It’s that time of year again when many of our Windermere offices are out in their communities helping to collect donations and raise money for their local area food banks. Many people rely on the food they get from food banks to feed their families. Not having the luxury to purchase their own food means that many families have to make do with what’s available at the time. You can help make the season brighter for these families by donating items that are needed most.
During the holidays, canned pumpkin and yams, cranberry sauce and box stuffing, can help families have at least some of the traditional holiday fare. Shelf-stable protein sources are also important, especially when families cannot afford to buy meat. Donate canned tuna, salmon, chicken, and other meats, or canned chili, soups and stews. Peanut butter, nuts and trail mix are also good choices. Pantry staples such as whole grain rice and pasta, oatmeal, flour, cooking oils, and canned vegetables are always needed. Perhaps the best way you can help food banks is to donate money because they have resources that allow them to stretch dollars to feed as many families as possible.
Don’t know where to go to donate? You can check with your local Windermere office to see how you can help. Here is what some of our offices are doing this season:
The Camano Island office held their food drive on October 2 and 3 at the IGA Supermarket on Camano Island. Volunteers from the office collected 14 boxes of food, and over the month, collected $1,101 in cash to help out the Stanwood Camano Food Bank.
The Edmonds office donated $6,000 to the Windermere Foundation to help with their local area food drive to benefit the Edmonds Food Bank
The El Sobrante office is holding a holiday food drive to benefit the Bay Area Rescue Mission. They are collecting food items now through December 15. Agents will help fill and deliver collection barrels throughout the drive. Last year, the mission served over 1.5 million meals and provided over 85,000 safe nights of shelter to men, women, and children.
The Kingston office collected food for the Pacific Northwest Title’s 11th Annual Food Drive that takes place in October and November. Donations go to the local Kingston food bank to help them get their Thanksgiving baskets ready for the families in the area. The Windermere West Sound owners also buy 200 turkeys every year and disperse them to the four area food banks in Kitsap County.
The Lewiston office sponsors the annual “Hanging Out With Turkeys” food drive in November that is hosted by four local area radio stations. The drive benefits the Community Action Food Bank and Asotin County Food Bank. Last year, the event gathered over 5,975 pounds of food.
The Marysville office held raffles and luncheons during the past month, along with collecting food and money for the Snohomish County-Camano Association of REALTORS® annual food drive. Their efforts raised 20,176 pounds of food plus an additional $7,240, which equates to a total of 24,537 pounds. These donations and funds will allow the Marysville Food Bank to provide 20,447 meals.
The Mount Baker office donates $1,500.00 to Rainier Valley Food Bank at the December Rainier Chamber of Commerce holiday luncheon. The office also holds their food drive in the month of January, when the coffers have emptied out during the holiday season, filling the need that comes after the peak time when most people donate.
The Northlake office partnered with the Seattle Basket Brigade to collect food and cash donations to fill 500 baskets to feed around 1,500 people who would otherwise go without this holiday season. The Northlake office along with the Monroe and the Windermere Professional Development offices collected jars of applesauce, while the Kirkland office was tasked with collecting apple cider. They also accepted cash donations to help purchase full baskets for the Seattle Basket Brigade. Around 500 families local families (approximately 1,500 people) will benefit from the donations.
Windermere offices throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are collecting coats and blankets now through December 18 for their annual Share the Warmth drive. Help share the warmth this winter by bringing new or gently used adult-sized coats and twin-sized blankets to one of the participating offices, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In the Portland area, Transition Projects will distribute the coats and blankets collected to those in need.
The four Windermere Professional Partners offices collected over 7,300 items during the 2015 food and coat drive for the Families Unlimited Network Food Bank in University Place and the Gig Harbor Peninsula FISH Food Bank. Brokers personally delivered and picked up donation bags from their clients and exceeded their collection totals from last year! They also gathered 130 coats to contribute to the Tacoma-Pierce County Association of REALTORS® Coat Drive efforts benefiting Charlie's Dinosaur. They help Pierce County's foster kids stay warm and provide emergency supplies to children in transition to emergency foster homes.
Agents at the Sun Valley – Ketchum and Hailey offices helped the Hunger Coalition and The Sage School by collecting gravy packets and other food items during their drive to benefit around 175 families in the Wood River Valley area.
The Walla Walla office participated in the Walla Walla Annual Realtor Care & Share Food Drive in October. They set up donation bins at their local grocery stores through the month of October. Donations benefit the Blue Mountain Food Bank which provides food for families in need. Over 100 area agents, family and friends took part, collecting nearly 30,000 pounds of food even before the end of the month.
The Walnut Creek – Diablo Realty office participated in a food drive that ran from October through November 16 for the Food Bank of Contra Costa & Solano Counties. Last year they collected 1,600 pounds of food. Their goal this year was to raise 2,000 pounds. The food bank serves 188,000 people each month and distributes over 50,000 pounds of food every day.
While many offices hold annual food drives during the holidays, the Kirkland office participates in the quarterly Community Supper event organized by Attain Housing to provide meals to those in need throughout the year. For the past four years, the Kirkland office has provided grants through the Windermere Foundation to fund dinners at these quarterly events which serve around 70-80 people who are homeless in the Kirkland area.
These are just a few ways that Windermere offices donate their time and money through the Windermere Foundation to support local non-profit organizations in their community. If you’d like to help us continue to support these and other programs this holiday season or beyond, please click on the Donate button.
Thank you to everyone who supports the Windermere Foundation. Your generosity is truly making a difference in the lives of many families in our local communities.
To learn more about the Windermere Foundation, visit http://www.windermere.com/foundation.