[Release] World Relief Seattle Awarded Starbucks’s Upstander Challenge $25,000 Prize for Groundbreaking Work with Refugees

Nov. 30, 2017

BALTIMORE – World Relief’s Seattle office located in Kent, Washington is one of 25 finalists awarded $25,000 from the Starbucks Foundation’s Upstander Challenge. To compete, charitable organizations had to submit a video highlighting their work and demonstrate how it contributes positively to the community. A panel of judges chose the winners based upon inspirational content, community impact, video creativity and social media buzz. The Starbucks Foundation considers an Upstander broadly to be “a person or organization that acts to make positive change.”

The video from World Relief Seattle features some of the critical work the organization has done in welcoming nearly 1,000 refugees to Washington since January of this year, which includes providing sewing and jewelry-making classes along with summer camps organized for their children. You can view World Relief’s award-winning video here.

World Relief Seattle is the largest refugee resettlement organization in the state of Washington and also serves vulnerable immigrants in Western Washington. The Seattle office has been around for almost four decades, and in that time, has resettled more than 30,000 refugees. In 2016 alone, the office helped to resettle 1,205 refugees, nearly one-third of the amount settled in the entire state, and served over 4,000 vulnerable people in total. World Relief Seattle is also noteworthy in that the majority of their office’s leadership team are refugees and asylees themselves.

Upon learning the news that World Relief had received this highly-competitive award, Seattle office Executive Director Chitra Hanstad praised her colleagues and extended gratitude to Starbucks:

“This is a tremendous honor and on behalf of all of us here in the greater Seattle area, I can say that World Relief is incredibly grateful that our work with refugees has caught the attention of key business stakeholders in the community,” said Hanstad. “We are grateful to the Starbucks Foundation for recognizing our contributions to the community and we will continue to work tirelessly to be the most committed, unapologetic advocates for refugees and their families. I work alongside the most amazing people and receiving this award would be unthinkable without their ambition and their passion for the important work we do.”

The Starbucks Foundation officially announced the winners on November 30th.

MEDIA NOTE: Chitra Hanstad, Executive Director of World Relief Seattle is available for interviews. Contact: 206.612.7730



World Relief is a global humanitarian relief and development organization that stands with the vulnerable and partners with local churches to end the cycle of suffering, transform lives and build sustainable communities. With over 70 years of experience, World Relief works in 20 countries worldwide through disaster response, health and child development, economic development and peacebuilding and has offices in the United States that specialize in refugee and immigration services.

Website | worldrelief.org  Twitter | @WorldRelief