There are music and food and parties and gifts. In America, this is truly the time for stress and strain on the body and the wallet.
It also is the time most of us receive the requests for donations from every organization we have ever thought about, as they have somehow captured our email addresses or phone numbers. But it also is the time many of us do give our time and treasure with others. The recipients range from the kids with the cards on the First Federal Christmas trees to the new car for the college-bound kid of your own.
Here are a few examples:
In November, the Port Ludlow Yacht Club (PLYC) Women’s Group held an event to raise funds for local organizations in need of support. Donations, raffles, silent and live auction items were generously donated. As a result, the group distributed $3,000 to three organizations.
One is the American Association of University Women, which funds the third-grade math tutoring program in Chimacum and Port Townsend public schools. AAUW members have partnered with the PLYC and others to volunteer their time to improve the students’ math competency using small-group activities and individualized computer instruction.
Another recipient is the Sunfield Farm and Waldorf School in Port Hadlock. In June, members of the women’s group toured the site to understand the educational approach of the school and its relationship to the biodynamic organic farm. They saw a clear demonstration of an education process that integrated play with farm responsibilities and connections to the land. Donated funds will be used to help support the children in their agricultural arts class.
The third recipient is the Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization (ECHHO), which started 20 years ago in Port Townsend. It works in partnership with volunteers and community organizations in Jefferson County to provide transportation, household tasks, social support and medical equipment so people may continue to live independently regardless of faith, age, ability or income.
Two essential elements of its community support are transportation and home services. Volunteers drive more than 6,000 miles a month in support of those services. The donations will enable the organization to continue to meet the needs of their growing mission.
We went to the Porsche Club Christmas Party at the Old Alcohol Plant in Port Hadlock. I participated in the silent auction by bidding on and buying some car care products. (BJ wants to know where I am going to store them.)
The club donates the proceeds from these activities each year to a selected charity; this year, the recipient is the YWCA Adopt-a-Family program in Kitsap County. The donation ensures six families, including eight children, will have Christmas presents and basic needs such as shoes and coats.
Many of you have donated to the Give Jefferson campaign supporting local charities. This money goes through United Good Neighbors to the charities to help them with their mission.
Unfortunately, this year’s campaign results are not as robust as in the past. Even though the options available for donating have multiplied in recent years, the fact is the donations have not kept pace, and the needs have not gone away. Please take a look at helping local organizations through the campaign. You can make a real impact on our community.
Fans of Star Trek know Leonard Nimoy’s observation, “The miracle is this — the more we share the more we have.”
Love a curmudgeon and Merry Christmas!