By Mary Hurton
Thanks to the support of the community, Christmas cheer was spread to over 50 families served by LASA. LASA provides housing and support services to Pierce County families who have experienced homelessness. LASA’s goal is to help each family overcome the barriers that led to their homelessness, and to develop the skills to secure and retain permanent housing.
LASA held its annual Christmas party earlier this week for families residing in its transitional or emergency housing programs. At the party, parents were able to choose gifts for their children and kids were assisted in “shopping” for presents for their moms and dads.
The Christmas gifts were provided by individuals in the community and were collected by a number of local businesses (see list below.) The generosity of the community allowed each member of every family to receive a gift; additionally, each family was able to take home a grocery card for their Christmas dinner, and other necessities such as diapers and cleaning supplies. Caring for Kids donated coloring books and hams for families as well.
Having an abundance of goodies allowed LASA to help several families in need outside of the organization. Mary Hurton, an AmeriCorps member at LASA, has been collecting contact information for those requesting help with Christmas since shortly after Thanksgiving.
The event ran smoothly due to the hard work of many volunteers who offered their time to help out. Volunteers came forward from LASA’s board, staff and their families, Starbucks, Mountain View Funeral Home, the Girl Scouts, military members from JBLM, and a car club, Santa Cruise.
Coming together for a hot meal, crafts and activities, and photos with Santa made the holiday season brighter for LASA’s families. In the past it was just Lakewood businesses that contributed to these holiday needs but as LASA has grown and is serving families outside Lakewood, other businesses have lent a helping hand as well. LASA wishes to express gratitude to those who made the day possible.
Thank you to all who came across the gift tags and contributed a gift, as well as the following businesses who hosted Wish Boxes this year:
- Frenchy’s in Lakewood/Sterling Bank in Fircrest/HomeStreet Bank, Lakewood branch
- Columbia Bank, Lakewood and Columbia Bank, Fircrest
- Puget Sound Orthopedics/Carr’s Restaurant/Northwest Skin Center
- Forza Coffee at 27th and Bridgeport/Black Bear-Lakewood
- Moonrise Café/Lakewood Hardware/Clover Park Kiwanis
- Figures Salon in Fircrest/ T.W.O in University Place/Hair and Nails on Bridgeport in University Place Caring for Kids/ Starbucks at 38th and Bridgeport/Starbucks on Steilacoom Blvd/
- Starbucks on 74th/Starbucks on Pacific Ave/Starbucks at Lakewood Towne Center/Starbucks on 72nd