Coldwell Banker collecting pillows for those in need
When it's time to lay your head down at night, most people know there will be a pillow underneath them.
The Pillow Fight fundraiser at Coldwell Banker Burnet is working to make sure that is true for everyone.
Staff, clients, family, friends and community members are taking part in the annual fundraiser that collects donations to provide new pillows for those in need.
The donations, either of pillows or money, supports Bridging, a nonprofit that provides people transitioning out of homelessness and poverty with necessary items for their home like furniture and other household items. The nonprofit accepts a variety of donated items, and the need for pillows is high.
The fundraiser is a friendly competition between the offices in Coldwell Banker Burnet. Hudson is the smallest of those 22 offices, but has donated the most pillows several years in the eight-year history.
"We've really embraced it, and we win it a lot," Sara Nielsen said.
Nielsen has coordinated the fundraisers for the last eight years. This year she received some extra help from Sara Capecchi, who suggested hosting an open house March 9 to further involve the public in the fundraiser.
"It's a great way for the community to come together and support a great charity," Capecchi said.
The event will feature raffle items, treats and a chance to bring in new pillows, with a possibility of a pillow fight.
"We have been known to do that on the last day of the pillow fight," Nielsen said.
Capecchi was inspired to become more involved after a tour of one of the Bridging facilities, where individuals can shop the donated items to fill their homes. Seeing families come in full of excitement brought chills to Capecchi.
"It was just eye-opening to me," Capecchi said.
Bridging supports a variety of people in need, from families with small children to individuals.
"It's an amazing charity and they do so much good," Nielsen said. "We love it."
The fundraiser started small with 200 pillows the first year.
"That's nothing now," Nielsen said.
Throughout the fundraiser, Nielsen stores the pillows in her parents' garage. By the end, the garage is stuffed full. A semi-truck then comes to pick up all the donations from the Hudson branch before heading to Woodbury. In the past, the Hudson donations have filled the truck on its own.
"That's the best thing to me when people load up the truck," Nielsen said.
This year's goal is 3,500 pillows, though Nielsen said they might not make it this year. To motivate everyone more, Nielsen has promised to face one of her fears.
"I'm terrified of chickens," she said.
So if the Hudson office collects its 3,500 pillow goal, Nielsen will pet a chicken.
The office has come close in the past, raising 3,069 pillows.
"Every year we've increased steadily," Nielsen said. "This could be the year."
The company-wide goal this year is 14,000 pillows. Nielsen wants to once again be the office that collects the most of that goal.
"We want to win," Nielsen said.
"So we need the community's help," Capecchi added.
The open house will be from 9-11 a.m. Saturday, March 9 at the Coldwell Banker Burnet office at 1301 Coulee Road. The fundraiser runs through March 12.
Learn more about Bridging at https://www.bridging.org/.