Heart for the homeless: Sequim youth continues grassroots donation drive

This winter, a Sequim girl is once again seeing to it that those without a home this holiday season are getting some essentials and some love along with it.

River Jensen, a sixth-grader at Sequim Middle School, drew the community’s attention last year when she collected items for almost 1,300 bags to hand out to various organizations that help homeless on the Olympic Peninsula and beyond.

This year, Jensen and company set the bar a bit higher, aiming for 1,500 bags that will be distributed through organizations such as Serenity House, the Salvation Army, TAFY (The Answer For Youth) and local food banks.

Following a bag-stuffing “party” at Eastern Hills Community Church on Dec. 9, Jensen and a number of community volunteers packed 1,536 bags full of items, River’s mother Anna said.

“I received a few more donations afterwards and have been putting together bags,” Anna Jensen said. “I have about 30 or so more to put together. But we definitely hit our goal of 1,500, so that makes us pretty happy.”

The Sequim youth and family oversaw a campaign that put collection boxes for items such as socks, gloves, soap bars, hairspray, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hats and more at various local businesses.

Along with the items, Jensen includes hand-written notes of support such as, “You are loved.”

Those bags will go out to local homeless advocate groups and Seattle’s Pioneer Square starting this week.

River and her mother had volunteered at the Salvation Army in Port Angeles each Christmas Eve since she was 6. The Sequim youth got the idea to make donation bags last year to make her contribution a little more personal.

The effort didn’t go unnoticed: Jensen was selected a finalist for the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 Citizen of the Year.

More in News

KSQM moves to bigger space, celebrates 10 years on-air

As KSQM remains firmly planted at 91.5 FM on the airwaves, its… Continue reading

Suspect sought in Lost Mountain burglary attempts

The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect in two recent… Continue reading

City, tribe OK wastewater agreement

Similar to Clallam County’s Carlsborg Sewer Project agreement, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe… Continue reading

Sequim man accused of assault after car prowl, chase

Nathan O. Reid was arrested last week for allegedly pointing a weapon… Continue reading

Community news briefs — Dec. 12, 2018

Have breakfast with Santa in Sequim The American Legion Post 62 hosts… Continue reading

Name of Littleneck Beach in Blyn gets state approval

The Washington State Board on Geographic Names has approved a name for… Continue reading

Olympic Medical Heart Center earns key industry certification

Olympic Medical Center CEO Eric Lewis announced at the medical center’s board… Continue reading

Police blotter — Dec. 12, 2018

The weekly police blotter includes incidents that occurred in the City of… Continue reading

Backcountry Horsemen support river center expansion

The Peninsula Chapter of Back Country Horsemen of Washington, BCHW-PNC, recently supported… Continue reading

Most Read