Santa’s helpers delivered gifts to a record number of families
Each car had its trunk or backseat full of toys and gifts, enough for two families to enjoy on Christmas Day.
The black SUV, driven by Kiwanis President Marcus Tageant, carried incoming 2008 president and his wife, Becky Daily and Mayor Vern Little.
“All the monies raised from the Beer Gardens over the summer were used to buy these gifts,” Tageant said.
“The Key Clubber’s at the high school helped wrap all the gifts,” Daily added. “We can always use more volunteers or new members,” Tageant added.
As he drove the SUV, Daily and Little navigated, giving directions to their first stop.
Daily explained that before getting involved with the Kiwanis, she never knew how many different services the Kiwanis provided to help families and communities.
“It was amazing to me how many people the Kiwanis really help,” she said.
As the SUV rounded the bend in the road Little shouted out, “I think it’s there,” pointing to the first of two stops on their route.
With a knock on the door came several barks from a dog then a man opened the door.
“Come on in,” he said smiling, greeting everyone as they entered his home which was decorated with a tree and some simple trimmings. One of his children, a boy sat on the coach holding one of their dogs.
“This is my son, he’s a football player,” the father said.
Politely the boy said hello to everyone and sat back down.
Daily handed the bag of gifts to the father wishing them a Merry Christmas.
With the shaking of hands, the group of three departed out the door and into the SUV readying themselves for the next home.
“This is what it’s all about, helping people,” Tageant said.
He explained his involvement with the Kiwanis began when former president Jan Larson invited him to a meeting, and from that point on he never looked back.
“I brought Becky along later, and now we’re both in this together,” he said.
The mayor listened then added how proud he was of the community and how individuals get involved to help each other out.
As the SUV neared its next stop, the three peered out their windows at all the new homes around the lake and the growing community of Lake Stevens.
“We helped 26 families this year which is the most we’ve ever been able to help,” Daily said. “Maybe we can help 50 next year.”
The final stop of the morning was to the home of Melissa and her four children.
Daily grabbed the largest of the remaining bags, and was first to the door.
After several knocks on the door, it was opened by Melissa who said she was nearly in tears knowing that they were there bringing gifts for her children.
“I want to cry,” she said.
Melissa’s home was clean and decorated nicely. On her wall were pictures of her children which no doubt were her pride and joy.
Daily and Tangeant introduced themselves, and then Little introduced himself.
Holding out his hand he said, “Hello, I’m Mayor Vern Little.”
Melissa’s eyes widened and she said she thought she had recognized him.
“Oh my gosh, you’re the mayor,” she said. “I want to cry.”
“I thought you looked familiar, but I wasn’t sure,” Melissa added as she reached her hand out to shake the mayor’s hand.
A few more words were exchanged before the three said their good byes to Melissa.
On the return ride to the parking lot of Jay’s Market a feeling of happiness seemingly overcame the three; their eyes sparkled, and the smiles were just a little bit wider than when they started.