What started as a small way to collect money and food for those in need during the coronavirus pandemic has snowballed into a much greater community effort to help those in need.
Brokers at the John L. Scott real estate office in Poulsbo were expecting to see mostly familiar faces when they held their food drive April 18 — brokers had reached out to their contacts to collect some food and money for the local food bank — but with its location smack dab in the middle of two large grocery stores, many folks on their way to go food shopping stopped in after seeing nearby signs.
That alone was a surprise, but volunteers were certainly not prepared for local residents to simply stop in and drop off some cash they had on hand to donate to the cause, which benefited North Kitsap Fishline.
“It’s probably the first time you’ve seen a masked person approach you and hand you money,” said Frank Wilson, the Kitsap Regional Manager for John L. Scott.
Wilson said people would see their signs and run over to Central Market or Safeway specifically to purchase items for the drive.
“This is a perfect example of community helping community,” Wilson said. “People would drive up and give us cash or would see our signs and run down to the market and come back with bags of food and paper products. At times we would have three or four cars pulling in, and all of them thanking us for what we were doing when they were the ones being so generous.”
Several more food drives followed this past week — one in Silverdale, one in Kingston and one on Bainbridge Island. Each local office raised money and food donations for the nearby food banks. The Silverdale donations went to the Central Kitsap Food Bank, the Kingston drive was held for ShareNet, and the Bainbridge collections went to Helpline House.
In total, 8,961 pounds of food and $15,857 in monetary donations were collected.
The current “stay-at-home” order is expected to remain in place until May 4, and depending on what Gov. Jay Inslee does next, Wilson said there could be similar events in the days to come.