Winter is always a challenge for low-income families and the homeless. Low-income families often must decide between heat or hunger. The homeless find themselves vying for the limited resources to keep warm during bitter cold nights. These challenges are met with an increased need from organizations supporting those experiencing hardship.
Here are ways you can help:
1. Donate to the Auburn Food Bank
The Auburn Food Bank serves 600 families, and community support is the food bank’s lifeline.
“More money is needed to help [our clients] with their finances in the way of helping to pay a portion of their rent and power bills. Like for all of us the colder the weather, the higher the power bill. Add that to the holidays where everyone wishes to have more food to share and gifts to give, and if they pull from their already very tight budget, they will often not have enough to cover all of their power or all of their rent,” shared Auburn Food Bank Executive Director Debbie Christian.
Donate Non-Perishable food items and personal hygiene products. Receiving these items from the Auburn Food Bank allows clients to utilize their funds to pay bills and purchase goods the food bank cannot provide. In case you forgot from the Mayor’s Food Drive with Waste Management, here are the items the Food Bank needs:
Donations can be dropped off at City Hall, the Auburn Senior Center, the Library and of course, the Auburn Food Bank.
Provide a monetary donation. These donations give the food bank the ability to purchase food and hygiene items not donated. Monetary contributions also assist the food bank in providing financial assistance to clients to pay bills. “Coming through the winter months, cash is the most helpful as we will have higher requests for support of rent, utilities, and emergency needs. 97cents of every dollar goes to our programs and supporting families,” explained Christian.
Donations to the food bank are tax deductible. You can make a monetary donation to the food bank in person, or through their website.
Buy a Hometeam Harvest bag. Next time you’re shopping at Auburn’s Safeway or Albertsons, purchase Hometeam Harvest food bag. These bags are put together with Northwest Harvest and are delivered to the Auburn Food Bank.
2.Donate to the Ray of Hope Resource Center
Now entering its second year, the Ray of Hope resource center offers drop-in center support to the homeless families and individuals of Auburn. The center’s services include:
– Portable restrooms
– Laundry facilities
– Snacks, fruit, and occasional salads & sandwiches when available.
– Phone charging station
– Referrals to employment resources
– Limited assistance for obtaining ID/Driver licenses
Christian also runs Ray of Hope. She offered a list of needs the resource center needs as winter hits:
- Warm blankets (new or gently used – here’s a great resource of the best blankets for cold weather).
- Socks and underwear (new – a major request)
- Heavy sweaters, flannel shirts, and T-Shirts (new or gently used)
- Winter boots (new or gently used)
- Rain gear
- Medicated foot creams and powders
- Hand and foot warmers
You can drop donations off for the Ray of Hope resource center during their business hours. (M-Sa, 9:30am-8pm)
3.Donate to the Auburn Valley Barber Shop’s coat drive
Auburn Valley Barber Shop is accepting new or gently used coats until the morning of Sunday, December 16th. These coats will be gifted to anyone in need of a warm jacket. Coats can be picked up on Sunday (Dec. 16th) morning at 10am. Recipients will also receive a bag of groceries and loaf of bread.
4.Donate to the Auburn Mountainview High School Coat Drive
Now through December 20th, donate a new or gently used coat or jack to the school. Visitors can drop donations off in the main office. School members can bring donations to room #903.
5.Donate to the Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill’s canned food drive
During the 12 days of Christmas (Dec 14-Dec 25th), the Spunky Monkey Bar & Grill will be collecting non-perishable food items, benefitting the Auburn Food Bank. In addition to supporting the Auburn Food Bank, the Spunky Monkey is promoting the local business community with a 10% discount when patrons bring in a receipt from any Auburn-based business. So, stop into an Auburn store to purchase your donation for the food drive and show your receipt when you grab a bite to eat!
6.Donate to Valley Regional Fire Authority’s Toys For Kids
Donate new toys to the VRFA Toys for Kids drive. To donate, look for collection barrels at Fred Meyer and Haggen stores in Auburn. Donations can also be made at all VRFA fire stations. Look for Firefighters collecting monetary contributions outside of the Haggen in Lakeland Hills as well as Fred Meyer on 10th St NE. The money will be used to purchase additional toys.
The toy drive is a collaborative effort between the Auburn Food Bank, VRFA, Valley Professional Firefighters Union and many local businesses. Donations can be accepted until December 21st.
All donations go directly to kids in the Auburn, Pacific, and Algona communities. Toys will be distributed on December 22nd from 9am-12pm. Participants must pre-register by December 15th at the Auburn Food Bank.
The Valley Professional Firefighters thanked supporters on their Facebook, “we are able to support over 1,000 local kids, and we wouldn’t be able to do it without the support of our great community!
7.Donate to the Auburn Police Officers Association
The APOA has identified several Auburn School District families that need a little extra cheer this holiday season. They will be using the generous donations from the community to provide Christmas for these families.
You can help make this Christmas special, and support future APOA events, by donating to the association. The APOA will be accepting donations this Saturday during their annual Shop with a Cop at the Auburn Walmart. Contributions can also be made via their Friends of the Auburn Police Officers Association fundly.
Custom APOA ornaments are now available for a suggested donation of $10. If interested, email [email protected].
8.Donate to Guardian Roofing’s ‘One Warm Coat’ Drive
If you can’t make it to the other coat drives or happen to get a great new coat for the holidays, Guardian Roofing is hosting a coat drive for One Warm Coat through the end of January.
From their One Warm Coat drive website: “Guardian Roofing is proud to be partnering with One Warm Coat for another Holiday Season! This year we hope to collect over 500 coats and $500 in monetary donations that can be given back to the local community. We hope you will support us and help us make this year’s drive a huge success!”
Coat Drive Address
1400 W Main St, Ste B
Auburn, WA 98001
Find on map
Start date: 12-01-2018
End date: 01-31-2019
Contact for Guardian Operations
Morgan Roth T: 253-926-9966
So far Guardian Roofing has collected 24 coats and raised $50.
You can learn more about One Warm Coat by visiting their website: https://www.onewarmcoat.org.