Cori Walters knew she had to do something to help the victims of the Oso mudslide. As executive director of the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank, she knows first-hand how a disaster can impact a community.
But she admits she wasn’t prepared for the advice of her husband, Chas.
“Maybe we need to take a truck,” he said. “Spread the word and see if the community will help us.”
Did it ever.
The food bank posted a call for help on its Facebook page at 4 p.m. Wednesday. By noon the next day, what seemed like an impossible goal turned into the delivery of a massive amount of aid to residents and rescuers. Not only did the Issaquah and Sammamish communities fill a 30-foot truck, but also four pickups and a car with everything from food, to toiletries to shovels and picks.
“There were tons of volunteers,” Cori said. “The community just wanted to help.”
The food bank first got a donation of dehydrated food from an emergency preparedness program. Home Depot pitched in shovels and boxes while Front Street Market brought over needed pallets. The food bank itself dipped into its large supply of such things a green beans and toiletries.
Then the Sammamish Rotary Club brought in $650 worth of groceries from Costco. Local individuals and families headed to stores to buy needed items. Members of Eastside Fire and Rescue arrived to help organize and load the truck.
Because it was one food bank helping another, “we knew what they would need to put on their shelves,” Cori said.
When the convoy arrived in Darrington, people at the food bank were surprised at the amount being delivered.
“It was the first and biggest donation they received,” Cori said.
A group of 20 to 30 volunteers quickly assembled to unload the trucks. For many, the supplies had a real impact.
Chas told Cori he never received so many hugs from men who were in tears.
“I’m so proud to part of a community that showed up to help,” Cori said.