UPDATE DEC. 16: ASB collected a total of 162 Christmas stockings filled with needed items for homeless people in Portland. West Linn students and teachers donated toiletries and other requested items that will be handed out at 9 a.m. on Sat. Dec. 17 in Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Hats, gloves, toothpaste and even a deck of cards; these are all things we may take for granted, but these are just some of the basics that Operation Christmas Stocking collects to hand out to homeless people in Portland. This holiday season, the Associated Student Body and leadership are spearheading the second annual Operation Christmas Stocking drive at West Linn.
“We had about 200 stockings last year, plus the extra supplies that did not go into the stockings but were donated to charity,” Butch Self, ASB adviser, said.
Operation Christmas Stocking is organized by a family in Oregon City that started the Christian organization called Eternal Impact. Katie Boettcher, Jessica Hodgen and Tabitha Pitzer, sophomores, went around to churches and businesses in West Linn handing out stockings. There is also a donation box at the Starbucks in Safeway.
Self likes the project, citing its impact and how it encapsulates the holiday spirit of giving.
“We chose to do this project again because it is more meaningful than projects we’ve done in the past,” Self said.
There is a Christmas stocking in each teacher’s classroom to which students can donate to those in need by Thursday, December 15. A list of needed items is found at the end of this article. The stockings will be handed out to the homeless near Pioneer Square on Dec. 17.
“A few kids from ASB and Leadership will be handing out stockings and anyone who wants to come with us is welcome,” Boettcher said.
The Christmas stockings will have “an encouraging Christmas card with a Gospel message and a voucher for the rescue mission,” that is added by Eternal Impact before distribution according to Boettcher. The messages are placed in all the stockings donated to Operation Christmas Stocking, including the ones donated by the school.
Operation Christmas Stocking is a way students can give to others this holiday season and Self has even higher hopes for the future of the project.
“My personal goal is to eventually have a stocking for each student,” he said.
Operation Christmas Stocking items needed:
Wet Wipes (travel sized)
Hand Sanitizer (ALCOHOL FREE)
Deck of Cards
Non- perishable Food Item (Granola Bars, raisins, dried fruit snacks, peanuts, etc.)