Creating equity at work can take many forms. Changing hiring practices, elevating staff of color to positions of power, as well as meetings structured around equitable decision-making can all root your workplace in social justice. Creating equity at work also means elevating the needs of historically marginalized communities. Learn how a local brewery and industry association did just that.

SUPPORTING YOUR COMMUNITY

Beer isn’t all backyard barbeques and Super Bowl parties. Sometimes beer brings people together to support the communities that need the most help. The recently formed Seattle Beer Bar Coalition (SBBC) brought fourteen of Seattle’s most well-known craft beer bars together with a few ideas in mind: to collaborate with local brewers, to bring a unique craft-beer perspective to the voice of the local beer industry, and to craft special beers for chosen charities. Their first chosen charity was YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish.

Picture of the Boop & Beep IPA

The donation to YWCA models one way business owners can reach out to groups that support racial and gender equity. Georgetown Brewing, one member of the SBBC and the creator of the group’s first special craft beer, regularly carves out a significant part of their marketing budget specifically to support nonprofit organizations through donations and sponsorships, seeking out organizations that strive to close the gaps in social and racial equity.

In a January 2020 statement from the SBBC:

”Boop and Beep is the inaugural collaboration brew for the Seattle Beer Bar Coalition with sales and donations benefiting YWCA Seattle | King | Snohomish. SBBC and Georgetown created this beer with a spirit of community-driven kindness and generosity that we hope will continue through you. Enjoy!"

The unique brew didn’t last long. Although 45 kegs of Boop and Beep were distributed between all SBBC locations, the craft brew was completely sold out in ten days, proving that beer aficionados will jump at the chance to support a good cause.

“Hopefully we’ll do some iteration of Boop and Beep in the future,” says Georgetown Brewing's Production Brewer Chris Bower, who holds YWCA close to his heart.

A PERSONAL YWCA CONNECTION

“I became aware of YWCA through my late wife. We would do things like Adopt-A-Family at Christmas. She got me into that,” says Chris.

In fact, the IPA’s unique name comes from the terms of endearment shared between Chris and his wife, Marisa. Marisa, who passed away in mid-July 2019, was a great supporter of YWCA. Her involvement extended beyond the Adopt-a-Family program to the Mother’s Day Baskets program and School Days supply drives. YWCA being chosen for the fundraiser continues Marisa’s legacy of dedication to the organization and its mission of eliminating racism and empowering women.

Picture of YWCA family

“When she first passed away, Adopt-a-Family wasn’t exactly on the top of my priority list anymore. Plus, I’m colorblind. Picking out clothes and things for the kids—it’s just not my forte’. That was Marisa’s thing. But we were also going to volunteer for the back-to-school program and I thought, I can do that. She would want me to still do that.”

So Chris set about filling backpacks for School Days. In all, he built 27 backpacks. Additionally, he called on a friend in Tacoma and encouraged her and her book club to do the same for the YWCA Pierce County.

“One thing Marisa and I had discussed with the back-to-school program was making sure things we purchased for the backpacks were name-brand, even if they cost a little more. Neither of our families had much money growing up, and it was just one more thing to make you stand out as different, one more thing kids could be mean about.”

Chris continues, “Plus, name-brand colored pencils have the names of the colors on the pencils. For someone who is colorblind, you could get laughed at for picking up the wrong color of pencil.”

Chris credits his wife with opening his eyes to the varied needs that YWCA works hard to fill.

Quote graphic that says "HELP WOMEN WHO ARE TRYING TO SUCCEED IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY."

“Marisa originally latched onto YWCA, I think, because she comes from a long line of very strong women. She recognized strong women in my family too. I think she saw an opportunity to help women who are trying to succeed and do their best in the face of adversity.”

The fundraiser, which raised upwards of $12,000, might be over, the kegs of Boop and Beep may have run dry, but the dedication to YWCA and the services it offers live on in Chris and in the support SBBC offers charities like it through their special craft beer fundraisers.

“What gets me the most is the effort of YWCA to keep families together. I’m very close with my family, Marisa was very close with hers. Marisa loved the Mother’s Day Gift Basket program. It’s just an opportunity for these families to have something special, something extra. To have one really good day when, maybe, a lot of days aren’t so great.”

INCREASING ACCESS TO RESOURCES

The drive to aid communities that need support is strong at Georgetown Brewing. The company’s Social Media Director, Ingrid Bartels, speaks to the role she plays in keeping the spirit of equity active in the company’s everyday operations. 

Quote graphic that says "THOSE GAPS IN ACCESS TO RESOURCES ARE GETTING WIDER"

“One of my jobs is to manage nonprofit donations and sponsorships. An integral part of Georgetown’s philosophy is to support the community. It’s an idea that really has been baked into the company from day one. In a perfect world, everyone would be taken care of and no one would have to raise money to support people that don’t have access to resources. But there are a lot of holes in those access points, so we do what we can as a company.”

Sometimes this looks like something as simple as donating beer for serving at fundraising events, or donating items for auction. 

“It’s really nothing fancy, but it’s a way to support organizations to help them raise money. Sometimes it feels like those gaps in access to resources are getting wider, so it’s more important than ever to support them however we can.” 


Interested in making a difference for the women and families YWCA serves? Help us reach our fundraising goals this spring by making a donation today. Consider amplifying your gift by becoming a Persimmon Club member today and making a recurring contribution. When you make a recurring gift, you help sustain YWCA’s impact in the lives of women and families in our community.

Tags
Fundraiser
School Days
Adopt-A-Family
Annalee Schafranek

Annalee Schafranek is the Marketing & Editorial Director at YWCA. She contributes agency news, press releases, and media coverage to the website. Annalee’s educational and professional experience has always focused on the place where gender equity and media meet.

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We share the stories of our clients, programs, and staff, as well as news about the agency and what’s happening in our King and Snohomish community.

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