The Christmas hat | Federal Way Rotary Club

A member of the Rotary Club of Federal Way helps a child find clothing during the club
A member of the Rotary Club of Federal Way helps a child find clothing during the club's recent annual event. This year, the club helped 45 children.
— image credit: Courtesy of Byron Hiller

“May I have that hat?” asked the little boy.

The hat was a Captain America hat, the only one left on the shelf.

This was not a practical hat that would keep his head warm on a chilly day. This was not a stylish hat, unless you were a small boy. However, it was the hat he wanted and his helper said yes.

There was no price tag or bar code on this particular hat so the child and the Federal Way Rotarian helper patiently waited at the register for 15 minutes while the clerk tried to find a price.

During the wait, the Rotarian struck up a conversation with the next person in line and explained the event and why the Rotary Club of Federal Way does this each year. The Rotarian was excited because 45 children were able to shop that day, up from just 15 a couple of years ago.

Each child is assigned a Rotarian helper who has $150 to spend towards needed clothing with a few dollars left for a toy and maybe, just this time, a hat.

The clerk came back with a price and the Rotarian and the boy left the check stand. Meeting up with child’s parent, the boy reached into his bag to find the hat, which he was exited to show to his mom. The hat was nowhere to be found. Frantically, he searched through the sack and cart. Then they raced back to the checkout area to search for the hat with no luck.

This was the last Captain America hat left in the store and the child was heartbroken. Out they walked into the store’s parking lot.

Just a few feet away, a man was scanning the cars and looking for the child. He was the person they met in line and somehow the hat got into his bag.

The young man had his hat and was filled with joy.

The Federal Way Rotary Club has been taking the neediest and deserving children from Federal Way shopping each year since 1996. This year, Walmart in north Federal Way was the generous host of the event. The store manager provided treats and Santa for the event.

Federal Way Public Schools helped select the children for this year’s shopping event. The children who were selected came from families that had little or nothing to provide their children for Christmas.

For more information about this event or other projects that this club facilitates year round, contact Byron Hiller at (206) 718-2715.


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