Well here we are again, the end of another “holiday season” and the end to another year. We made it! The Chewelah Tree of Sharing was another success and plans are already underway for 2013.
By the numbers, this year we had a few less sign ups [you can interpret that as you wish, we think it’s a good sign for the area’s economic needs!]. Last year  we had 189 kids signed up. This year  we had 157. Remember, each child receives an anonymous tag #, so when families have more then one child signed up, the family gets multiple tags. Therefore, the number of families was also lower this year. [We don’t count “families”, we only count individual sign ups.]
Donations were slightly down this year. We are fairly sure this is due to the fact that we were not able to get the ‘business donor’ letters out. [The letter we give to area business seeking their support.] Despite that failure on our part, we did have some businesses donate [our biggest business donors from last year, came through again! Thanks!] as well as some private individuals. Last year, we set a precedence of posting the business names [NOT the amount donated] on our website: www.TheCYCFoundation.org as a free thank you/advertisement. The listings will remain up for 1 year. All told, we had around $1,000 [down only a few hundred dollars from last year].
We started sign ups early this year, about the 2nd week in October! As last year, we had sign ups at The Chewelah Independent office [our main location] and The Lost But Found Thrift Store [secondary location]. Sign ups went fairly steady, and our logic, of early sign ups would lead to less ‘last minute’ phone call sign ups, worked! [Believe us, the less last minute phone calls make it all much easier on us!]
In early November, we received a phone call from the new office manager at the North East WA Health Clinic [behind the Hospital] expressing their desire to help with Chewelah Tree of Sharing. It was decided that they would host a secondary tag tree at their office. This was a great addition, as they are open on Thursday’s and Saturday’s when The Independent is not. Our main tree stayed [and will stay] at The Chewelah Independent office. This is the large 6′ tree that holds tons of tags. The old 3 ½’ tree went to the clinic. We had enough tags taken from the clinic to make it worth the effort!
As in year’s past, presents wound up being dropped off at The Independent. While we prefer the presents to be dropped off at Abundant Life Fellowship [our “base of operations”] we appreciate the overwhelming willingness of Jared & Andrea [and their staff] to have presents dropped there!
Last year, we tried to streamline sorting the presents and decided to distribute them from the church basement [where we hold Game Nite]. It is much more spacious and comfortable then the prayer room used to store presents leading up to distribution. While this worked well, we look to improve next year’s process!
There were some snags this year. A few presents never made it back to us. Some tags were doubled [as in the donor lost their tag, then assigned it a wrong number] but thanks to our elves, we cleared most all of the problems up!
We had hoped to be able to distribute blankets and coats this year, sadly that did not pan out. We had none donated. Hopefully, we can rally support for this goal in 2013. We’d love to have blankets and coats on hand just as we do gloves and hats. We can collect them all year round. We have the storage space thanks to Abundant Life Fellowship!
As we have over the last few years, we had winter hats both handmade and bought. We had about 200 pairs of gloves also. [We aim to be able to provide hats and gloves to each and every family member, so we were a few pairs of gloves shy but it was alright.].
That about wraps it up for this years report. As always, we appreciate the generosity of all our donors and supporters! Too many to name [and I always fear I’ll leave someone out] but you know who you are! Thank you so much!
If you have questions, suggestions, comments regarding Chewelah Tree of Sharing, feel free to email us at TheCYCFoundation@gmail.com and include Chewelah Tree of Sharing in the subject. To be added to our new monthly email newsletter, email us with Newsletter in the subject. Don’t forget we are open now two nights a week for Game Nite [purposefully misspelled for effect.] on Wednesday’s from 3-6 and Fridays 3:30-9 [New Extended Hours for 2013]
Thank you to our wonderful community for all of your support!
By Jason Marin andthe CYC Foundation Team