Five Ways to Give Back

You’ve got to give to get into the holidays. So for every gift you unwrap this season (or have already unwrappedcheaters!), try to find a small way to give back...or give forward.

Here’s just a few ideas to help get you started (some of them don't cost a thing):


This national nonprofit helps collect and distribute donated coats for free to people in need. Bring your clean and gently worn coats to Burlington Coat Factory (Edmonds) or the Container Store (Bellevue) for a limited time collection. More info at


The city supports 16 food banks in Seattle, each with different operating hours and services - and all of them in need. A list of locations is available here.  In addition to food donations, dry goods such as toilet paper, feminine hygiene products and baby diapers are important donation items too! Refer to the U-District Food Bank’s wish list for helpful ideas.

You can also donate items at your neighborhood PCC market, which supports several area Food Banks through its PCC Food Bank Program. Just purchase items in-store and drop them in the store's donation bin.


Year round, when you buy a gift certificate to Metropolitan Grill or Elliott’s Oyster House or other Consolidated Restaurants location, 3% of the cash goes to benefit uncompensated care at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Check out more ways to benefit this crucial service for families at


Our local Humane Society doesn’t just house and care for pets in need of homes, they also help seniors and people disabled by AIDS to obtain pet food and veterinary care, in hopes that people in need never have to choose between feeding themselves and their beloved pets. Pick up an extra bag of dry pet food the next time you’re at a Safeway and deposit it in the store’s donation bin. Or donate funds directly through


A library is so much more than a house of books. For many, it’s a crucial resource for computer access, education and social support. The Friends of the Seattle Public Library collect donations of books, DVDs, CDs, sheet music and more, which they sell at regular public sales. Proceeds at those sales help ensure that our libraries stay open. More details at