By: Marilyn Mason-Plunkett
I am excited to announce news regarding Nourishing Networks. After an 18-month development and incubation period with Hopelink, Nourishing Networks will transition from the supervision and oversight of Hopelink and stand on its own to help solve the problems of hunger and poverty in our community as of July 1. This transition of Nourishing Networks is a natural progression based on its maturity and growing community support.
Nourishing Networks brings together people within local communities to help fill the gaps that the current network of social services is unable to meet. This vision is based on building a new type of self-organizing network model that systematically links the resources of volunteer time and talent to the need at hand, beginning with hunger.
Nourishing Networks began as an initiative of Hopelink, much like the successful Eastside Time Bank, which was ultimately spun off into its own successful and self-sustaining organization to fight poverty and connect resources within our community. In just a matter of months, Nourishing Networks has attracted hundreds of supporters and now serves five communities: Bellevue, Kirkland, Northshore, Issaquah and Redmond.
Nourishing Networks has been led since its inception by Hopelink’s Vice President of Community Affairs, Linda Benson. Linda will be leaving Hopelink after 20 years of service in order to lead the new venture. In her 20 years with Hopelink, Linda was responsible for building a comprehensive development program and a formal communications department that has returned increased financial support and built a strong agency brand and community presence. Under her leadership as Development Director, Hopelink raised more than $50 million, vital funding that helped build Hopelink. Linda’s outstanding work and commitment to the community has changed thousands of lives for the better, a remarkable legacy. That work will continue as she leads Nourishing Networks into the future.
Question & Answer:
Where will NN be based?
Given the nature of the network, including the large geographic area served and the growing number of participants, the leadership team is looking at what kind of base will best serve this innovative model. They will be making an announcement on the NN blog in the coming months.
How will NN be funded?
The NN leadership team is pursuing multiple funding sources and will be making announcements on the NN blog in the months leading up to the July transition.
What role will Hopelink play with NN going forward?
NN will be an important partner to Hopelink in developing innovative ways to move people towards self-sufficiency.
Will Linda’s position as VP of Community Affairs be filled?
The VP of Community Affairs position will not be replaced. Community engagement projects actively continue within Hopelink’s Development Department.
Who comprises the NN leadership team?
Norman Rice, President/CEO; The Seattle Foundation, Linda Nageotte, President/CEO; Food Lifeline; Fred Jarrett, Deputy County Executive of King County; Jane Todd, Principal at Redmond High School.
How can I plug into NN?
There are monthly meetings in each community that are open to people who need help or want help. More information about each network can be found under the NETWORKS dropbox in the blog header.