Susan Sieveke's small donation bin gets big response from Brandenwood residents

A north Bellevue woman encouraged her apartment community to spare what they could for the homeless, with greater success than she imagined.

Susan Sieveke, who lives in the Brandenwood Senior Living apartments, read about the opening of the Eastside Men’s Shelter and Caleb Kim’s Eagle Scout project collecting clothes for the homeless in the Bellevue Reporter, she said. She decided to collect what clothes she could to help, so she set a box under the Christmas tree in a second-floor common room and made posters encouraging people to give their old clothes.

“On Sunday I brought 62 items to both of the homeless centers (The Eastside shelter and Kim’s collection point at Newport High School),” Sieveke said. “And then people kept giving and giving and giving.”

Sieveke returned from her donation run and found residents had put more clothes in the box. She donated those and it filled again. And again. At one point, when she had removed the box, clothes started appearing underneath the tree. One resident greeted Sieveke with a big bag of athletic socks. She returned to the shelter each morning to bring in the new donations.

“It was just so fulfilling,” she said.

The Eastside Winter Shelter for men is located at the International Paper building, 1899 120th Ave. NE in Bellevue.

The Winter Shelter for women and children is located at Redmond United Methodist Church at 16540 NE 80th St. in Redmond.


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