Thanks to the generosity of our respective communities, My Edmonds News and Lynnwood Today on Thursday were able to deliver Christmas toys, clothes, household supplies and even mattresses to a deserving but struggling family.
The family — a mother, a 7-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl — was identified through Clothes For Kids, a Lynnwood-based non-profit that provides school wardrobes to children in need. Mike Murphy, publisher of Lynnwood Today, found a Santa to ride along with us and Bill Brayer of MS Helping Hands graciously supplied the MSHH van and two of his volunteers — Vel Smith and Bill Farnam — to assist in transporting the mattresses. (The family had been sleeping on foam mattresses on the floor.)
Clothes for Kids told us the family had been homeless for a few years, living in motels and even in their car. They were recently placed into Section 8 housing, and the children attend a local elementary school.
As we knocked on the door and entered the apartment Thursday afternoon, the 7-year-old boy — Travis — grew wide-eyed at the sight of Santa and immediately gave him a big hug, while his older sister Jewell watched shyly from a distance. The mother was overwhelmed with emotion as we brought in armfuls of packages, most of which had been donated by area residents and businesses. (Mike and I did purchase some items to ensure that all the family’s needs were covered.)
Mike then presented the mother with donated gift cards to grocery stores and a year’s membership to the Everett Children’s Museum.
“I didn’t know there was going to be so much,” the mother said softly, as she shook both of our hands. “Thank you.”
A list of all those who donated to our adopted family will be published on Friday.
— Story by Teresa Wippel, Publisher