Happy Holidays!
A place of hope and change for women.
women experiencing homelessness, women, homeless, homelessness, shelter, safety, stability, women's shelter, day center, Sophia's Place, Helen's Place, Bellevue, Kirkland, homeless in King County, housing
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Happy Holidays!

Every year, our big-hearted community makes the holiday month grand for the women we serve. While the holidays were very different this year because of the pandemic, they were as joyous as always – individuals, organizations, and groups donated gifts making the women feel special and loved.

The holiday gifting program, managed by Megan Duncan, volunteer & engagement coordinator at The Sophia Way, was modified in keeping with the guidelines by the state of Washington. Contactless donation was encouraged with gifting from our Amazon wishlist or mailing of gift cards.

Within a month, we were overwhelmed by the river of packages that flowed into our donation center! Irene Pak, who donated handmade masks, wrote: “My mom and I enjoyed making masks to protect women, and we hope everyone stays healthy!” Eager volunteers signed up to unpack and sort the items and then pack them in gift bags. “We had to be strategic with limiting the number of volunteers, but a lot of love went into creating the gift bags,” said Megan. By mid-December, volunteers had filled more than 150 gift bags with winter wear, jackets, jewelry, makeup items, shoes, raincoats, toiletries, and more!

Everyone celebrated Christmas week with great delight at Helen’s Place and Sophia’s Place. Staff at both shelters, helped by the women, had decorated the place and put up the Christmas tree! The women enjoyed fun activities like tie-dying t-shirts and icing cupcakes. And on Christmas Day, all women in our programs received a gift bag and a signed card.

“The women were so appreciative of receiving gifts that included not only useful items but also fun and comfy things, as well as gift cards,” said Gretchen Phillips-Bond, Sophia’s Place lead. “They want to thank everyone who gave them all these reasons to smile!”

In a year of so many unknowns, what we do know is that the community is always there to support women experiencing homelessness. Megan sums it up: “We are truly touched by the generosity of everyone who donated the gifts. Many mentioned an urgency to give this year, in particular. When we looked at the room filled with gift bags, we felt the warmth and love that donors gave so generously.”

Thank you for caring and giving gifts, especially in these difficult times.

  • Aldersgate UMC
  • Alison & James Dildine
  • Anand Raman
  • Angela Farrar
  • Ann G Vanderkolk
  • Anneli Lysen
  • Catherine
  • City of Bellevue
  • Claire Du Parc
  • Clyde Hill Benko Group
  • Cross of Christ Church
  • Daniel Bigbee
  • David K
  • Dawn Smith
  • Debra Fouts
  • Dorinda Otto
  • East Shore Unitarian Church
  • Eric Young
  • Friends at Google
  • Herzl-Ner Tamid Synagogue
  • Holy Spirit Lutheran Church
  • Jack Staudt
  • Jean Mills
  • Jen Galvan
  • Jessie M
  • Judy Eisen
  • Karen Taha
  • Karleen Snetsinger
  • Katalin Kerekes
  • Katherine Marsh
  • Kellie Calvert
  • Kim and Bill
  • Kim MG
  • Lara L
  • Larry Adkins
  • Laura Haynes
  • Laura L
  • Laura Loscalzo
  • Leah Baldwin
  • Lisa Mallory
  • Maureen Kisinger
  • Megan Renae Parker
  • Megan T
  • Meghan E Watson
  • Nancy Odey
  • Nancy Tamanaha
  • Parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish
  • Patricia Klingler
  • Priyanka Singh
  • Robert MP
  • Rosann Marrow
  • Sacred Heart Church
  • Sharon Glenn
  • Sharon Perkins
  • Sheila Barry
  • St. Madeleine Sophie Catholic Parish
  • Stephanie Brooks
  • Symetra
  • Team Utsav USA
  • Teri Ekstrom
  • Terrie Quillin
  • The Biella Foundation
  • The LaBoy Family
  • Tim Garner

Thank you, volunteers, for helping sort the gifts and pack the gift bags

  • Cole Robertson
  • Irene Pak
  • Kaili Tam
  • Laurie Ukrainetz
  • Leah Zarin
  • Mohamed Bangura
  • Ritsko Suzuki
  • Seungeun Pak
  • Sue Kopazna