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Spread holiday cheer to Valley families

There will be some families in the Valley, however, who will be

consumed with other things such as paying the bills and wondering if they

will be able to provide a Christmas gift for their child.

That's why many organizations in the Valley are hosting food, money

and toy drives to help alleviate the pressures for families this holiday season.

One of the families who have been "adopted" by several local groups

is that of Duvall's Craig Stephens, 36. Last March Stephens

accidentally crushed his right hand, leaving him unable to continue working as a

mechanic for Boeing Co. He has been through several restoration

attempts, but doctors have been unsuccessful.

Now, Stephens — who uses braces, casts and medications to

dull the constant pain — is hoping that his appointment next week with a

leading hand specialist might bring healing to his disfigured extremity.

In the meantime, the family's debt has been growing and Stephens

wonders how he'll provide for his two sons who are 8 and 10 years old. He

said that the children need warm clothes for the winter, (shirts: size 12 and

10; pants: 12 and 8 regular; shoes: 3 1/2 and 4 1/2) and paper goods are

always needed since Stephens can't wash dishes.

"I used to contribute [for Boeing families] for Thanksgiving and

Christmas, but I never thought it would be me," Stephens said. "I can't

believe how much help just the local churches have done … I didn't know there

were so many people out there willing to help.

"I hope I can get back to work and help other people out," he added.

Holy Innocents Catholic Church in Duvall is one of the

organizations helping the family during this

difficult time. They are accepting monetary donations (include Craig

Stephens' name on the check) which can be mailed to 26632 N.E. Stella

St., Duvall, WA 98019.

The church and St. Vincent De Paul conference assists about

100 other families in the Valley, as well. They supply everything from

rent money to food and gasoline coupons for families in need, said

Bob Simpson, president of the St. Vincent De Paul conference.

Want to help? The following Valley organizations need your

assistance during Thanksgiving and Christmas:

Carnation Bible Church

Carnation

(425) 333-6436

Accepts non-perishable food and care packets (plastic bags filled

with personal care items) to be donated to the Union Gospel Mission in Seattle.

CenturyTel's Toys for Tots

North Bend

(425) 888-5489

Accepts new toys or monetary donations for the U.S. Marine

Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Program. Donations can be dropped off at the

North Bend office, 131 Second St., through Dec. 22.

Children's Services of Sno-Valley

North Bend

(425) 888-2777

Accepts monetary donations and gift certificates from local

businesses. CSSV is also collecting Thanksgiving food baskets stocked with all the

fixings for a dinner and gift certificates for perishable items through Nov.

22. Cash and gift certificates for Christmas will be distributed to parents

so that they can choose gifts for their children. The last day to turn in

Christmas donations is Dec. 15. People can also drop off donations at CSSV

of Duvall, 15904 Main St.. Please call (425) 788-7924 for business

hours. Duvall's deadlines are Nov. 18 for Thanksgiving baskets and Dec. 10

for Christmas donations.

The Christmas Club

P.O. Box 1087

North Bend

(425) 888-2732

Accepts non-perishable foods, new socks, toys, gifts and

monetary donations until Dec. 17. The group is also needs volunteers and names

of families in need.

Duvall and Carnation Thanksgiving Dinner

Holy Innocents Catholic Church

Duvall

(425) 788-1400

This year, families will be given the choice of having a meal

delivered to them, a dinner at a restaurant or a basket of food for Thanksgiving.

Accepts stuffing, canned goods, monetary donations, pies and gift

certificates. Donations can be mailed or dropped off at 26632 N.E. Stella

St., Duvall.

Duvall Methodist Church

Duvall

(425) 788-1010

Accepts monetary donations and canned food to be placed in

Thanksgiving gift baskets for families in need. During Christmas, the church

accepts food, clothing, gifts and cash. Donations can be dropped off at the

church at 15520 Main Street in Duvall.

Make a Difference Day

Cherry Valley PTA

Duvall

(425) 788-0801

Accepts coats, holiday food baskets, gift certificates, monetary

donations and gifts for several families in need.

Mount Si Helping Hands

North Bend Community Church

North Bend

(425) 888-2711

From now until Nov. 21, the church is collecting

non-perishable food to be donated to families for

a Thanksgiving meal. They are also accepting non-perishable food,

gifts, toys and monetary donations for Christmas. Cash donations can

be mailed to 42934 S.E. 173rd St., North Bend, WA 98045.

Operation Santa Claus

King County Sheriff's Office North Bend Substation and

North Bend Washington State Patrol

North Bend

(425) 888-4433

Accepts non-perishable food and new, wrapped toys marked with

age and sex of child. Items can be dropped off at the new North Bend

Substation, 1550 Boalch Ave. N.W., after Nov. 22. Cash donations are being accepted

at the North Bend Bank of America under the name Operation Santa Claus.

Snoqualmie Tribe

Fall City

(425) 222-6900

4609 Preston-Fall City Road S.E.

Accepts canned goods, toys for Christmas, monetary

donations, clothes and blankets that are distributed to families throughout the

Valley. There will also be several giving trees around the Valley. Call the office

for locations.

Sno-Valley Multi-Service Center

Carnation

(425) 333-4163

Accepts non-perishable food, new toys, gifts and clothing, and cash

donations. There will also be "Giving Trees" throughout the Valley

between the last week of November and Dec. 18. Call for locations. The center

is also looking for volunteers for the food bank on Dec. 15 and 16 and

for the gift room on Dec. 20 and 21.

Two Rivers School

North Bend

(425) 888-4394

Accepts new toys and warm clothes for homeless children in

the community. The goal is to collect 1,000 presents between Nov. 29

and Dec. 17. Toys can be dropped off at Two Rivers School, 330 Ballarat

Ave. N. or at the North Bend Post Office.

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