Port of Olympia and ILWU Partner to Help Nonprofit

By Karen Robes Meeks

The Port of Olympia and International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) Local 47 are teaming up with nonprofit The Moore Wright Group to help those affected by the COVID-19 health crisis by expanding warehousing and distribution of goods.

The Moore Wright Group works with major organizations and companies to garner donations such as hygiene items, toys, cleaning products and personal protective equipment, which will benefit first responders, seniors and tribes dealing with the pandemic.

The nonprofit was in need of additional space to store the influx of additional donations. The port responded by providing space and equipment to transport and store the donated goods, as well as facilitate receiving and distribution. ILWU Local 47 is donating manpower to receive and inventory the goods in addition to receive and package orders for pickup.

“Ports play a unique role in emergency response and disaster recovery,” said Port Executive Director Sam Gibboney. “We are proud to partner with our Local Longshore Union 47 and The Moore Wright Group to help aid our community during this unprecedented and trying time.”

This team approach is allowing the organization to serve more of the region, which include Thurston, Mason, Grays Harbor, King, Kitsap, Lewis, Pierce, Wahkiakum, Cowlitz, Pacific, and Clark counties.

“We see this as an opportunity to step out and serve Washington and our neighbors during this pandemic to give hope,” said The Moore Wright Group’s executive director Tanikka Watford Williams. “We were getting calls from companies with truckloads of items they wanted to send to us, and at the same time getting calls and emails from organizations needing more items than they ever did before. We know firsthand funding is tight and the need is great. This partnership with the Port of Olympia and the ILWU Local 47, allows us to accept every truckload and accept partnerships to help our communities to be able to thrive again and give hope.”

By Sarah Spangler