This season, the majority of Island merchants and city agencies have had special drives or events to benefit others. The Reporter has already run mentions of many.
Add Cellar 46, which catered a parents’ night out Dec. 14, when kids could play games, see movies and meet “a real live Marine” while parents sampled free appetizers. Admission was a new unwrapped toy. Starbucks sponsored its Angel Club — patrons join by bringing a new toy or book for the needy. Coldwell Banker Bain gathered record numbers of Toys for Tots.
Bobette Scheid, president of Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children, finished filling 2,413 homemade stockings for homeless kids last week. The undertaking required finding enough gifts to fill stockings for all ages, seeing that enough stockings were sewn, garnering enough volunteers and coordinating with the shelters to ensure stockings were filled according to age and gender, and then delivered.
Mercer Island High School students Erin Gibson, Matthew Grohnke, Krista and Carl Garrett, and Mercer Island residents Jane Sullivan, Dixie Swedstedt, Kevin Scheid, Jo Schonecker, Wendy Weamer, Peter Cook, Ann Gibson, Sally and Jeff Garrett helped fill and deliver the stockings.
Islander Middle Schoolers, led by 60 students in Monica Phillips’ leadership class, raised $1,250 from a schoolwide bake sale to benefit Morningsong Early Learning Center for homeless children ages 1-5. MI Rotary matched their effort, providing enough money for students to buy a book (discounted at Island Books), two educational toys, one outfit and other necessities for each of 30 children.
“IMS responded with such enthusiasm,” said teacher Phillips. “The objective is to develop empathy among the students, and this project really did. As much as the gifts, the center needed us to interact with the tiny children, who leave their center each day to go to shelters, cars, friends’ couches or transitional housing. More than 600 children are homeless in King County.”
Eight IMS leadership students, who delivered the packages last Monday, read and played games with the tots. A video of the entire experience will be shown at IMS today.
A highlight of the season for MI Florist owner Diane Larson and her elves was decorating a local woman’s crutches for her party-going.
“We wrapped them in satin gold ribbons and braids, hung bells, French horns, greenery and bows on them,” said Larson. “They were passed around and oohed over so much that the customer had to bring them back to be refreshed for her next event!”
If you’re not occupied next Tuesday morning (Christmas), join a group of Mercer Islanders taking homemade soup, pizza baked in the MI Presbyterian Church ovens and drinks to street people who gather at Pioneer Square. The tailgate feed is at 11 a.m. — and it’s over within 20-30 minutes! Contact is Glo Ceteznik, MI Presbyterian Church, 232-5595.