Underprivileged schoolkids get community love

3:11 pm January 7th, 2014

There are so many nice things that people do for others during the holiday season. Here is one of those instances that warm the heart.
Ty and Samantha Wilbur of Whitewater Church, which serves the Frederickson and Spanaway areas, among others, learned about some homeless students at Frederickson Elementary School in the Bethel School District from the school’s counselor, Amy McKee. So the couple got their church involved to donate food, mittens, coats, socks, shoes, blankets and food for the children. Neighbor to neighbor, friend to friend, co-worker to co-worker, more than 1,000 items of clothing alone were donated.
The drive was so productive that it will help give homeless students some of the bare necessities well beyond the holidays. According to the school district, McKee sends food home every Friday with students who don’t have enough to eat over the weekend.
Frederickson isn’t the only school with students who need that kind of help. Wilbur, conveying a message through the district, noted that “every school has kids in need, and it’s very easy to do something. It makes a big difference in the kids’ lives.”
As do people like the Wilburs.

Mob mentality was a good one

Sometimes you can’t win for trying. But you keep trying, anyway. Just ask supporters of the Cash Mob Eatonville, a one-day event that was event held Dec. 7.
The Dispatch helped organize the shopping promotion as a way to encourage consumers to learn more about their local businesses and to shop locally. To encourage folks to leave their warm homes out on the sunny but bitterly cold Saturday, more than 30 merchants provided free gifts, and the newspaper provided a list of businesses that shoppers could walk to around town and – as merchants hoped – spend some money or at least like what they saw and recommend the store to others.
Some merchants complained later that they were visited by a low number of Cash Mob participants or none at all. And it’s true, nowhere near the number of shoppers who expressed interest in joining the “mob” actually did. But the idea was good, and we look forward to continuing to work with merchants on supporting their businesses.
As one store owner said in an online comment with, “I had about 10 people come in my store. We had so much fun. To me the idea was to share and get participants to see what our stores carry. THAT was a success. I hope we will do the cash mob again. Thank you again to the doers. The ones that keep trying to improve our businesses and our community.”

Pat Jenkins is editor of The Dispatch. He can be reached at and 360-8323-4697.

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