As the holiday season continues, we are desperate for certain items for our guests and residents. We are behind our goal and we need your help over the next few days because we are starting to wrap gifts this weekend, December 11.

We have three main needs for this holiday season: gift cards for our affordable housing programs, cookies for our enhanced shelter Cookie Extravaganza, and slippers for shelter guests.

We know gift cards aren’t the most fun item to add to your holiday shopping cart, but they are our most requested item by families during the holiday season.  

We take a lot of pride in how our gift wrapping and toy catalog process works, and how it enables parents to shop for the gifts their kids are most interested in from the donations we have collected. Gift cards take it a step further, allowing parents and caregivers to choose the gifts that their children are most excited about.  

Last year, mainly because COVID restrictions stopped us from our regular gift-wrapping plans, we pivoted to the gift card collection for families and we got a lot of positive feedback. (Like A LOT!) This year we are doing a hybrid of both gift programs – collecting children’s gifts for school-age kids AND gift cards. This helps us make sure that everyone in our programs is getting a gift that matches them – especially those hard to shop for kids, like the babies & toddlers or older teens.  

Our goal is to have one gift card per person for every household across all of our affordable housing programs. This is approximately 1,000 gift cards. As of today, we have 98. You can help us hit our goal!   We are collecting gift cards in $25 increments for Amazon, Fred Meyer, and Walmart. Physical cards or e-cards are both great. Please connect with Jennifer with questions on how to deliver gift cards. Our gift card deadline is Friday, December 17.

Our Cookie Extravaganza was actually the brainchild of one of our program managers, Charlene. For years, Charlene has had her team bring in goodies during the holiday season for the guests at our women’s shelter. This year, we thought it was time to scale up this idea and share the love across all of our programs.

Only cookies?

No! As long as they do not need to be stored in the fridge or freezer all baked goodies are welcome! Bring on the brownies, bars, krumkake!

What if I don’t like baking?

No worries – we will gladly accept store-purchased goodies as well.

How many do I need to bring?

Please bundle cookies in sets of 24. Bundles *do not* have to all be in the same bag, but we need them in this increment to spread things equitably across the programs. If you would like to make cookies for all of the shelters you would need 12 bundles. (Approximately 300 cookies.)

Dietary Restrictions?

All donated cookies must be delivered with a typed* recipe card or list of ingredients. Please take extra care to note if you are doing any substitutes (vegan butter for regular butter, a coconut blend for regular milk, etc.) many vegan/vegetarian substitutes are made from tree nuts. If you are unsure of what your substitute is made of, you can jot down the brand and our team can double-check it for you. Once goodie bags arrive at Compass, our team will be color-coding bags with all allergens flagged before distributing them to the shelters.

*We need the recipe cards typed so there are no issues with reading handwriting as our team is sorting the bundles that night.


Cookies MUST be delivered by 4pm on Monday, December 20. Weekend drop-offs WILL be available that weekend, please schedule a time with Jennifer.

How do I sign up?

You can sign up here or email Jennifer.

You can view more information about the Cookie Extravaganza here.

We are collecting slippers as the holiday gift item for our Otto’s Place & Pioneer Square Men’s Program 24-hour enhanced shelters and need approximately 140 pairs of men’s slippers. We are about ¼ of the way to that goal right now.

Cozy indoor slippers are a frequently requested item as guests are required to wear shoes in all areas of the shelters, and people frequently have only one pair of shoes – slippers allow them to keep their outdoor/everyday shoes separate from what they are wearing in the indoor common spaces.

For the holiday season, we are collecting new and unused men’s/unisex sizes 9-13 or ‘large’ and up slippers. We have some listed on our Amazon wishlist or you are welcome to purchase slippers elsewhere and drop them off at our South Lake Union office.

We need the slippers delivered by December 17.

We have already met our thermos (for Blaine) and pajama set (for Jan & Peter’s Place) goals for the other shelter programs.

Thank you for all that you do. Our guests and residents might not be able to say thank you, but we do on their behalf. This community always makes the holiday season so special for them!

For any questions about drop-off dates, volunteering, or logistics, please contact Jennifer Marquette, Community Engagement Manager, directly.

Jennifer Marquette


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