Inspiring Youth Project: Spreading Hope in Seattle 


In a world full of threats to our planet and all who live on it, it can be easy to lose hope. Nothing will change if we let those feelings of despair turn into apathy, but if we can turn our hope for the world into action, then there is the possibility for change! The strongest power of hope is its ability to multiply; when one person has enough hope to take action, people begin to see a change, and that gives them hope to take further action as the impact continues to grow. This is the purpose behind the 🔗 Hope Festival that one Roots & Shoots group set up in Seattle, Washington! 

This group began with the Roots & Shoots 4-Step Formula to create an impactful project, which includes 1) Get Inspired, 2) Observe, 3) Take Action and 4) Celebrate. They first Step 1: Got Inspired by Dr. Jane Goodall’s message of hope, and started looking for ways to take action through the Jane Goodall Institute’s Roots & Shoots youth program. When they learned that Seattle’s unhoused population is the third largest in the U.S., they realized that this was a part of their community that was in need of hope. They then Step 2: Observed how the people in this marginalized group were not able to gain access to many of the resources they needed, and they felt that this was making it impossible for them to hope for a better future.  

To bring back hope to these members of their community, this Roots & Shoots group Step 3: Took Action by setting up their first Hope Festival—an opportunity for local people, organizations, and businesses to come together to help their neighbors. They did so by gathering essential goods like food, clothing, toiletries, and toys for children, and by providing free services—everything from health screenings and vaccinations, to haircuts and massages. There were also refreshments and fun activities for all, including a mini-golf course families could enjoy! 

It was deeply important to these changemakers that this wouldn’t just be a brief event that left the community in need the rest of the year, so in addition to these free goods and services, another part of the festival was building connections to further assistance. Many of the community organizations present at the festival offered mental health support, domestic violence help, food security, help finding jobs, and more. The temporary relief was therefore combined with long-term relief to give community members hope. 

This is one of those exciting projects where the event is also an opportunity to Step 4: Celebrate! Each year, the Hope Festival brings Seattle residents from all backgrounds to stand together as one community and show that they care. As a personal touch, many of the free goods include motivational stickers and bookmarks, and handwritten notes of encouragement are slipped into the 700 grocery bags that visitors take for an extra bit of comfort.  

This group truly exhibits the compassionate traits of Roots & Shoots changemakers; they empathetically put themselves in the shoes of their neighbors in need, worked collaboratively and as a team to bring in community members of various skills and professions, thought critically about what resources were needed to make a lasting impact, and the entire time, they kept up an optimistic and hopeful attitude in keeping with Jane’s message: 

“Never give up – there is always a way forward. Never lose hope. For if we lose hope, we fall into apathy and do nothing.” – Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace, Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute 


Once you’ve signed up as a member and come up with a project, be sure to register it on our website for a chance to be featured in a future project of the month! Not a Roots & Shoots member yet? You’re only a few clicks away! 

Not sure how to start a project? Use our Roots & Shoots 🔗 4-Step Formula to find ways to make an impact in YOUR community, and explore projects for inspiration! Remember to invite your friends to help out, because even when we take small actions, they’re multiplied by collaboration. You can even create a Roots & Shoots group at your school, or join one already in your area! 

Looking for a quick way to help out? Here are some 1-Click Actions you can take to spread compassion! 

🔗 Spread the Hope: Help create hope in your community by donating to a food bank near you! 

🔗 The Write Amount of Good: Encourage your fellow community-members and remind them that they matter by writing kind notes from the heart. 

About Author

Kira is the communications coordinator for JGI programs at the Jane Goodall Institute USA, where she supports the team in advancing public engagement with JGI's holistic programs. Kira graduated from Smith College in 2021, majoring in anthropology and minoring in art history, and during her time there she developed a deep interest in the field of anthrozoology. Her interests within this field are broad, and have led her to study elephant iconography in the U.S. and wildlife management in Tanzania. JGI's values and mission as well as the mindset of anthrozoology guide her work, exploring the interactions between humans and other animals in order to promote a healthier coexistence on this shared planet.