Parents line up overnight to shop at Christmas House
EVERETT - Moms and dads are coming to Everett’s Christmas House in hopes of providing a good Christmas for their children.
Parents from across Snohomish County are still lining up overnight hoping to shop at the nonprofit located at the Everett Boys & Girls Club.
Christmas House collects new toys throughout the year to give away each December.
Last Wednesday, Dec. 11, was the first day Christmas House didn’t have to turn anyone away, group vice president Jerry Thomas said. The nonprofit gives out 180 shopping vouchers on weekdays.
Alijah Evans wept as she picked out toys for her four children.
“We hadn’t planned a Christmas, just a tree,” Evans said.
Her family lost everything over the past two years while battling a series of medical issues. They lost all of their belongings before moving to Everett.
She carefully picked out electric razors for her daughters and a notepad.
“It’s been really hard,” Evans said. “This made it better.”
Nathan Chernobieff, a 27-year-old dad of three, has shopped at Christmas House the past few years because he hasn’t been able to work after a work accident.
He’ll be taking home a bigger bicycle for his growing son thanks to Christmas House. The group will be giving away more than 100 bikes this season.
There’s a story at every turn, Thomas said.
Hani, who came from Iraq 20 years ago, was able to find a new pink coat for his daughter. His family of four lives in Lynnwood.
Meanwhile, Irina, a mother of seven from Everett, picked out toys to supplement her family’s Christmas. “I’m glad to be here because it helps my family,” she said.
“For most people, this is Christmas,” volunteer Chad Kvangnes said.
Last year the nonprofit provided toys and clothing to 9,360 children from 3,345 Snohomish County families. More than 400 homeless children received toys and clothing.
The last shopping day is Monday, Dec. 21.
To shop, you must be a Snohomish County resident earning 150 percent below the federal poverty line, which for a family of three means earning less than $29,295 a year, or about $536.37 a week.
The nonprofit is 100 percent volunteer-run. To learn more, visit www.christmas-house.org.
As she carefully browsed the items inside Christmas House, Evans’ overwhelmed look gave way to a big smile.
“This is going to be the best Christmas ever,” she said.
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