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Winter Welcome Donation Drive

Close-up photo of smiling teenage girl with arms up in a strong pose. Girl wears winter coat and rock climbing helmet, and is outdoors in wooded area.

Help welcome newcomers to our community by donating warm winter coats!

Photo: Marc Bourguignon/IRC

Help newcomers get ready for our Pacific Northwest winter by participating in Winter Welcome! The IRC is seeking warm jackets for children and adults, as well as gift cards which allow families to purchase exactly what they need. 

For 40+ years, the IRC has helped thousands of refugees, immigrants, and survivors of human trafficking in our community. We welcome families to the U.S. by securing housing, helping people learn to navigate their new community, helping people find good jobs, enrolling kids in school, and more. In addition to welcoming hundreds of newcomers each year, we serve another 2,500 community members through a broad range of programs, helping people achieve their goals. Whether that's advancing their careers, pursuing educational endeavors, managing health concerns, reuniting with family, or becoming a U.S. citizen, the IRC is here to help. 

Winter Welcome is an opportunity to join together as a community in support of our newest neighbors, many of whom are experiencing extra challenges right now due to COVID-19. By donating warm coats and gift cards, we can help hundreds of newcomer families stay healthy & safe this winter. Sign up individually or team up with friends, family, or colleagues to amplify your impact!

Current donation needs

Gift cards

Suggested gift card value of $50. 

  • Visa or MasterCard gift cards - Cash gift cards are preferred, as they give the most flexibility for IRC clients to purchase items needed most!
  • Local grocery stores (Safeway, QFC, Fred Meyer, etc.)
  • Department/big box stores (Walmart, Target, etc.)

New Winter Coats

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IRC is only accepting new clothing and outerwear at this time. As donations are received, this list will be updated to reflect updated size needs. 

  • Men's Winter Coats – XS-XXL
  • Women's Winter Coats – XS-XL
  • Children's Winter Coats – toddler through junior sizes

For more donation guidance, check out these FAQs or email us at VolunteerSEA [at] rescue.org (subject: Winter%20Welcome%20Question) .

How to participate

  1. Sign up as a Winter Welcome participant here! Signing up will allow IRC to keep donation needs up-to-date throughout the drive and help streamline communication with donors. Sign up individually or on behalf of a group!
  2. Purchase items from our Amazon Wishlist or purchase items from any retailer and ship to the IRC's mailing address by Friday, December 18, 2020: International Rescue Committe,126 SW 148th St, #C100 126, Burien, WA, 98166-1984. Reference the Wishlist for guidance on sizes and styles of coats needed. For more donation shipment/delivery information, check out these FAQs.
  3. Please include an itemized list of donations and copies of receipts with your shipment, or email this information to IRC after you've delivered your items. IRC will then issue you a donation receipt. Donors are responsible for assigning a value to in-kind donations for tax purposes. Save those receipts! 
  4. If you're interested in supporting the IRC's local work in other ways, consider giving to our COVID-19 Emergency Fund or making and unrestricted gift where it will be used wherever needed most.

For questions, check out these FAQs or email us at VolunteerSEA [at] rescue.org (subject: Winter%20Welcome%20Question) . Thank you for your support! 


Can I donate used items?

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our office is only accepting new outerwear at this time. Thank you for understanding!

When is the deadline to deliver donations?

Please arrange to ship or drop off items by Friday, December 18, 2020.

Where can I ship my donations?

International Rescue Committee,126 SW 148th St, #C100-126, Burien, WA, 98166-1984. Please note that this is a mailing address only, and not the IRC's physical office location.

Can I drop off donations in person?

The IRC's office is currently closed to the public. IRC prefers donations be shipped to the mailing address above, in order to help minimize health risks for both donors and staff. If you'd like to organize a donation delivery on behalf of a group, please reach out to VolunteerSEA [at] Rescue.org to schedule a drop-off at the IRC office in SeaTac, WA. Deliveries may be scheduled from December 14th to December 18th, 11am-3pm. Please plan to wear a face mask and practice physical distancing when making drop-offs. 

What kind of jackets are needed? What sizes are most in-need?

Any style that is insulated, easy to care for, and fit for the Seattle-area climate is acceptable. All sizes - children's, women's, men's - are needed. As donations come in, we will update this webpage, as well as our Amazon Wishlist, to reflect the most urgent needs. Referring to the wishlist will help you to determine which size and style needs have not been met yet.

Can I add on items?

Please email VolunteerSEA [at] rescue.org for any specific donation questions. 

Can I include a card with my donations?

Yes! Cards or notes with messages of welcome are encouraged. You will not know the exact person the coat will be given to, so a general message of welcome and kindness is best. Please avoid religious messages or iconography. 

Are the items I donate tax deductible?

Yes. The IRC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and both financial and in-kind donations are tax deductable to the extent allowable by law. Please include an itemized list of donations with your shipment, or email the list to IRC after you've delivered your items. IRC will issue you an acknowledgement for tax purposes. Donors are responsible for assigning a value to in-kind donations for tax purposes. Save those receipts! While not required, it is very helpful if you also provide IRC with copies of your receipts. This allows IRC to maintain accurate documentation of donations received by clients, a requirement of many of our government-funded programs. 

Have additional questions?

Email VolunteerSEA [at] rescue.org (subject: Winter%20Welcome%20Donations) for more information or to ask specific questions!