Employees in the Seattle offices of Holland America Line, Seabourn and Princess Cruises donated time and money to Northwest Harvest, an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry, and New Beginnings, which provides services to those affected by domestic abuse.
The cruise lines’ seventh annual community giving week ran December 7 through 11, with employees volunteering for shifts at Northwest Harvest’s Kent, Washington, distribution center. In addition, employees held an Adopt-a-Family drive through New Beginnings and collected wish-list and need-list items for families in the area. Employee-run fundraisers included bake sales, a taco bar lunch, sending Candy Grams, a silent auction and photos with Santa.
More than 220 Holland America Line, Seabourn and Princess Cruises employees were joined by Holland America Group CEO Stein Kruse as they helped process and prepare more than 41,620 pounds of food and 32,014 meals. Since 2008 more than 3,000 employees have volunteered at the Kent location. Northwest Harvest executives estimate that company employees have helped sort well over 260 tons (520,000 pounds) of food over the years.
Northwest Harvest is Washington’s only statewide hunger relief agency. The organization supplies free food to a network of nearly 350 independent food banks and meal programs. Northwest Harvest relies on contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations; and 93 percent of the charity’s total budget goes to food distribution.
The cruise lines also sponsored 22 families and 12 women this season through New Beginnings by collecting nearly $20,000 in items they wanted or needed to begin new households. Each family asked for an average of 30 items, totaling 670 articles collected and distributed. The 72 people, including 51 children, had their holiday lists filled through employee fundraising and collections.
Donations included gift cards, televisions, cribs, tool sets, dollhouses, Seattle Seahawks jerseys, video games and high chairs, in addition to needs such as clothing, bedding, dishes and small appliances. Women at the shelter received bathrobes, slippers, toiletries and other essentials.
New Beginnings provides services to those affected by domestic violence, whether physical, emotional or sexual abuse. The organization empowers survivors and mobilizes community awareness and action to end domestic violence through violence prevention education in Seattle middle schools, community training and outreach events.