Louie Gong and Eighth Generation Give the Gift of Warmth

As a way to give back to the community, Louie Gong and his company Eighth Generation set junior staffers on a task—figure out what to do with a bunch of wool blankets. What they did will melt your heart.

Just before Christmas, Louie Gong (Nooksack/Chinese/French/Scottish) gave a team of young staff members at Eighth Generation a stack of beautiful wool blankets. Since the Native-owned company has done so well this year—opening a store at Pike Place Market and launching a collaboration with Bethany Yellowtail—Gong wanted to give back. But, Gong wanted to let someone else make the decision on what to do with these blankets.

“One of the things I have realized is that I am the one making the decisions about how to give back; I’m having all the fun,” Gong says in the fourth video blog for Eighth Generation.

So, Gong left it up to the younger staffers, and what they decided to do with the blankets on a cold day just before Christmas will warm your heart.

Blankets from Louie Gong's Eighth Generation

Louie Gong's Eighth Generation gave some warmth to Seattle's homeless.

The video blog then follows the three staffers as they walk around Seattle meeting, greeting and giving the blankets to homeless folks they saw. And homelessness is a problem in Seattle, the city houses the third most homeless in the nation behind New York and Los Angeles.

“In 2015, we housed 6,700 people, but 6,900 people became homeless and another 600 people returned to our shelter system. In addition, an estimated 5,000 people cycle in and out of emergency shelters each year without specific attention given to address the factors that made them homeless in the first place,” Seattle Mayor Edward Murray said in a message about homelessness.

“We had a really great year with our company, so we thought we’d give back to the community… it was a really good learning experience seeing how people reacted to the gifts,” says Jorge, who provides studio support at Eighth Generation, and used to be an intern. “I love being able to do this kind of stuff with this company.”

“We’re here to dignify people,” says Kimberly, who is a past intern with the company and currently works on design support. “It’s really what we do at Eighth Generation, it’s what we represent. I’m so proud to work for a company that does that.”

“We didn’t do this to make ourselves feel good, we did this because it was the right thing to do,” pointed out Stephanie, who works at the Pike Place Market Store.

Watch the Eighth Generation staffers in action: