Federal Way woman lends hand to mudslide victims

Federal Way Tricia Ackerman is planning a two-day fundraiser on April 26-27 across nine Keller Williams offices, to collect donations for mudslide victims and volunteers. - Contributed photo
Federal Way Tricia Ackerman is planning a two-day fundraiser on April 26-27 across nine Keller Williams offices, to collect donations for mudslide victims and volunteers.
— image credit: Contributed photo

On March 22, all eyes were on Washington state.

As the single deadliest landslide in U.S. history tore through the town of Oso, destroying homes and taking lives, the rest of America watched in horror.

“To think of people who were on their way to work, or taking care of their children or grandchildren, they’re not here anymore,” said Tricia Ackerman, a Federal Way resident. “It’s very, very sad, it truly makes your heart hurt.”

But Ackerman, a Keller Williams realtor and lifelong volunteer, decided to take action.

With the assistance of nine Keller Williams offices from Olympia to Bellingham, Ackerman has organized a two-day fundraiser on April 26 and 27 to collect donations for mudslide victims and volunteers.

“I think that people who live in this state, particularly, have really been affected by the outpouring of ‘What can we do?’”

she said. “We’re all people, we live on a planet, and I think it’s really important to take care of each other.”

What started as a series of donation jars in her office and at the local 7-11, has turned into Ackerman’s vision for something much bigger.

The nine offices will function as drop-off centers for two days and then a moving company will come to each site to pick up items such as duct tape, socks, heavy-duty garbage bags, five-gallon plastic buckets, gloves, non-perishable food items and cash donations or gift cards, which Ackerman herself will help drive to Oso.

“I’m hoping that people will just come,“ she said. “And that they show their support like the people of Washington do.”

The event will take place  from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 26 and from 1-4 p.m. April 27. For those who cannot make it, donation items will be accepted beforehand at any of the participating Keller Williams offices: Federal Way, Bellingham, Olympia, Bothell, University Place, Marysville, Seattle, Burlington and Puyallup.

Larry McDowell, a lender in Federal Way, has volunteered his barbecuing services, even putting together a menu for the event.

“Any time that there is anybody in the community, whether it’s near or far, and they need help and I could do something to help them, if it’s time or money that I could provide, I will do that,” he said. “At this point, it’s time, and this is what I’m going to spend my time doing.”

With the outpouring of support, Ackerman says she feels like this event is a true 12th Man effort, making a nod to Seahawks fans in the area.

“To me it seems like that 12th Man is just who we are, that we can really step in and be a team all across Washington and be able to extend our arms around all the victims and families and volunteers that are going through what they are doing,” she said. “Washington is just really special that way.”

And while support will be needed for Oso long after the two-day fundraiser, Ackerman hopes this is one step in the right direction.

“This vision of mine was really just a seed that I planted in my mind,” Ackerman said. “I have no expectations, I don’t know what we will be able to get, how much we will be able to do, but whatever it is I will be most appreciative.”

More information

Keller Williams Federal Way office is located at 33434 Eighth Ave. S., #103.

Other Keller Williams locations that will participate in the fundraiser include:

• Olympia: 1217 Cooper Point Rd, SW #5

• Bellingham: 2211 Rimland Dr, #124

• Burlington: 120 E George Hopper Rd, #112

• Marysville: 1027 State Ave.

• Seattle: 1307 N 45th St, #300

• Puyallup: 1029 E Main St, Suite 211

• University Place: 7525 28th St W

• Bothell: 22614 Bothell Everett Hwy

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