By Cassie Lesh, Review Solutions Associate
His handmade sign reads, “just me and my dog.” He has kind eyes and he likes to sit on a bench with a view of the water – just a 5-minute walk from Lighthouse’s Seattle office. After only one interaction, I knew I wanted to create a care package to help him.
To be honest, I’d never done anything like that before and so I googled “homeless care packages” the entire bus ride home that night. The following weekend I went on a shopping spree and collected dog food, protein bars, toothpaste, wet wipes, hand sanitizer, and anything else that google had told me might be helpful. Then, with the help of one of my teammates, Melati Baybars (Review Solutions Associate), I delivered the care package. The man with kind eyes was unbelievably grateful and it brought me to tears.
It was such a powerful moment that Melati and I couldn’t help but share what we’d just done with our teammates in Review Solutions. As we shared our experience, I learned that we are blessed to work with an incredibly philanthropic group of people. Just to give you some context, I learned that Jeremy Robertson (Director of Review Solutions) hands out $5.00 Starbucks gift cards to the less fortunate; Larry Kasoff (Review Solutions Associate) volunteers with Mary’s Place; Andrew Duenkel (Review Solutions Associate) has organized entire supply drives; and Joanna Colling (Review Solutions Associate) actually helped build a tiny house village (aka temporary housing to shelter those struggling with homelessness).
The population of folks struggling with homelessness in Seattle continues to grow at a rapid pace and the city is amongst the top 10 in the country. In a recent Seattle Times article the article states,
“King County has the third-largest population of homeless people in the country.” In that same article, we see this crisis is shared amongst some of our other regional offices located in San Francisco and New York.
Once we realized that, as a team, we shared a passion for helping those struggling with homelessness, it didn’t take us long to decide that we should band together to do something bigger.
With the help of the Lighthouse Cares Committee, we came up with the idea to put together care packages for the homeless near some of Lighthouse offices. We hosted donation drives in the Seattle, San Francisco, and New York Offices, where individuals across the company could either donate items or donate their time help pack supply bags and then hand them out to those in need.
In all, the drive allowed the Lighthouse team to fill over 230 one-gallon Ziploc bags stuffed to the brim with toiletries, snacks, clothing items, and other daily necessities. In addition to having tons of employees purchase items off an Amazon Wishlist or bring in donations, we saw many folks donate their time to pack and deliver these care packages.
This event was one of the Lighthouse Cares program’s most well-supported initiatives to date and we are thrilled to see its success and impact.