Every year the Rotary Club of Edmonds provides gift giving trees to support the Snohomish County CASA (Court-Appointed Special Advocates for Children) and the Volunteer Guardian ad Litem Programs (VGAL). These programs provide court-appointed special advocates for children who are victims or alleged victims of sexual abuse, physical abuse, or neglect. This year, we had a herculean request of 285 requests to fulfill. Miraculously, we filled ALL requests!
With COVID, our main tree, previously situated at Harbor Square Athletic Club was in lockdown, so we had to rely on many new elves to help us: Chris Dufore and Jesse LaCasse and their crew and patrons of Gallaghers Where U-Brew; Dick Mergens and Shawn Dowling and their crew and patrons of Crucible Brewing in Everett; David Doane and his crew and clients of Axis Pharmacy of Mountlake Terrace, and my fellow Rotarians who greeted patrons at the Perrinville Sunday Market where Rotary had a small tree and had huge success with this program. We are well aware that many individuals took many mittens to fulfill all these requests.
Special thanks to: Sharalyn Ramm and Gary Burnett who became a virtual gift-giving tree and handed out 44 mittens. Generous Santa Armando Ortiz and Maji Stiffler who took more than 10 mittens each and gave fascinating and magical gifts. “COVID” lockdown Santas Lorri Mietzner, Pat Thorpe, and Karen Wiggens who donated more than $3,000 collectively allowing us to buy warm coats and clothes, toys, dolls, electronics, art supplies, and STEM items and more! “Secret” Santa Sandra Ferguson and her two special elves Selah and Zoe An who donated over 50 educational gifts, Frozen, Barbie and LOL dolls, and games and toys for varying age groups.
The generosity of everyone was overwhelming – proving that “we are all in this together.” Those 285 kids probably had glee on their faces and warmth in their hearts on Christmas Day. Everyone should feel delight in their hearts as once again, another successful year of giving – the year of the pandemic 2020.
Santa Jim Welsh, Santa’s helpers Diane Buckshnis, Sharalyn Ramm, Maggie Peterson, Carol Kinney, Brent Hagen, Libby Freese, CASA elves Joelle Kelly, Lindsay Cortes and all their elves