Now through Dec. 31, Columbia Bank will be accepting cash donations and new winter wear attire as it aims to raise $160,000 for people in the Northwest impacted by homelessness.
Donations can be submitted at WarmHeartsWinterDrive.com, and cash and warm winter attire can be donated within all Columbia Bank branch locations across Washington, Oregon and Idaho.
According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the number of people experiencing homelessness in the Northwest has increased six percent since 2015. As a result there are 34,000 people struggling to receive essential services and stay off the street as they face overcrowded and underfunded shelters during the cold winter months. Columbia Bank established the Warm Hearts Winter Drive in 2015 to help aid nonprofit organizations in providing warmth to individuals, families and children in need.
“Thousands of families in our communities are homeless this winter, and those living on the streets have a much higher risk of exposure when it is cold and wet outside. We are proud to continue the Warm Hearts Winter Drive to help those around us who are truly in need,” said Melanie Dressel, president & CEO of Columbia Bank. “The purpose of the Warm Hearts Winter Drive is to continue to raise awareness of this growing issue, and we are hopeful that our customers and employees will join together again to help these deserving organizations and the people they support.”
During the inaugural year of the Warm Hearts Winter Drive, Columbia Bank employees and local communities collected nearly 12,000 items of winter wear and raised more than $150,000 to benefit 53 homeless shelters in the Northwest, including the Portland Rescue Mission, Seattle Gospel Union Mission and Tacoma Rescue Mission. Just as during its initial year, one hundred percent of the clothing and funds collected during the 2016 Warm Hearts Winter Drive will be donated directly back to 49 shelters and relief organizations in the communities where the collections originated.
“We are overwhelmed by the support of Columbia bank, their customers and staff,” said Mike Johnson, executive director of Tacoma Rescue Mission. “Now, more families and children are able to overcome homelessness. The need is real and broad; this help is essential.”
Columbia Bank has been serving the Northwest since 1993. For branch locations and more information, visit columbiabank.com.