January 31, 1998 in Washington Voices

Christmas Sharing Program Was A Great Success

Barbara A. Olson
 

On behalf of the Spokane Valley Center Board of Directors I wish to thank the Valley community for its generous support of our 1997 Christmas Sharing Program.

Local churches, schools, business and service organizations, and families provided new gifts that allowed us to share Christmas with 404 households made up of 1,780 people. This was an increase from 1996 totals of 388 households made up of 1,640 people.

Each family received a household item, children’s gifts and stuffed animals, stocking stuffers, personal care items, fruit cake, and gift wrap service.

The community showed up to provide labor, too.

Over the course of two days, 562 hours were logged by youth and adult volunteers. Thanks to the Valley Foundation, the Bingo Hall turned out to be the perfect size to accommodate parking, set up, and even a volunteer break area - although there weren’t many folks who took a break!

Please allow me to tell you about some of the types of families that participated in our program:

A single mother, with two children in elementary school, chose building block-style toys because her children could use them to build so many things to use with their other toys. Her household gift was a new toaster.

A dad, coming in between two jobs while his wife was at home caring for their two very small boys, chose toys that were very educational, as well as interactive. He stated that he and his wife spend their time playing with their children rather than watching television. He was so happy to be able to select a set of dishes as the household gift saying, “My wife will really love these.”

A widowed senior came in and selected a new comforter. She hadn’t had a new one since before her husband died several years ago.

The mother of an immigrant family with several children chose a large set of glasses as a household gift. She selected very basic gifts for her children: old-fashioned baby dolls for her daughters, and books and building blocks for her sons.

We cannot thank the community enough for its continuous and generous support. Such support does much to assist us in our mission to provide basic life necessities to families in need while promoting and teaching skills to enhance self-reliance.

xxxx

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