ESD & WorkSource employees help homeless families

After spending the day helping people find jobs, employees of WorkSource Thurston and ESD recently spent an evening providing help of another kind to the families at Pear Blossom Place homeless shelter.

The shelter was chosen by the The Women’s Leadership Council in collaboration with the United Way of Thurston County as the recipient of this year’s Annual Shelter Shower. The employees attended the shower to donate their time, money and vital goods—like diapers, towels and toilet paper —for the residents at the Family Support Center’s shelter for homeless families.








Pear Blossom Place opened on July 1 in downtown Olympia, and regularly houses 30 homeless families a night with 28 beds for families with children and seven subsidized apartments.

Event attendees

  • Cheryl Fambles, CEO of the Pacific Mountain Workforce Development Council (WDC), a partner in WorkSource Thurston and also a Women’s Leadership Council board member
  • Sandy Miller, Director of ESD’s Workforce & Career Development Division (WCDD)
  • Anne Goranson, Director of the South West Region for WCDD
  • Sandra Miller, Business and Community Engagement Manager at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Bridget Vidonne, Director of Finance and Admin Services at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Pam Grindstaff, Director of Workforce Programs at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Megan Feiss, Strategic Initiatives Analysis at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Sarah Wilkins, Youth Initiatives Coordinator at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Nichole Kloepfer, Administrative Assistant at Pacific Mountain WDC
  • Janelle Guthrie, Communications Director for Employment Security Department

According to an April 14, 2014 article in The Olympian, a census of Thurston County schools found 1,584 homeless students—and that only includes those actually enrolled in a school. The Olympian also reported 42 percent of homeless children are estimated to be under the age of six.

The Shelter Shower also raised money to fund the shelter’s ongoing needs and purchase products not donated at the December 4 event.

You can help

You can donate supplies, money or time to The Family Support Center of South Sound. Visit their website for more information. You may also adopt a family for Christmas or volunteer at Pear Blossom Place by contacting Katherine Cox at 360-628-7343 or Volunteer shifts are available Monday-Sunday.


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