The City of Lynnwood had a lot to celebrate this week, giving four proclamations during its Monday City Council meeting.
First, travel guru, writer, host and local icon Rick Steves was recognized in a proclamation for a $4 million donation he gave to the YWCA’s Trinity Place apartment complex in Lynnwood, which houses homeless women and children. (Click here to read the full proclamation.)
After the proclamation was read, Steves said it was an honor to be recognized. He said his perspective on need has come from spending so much of his adult life living out of a suitcase. He said it’s “baffling” that there is so much wealth in the United States, but also so much need.
“We can’t afford a house for people whose lives have fallen off track, and they’ve got kids and their husbands left them?” he said. “We’re going to leave them in cars or run down motels? How can we ignore this? So I’ve got some extra money, so I decided to buy an apartment and help them.”
He called his giving a statement–and he also called it “common sense.”
“It’s not noble, it’s just enlightened,” he said.
He said he is able to give money to causes that mean a lot to him, but he feels really inspired by people who are able to give their time.
“I am so inspired by people who give time to an ideal,” he said.
He called being able to house 24 moms and their kids “beautiful.”
“I am thankful to be part of a team,” he said. “I’m able to do what I do, I get to travel and write guide books and make TV shows, and you guys get to do what you’re passion is. This is where the rubber hits the road. This award should be for everybody that recognizes that we owe something to our communities.”
In addition, on Thursday, Oct. 19, a tree will be planted outside Trinity Way for Steves, with a bronze plaque that reads:
This Japanese Snowbell is planted in honor of Rick Steves, travel guru and philanthropist, for his generous donation of the Trinity Place Apartments to YWCA. His steadfast commitment to serving and empowering homeless women, men, children and families in our community is a benefit to us all.
After Steves was recognized, City Council also read proclamations declaring October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month, declaring Oct. 9 as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and declaring the week of Oct. 15 as Friends of the Library Week.
A bin of toiletries was also donated to the YWCA in recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
–Story and photos by Natalie Covate