Annual Report

December 2016 marked the 36th year of Christmas House helping families in need from over 20 different cities in Snohomish County select free holiday gifts for their children at the “Christmas House” department store. In 2016, the store opened on December 3rd for a three-week period. When the store finally closed on December 17th, 7,946 children from 2,634 families received 46,426 free gifts. This included children from over 200 homeless families.

Once again, Christmas House was at the Everett Boys and Girls Club. The Boys and Girls Club is truly a perfect facility to host  Christmas House. Each morning at 7:00 am, numbers were distributed to the first 200 people to arrive. 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 presented pay stubs, birth certificates, and medical coupons along with other proof of income and family size at our registration desk. Once registered, they were escorted through Christmas House by our volunteer hosts and hostesses.

Parents were invited to select a large gift, small gift, book and stocking hat or scarf or warm gloves for each child. Younger children also received a stuffed animal and mini gift. 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 $119,000. 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 693 bicycles, skateboards, and tricycles.

A very special “thank you” for the help of all of our 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 2017. With the continued support of our loyal donors and volunteers, we will continue to meet the challenges and needs of kids in our community.

 

Sincerely,
Gregg Milne
Christmas House President