Christmas in March? Holly House holding sock and underwear drive

Mark, his mother and friend George at the Lynnwood Fred Meyer.
Mark, his mother and friend George at the Lynnwood Fred Meyer.

We’ve written in the past about Holly House, which each December provides holiday gifts and every-day essentials to 2,000 low-income children in 15 schools across the Edmonds School District. Holly House Executive Director Pam Martinez asked if we could share the following story:

Mark and his mother have been volunteering at Holly House for several years now. Mark’s mom is on the staff at Money Tree, one of Holly House’s sponsors. She wanted Mark to learn that there are children in the world that need our help and she wanted him to learn it at an early age.

Mark began the first year helping sort toys. He was amazed that there were children out there that might not get Christmas presents. Every year he came back and helped where ever he was needed. This year (December 2013) he brought one of his friends and they helped carry the family’s bags of gifts to their cars. The boys even helped a few families shop.

A couple of weeks later, Mark’s mom called Holly House and said Mark and his friends would like to get more involved during the year., and asked, “What could they do?” They had already decided to go through their clothes and toys and donated the gently used ones to the Holly House kids. But they wanted to help collect the new gifts and necessities the children receive from Holly House each year.

Last Sunday, March 16, Mark, his mom and two of Mark’s friends came to Fred Meyer on 196th Street Southwest in Lynnwood to help with a sock and underwear drive. The store had graciously allowed Holly House to put sock and underwear donation boxes at all three of their entrances.

I asked Mark why he wanted to do this, and he replied, “Because I want to help the kids and to feel good about myself.”

The boys did a tremendous job. They were so professional and appropriate and the customers were charmed by them. They collected a lot of socks and underwear and can hardly wait to do it again next Sunday, March 23. They encourage you to come and help them, or put new socks and underwear in the donation boxes. They will be there from 1-3 p.m.

Holly House’s goal is to collect 5,000 pairs of socks and 5,000 pairs of underwear for children (ages 6-17), so they can be distributed during the 2014 holiday gift giving program. Going to school without socks or underwear is a reality for many of the students served by Holly House; basic clothing necessities take a back seat when food and shelter are the priority.

The drop boxes will be at Fred Meyer (4615 196th St. S.W., Lynnwood) through March 29 and at Sparta’s Pizza (17630 Highway 99, Lynnwood) through April. You can also find year-round Holly House collection sites here.

Holly House donations go directly to families during a “shopping event” where pre-registered parents can pick up items for their family at no charge. You can learn more here.

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