There are more than 36,000 people living on the streets on any given night in the Northwest, and the challenges faced by this population increases exponentially during the cold winter months. In 2015, states of emergency were declared in Seattle, King County and Portland to help dedicate funds and resources to help address homelessness.
This volunteer effort was launched in 2015 and is a component of Warm Hearts Winter Drive. Over 50 volunteers across WA, OR, and ID volunteered to serve hundreds of meals over the course of the week.
Seattle Sounders FC midfielders Christian Roldan and Aaron Kovar came out to support Warm Hearts Winter Drive in 2016.
On December 1, 2015, Columbia Bank launched the first annual Warm Hearts Winter Drive to benefit homeless shelters in local communities across its footprint in the Northwest. The program rallied local communities to make cash donations or provide new warm winter wear including gloves, scarves, coats, socks, shoes, mittens and hats for adults and children at any Columbia Bank location. The program was an instant success, exceeding Columbia Bank's goal of raising $100,000 for local shelters, and raising over $130,000 in the first 30 days.
In 2016, during the second annual Warm Hearts Winter Drive, Columbia Bank raised $209,335.96 and collected 8,140 items for 54 shelters across its footprint in the Northwest. Through the generous donations from clients and employees, Columbia Bank surpassed its goal by more than 30 percent.
100 percent of the funds and winter wear collected were donated directly to shelters and relief organizations in the communities where collected.
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