From Christmas Presents to the Giving Tree

Christmas joy has been in the capable hands of Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis, dating back to the misty beginnings of the early 1940s.

What began as “Christmas Presents” for Valley children is now called “The Giving Tree,” As with all good old-growth trees, it has many branches that make it strong.

“Giving presents to parents who may need a hand really brings a great deal of joy to everyone involved,” says Nancy Jones, volunteer with Kiwanis. “The community can take pride in their generosity to the Giving Tree each year.”

An example of the many toys collected by the Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis with the help of MSHS Key Club volunteers and the generosity of the Valley community.

Each year, a large, sturdy branch of The Giving Tree are the students from Mount Si’s Key Club who volunteer to prepare the tags for each of the over 30 Giving Trees set up in businesses throughout the Valley from November to early December each year.

Volunteers gather the donated gifts. The Casino once again generously donated their ballroom for the setup and distribution of the gifts. Parents signed up for a shopping appointment with school counselors, at food banks, and via email.

Jones shared a heartwarming moment from last year’s Giving Tree. “Christmas was just a few days away, and it’s the final night for gift shopping. A single Dad came in for his appointment. You could tell right away; he’s feeling a little anxious. We get to talking, and he tells me he has three children at home, but money is tighter this year. So right away, we get him set up for shopping. You could just see his eyes light up when he was able to find three new bikes for his kids. It was just a delight to be able to help him and to help so many other Moms and Dads.”

Even the Grinch’s heart would swell with pride and gratefulness for the hundreds of people who buy gifts to give away, who set up the Giving Trees in local businesses, who create tags for each tree, who pick up the gifts, and who coordinate the myriad of details so parents can have a nice shopping experience.

There is joy in the Valley each year, and part of that joy is from hundreds of volunteers. Joy in the giving and joy in the receiving. Share in the joy by joining Snoqualmie Valley Kiwanis at http://snoqualmievalleykiwanis.weebly.com. Your heart may just grow three times this year.

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