Editor's Note | Holiday toys 'badly' needed for gift rooms at Kirkland/Northshore Hopelink

As a mother of three teenagers, I dedicated an entire weekend for buying Christmas gifts this year.

It was no easy task.

I spent hours scanning clothing racks for the latest trend of ripped jeans and hoodies for my daughter at just the right price. I became an expert on all the latest video-game technology as I sorted through Xbox and PS3 games for my sons.

Like many parents, I didn't have the biggest budget to work with, but I made it through and got just enough presents to see my kids smile when they unwrap their gifts this Christmas. After all, making my kids happy is what it's all about.

There are many parents here in Kirkland who may not get this opportunity.

The Kirkland/Northshore Hopelink needs your help to stock its gift rooms with new toys and clothing this Christmas. In fact, these items are “badly needed,” says Kris Betker, spokesperson for Hopelink.

During Thanksgiving, the non-profit organization had a shortage of turkeys. About 30 turkeys were raffled off to the food bank's roughly 1,300 clients. Hundreds of families went without.

Increased demand for food bank items this year suggests that demand for the gift rooms will be up as well.

Donations are still being accepted at any of the five Hopelink centers in Kirkland/Northshore, Bellevue, Redmond, Shoreline and Carnation. The gift rooms will open for clients beginning Saturday, Dec. 18 through Dec. 23.

Last year, the gift rooms served 1,800 households – including about 6,000 kids.

New items of clothing are particularly needed this year, especially for pre-teens and older kids. New, unwrapped toys for all ages are also needed.

On Saturday, the gift rooms will open up to Hopelink parents for a real shopping experience. A volunteer personal shopper will help parents pick out holiday gifts for their children.

Each family will be given five points for each child in the family. A smaller toy is one point, or about $10; a larger toy can be as much as five points, or $50.

Please help local homeless and low-income families and children have a happier holiday season. Drop off new, unwrapped toys or clothing at the Kirkland/Northshore Hopelink during business hours, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday. The center is located at 11011 120th Ave. N.E., Kirkland. For information, call 425-889-7880.

You may also donate money via telephone or e-mail. For more information, call Jason Puz at 425-869-7835 or e-mail him at jpuz@hope-link.org.

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