Realtors from throughout Lewis County worked to gather winter clothing for those in need during the early fall months as part of their annual Bundle Up Blitz.
Organized by the county chapter of the Washington Realtors Association, the drive gathered about 320 pounds of winter clothing, Blitz Chairwoman Diane Weiner said. In addition to the clothes gathered, $1,000 worth of gift certificates were donated by the Visiting Nurses Thrift Store and $500 in cash was donated by Century 21 Lund Realtors in Chehalis.
The gathered donations were evenly split between the Union Gospel Mission and Cascade Mental Health, Weiner said. The Union Gospel Mission weighed the clothing they received at 160 pounds, she added.
“It is an important way for us as realtors to give back to the community,” Weiner said. “I learned how many people are in need of a little more to make their lives better … and how much a coat or pair of gloves can matter to someone.”
People in the community were invited to drop off new or gently used coats, scarves, gloves, blankets and sleeping bags at one of the local donation sites in the county. The sites included Windermere and John L. Scott in Centralia, Chehalis Valley Realty and Realty World in Chehalis, and Mountain Valley Realty in Packwood. Partners in the realty industry Lewis County Title and Title Guaranty were also donation sites.
Weiner said she believes more goods and funds were raised this year compared to last year, though she is not sure because she did not organize the event in 2016.
Looking toward next year, Weiner said she would like to see more new coats and winter clothes donated as well as more cash donations.
In addition to participating in the Bundle Up Blitz, this year Windermere in Centralia raised $4,000 for the Centralia School District to help homeless students in the district.
The Centralia Foundation also gave $1,000 worth of clothes to the Centralia School District this August for homeless and low income children.