The World is Fun (TWIF) is a Seattle based nonprofit organization with a mission to get Seattleites involved in their community. Working in partnership with over 70 Seattle based nonprofit organizations, TWIF engages the community in volunteering and giving back in a fun and social way. This local social club is 100% volunteer-run and has given back $1 million in Volunteer Service Value to the Seattle area. We recently had the chance to interview the fabulous lady who started TWIF in 2009, Amy Faulkner.
What was your inspiration to start TWIF?
It all started with a personal blog. After I relocated to Seattle from the East Coast, I created a blog called The World is Fun to make a list of all the things I wanted to do to inspire me to explore and get in touch with my new surroundings. Our entire organization evolved out of one online list of things to do in Seattle. We firmly believe that people that are active in their community become outstanding citizens within their community. Thanks to my blog, I soon started feeling like I knew this great city better than some folks who had lived here for years.
Tell us about how you created the Beard and Stache Fest?
The Beard & Stache Fest started as a charitable effort that used beards to inspire giving back in a way that didn’t feel like a traditional charity. We affixed photos of local bearded guys to donation cans and placed them at local establishments around town. To vote for your favorite bearded man, you simply dropped in your pocket change into the chosen can. Each donation went directly to Treehouse, one of my favorite organizations, which provides essential and academic support for foster kids in King County. The event was organized under my blog name for anonymity, and thus, TWIF was officially (accidentally) born.
Tell us some background on you–where are you from, what’s your favorite dessert, and what’s playing on your iPod right now?
I’m originally from the east coast and moved to Seattle in 2007 on a whim. It was the best decision I ever made. Seattle is such a great city that I am more than willing to deal with the drizzly, gray and rainy days in return for such a thriving and culturally diverse city. I’ve met so many wonderful people and worked for so many great causes that I can’t imagine building my life in any other city.
I have been obsessively listening to Vikesh Kapoor recently, and Spotify highlights that I’ve also thrown on a lot of Damien Jurado, Frank Turner and Lucinda Williams. And my guilty pleasure right now is definitely Snoqualmie Ice Cream.
My background is in lifestyle and experiential marketing. I’m known for coordinating “non-corporate” corporate events. I’m always meeting new people through TWIF and am just enjoy getting to know all the different faces that make up Seattle.
What are some of the upcoming events? How can people get involved?
We also have multiple meal making events with FareStart this year that provide culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. We’re hosting a bunch of Bingo & Beer nights, and helping assign volunteers for the Seattle Beer and Scotch Festival and the popular Clips Beer & Film Tour.
Our two biggest events this year are Bacon, Eggs & Kegs and artSEA. Last years’ BEK was such a great success that we’re putting on TWO this year! The first event in March is already sold out, but volunteer spots might still be available. artSEA is taking place in August for 10 consecutive days where a schedule of events will take place across the city supporting one simple idea: the celebration of all things art. To stay up to day on artSEA, visit www.artseaproject.org/.
To view a regularly updated list of upcoming events, visit www.theworldisfun.org/events/.
We invite everyone who is interested in learning about our cause to visit our website. It details some of the great events we have coming up and is also where you can sign up to get involved for both one-time volunteering or more long term opportunities. We have plenty of slots open for events, and also our team here at TWIF. The best way to get to know us is to attend one of our fun events!
How do you join? What is included in the membership?
Anyone is welcome to join a public TWIF event, which is about 90% of what we do. We offer a TWIF membership where members get early access to volunteer opportunities and excursions, discounts on fundraising events, and perks and discounts with our local partner businesses and organizations. Members also get invitations to member-only events such as beer tastings, happy hours, trivia, BBQs, concerts and much more.
Membership is a great way to support our programs and get small community perks for doing so.
You can learn more about our membership at www.theworldisfun.org/membership/.
Is ‘Seattle Freeze’ really a thing?
Yes, it totally exists. Seattle City Club did a research study that quantified its existence. I think there’s a large disconnect between transplants and those who have lived in Seattle or Washington for a while. Social lives in a city are different from other rural settings, and with Seattle’s increasing popularity, we’re experiencing new social tides never seen before.
Our volunteers and members are proving that they don’t want a freeze, and we’re hoping our efforts are helping to melt the ice a bit and create opportunities for Seattleite’s to give back while also meeting new people.
What are some of your fondest memories with TWIF?
There are so many to choose from! In 2012 we produced a free outdoor movie, Goonies in Gasworks Park. The community response from this free event that featured 12 of our nonprofit partners in a fun and engaging way was overwhelming. Last year we took a group of 50 volunteers to Astoria, Oregon on a camping trip to volunteer at The Goonies 30th Anniversary. In 2013, we received the Treehouse Volunteer of the Year Award.