Present Times

What Local Nonprofits Have on Their Wish List This Year

Make room for all your neighbors on your holiday shopping list.

By Zoe Sayler November 10, 2022 Published in the Winter 2022 issue of Seattle Met

The products listed here were independently selected by a member of the editorial staff. Should you choose to purchase a product through a link on this page, we may receive an affiliate commission.

What do you get for someone who has everything? It’s a rhetorical gift-giving question, and we’re guilty of asking it ourselves. But a more pertinent question, one aligned with the charitable ideals of the holiday season, is this: What do you get for someone who doesn’t have enough? 

There’s nothing wrong with going all out for your loved ones. Just don’t forget your neighbors. Three local nonprofits share what’s on their wish lists this year.


This Central District–based nonprofit was founded in 1988 to provide birthday presents and school supplies for youth in foster care. Today, Treehouse fights for equity for foster kids throughout the state.

Down Jackets

Nonprofit wish lists fill with down coats each chilly season, and Treehouse could use them in spades—especially in those in-between toddler sizes. Make life easier on a tot-herding foster parent with the REI Co-op Reversible 650 Down Jacket ($50): Water-repellent recycled polyester takes turns with a happy little stain-forgiving tree print when confronted with a smear of pie (mud or pumpkin).

Portable Speakers

Nothing pairs better than teens and loud music—except, perhaps, their phones and a great Bluetooth speaker. This highly rated JBL Clip 4 Speaker ($80) provides boom for the buck and stands up well to spills and tumbles, while the carabiner-like namesake clip makes it eminently portable for outdoor adventures, or in case of a move. 

Skate Gear

Head to Alaska Junction’s By and By to nab a premade or customizable skateboard in an environment that’s more “airy boutique” than “teen garage party,” or punctuate your usual Bellevue Square visit with a trip to Zumiez—the shopping center staple first dropped in at Northgate Mall during skating’s 1970s golden age. Even littler kids can get in on the action with a mini board like the Santa Cruz Classic Dot Super Micro Sk8 ($110). 

Seattle Area Feline Rescue

Around 1,400 to 2,000 cats find their forever homes through this Shoreline-based no-kill shelter each year. 

Kitten Food

Pregnant and nursing mama cats and their quick-growing little ones wolf down nutrient-rich Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Dry Cat Food ($35) and Royal Canin Mother and Babycat Ultra-Soft Mousse ($65) faster than Seattle Area Feline Rescue can serve it up: “Our number one need is always kitten food,” says development and communications director Shelley Lawson. Buy from the nonprofit’s Amazon or Chewy wish list (which provides an updated look at their current needs) to get it shipped straight there. 

Hooded Cat Beds

Their viciousness with crinkle balls and laser pointers belies house cats’ natural status as both predator and prey—open spaces, especially in a brand-new environment, tend to freak them out. That’s where hooded cat beds, from Amazon Basics to cactus-shaped novelties to the colorful Mud Bay Felt Cat Cave Cat Bed ($50), come in. “Feeling warm and comfortable in their little cat cave” helps skittish rescues relax and show their true colors to potential adopters, per Lawson. 

Mary’s Place

Seattle’s preeminent nonprofit helps women and families experiencing homelessness, both through temporary shelter stays and transitions to permanent housing.

Cold Weather Clothing

Families often arrive at the shelter “with only the clothes they left with,” says Mary’s Place chief communications officer Linda Mitchell—from gloves to winter coats, it’s nearly impossible to have too much cold-weather gear. Outfit more people for your money with Costco’s Bula Unisex Merino Wool Blend Beanie Two-Pack ($18 full-price, but less if you buy in bulk).

Another great way to donate to Mary's Place: For every Ribbed Baby Alpaca Beanie ($95) purchased, local knitwear company Sskein sends another warm hat their way.

Twin-Size Blankets

Blankets are a crucial source of comfort on twin-size shelter beds, and families bring them along when they move to new housing. Longtime Seattle bedding business 45th Street Bedding makes linens to last a lifetime, and their Washable Wool Blanket ($210) provides breathable, allergy-friendly warmth. 

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