KATY WARNER Christmas Fund needs your help

What makes an enjoyable Christmas? Have you ever had to worry about anything beyond the question of whether or not you chose the right gifts for those important people in your lives? What if you didn’t have enough money to feed your family? What if you couldn’t give the children any present, much less the X-Box they requested or the latest Bratz doll that completes their collection?

We tend to think of all islanders as being well to do, quite capable of seeing to the needs of their families. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case. In spite of the money and the geographical magnificence of our region, this year, even more so than earlier years, finds some of our neighbors in a very bad way.

Can you help? Of course, every charity in the world is asking you for assistance, as they all know that the holidays often translate into more generosity. So how do you decide whom to share with? There are many worthy causes and many are right here among us. Perhaps if a bit more background on how our fund is disseminated you might be inspired to join our quest.

The format of the Christmas fund has remained the same over the past several years. Gift certificates to merchants were provided for children up to 18 years old; book certificates to Eagle Harbor Books for children up to 11; blanket sleepers for babies and toddlers; and then $20 per family member in food vouchers. One change during the last couple of years was to give each child a $20 gift certificate, regardless of age. This change was necessitated due to decreased fund totals.

All of the meetings between volunteers and those seeking assistance are done face-to-face and as privately and confidentially as possible.

Donated dollars are all used for this project. Nothing is culled out for other needs; no one receives any salary, stipend or even reimbursement for gas. All volunteers are very generous with their time and their own resources and everyone involved wants every penny to be realized by those who need it. You may rest easy knowing that every cent you give goes directly to those families.

Due to our late start this year, we have only one donor to thank this week. A donation of $500 came from a family name well known to old islanders. The donor has given generously every year to the Katy Warner Christmas Fund. This $500, added to last week’s sum of $900, gives us a total of $1,400. To give you an idea of how far behind we are, this time last year we had over $4,000.

My mother and I always tried to inject as much humor into our writing as we could, but I don’t see that I’ve managed any this week. Is it the fact that we are playing catch-up? Is it that I miss my co-author and her quirky sense of humor? Or is it the combination of the two, coupled with a very difficult year that has tested me beyond even the life threatening crash my husband and I suffered in 2005?

There must be something to be glad about. You may be able to tell that I watched the movie “Pollyanna” on television Sunday night. I have a brand new ankle, and that is certainly worthy of celebration. It works just fine, and once I have a knee replacement, I should be done with surgeries for a while. That is something to be very glad about.

My darling auntie is recovering after having had a stroke, and that is a very happy thought. My niece arrives tomorrow from Alaska with her lovely baby girl for another round of doctor appointments at Children’s Hospital. Children’s Hospital is a wonderful institution that makes us very glad that we are here and it is accessible.

Like many other families, we have our traumas and our blessings, but we still have much to share. So, though my humor may be a bit battered, my new bionic joints can propel me to my checkbook. I’m sending in my donation this week, and I’d like to challenge you to join me in supporting the Katy Warner Christmas Fund, one way of adding to the happiness of our community.

Please join us by choosing from the following donation 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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