Genavieve Scott took the call as the head cashier that shift. It was early February and the first snowflakes of what would become a historic blizzard, had just started to fall. Genavieve said she will never forget the woman on the other end of the line.
“I could hear the desperation in her voice,” Genavieve remembered. “She was trying to solve the problem.”
The person on the phone was a Seattle-area resident named Chris Huish. She and a coworker, Rob Biddix, were concerned for the homeless with the approaching storm. As employees of Kitsap Legal Service providing aid to those in need, they understood there are sections of the population often overlooked in times of crisis.
They went to the Kitsap Rescue Mission and asked Program Director Nathan Sylling what he needed.
“We ran out of gloves,” Nathan said. “I had already given my gloves to someone and Rob, right there, took his gloves off and gave them to me. They said they’d come back with more.”
Chris had recently been to the Lowe’s store in Bremerton, Washington to purchase gloves for her children.
“I called the store and got on the phone with Genavieve. Told her there was a critical and urgent need. The snow was starting to fall so the window was closing on getting something to the rescue mission,” Chris said.
The store was already full of customers rushing in to prepare for the storm. Shovels, ice melt, and similar items were all sold out. The store was waiting to see if it needed to close early.
But Genavieve put the call on hold to talk to management. She already knew what the answer would be.
“The community needs us. This is a need that we can fill. They said let’s go for it.”
And with that, Genavieve told Chris to come to the store. She hung up, grabbed a cart, and filled it with $500 worth of gloves.
“We chose waterproof gloves. Best value and most protection for these vulnerable folks.”
Chris and Rob showed up as the snow began to fall. They loaded all the gloves up and drove straight to Nathan at the Kitsap Rescue Mission. They got home right as the town shut down for the blizzard.
Chris said she still chokes up when she thinks about it.
“Genavieve could have told me they were closing the store, there’s nothing they could do, anything like that. But she didn’t. She was a person,” Chris said. “And it’s so important to people in community to lend a hand.”
And also to keep those hands warm.