It's still not too late to light up a child's face | Katy Warner Christmas Fund | Jan. 1

We hosted a Boxing Day luncheon for my husband’s side of the family, and the kids had time to explore the same area I played in as a child.

I can remember epic games of war and fort building. The children playing here found plenty to do, with a big yard and lots of energy.

So, how does this tie into our collection efforts for the Katy Warner Christmas Fund? It got me thinking about how much fun we had as kids with the smallest of things, the oddest of opportunities.

The year I received an entire set of Chatty Cathy doll furniture, the biggest hit was the huge cardboard box. What about kids that don’t even have the box to play with? Who don’t have a big yard with many opportunities? What if they live too far from the park and their parents can’t afford the gas if they could spare the time?

Couldn’t we at least come together and buy them a book or something?

I have a quotation from the leader of our band of elves, which was meant as a rallying cry, but I think is a good thing to share with you.

“It is heart-warming and heart-breaking to see tears in a laborer’s eyes when I tell him he can pick out a sleeper for his 4-month old son, or the pain on a young mom’s face as she tells me she’ll repay me as soon as she is able...”

These are the faces and the situations we are trying to address with your help.

There should be no reason for a baby on this island to go without warm pajamas. Why should a young mother have to worry about “paying back” what many of us can afford to share? Big or small, each dollar helps.

The Lockheed Martin Employees Foundation has sent in a donation of $250.

There was also a check in the amount of $500 from Bainbridge Disposal, and included a wonderful Christmas card photo of a fleet of disposal trucks with Mount Rainier looming in the background.

At the American Marine Bank collection site, we have $70 from a well-known island family and $500 from another island family, leaving no notes for me to draw from, but getting my appreciation nonetheless. There was also an anonymous cash gift of $20.

We received a note from a neighbor up the street, in which we found several checks totaling $135 for the Katy Warner Christmas Fund, as well as one check for $250 for the Helpline House.

The note says the donations are from a “bunch of hens who gathered to ‘pick a little, talk a little.” I love the reference to The Music Man and to the donor’s conversations with my mother.

Mrs. Brown’s kindergarten class sent in an additional $5, which bumps their total up to $149.97. That represents a lot of extra chores!

A note came along with a $100 donation, saying “from friends of Katy Warner’s daughter.” That doesn’t narrow the field much, does it?

We received a Christmas card from the Fort Ward area that has two black cats looking into a glowing fire, one cat with white tipped ears and tail. The card accompanied $100.

Another regular donor sent in $50, along with a note saying, “In memory of Dr. Sinny Wilt, who brought me into this world.”

I pass along thanks to another couple, also regular donors, who sent in $100 and a bright yellow sticky note thanking me.

There is a bright and colorful Christmas card with $50 and the notation “peace to our friends and neighbors.”

My accounting sheet notes a $50 check from a Bainbridge woman, but gives no hints or material to work with, so I’ll just say thanks.

We’ll wrap up this week’s donations with $100 from a family friend, also a good friend to the island, who writes “with happy and fond memories of Joan and Sinny.”

The fund total is now $9,364.97, but it is not too late to take part in this year’s drive.

Please join us by donating at any of the following official locations: American Marine Bank in Winslow; The Bainbridge Review office at Sound Publishing on Day Road; Walt’s Lynwood Market; or, by mail to The Katy Warner Christmas Fund, PO Box 10354, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110. Thank you!

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