Rhonda Ellis had three big bags of hats, gloves and socks crowding her office at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, plus more donations filling the back of her car, a tiny blue Honda Fit.
Then came Alphonso Emery, the director of diversity and human resources at Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, who offered boxes and bags of shoes and shirts, followed by promises of more warm clothing from co-workers across the South Lake Union campus.
Two weeks before the start of a holiday drive to benefit Teen Feed, a Seattle group that provides meals and supplies to homeless teens and young adults, Ellis was already amazed at the outpouring of generosity.
“It’s been really nice,” said Ellis, an occupational health nurse at Fred Hutch who has started to distribute some of the donations a little early. “They’ve been calling me Santa Claus.”
Still, that’s only the beginning.
The formal drive, coordinated by the Hutch’s Clinical Research Division, will run from Dec. 1 to 19. Ellis hopes to collect enough new socks, hats, gloves and hand warmers to supply the nearly 800 young people reached each year by the nonprofit, which was founded in 1987.