Coast Guard holds Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children event

Coast Guard District 13 NewsSEATTLE — Volunteers flocked to Coast Guard Base Seattle to stuff stockings during the annual U.S. Coast Guard Family & Friends Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children event, that began at 10:00 a.m., Saturday.

Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children is an annual U.S. Coast Guard family and community friends effort to provide and deliver handmade holiday stockings filled with new gifts, useful essentials and cheer to homeless children, ages birth to 17-years, living in and out of shelters in the Puget Sound area. This years goal was set at 3,500 stockings.

Since 1996, Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children has been sewing, filling and delivering holiday stockings full of new small gifts and toys for homeless children in the Puget Sound area during the holidays.

Holiday Stockings was the brainchild of Ms. Jan Maxson, the wife of a member of the US Coast Guard. In 1994, Jan was moved to do something for the homeless children of New York during the holiday season, so she decided to provide them with handmade stockings filled with toys. That first year, a group of volunteers was able to donate 300 handmade stockings to children in shelters in Harlem, Lower Manhattan and Staten Island. In 1996, the Maxson family moved to Seattle and the Holiday Stockings project found a new home at the Coast Guard based in Seattle.

Today, the Holiday Stockings program is run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors that is comprised primarily wives of retired and active duty Coast Guard personal and friends. It is now called the Coast Guard Family and Friends Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children. Together, these women and over 600 volunteers have grown the organization into one that now serves nearly 3,400 homeless children living in 92 shelters including 700 homeless street youth per year. Over 25,000 stockings have been filled since 1996 and our service area runs from Everett to Tacoma and North Bend to Port Angeles.

Throughout the year, volunteers sew stockings for distribution to shelters in mid-December. Holiday Stockings provides each volunteer with a pattern and holiday fabric to ensure uniformity of shape and style. A simple stocking pattern is also available to volunteers wishing to use their own materials.

The Holiday Stockings organization depends upon the ongoing financial support of its donors to continue to bring magic, smiles, hope and joy to a homeless child during the Holiday season. For most of these children, one of our stockings is all they will receive for the holidays and our goal is to make it the very best gift possible.

For more information please go to the Holiday Stockings for Homeless Children website, here.

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