December 2019 marked the 39th year of Christmas House helping families in need from over 20 different cities in Snohomish County. Parents get to select free holiday gifts for their children at the “Christmas House” store.
In 2019, the store opened on December 5th for a three-week period. When the store finally closed on December 21st, 7,029 children from 2,380 families received 44,000 free gifts. This included children from around 200 homeless families.
Christmas House again was set up at the North Everett Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Club is truly a perfect facility to host Christmas House. Each morning at 6:30 am, we started handing out numbers to parents, 200 each day during the week and 300 on Saturdays. Anyone who was unable to wait in line for a number due to documented medical reasons was given an appointment. When their number was called, parents provided proof of Snohomish County residency, kids’ birth dates, custody, income and family size at our registration desk. Once registered, they were escorted through Christmas House by a volunteer.
Parents selected a large and small gift, book, stocking hat or scarf or warm gloves, stuffed animal and stocking stuffer for each child. On average, each child received about $60 worth of gifts. Parents were also invited to select an item from our family gifts.
Once again, the citizens of Snohomish County and beyond met the challenge of helping their neighbors celebrate the holidays. Thanks to many individuals, local businesses and foundations, cash donations exceeded $139,000. Throughout the year, we applied for and received foundation donations and workplace donations. People generously brought in toys, gifts and money to our donation sites. Individuals, families, clubs, churches and businesses all made significant contributions. Thanks to the generous donations, we were able to give away a total of 686 bicycles, skateboards, and tricycles.
A very special “thank you” for the help of our over 800 volunteers from Snohomish County and beyond. Without every one of them, we could not have met and served the needs of these families. Our volunteers were enthusiastic and warm hearted. Their goodwill touched the hearts of the thousands of people they assisted.
Christmas House is already preparing for 2020. With the continued support of our loyal donors and volunteers, we will continue to meet the challenges and needs of kids in our community.
Christmas House President