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Lifelong receives ridiculously over the top volunteer response for Dining Out for Life!


Kelly Bray
(206) 957-1633

Seattle – April 1 — For the first time in the history of Seattle’s popular Dining Out for Life fundraiser, Lifelong has recruited ONE HUNDRED TIMES the number of volunteers needed to staff the event; over 10,000 individuals have submitted volunteer applications online! Every year, the non-profit works painstakingly hard to recruit approximately 100 volunteers for the event.

Held on the last Thursday in April, Dining Out for Life is an annual event in which over 150 Seattle-area restaurants donate 30-50% of their daily proceeds to feed those fighting hunger and illness. Volunteers, known as restaurant ambassadors, welcome guests, answer questions, and collect donations.  

“We’re considering quadrupling up volunteers at some restaurants,” says Jeremy Orbe, Lifelong’s Events Coordinator, sheepishly.  “The community has always been so supportive of Lifelong, but this is something else.”  

For the past two weeks at Lifelong’s administrative offices in Georgetown, there is a line out the door starting as early as 6 a.m. Some eager applicants are so determined to secure their place as a Dining Out for Life volunteer, they camp out the night before.  

“It’s like Black Friday up in here,” says Stu Hidalgo, Lifelong’s Facilities Coordinator. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”  

Volunteers who submit their volunteer application online are following up via email and phone multiple times a week, eager to learn where they are being placed. Many have requested the same restaurant, so Lifelong’s events team is working hard to make sure make sure everyone is happy.

Staff cannot pinpoint the exact cause of the applicant flood, but speculate that it might have something to do with increasing the number of promotional posters they placed in highly visible locations like the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room and Urban Outfitters, both on Capitol Hill.

Dining Out for Life brings in around $190,000 for the non-profit each year. One-third of that revenue is from donation boxes within the restaurants. Volunteer ambassadors have a critical role in raising that money.

Lifelong encourages people interested in volunteering to still apply. They are signing even more restaurants and wants to be clear that they will find a place for all volunteers.

There are breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late night shifts available in restaurants all over Seattle/King County. An average shift takes anywhere from 3-6 hours. View the list of participating restaurants.

All volunteers receive a free t-shirt.

**If you are interested in volunteering, fill out the volunteer ambassador application. Once you sign-up, let us know on Twitter or Instagram by posting a selfie and using #DOFLSeattle in your post. **  


About Lifelong
Lifelong is the leading community health organization serving people with chronic illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, in Washington State.  We believe all people deserve a place to live, healthy food to eat, and access to affordable, quality healthcare. Lifelong delivers food, housing, and health services; collaborates with community organizations on the prevention and care of chronic disease; and advocates for effective HIV/AIDS policy. Simply put —we make health work.