Family in need will have a brighter Christmas, thanks to our community

Vel Smith (face to camera) and Bill Farnam unload gifts from the MSHH van.
Santa (played by John, a retired Lynnwood firefighter) visits with Travis and his mother.

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.)

Travis and his sister Jewell receive their membership to the Everett Children's Museum.
Santa with his MSHH helpers Smith, left, and Farnam.

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

3 Replies to “Family in need will have a brighter Christmas, thanks to our community”

  1. Now THIS is what the spirit of Christmas is all about! Bravo. Imagine what would happen if every neighborhood adopted one person or family in need. Hmmm….wouldn’t THAT be an “occupy” movement we could all stand behind????



  2. This is indeed the spirit of Christmas! Always makes our hearts warmer to serve others and honors God. Great job folks. Thanks Donor Closet for the loan of the van.




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