(253) 302-4847  ·  Tacoma, WA

Blog  ·  April 15 2020

Neighbors In Need & Other Ways You Can Help Right Now

YOU CAN STILL HELP, WHILE STAYING HOME

As we’ve all been at home doing our part to Stay Home, Stay Healthy, many of us have experienced feelings of stress or helplessness. It’s also nice to see our community come together and acts of kindness emerge. Even little things make a difference, like messages of hope in windows and on sidewalks, because it reminds us that people care.

If you’ve been wanting to help, but aren’t sure how, here are a few ideas. Even the smallest amount of help right now can make a difference to someone who really needs it right now.

Neighbors In Need

Abode brokers are excited to participate in the Neighbors in Need program. 💙

We’re on a mission to help our local food banks keep their shelves stocked to help our Neighbors in Need. For every dollar raised, the Windermere Foundation is matching up to $250,000! The need has never been greater, so let’s all do our part so no one goes hungry. You can help too by donating here: https://bit.ly/NeighborsDonate! Please enter our office’s name Tacoma - Old Town on the donation website. Thank you for your support!

TACOMA RESCUE MISSION

The Tacoma Rescue Mission is a viable resource in Pierce County, serving our homeless population, by providing pathways out of poverty. There are several ways you can help provide urgently needed items to vulnerable men, women and children in our community. You can securely make a financial gift online from home. Items needed right now to help keep the rescue mission clean and sanitized - cleaning supplies & sanitizing wipes. They also need - disposable gloves, hand sanitizer and if you’re making masks right now, they could use some of those too to help protect mission guests, volunteers & staff.

The Abodies have been making sandwiches every Friday to donate to the rescue mission. On Friday’s at 4:30 PM, we safely drop our tuna, egg salad or meat and cheese sandwiches off in the back of Anne & Dave’s car and then drive them to the Tacoma Rescue Mission. If you’d like to help us make sandwiches too, please reach out!

“We love working with the Tacoma Rescue Mission because we have seen the positive impact they make on the lives of the most vulnerable in our community on a daily basis.” - The Knicelys, Ryan Knicely is a Board Member

Basic items are also in need right now too like hygiene supplies, feminine hygiene products, socks underwear, towels blankets and more. The rescue mission also needs kitchen donations so they can continue to serve mission guests with meals. While you’re at the store picking up essential items for your home, they could use napkins, sandwich bags, sack lunch bags, plastic utensils and more items can be found here, along with where to bring or send the donations. If you have any questions, please call 253.383.4493 or email info@trm.org.

DONATING BLOOD & VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES

Matt Driscoll from the Tacoma News Tribune published an article recently about how you can help other service providers in Pierce County. A lot of non profit organizations rely on community donations, along with local business support, but with most businesses being closed right now, they’re taking a huge hit. The Tacoma Rescue Mission is on this list, along with food banks who haven’t seen a hit like this since the Recession of 2008. With schools closed, and job loss from layoffs food banks are providing more support than ever, as needs continue to increase by the thousands.

As of the end of March, the Pierce County blood supply was down by 40 percent. Most donations come from blood drives at high schools and colleges. Those closures have drastically impacted the supply. 37 percent of Pierce County residents are eligible to donate blood, so please make an appointment if you’re able to and make a donation with Cascade Regional Blood Services.

A lot of nonprofits rely on volunteers to help with their services and many retired members of our community make up that help. With the 60 + age group being the most vulnerable right now, nonprofits are desperate for help. The United Way of Pierce County has created a list of volunteer opportunities.

TACOMA MUTUAL AID COLLECTIVE

Some other organizations we’d like to mention are, the Tacoma Mutual Aid Collective - TMAC who is providing grocery services for those who are ill, have been exposed to the virus, are immunocompromised or elderly on Saturday’s at McCarver Elememtary. They’re also providing weekly hot meals to those who are unhoused, stocking free little libraries with food and learning materials for kids. Check their Facebook page for updates.

ST. LEO FOOD CONNECTION

St. Leo Food Connection is another organization we’re fond of, as we partner with the Tacoma Diaper Drive. Diapers and wipes are going to be even harder to afford now for families that have lost jobs. These items are not covered by EBT, WIC or other aid programs. Young babies go through 10-12 diapers a day.

They’re also in need of help with their Backpack Program, which serves more than 1,100 children each weekend at dozens of schools in Tacoma, Lakewood and Puyallup. Each backpack provides two days of easy to access food. They need snacks, instant soups, and meals, along with fresh fruit and veggies for additional nutrition.

Check their Facebook page for current updates on needed items. They’re been putting posts out for egg cartons and grocery bags.

TACOMA ADVENTIST COMMUNITY SERVICES

A couple weeks ago, I went with our own Realtor, Melo Hogan to pick up food donations at both Safeway and Fred Meyer to deliver to the Tacoma Adventist Community Services, who services those with dietary restrictions (diabetic, cancer and heart disease). I’ve been with Melo before to pick up donations and the difference between then and now was dire. At the entrance of the building there’s four bread racks, with eight shelves each that are typically full of bread. On this visit, only one bread rack was full. The dry good rooms that’s about 12’x12’, hold canned vegetables, fruit, cereal, rice, beans and oats were half empty. In the back where fresh produce was sorted, selections were slim. There weren’t two tables set up this time sorting salad mixes and salad makings this time, it was very basic celery, potatoes and onions, along with a few fresh fruits.

“As we all help in our own little way consistently and collectively, we create a big impact in helping those who need us the most in our community. Not just during this pandemic but as we continue to show kindness and give back as we go through this together.” - Realtor, Melo Hogan. You can contact Melo for more information or if you’d like to help at 253-304-8058

The community food bank volunteers are in the vulnerable category, so what they are in need of right now are volunteers to show up and help from 9 AM - 2 PM Monday through Thursday and pack produce bags. They also need someone who’s able to lift heavy items early in the morning unloading food donations Wed 9 AM and Thur at 8:30 AM.

FAMILIES UNLIMITED NETWORK

Every year, the Families Unlimited Network serves more than 35,000 people through their programs. Like many organizations, that need is now greater as they continue to provide food to seniors, families and children who need it the most right now. They are in dire need of paper grocery bags and food items like peanut butter, cereal, tuna, pasta sauce, noodles, ready to eat soups and non food items too like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and more. See their Facebook post.

L’ARCHE TAHOMA HOPE

“Heyyyy!! Here is L’arche. It’s a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities building friendships and creating a community of belonging for everyone. They sell plants and produce at the farmer’s market and the farm is struggling not having it open. They sell all types of plants and flowers.” - Realtor, Cristina Ross

L’arche Tahoma Hope serves a community of people with and without intellectual disabilities, building friendships, and creating a community of belonging for everyone. They sell plants and produce at the farmer’s market and the farm is struggling not having it open.

GREATER TACOMA COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

“I think the Mission and Greater Tacoma Community Foundation are wonderful options, especially since donations can be “in kind” or monetary.” - Michael and Gretchen Duggan

The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation is currently providing assistance to those with urgent needs in Pierce County right now through their funding. If you’d like to make a donation or know someone who is in need, visit their website.

LAPTOP DRIVE a PARTNERSHIP WITH TACOMA URBAN LEAGUE + OFFICE DEPOT

“This is another amazing opportunity to help right here in Tacoma. Our teachers are working hard to stay in front of their kids, but it’s tough to do without a computer at home.”

“I know many of us have an extra laptop that at some point became “too big” to carry around. These could be repurposed for kids as long as they are capable of streaming lessons.”

“Obviously, new would be ideal and Fahren Johnson has great options for that if you can donate money to help purchase.”

“Let’s see if we can do that AND help even more kids continue learning by repurposing unused tech. Win/win right? Let’s go Tacoma!! 👊🏻❤️” - Anne Jones

Tacoma, let’s ensure our most vulnerable students in the K-8th grade stay in the game during this public health crisis and avoid the summer slide. Help Fahren Johnson, organizing in partnership with the Tacoma Urban League and Office Depot, build a more equitable learning space for all our students by donating today. Funds raised put Chromebooks in the hands of students who need them to participate at home in online activities with their peers & teachers.

NEIGHBORHOOD CLINIC

“An organization we’ve supported recently is the Neighborhood Clinic, serving uninsured and low income people, no discrimination, very dedicated to privacy and whole care.” - Michael and Gretchen Duggan

The Neighborhood Clinic serves uninsured and low income people, with no discrimination. They’re very dedicated to privacy and whole care and have served our area for 37 years. All the clinics volunteers are also doctors and nurses in hospitals too. Some ways you can help are by volunteering, donating, using your Fred Meyer rewards card (#FC581) and getting items for them from their Amazon Smile account.

HERO MEALS

Hero Meals, a Downtown Tacoma Partnership program supports participating Downtown Tacoma restaurants as well as essential workers. People who want to support a participating restaurant, pay $25 for 3 meals (or more for additional meals). The Hero Meals program then delivers to essential workers like medical staff, law enforcement, grocery clerks, and delivery people.” - Michael and Gretchen Duggan

You can read more about this partnership here.

“Organizations that are always close to my heart are the Peace Community Center and Tacoma Community House. Also, Peace Lutheran offers a Community Resources Ministry, which is a free meal every Friday in the Hilltop (right now, it’s a grab and go style) and there are always some kind of resources or social services present. Donations to that program could be in the form of money, food, or, at least during normal times, volunteering to provide the meal.”

Food banks, of course :) - Gretchen Duggan

Thank you for the big and small things you’re doing to help those in our community get through this.