POULSBO — Columbia Bank is accepting donations of cash and new winter wear through Dec. 31 to benefit those who are homeless.
Donations can be submitted at WarmHeartsWinterDrive.com and at all Columbia Bank branches. Columbia Bank’s fundraising goal: $160,000.
Columbia Bank branches are located at:
- 20148 10th Ave. NE (in Central Market), Poulsbo. 360-779-9889.
- 26563 Lindvog Road NE, Kingston. 360-297-1711.
- 10100 Silverdale Way, Silverdale. 360-692-6196.
- 208 High School Road NE, Bainbridge Island. 206-842-1035.
- 249 Winslow Way, Bainbridge Island. 206-842-5651.
The number of people experiencing homelessness in the Northwest has increased 6 percent since 2015, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 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,” Columbia Bank President and CEO Melanie Dressel said in an announcement of the program. “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. All clothing and funds collected during the 2016 Warm Hearts Winter Drive will be donated directly to 49 shelters and relief organizations in the communities where the collections originated.
For more information or to make a cash donation, go to WarmHeartsWinterDrive.com or a Columbia Bank branch.