deter the organization from organizing litter picks and outreach in Ballard, despite strong support from local business and neighbors 

Recent photos of the group in action are here.  

We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all.   

  Andrea Suarez, Executive Director 

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

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Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle  

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events  

We Heart Seattle tackles trash in Ballard while empowering individuals to be part of the solution 

PRESS RELEASE – October 29, 2021 

In a single day, We Heart Seattle cleared 4,000 pounds of trash from a street-side encampment in Ballard.  What made this October 23rd clean-up event particularly special was that people living on-site pitched in to help, hauling trash and discarded furniture to volunteer-driven trucks. Working side by side, the We Heart Seattle team also connected two individuals with resources allowing them to potentially relocate.  

We Heart Seattle Executive Director Andrea Suarez commented that “we were thrilled to be welcomed here today by the folks living on-site and felt the energy from working together.”  We Heart Seattle sees this individual engagement and empowerment as key to their success to date – success which includes clearing more than 300,000 pounds of trash and helping close to 70 people into safer conditions. Photos of the fruits of the group’s hard work on Sunday are here.  

We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all.   

  

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director 

We Heart Seattle    

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

A Message from We Heart Seattle founder, Andrea Suarez

PRESS RELEASE – October 27, 2021

One year ago this week, a handful of volunteers joined me in Denny Park to participate in our first organized litter pick. We came together as like-minded citizens, frustrated by the degradation of our public spaces and determined to step up and take action. Fast forward to October 2021 and WE have become a movement!

We Heart Seattle is now backed by 200+ volunteers and has removed over 300,000 pounds of trash and 10,000+ needles from our public spaces. That’s 150 tons of trash from almost 90 litter picks and pop-up events covering some 20 parks and public spaces.

What I had not anticipated back in October 2020 was that in addition to our litter picking, We Heart Seattle would end up serving as a critical resource for people in need. As we worked in the parks and walked the streets, we met people living unhoused and in vulnerable situations. We got to know them, often working side by side, offering a helping hand, and introducing resources. This active and continuing engagement has resulted in helping more than 60 people out of dangerous, inhumane situations into safer living conditions, and connecting many others with much-needed resources.

Did we hit some bumps in our early days? Yes, we did. But we course-corrected as needed and have stuck to our mission of making Seattle beautiful and safe for all. Along the way, we gained approval as a 501(c)(3) corporation and brought on a professional Board of Directors providing governance and oversight. We are fortunate to have secured donated office space in downtown Seattle for operations and are forging relationships far and wide across the city and beyond.

What we see on a daily basis as we visit parks and encampments confirms that this city is facing a humanitarian and environmental crisis. Many organizations in this space are paralyzed by bureaucracy and meaningful data on the severity of the crisis is sorely lacking. But we have shown that a nimble, dedicated team from all walks of life can effect meaningful change through daily boots-on-the-ground efforts. Looking forward, we will be scaling and building on our successes to date.

I am honored and grateful to work side by side with you, humbled by your support and inspired by our accomplishments to date.


Andrea Suarez, Executive Director
We Heart Seattle
andrea@weheartseattle.org

We Heart Seattle clears more than 10,000 pounds of trash in two days, highlighting humanitarian and environmental crisis in our city

PRESS RELEASE – October 12, 2021  

In a single day, We Heart Seattle cleared 6,500 pounds of trash from the ever-growing encampment at Dexter & Mercer.  Volunteers went on the next day to tackle massive mounds of trash and debris in historic Kinnear Park, hauling out an additional 3,800 pounds of trash. Again, making progress, but acknowledging the significant additional labor hours needed to fully restore Seattle’s second oldest park. 

While in Kinnear Park, We Heart Seattle called the Seattle Fire Department to extinguish a fire smoldering inside a lovely old tree which left unattended would have destroyed the tree and likely spread throughout the park. We Heart Seattle founder and Executive Director Andrea Suarez commented “Some of the debris scatters I saw in the last few days are the worst I have ever seen.  And fires in trees? This all confirms without a doubt that we are facing a humanitarian and environmental crisis in this city.” See recent photos of We Heart Seattle’s boots on the ground work here

We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all.  

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director, We Heart Seattle    

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

Press release photos courtesy of Garrett Padera 

We Heart Seattle offers a helping hand amidst a mounting humanitarian and environmental crisis in South Lake Union

PRESS RELEASE – September 21, 2021 

We Heart Seattle offers a helping hand amidst a mounting humanitarian and environmental crisis in South Lake Union  

We Heart Seattle has in recent days removed more than 20,000 pounds of trash from the encampment at Dexter and Mercer in South Lake Union.  Volunteers also connected dozens of individuals with resources and are continuing to develop meaningful relationships with those living in the encampment. The before and after photos of the clean-up efforts as shown here are a testament to the volunteer-led boots on the ground hard work, but sadly, conditions overall at the encampment remain inhumane and unsafe.  

We Heart Seattle founder and executive director Andrea Suarez commented “We are going to keep showing up, offering a helping hand every single day.  But this is an all-hands-on deck situation and we need collaboration from the city and other organizations to tackle this crisis.”  

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director, We Heart Seattle   

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

We Heart Seattle gets the official 501(c)(3) nod from the IRS

PRESS RELEASE – August 25, 2021

We Heart Seattle has received IRS approval as a tax exempt 501(c)3
organization. Since the first ad hoc trash picks in September 2020, We Heart Seattle
has attracted hundreds of volunteers and collected more than 250,000 pounds of trash and needles at approximately 80 events and pop-ups throughout the city. The group has also assisted 50 individuals with alternative housing arrangements and connected countless others to much needed services and resources.

We Heart Seattle founder and executive director Andrea Suarez commented “We have been very fortunate to enjoy generous support from the community. The IRS approval of our 501(c)(3) status will really help us ramp up operations and scale our work.”

We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all.

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director, We Heart Seattle 
andrea@weheartseattle.org

Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle 

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events

We Heart Seattle helps community reactivate historic park and greenbelt

PRESS RELEASE – August 23, 2021

We Heart Seattle gathered with community members on Saturday, Aug 21st to celebrate the reactivation of MacLean Park and the greenbelt trails located on the east side of Queen Anne. Over the last eight weeks, volunteers have worked tirelessly to clear more than 50,000 pounds of trash, needles and bulky debris from abandoned encampments and illegal dumping in this area. Their work was complicated by the steep terrain and several arson attacks on the bagged trash awaiting pick-up by the City on Aurora Avenue. But perseverance paid off, and close to 40 community members of all ages and even a few lucky dogs joined the celebratory trail walk on Sunday (picking trash along the way, of course!). See the fruits of the We Heart Seattle-led community effort here.

Queen Anne resident and We Heart Seattle Board member Chris Longston joined the community event and commented “Having seen the park and trails before the clean-up, it was amazing to see today what an action-based, boots-on-the-ground community movement can accomplish.” Chris went on to add “Going forward, we need to be vigilant in maintaining the area and continue to press the City for engagement.”

We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all. To date, the group has organized more than 80 clean-up events across the city and is adding more to their calendar weekly.

Andrea Suarez, Executive Director, We Heart Seattle 
andrea@weheartseattle.org

Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org 

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle 

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events

We Heart Seattle keeps making a difference in Denny Park  

PRESS RELEASE – August 15, 2021   We Heart Seattle was back in action this weekend at Denny Park connecting people with resources and offering a helping hand.  Having already cleared close to 30,000 pounds of trash from this park and the surrounding area, We Heart Seattle volunteers regularly visit Denny Park to help maintain the reclaimed urban oasis and engage with those who frequent the park. This past weekend, We Heart Seattle helped a couple in Denny Park lay plans to return to family outside of Seattle, and assisted a gentleman who wanted to relocate to a sanctioned encampment elsewhere in Seattle.  See the fruits of We Heart Seattle’s community engagement efforts here.  

We Heart Seattle founder and Executive Director Andrea Suarez commented “We are all compassionate members of the community with a bias for action. We plan to keep showing up in Denny Park and other public spaces across the city to make a difference.”   

  We Heart Seattle welcomes collaboration with anyone and everyone in their effort to make Seattle beautiful and safe for all. To date, the group has organized more than 80 clean-up events across the city and is adding more to their calendar weekly.   

  Andrea Suarez, Executive Director, We Heart Seattle   

andrea@weheartseattle.org 

  

  Website: www.WeHeartSeattle.org  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle  

WHS Events: www.facebook.com/groups/weheartseattle/events