All Stars Put the “Win” in Winter Coat Drive

This past winter, everyone in Seattle experienced the Seattle Freeze, with blankets of snow covering the city and temperatures reaching historic lows.  As Seattleites braved the cold, the city responded with emergency shelters to offer relief to the homeless. With All Star’s continued interest in aiding our city’s homeless population, we decided to get involved.

It was a unanimous choice to host a coat drive for YouthCare, a shelter that we’ve worked with in the past, and whose focus is on younger populations. Michelle Ferris, All Star’s Director of Finance and a key member of the Community Outreach Team, took the lead in organizing the coat drive this year, noting, “It is extremely important to donate used clothes to homeless shelters. When you are homeless, with no laundry facilities, soiled items become disposable.”

Operating as one of the first shelters to serve homeless youth on the West Coast, YouthCare is devoted to uplifting the next generation. With this mission in mind, YouthCare aims to not only to provide housing and emergency shelter services, but also works to create long term solutions by empowering disenfranchised young people to further their education and assist them in finding employment.

 

So, the All Star team did some rigorous spring cleaning to collect coats, or as Ferris affirmed, “We cleaned out every closet for used coats to donate.” Some All Stars even got resourceful by reaching out to others. Kirby Oberlander, Marketing Partnership Manager, posted on her community Facebook page to gather donations. “It was an extremely rewarding experience to be able to drive around Bainbridge Island and collect coats from people who wanted to donate, but didn’t know where or how.”

In 4 weeks, All Stars collected 75 coats and 4 bags of various clothing donations to give to YouthCare. However, it wouldn’t be an All Star event without a little healthy competition involved. As we were tallying up the results, Sr. Sales Manager Nate Thramer offered to donate the coat he walked in to work wearing to ensure his team’s victory. The outcome? Team 3—Sales, Finance, Exec, and Human Resources—won the drive by donating a whopping 37 coats!

“A coat is a personal thing, so it’s rewarding to know these coats will be put to immediate use,” summed up Steve Bartlett, All Star’s photographer and videographer.

But it’s also rewarding to know that these much-needed donations will help give comfort to Seattle’s homeless youth next winter, and maybe years to come.

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