TBB Honored as 2018 Volunteer Group of the Year by Pierce County

Tacoma Boat Builders was selected as the recipient of the Volunteer Group of the Year Award from Pierce County. TBB was nominated for having 36 volunteers spend more than 4,100 hours serving youth connected to Pierce County Juvenile Court.

In March of 2019, TBB volunteers, staff, and families joined at the annual Volunteer Recognition Brunch and the Pierce County Council Meeting to receive the award and recognition. Additionally, TBB was featured in an article by the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation: 6 Tips from Pierce County Organizations for Attracting and Retaining Volunteers.

TCBB teams up with Sound Experience for “Rebuild Young Lives on the Water”

Tacoma Community Boat Builders partnered with Sound Experience for the chance of a lifetime for our youth that included sailing aboard the Schooner Adventuress. Read the story from the News Tribune.

Photo courtesy of The News Tribune: Crews aboard the Adventuress work to raise the sails while in Commencement Bay in Tacoma on Monday, Oct. 1. Partnership to Rebuild Young Lives on the Water is a partnership between Sound Experience and Tacoma Community Boat Builders to get teens on the water and teach them the basics of sailing. JOSHUA BESSEX JOSHUA.BESSEX@GATELINE.COM

TCBB Wins 2017 Grant from Tacoma’s Rusty George Creative

Rusty George Creative is Tacoma’s leading branding and advertising agency. Each year, Rusty George awards a grant for advertising, creative design, and marketing work, pro bono. For 2017, Rusty George selected us!

“Every year Rusty George Creative provides full branding services to one non-profit organization in the community and 2017 was a tough one because we had to choose from so many well-deserving entries. After much deliberation we chose an organization who’s brand elevation will be an exciting challenge and wonderful opportunity. Tacoma Community Boat Builders serves local wayward youth to gain skills and confidence to build a better future for themselves. They help these great kids develop craftsmanship, discipline, patience and social skills they may have not had access to in their lives up until now and teach them techniques to build everything from wooden boats to furniture and other items.”

We are thrilled that Rusty George has given us this great opportunity. Watch here for news and updates as this exciting project proceeds!

TCBB Family and Team Boat Building and the 2016 Tacoma Maritime Fest

The 2016 Tacoma Maritime Fest, July 16-17, was a great success. We set out to build boats by families and other teams – Completely, in two days – Our first time at this ambitious venture! – And the project was a great success! Four teams of people spanning decades of life experience, catalyzed by the incredible energy and spirit surrounding them, made four boats and took them out on the Foss Waterway! 

New friends were made across every walk of life. 100’s of toy boats went home with as many little and big kids. No less than 8 coolers were in sight. 2 Fire extinguishers became glitter encrusted. 5200 glue got on everyone everywhere – and no one complained! Countless memories of a lifetime were formed for adults and youth from every walk of life

Heart, help, and hands made it possible and brought a vision of what could be to life: The people of the TCBB community! 

“Rebuilding Lives: Working on boats helps troubled teens”

The June/July 2016 issue of South Sound Magazine featured a wonderful article by Lauren Foster about Tacoma Community Boat Builders.
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Photo by Rachel Coward

From the article:
“Minors who enter the juvenile court system are vulnerable to committing more crimes later and being locked up as adults. However, there is something that’s been proven to divert a young man from following a dangerous path toward prison: community. Studies have shown that hands-on, safe community activities can alter the trajectory of a teenage boy in trouble, members of the nonprofit point out.”
We are thrilled to receive this great coverage. The informative article features interviews with Paul Birkey, TCBB chairman and founder, and Shannon Shea, TCBB executive director. Read the complete story here.

TCBB Featured in Page One Story in Tacoma News Tribune

Adam Lynn, Tacoma News Tribune staff writer, visited TCBB and wrote a comprehensive article on the TCBB program. The story was published on September 7, 2015, along with photographs and video.

Tacoma program helps troubled youths build more than boats

by Adam Lynn, Tacoma News Tribune, September 7, 2015

 To say the program saved his [Kyle… Age 16] life would be hyperbole, but it certainly showed him a path he otherwise might not have taken… That path includes the smell of sawdust, the screech of a circular saw, the comfort of fellowship, the satisfaction of hard work and that beautiful feeling of being at the oars of a floating boat and commanding, if only for a sunny summer afternoon, your own destiny.

In interviews with founder Paul Birkey, executive director Shannon Shea, and volunteer mentors working with youths in the TCBB boat shop,  Lynn explored how the Tacoma Community Boat Builders program helps troubled youths build successful and purposeful lives. Lynn takes an in-depth look at TCBB’s successes to date and the challenges, plans and ambitions that lie ahead, and the importance of the TCBB program in the Tacoma community.

… the kids, the volunteers, even himself, were building something bigger than boats: camaraderie, responsibility, friendship.

Video link

Link to Tacoma News Tribune.  Includes photographs and video.

Three donors have made pledges to Tacoma Community Boat Builders which total $11,000

The Forest Foundation has pledged $5,000, which is a challenge match; $5,000 must be raised to qualify for the grant and receive another $5,000. In addition, two anonymous donors have pledged $1,000 and $5,000. These are also matching grants grants. For every dollar contributed (up to the grant total) we receive two dollars. Go here for more information.

TCBB Appoints Dr. Shannon Shea as first Executive Director


Paul Birkey Tacoma Community Boat Builders

TACOMA COMMUNITY BOAT BUILDERS Names Dr. Shannon A. Shea as Executive Director

Tacoma, WA, June 8, 2015 – Tacoma Community Boat Builders announced that Dr. Shannon A. Shea has been named Executive Director. Dr. Shea will work in collaboration with the Board of Directors to nurture and guide TCBB as it enters its next phase of growth and development. Dr. Shea brings many tools to the TCBB table including: strategic planning, fundraising, community outreach and youth focused program building.

IMG_5744Dr. Shea brings many years of successful non-profit development and experience working with at risk populations to Tacoma Community Boat Builders. Prior to joining TCBB Dr. Shea worked as an independent researcher-consultant on social development and high impact educational opportunities for women and children. For 10 years Dr. Shea directed applied research and social intervention programs at one of Latin America’s premier universities, the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico City, Mexico. Dr. Shea led teams building alliances to increase access to education and health care for vulnerable populations. She has been a visiting scholar and lecturer on social intervention and ethical leadership at Loyola University, the Hauser Center for Nonprofits at Harvard University, and the University of Perugia in Italy.

Tacoma Community Boat Builders is a community-based organization dedicated to working with at-risk youth crafting and sailing small wooden boats. At present TCBB is focused on expanding its programs serving court involved youth residing in Pierce County.

Tacoma Community Boat Builders founder and president Paul Birkey said:  “Shannon dropped out of the sky right when we needed her. We started with an idea and built it up as far as we knew how to. A lot of great work has already been done. We know how to build boats and how to be mentors and craftsmen but in order to for TCBB to fulfill its potential as a true and lasting organization dedicated to serving the needs of our community we need someone with Shannon’s experience and vision to lead us into the future.”

KING 5 News in Seattle featured TCBB’s program on November 25, 2014, Promises Made, Promises Kept

In Tacoma, juvenile offenders are making a promise to turn their lives around, thanks to a program that’s teaching them to build boats – and much, much more. They’re enrolled in a program called Tacoma Community Boat Builders. “I’m creating something,” said Isaiah, who’s 16 years old and learning how to build boats. He’s creating something with his hands, with his heart, with every bit of conviction he can muster. This is Isaiah’s way of telling the world and telling himself, “I can do better. And I promise, I will. “I just come here and hang out, and build boats. I work on wood.” And he’s working on himself. “I got into trouble with the law. I got charged with possession of marijuana.” Tacoma Community Boat Builders teams up with Pierce County’s Juvenile Detention Center in Remann Hall. With this program for “at risk” kids, juvenile offenders try their hands at building character and confidence…and yes, boats too.
More at KING 5 News

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