By Simon Kidane
Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to volunteer with a nonprofit organization that is really important to me, Stephanie’s Lifeline. The Seattle-based nonprofit provides assistance to the homeless and less fortunate young adults. Its founder, Stephanie Endres, is a close friend of my wife and me.
The nonprofit provides assistance in many ways but mostly by organizing clothing and food drives where Stephanie will collect donations and distribute them throughout the homeless community.
During my volunteer shift, I helped Stephanie create care packages that included small snack items, toiletries items, plus dog and cat food for homeless people with pets. We also sorted 13 large boxes of clothing by gender and by size, logging each item on an inventory sheet.
Usually, Stephanie and her team of volunteers hit the streets and hand out clothing and care packages to individuals affected by homelessness, or take donations to shelters or homeless encampments like Nickelsville.
This time was a little different. One of Stephanie’s Facebook friends posted a comment about a family of five in Kent, Wash., who needed clothing donations because of their house fire. Thankfully nobody was injured in the blaze, but the family lost everything in the house. Touched by her friend’s cry for help, Stephanie sprang into action by contacting the family and providing them with multiple boxes of clothing. It was good to know that the clothes my wife and I personally donated, and the clothing donations we sorted, went directly to a family in need.
This has been a great experience, and I love that Waggener Edstrom provides its employees with time off for volunteering to spend with nonprofits that do so much for our local communities.
Follow @stephslifeline to find out how you can bring hope to Seattle’s homeless community.