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

Sequim family finds support for fresh start following tragedy

Filled with tragedy and horrific incidents, the last year hasn’t been easy… Continue reading

Sequim Service Fest deemed a success by volunteers, homeowners

With several gallons of “Urban Nature” painted over her white house on… Continue reading

Clallam commissioners to mull taxing district to fund Sequim Library expansion

Clallam commissioners will consider adopting a pair of resolutions that would ask… Continue reading

Finishing Highway 101 bypass top of citys legislative agenda

City of Sequim officials hope local legislators can help them finish the… Continue reading

(Sequim) school’s out for summer!

By Erin Hawkins Sequim Gazette… Continue reading

Community news briefs — June 20, 2018

Accident destroyed home on Knapp Road Fire District 3 investigators say a… Continue reading

School District receives a closer look at timeline of capital projects

The Sequim School District board of directors got a glimpse of what… Continue reading

Port of Port Angeles to appeal Sequim determination on John Wayne Marina

A disagreement has escalated between Port of Port Angeles and Sequim city… Continue reading

Sequim High’s All-School Reunion set for Aug. 10-12

From community gatherings and meals, a tour of the Old Dungeness Schoolhouse,… Continue reading

Most Read