Church hosts men’s winter clothes drive

January 12, 2010

By Staff

With the economy sending more people out of homes and into the streets, the need is greater than ever for people to donate to worthy causes, such as Issaquah Christian Church’s four-week collection of men’s clothing for the Seattle Union Gospel Mission.The Men’s Winter Clothes Collection starts Jan. 16.

A drop-off point at the church will be open from 10 a.m. – noon Saturdays, Jan. 16, 23 and 30, and Feb. 6. A receipt for tax purposes can be issued. An area on the church’s porch will also be set up to allow people to conveniently drop off items during the week.

All items need to be new or gently used with no torn or damaged goods. Warm clothing items — shoes, boots, hats/caps, gloves, pants, sweaters, underwear in size 38-40 (or larger), ponchos and coats are needed. All items need to be in larger sizes.

“In this tough economy, we have seen people respond to needs even beyond our expectations,” said Brad Bromling, pastor of the church, which is participating in the clothes drive for the first time. “I know the people at ICC have been very generous despite the downturn.”

Jim Rockstad, who attends the church, said he has been associated with the mission for seven years.

“We annually do a fundraiser for them leading into Thanksgiving in an effort to buy all the meals for UGM at all of their facilities — eight of them, about 1,200 people,” he said. “Over the seven years, the fundraising has totaled nearly $48,000, feeding more than 25,000 at UGM.”

The winter months seem to be the hardest, with many people needing warm clothing just to get by each day. Warm men’s clothing is an urgent need.

“As a Christian man, I am instructed to assist those in need,” Rockstad said. “I take that seriously, and using my skills from 27 years in the auto racing-promotion business allows me to attract awareness to the needs of UGM and the wonderful work they accomplish every day.”

“Simply gratitude for what we have” is what motivates the church and its members to participate, Bromling said. “Even in these challenging times, we have so much. Out of gratitude for what we have, it is almost natural to share.”

The Union Gospel Mission started in 1932 by a group of churches to help feed those in need during the Great Depression. Today, the mission also has programs for alcohol and drug abuse, dental and legal clinics, transitional housing, women and children’s shelters, support with blankets, food and clothing for those homeless in Seattle, youth programs and much more. UGM programs also reach into cities beyond Seattle into towns throughout the Puget Sound area.

Issaquah Christian Church is at 10328 Issaquah-Hobart Road S.E. Call 392-5848 for more information or go to www.ugm.org.

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