EVERETT — People sometimes come into the emergency room in clothing that is damaged or destroyed.
At Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, staff and volunteers quietly keep a closet stocked with items they can provide patients. The resource comes in handy several times a day.
“You’re attending to a basic human need that many of us take for granted, that we have clean clothing every day and we’re going to be warm,” said Julie Zarn, the nursing director.
A company based in New York has become a major sponsor. Bombas, which makes socks, donates a pair to charity for each purchase. It sent 144 of those pairs to Everett’s hospital last year and recently committed to another 1,000.
The emergency room on Colby Avenue sees about 92,000 patients a year, Zarn said. The closet also serves other parts of the hospital, which totals 530 beds.
The idea goes back years and started as a homegrown effort, Zarn said. Then, in the way of so many good intentions, it got unwieldy, and they had to set some guidelines.
Now, only new items are accepted, mostly underwear, socks, pants, shirts, jackets and toiletries. The program has drawn support from the Providence General Foundation, among other organizations.
Zarn knew about Bombas because she buys them for her children, “who are now adults, but I’m a nerdy Mom,” she said.
Her kids “are wonderful people who are very socially conscious,” she said.
She applied online and learned six months later that the hospital had been selected. In her pitch, she mentioned that emergency room needs have grown here and nationally, due to a “lack of resources for housing and mental health,” especially for men.
Bombas looks for organizations to receive socks that can “make sure they get to the right feet,” said Samuel Ravetz, who manages the company’s donations.
“There are so many good socks that go around and so many good people who take them,” he said.
Other area recipients have included Cocoon House in Everett and Eastside Baby Corner in Issaquah.
Those interested in donating should contact the Providence General Foundation: washington.providence.org/donate, 425-258-7500.
For volunteering opportunities: www.providence.org/VolunteerEverett or 425-261-4580.