Christmas looks better for needy


The Mirror

People like the Cub Scouts in Den 1 of Pack 313 have helped make the season bright for some Federal Way folks who need a hand.

After looking last week like the annual Giving Tree at The Commons at Federal Way might not attract enough donations of toys, clothes and other gifts, a late surge produced the amount organizers were hoping for during this week’s three-day distribution.

“I think we’ll be okay,” said Jane Fitch, one of the Giving Tree volunteers, as she quickly ate dinner Monday before dashing off to the mall for the final night of accepting donations.

She said the pace of donations “picked up over the weekend,” with barrels filling up faster than they had earlier in the week.

Heading into Saturday and Sunday, donations had been reported down.

As many as 1,000 families have signed up to receive donated gifts through Multi-Service Center, the Federal Way-based social services agency whose clients are eligible for the program.

Laura Gyalog, leader of a 10-boy group of Cub Scouts in Pack 313, said she heard of the donation shortage from a friend who read about the situation in The Mirror last Saturday.

“We thought it would be a nice thing for the community if our Cubs could help out,” Gyalog said, referring to about $200 worth of toys that the group purchased with proceeds from the youngsters’ recent sale of baked goods made by their mothers.

The Scouts, accompanied by Gyalog, took the wooden blocks, toy cars, Barbie dolls, stuffed toys and other items to the Giving Tree Monday night.

Those and other donated gifts will wind up at Christmas House, the name of a room at Steel Lake Presbyterian Church where parents registered through Multi-Service Center can select presents for their children. The “shopping” began Monday and ends today, Fitch said.

The Giving Tree, occupying a prominent spot inside the mall, was decorated with tags describing gift items that a needy child or family could use. Shoppers were invited to pick a tag, buy the item and return it to volunteers at the tree.

Editor Pat Jenkins: 925-5565,

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