Barbara DeChene of Willow’s Place helps organize the mass collection of clothing and items during the luncheon. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Barbara DeChene of Willow’s Place helps organize the mass collection of clothing and items during the luncheon. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Community gives back in Willow’s Place Hope for Families

Annual event takes in a big collection of donated clothing and other things

Sally Goodgion can’t remember seeing so many donations.

“I’m overwhelmed and so happy – this comes from people’s hearts,” Goodgion said of the bundles of clothes and other items gathered at the annual Willow’s Place Hope for Families event Thursday.

One side of the banquet room at the Golden Steer Steak ‘n’ Rib House was filled with sacks and boxes of new and gently used items including blankets, quilts, jackets of all sizes, sleeping bags, gloves, hats, socks and underwear. Donations included a comforter and toiletries.

Those who donated items received a free lunch.

Reber Ranch sponsored the luncheon, which was organized by Willow’s Place, a nonprofit organization and community and business-coordinated effort that helps feed the hungry and warm the homeless.

All clothing and cash donations support local struggling families, said Goodgion, Willow’s Place director. The Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, Hope for Families and other partners will help distribute the donated items to those local individuals and families in need.

“This year we had so many donations even before the start (of the luncheon),” Goodgion said.

To learn more about the effort or to donate, contact Goodgion at 253-852-0880 or

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