Kirkland businesses participate in a giving tree

Community members help families in need to ease the burden and financial stress that comes with gift giving.

This holiday season to ease the burden and financial stress that comes with gift-giving, local businesses are participating in a giving tree to make sure Attain Housing families receive presents and the basic necessities to be successful moving forward into the new year.

Attain Housing is a nonprofit organization that houses and supports homeless families in apartment homes in Kirkland and Bellevue. Case managers work with the families to get them back on their feet and out of poverty during times of crisis. According to Attain Housing, more than 30,000 people experience homelessness in King County each year and the No. 1 cause is lack of affordable housing. It is currently projected that a family of four needs an average income of more than $100,000 to afford housing on the Eastside.

Rob Scarber with Windermere Real Estate in Kirkland is participating in the giving tree. According to Scarber, there is a Christmas tree in their office with tags and written on it are generalizations of an Attain Housing client such as age, gender and the item they are hoping for.

Scarber said among the common items people ask for are work clothes, boots, presents for children and warm jackets.

This is the second year Scarber’s office has participated in the event and he is excited about a change of format. Instead of being limited to individual needs, people this year can also sponsor an entire family and pay for their housing for a night at Attain Housing for $40.

“Not to say gift-giving isn’t important, but families can have a roof over their head and a meal in their belly,” Scarber said.

He explained that luckily during the holidays, it’s not too tough to convince people to participate, but he hopes people continue to be generous this year.

Scarber said the giving tree is not limited to his office, but that community members can also come in and take a tag and support someone during the holiday season.

Carol Ryan, development director of Attain Housing said two other local Kirkland businesswomen, Susan Jones and Kitty Ballard, take another tack to supporting Attain Housing, writing appeal letters to people they know.

“They ask friends, family and clients they work with as real estate agents, to donate,” Ryan said. “Susan brought in nearly $5,000 in donations from her own and Kitty’s efforts.”

Last year Attain Housing provided 399 meals for 416 people and gave presents to 304 children and their family members.

Ways people can help

Ryan said people can adopt up to four families by fulfilling their wish lists. Purchased gifts for children need to be delivered to the Attain Housing office by Dec. 13. People can also donate groceries.

Individuals, companies, community organizations and congregations can support Attain Housing children and their families by donating at

Checks can also be mailed and made out to Attain Housing, 125 State St. S., Kirkland, WA 98033, Attn: Holiday Program.

To inquire about fulfilling a wish list for an Attain Housing family or for any questions about donating to the holiday program, contact Ryan at or call 425-576-9531, ext. 108.

To volunteer with Attain Housing visit

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