December 2020 marked the 40thyear of Christmas House helping families in need from over 20 different cities in Snohomish County.
When COVID 19 hit our area in March, our Board starting reviewing our operations to see how we might revise our procedures and open safely in November. Unfortunately, after formulating and evaluating a variety of plans, our operation involved too many people and was just too big to meet state/county restrictions and safely open as usual at the Boys and Girls Club.
However, the Board was determined to find a way to get the toys to the kids and brighten the holiday season for families in need. Following review of a number of other options, we decided on a plan to partner with the local food banks and other organizations in Snohomish County. We contacted these agencies, coordinated orders, packed up the toys and sent them out to food banks and other agencies across the county, who distributed the toys to over 8,000 kids. This included 783 gifts for children in the Kids In Transition (KIT) Program. We also worked with our bike partner Sharing Wheels who provides us with reconditioned bikes for the kids each year. This year they agreed to have us send parents requesting bikes directly to them. They coordinated “requests” and distributed around 100 bikes from their location. This included new bikes that would normally be donated to us.
Once again, the citizens of Snohomish County and beyond met the challenge of helping their neighbors celebrate the holidays. Throughout the year, we applied for and received foundation donations and workplace donations. “Thank you” to the many individuals, local businesses and foundations for cash donations that exceeded $125,000 in 2020. Many people also generously donated toys, gifts and money to us via our donation sites operating around the county. In addition, individuals, families, clubs, churches and businesses all made contributions.
A very special “thank you” to our volunteer directors and County Snohomish Food banks and Sharing Wheels for all the help that allowed us to serve the needs of many families in December 2020. Together their goodwill touched the hearts of thousands of kids and helped them and their families have a Merry Christmas.
Christmas House is already preparing for 2021 and hopes that conditions will improve to a point that the state and county are able to adjust restrictions to allow us to return to our normal operation in 2021. With the continued support of our loyal donors and volunteers, we will continue to meet the challenges and needs of thousands of kids in our county.
Christmas House President