The Puyallup Tribe and a team of community volunteers started off this season of giving with a free giveaway to our area’s homeless on Nov. 22. Setting up shop near the Tacoma Dome on that rainy, cold and windy morning, the line-up of people seeking help remained constant into the afternoon.
The giveaway items included lots of clothing, especially warm coats and sweaters, hats, gloves and socks; tarps and blankets to help fend off wet and cold weather; toiletries, toothbrushes and toothpaste; food like energy bars, canned soups and juices; and sleeping bags, which were the most popular item of the day. The Tribe paid for the majority of the items given away and the rest was donated by local residents.
Puyallup Tribal Councilmember Sylvia Miller led the giveaway, corralling everyone in line, helping them find what they were looking for and bringing little ones closer to portable heaters to get warm under a big tent that Tacoma Weekly publisher John Weymer got donated for the event. Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer was there helping too, ladling out free cups of hot chocolate and hot soup.
“People were so appreciative,” Troyer said. “For some it was the first hot soup they had in a while.”
Miller expressed a lot of gratitude for those who come out to lend a hand that day. “I just want to thank all the volunteers that came to help,” she said. “Sharing and caring are so important in our community and I want to thank them for doing this. Don’t forget, any one of us could be in their (the homeless’) place. Don’t worry about what you don’t have – everybody should be thankful for what they do have.”
Another giveaway will be held in the same location on Thursday, Dec. 18, starting at 10 a.m. This giveaway will include lots of toys to help make Christmas bright for children who may otherwise have nothing this year. Those wishing to donate non-perishable foods and/or clean and gently used clothing may do so during the giveaway at the site or by bringing items to the Puyallup Tribe’s administrative building at 3009 E. Portland Ave., Tacoma.