The Olympia Tribune Winter Donation Drive

Summer Is Over

Yesterday on my early morning walk, there was an unmistakable crispness in the air. As I sit here at my kitchen window, I look out at the neighborhood and see trees already starting to glow orange. The forecast for the coming week shows low temperatures dipping into the 40s. The switch has officially flipped to the autumn setting.

When temperatures dip, it creates dangerous conditions for our neighbors who are stuck outside—even temperatures in the 40s can be rough. If you don’t believe me, I challenge you to get up at 6 AM, put on shorts and a t-shirt, and stand outside for 20 minutes. The average low temperature in Olympia will be around 45 degrees in September, 40 in October, 35 in November, and settle at 32 degrees – freezing – December through February.

I don’t have to remind you that we’re in the middle of a global pandemic, and we can’t even yet begin to see the end of it. Our neighbors who are sleeping rough are in one of the highest risk categories for contracting COVID. Without reliable and accessible health care, they are at severe risk of death or permanent medical complications.

Now imagine you can’t escape it. Over 500 of our neighbors can’t. But you can help.

It is a fact that more people clean out their closets in the Fall than do in the Spring. It’s certainly true for me. I clean out closets, purge stuff I don’t use, do a deep clean of the whole house and donate what I can. If you’re like me and you’re starting in on your “Fall Cleaning” project and come across items you don’t need anymore, please consider donating them to help someone endure the winter.

Now is the time to start building our “strategic reserve” of cold weather essentials. The Olympia Tribune is taking up the cause and announcing our first annual Winter Donation Drive. We’ll be collecting supplies and distributing them to local outreach workers.

The top two items needed by our neighbors are socks and hand-warmers. You can either donate them directly or donate some money toward their purchase. For reference, a $25 donation will purchase a 6-pack of socks and a 40-pack of hand-warmers.

We’ll also take winter coats, sweatshirts, flannels, hats, and gloves.

For more info and to arrange for pickups, dropoffs, or monetary contributions, hit me up at 360.292.0565, via voice or text.

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By Rob Richards

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