Posts Tagged ‘charity’

Elaine stood at the window with her tea,
and watched the man next door,
bearing an armload of groceries,
fumble on the doorstep for his key,
a shadow-man, in the December rain.

She spoke. “I wonder if our new neighbor has people.”
“People?” John murmured, looking over her shoulder.
“Yes, people,” said Elaine. “So he needn’t be alone
at Christmas. I hope he has friends, just as
Providence blesses us;
It hurts my heart, to think of a soul in pain.”

John said, “He likely has family, either here or there.
Maybe he’s Jewish, his grocery bag overflowing
With chocolate Macabees, and Gefiltefish.
In any case, though, just because he lives alone,
doesn’t mean, automatically, that he doesn’t have people,
people of his own.”

Elaine frowned. “I guess there’s no way to know,
Unless one were to ask him, strike up a conversation
along the sidewalk, some day when it isn’t raining.”
John frowned, then, “So, now, shall we invite to Christmas
Each stray dog that happens in from the rain?
What business of ours is it, really, anyway?”

John was not a cruel man at heart, but Elaine took it cruelly,
and whispered, “The common welfare was my business…
So said the ghost of Jacob Marley, one Christmas Eve.”
“Good God!” John exclaimed, “now you’re quoting Dickens to me.”
“This is real life, my dear. It isn’t a fairy tale, a fantasy.”

Her fingertip captured the tear on her cheek, before John could see.
“To be sure,” she said, and falling silent
She closed the curtain; and in time,
The man outside the foggy window pane….
The shadow man in the December rain….
Was completely forgotten.


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Project Santa, operated each holiday season for the last 29 years under the auspices of the Whatcom Co. Sheriff’s Dept. and other local agencies, urgently needs volunteer Elves to help with:

  • Donation collection and pickup
  • Picking/Boxing donations/gifts
  • Wrapping gifts
  • Delivery of gifts

More than 300 families and 1200 children are helped during the holiday season by Project Santa, and much remains to be done between now and delivery day, December 21st! Drop-in volunteers are needed, as well. All the information you need to volunteer may be found right here.

Project Santa Claus_

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A point I’ve made over and over again in this blog is that in order to simplify your Christmas, you have to do something. You have to make a concerted, positive effort to change those things that are making you miserable with each passing Christmas. In line with this is the “Christmas Pledge, set forth in Unplug the Christmas Machine , by Jo Robinson and Jean Coppock Staeheli. For your edification, I now reproduce the pledge in its original form, save for adding a sixth element of my own devising to the pledge.


Believing in the beauty and simplicity of Christmas, I commit myself to the following:

  1. To remember those people who truly need my gifts.
  2. To express my love for family and friends in more direct ways than presents.
  3. To rededicate myself to the spiritual growth of my family.
  4. To examine my holiday activities in light of the true spirit of Christmas.
  5. To initiate one act of peacemaking within my circle of family and friends.
  6. To endeavor, after each Christmas season, to carry something of the values of Christmas with me throughout the rest of the year.

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What: Traditional Thanksgiving dinner for Seniors.
Where: Five Columns Restaurant, 1301 E. Maple St, Bellingham, WA [map]
When: 12:00pm-2:00pm, Thanksgiving Day.
Please call 676-9900 for reservations.

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Traditional Thanksgiving meals for all.
Where: Good Burger, 5962 Guide Meridian, Bellingham, WA (Laurel District) [map]
When: 1:00pm-5:00pm Thanksgiving Day.

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Day-after-Thanksgiving potluck with live entertainment. Admission is free to those who bring a leftover Thanksgiving dish (or something made from leftovers, presumably). All others, $5.00 cover.
Where: Green Frog Cafe & Acoustic Tavern, 902 N. State St., Bellingham, WA [map]
8:00pm, Fri. November 28

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Day after Thanksgiving Dinner
Where: Church of the Assumption Gymnasium, 2116 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA [map]
When: 12:00pm-2:00pm, Friday, Nov. 28th

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Holiday Dinner
Where: Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, 1708 I St. [map]
When: 11:30am-1:30pm, Wed., November 26

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Thanksgiving Dinner w/live music.
Where: Old Town Cafe, 316 W. Holly St., Bellingham, WA [map]
When: 10:00am-3:00pm, Thanksgiving Day

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: “Salt on the Street”
Where: Louis Auto Glass parking lot, 1512 N. State St., Bellingham, WA [map]
When: 7:00pm- 10:00pm, Saturday, November 29

Brotherhood of Humankind

What: Thanksgiving Dinner
Where: United Church of Ferndale, 2034 Washington Ave., Ferndale, WA [map]
When: 12:00pm, Thanksgiving Day.

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“I hate holidays,” said Bachelor Bluff to me, with some little irritation, on a Christmas a few years ago. Then he paused an instant, after which he resumed: “I don’t mean to say that I hate to see people enjoying themselves. But I hate holidays, nevertheless, because to me they are always the saddest and dreariest days of the year. I shudder at the name of holiday. I dread the approach of one, and thank heaven when it is over. I pass through, on a holiday, the most horrible sensations, the bitterest feelings, the most oppressive melancholy; in fact, I am not myself at holiday-times.”

“Very strange,” I ventured to interpose….

Read more

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Toys for Tots Toy Drive for Children in Need, Whatcom County, Nov. 22-Dec. 18, 2008

What: Toys for Tots drive for new, unwrapped toys and cash donations to buy toys for children of families in need.

Where: Whatcom County Haggen locations; NW Hot Spring Spas; all Whatcom County Little Caesar’s Pizza locations; Whidbey Island Bank locations, and Quizno’s locations.

When: Now until Dec. 18  Haggen & NW Hot Spring Spa locations accepting toys and cash donations until Dec. 20 [via KGMI radio morning show, 11-21].

A concurrent Toys for Tots drive is taking place at Haggen locations in Stanwood, Arlington, Marysville and Lake Stevens until Dec. 20th. (read more)

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  • What: To help make a foster kid’s holiday wish come true, bring your gift of NEW, unwrapped toys and games to any Sleep Country location and it will be matched with a foster child in need!
  • Where: Bring toys to any Sleep Country store. There are over 40 locations throughout Western Washington, including Bellingham. [store locator] [Oregon locations]
  • When: Now until December 14. See Sleep Country’s official website for more information and holiday toy suggestions.

"I'm Father Christmas, and I approve this message."

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