Legendary crooner Andy Williams was known for his holiday favorite, “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of Year.”  I couldn’t agree more, but for none of the reasons Andy includes in the lyrics.  I have nothing against holiday greetings, toasting marshmallows, or hosting parties, but that is not what makes this time of year so special.  For me the season is all about how generous you and our community are.

I saw this generosity at work several times over the last few weeks and it warmed my heart.

Many of you helped collect clothing and donate money for Ukrainian refugees who came to Pierce County from their war-torn country.  It took a lot of work and coordination – donation boxes throughout our workspaces, all returned to the Human Services Soundview conference room for sorting and packing by age and type of clothing.  Then trucking the sorted clothes to the distribution center.

Seeing the sweet faces of the kids and adults that will wear those coats was almost overwhelming.

I’m grateful for everyone who gave of their time and resources to provide a warmer winter and a heartfelt welcome to our newest residents.

Special thanks to Catherine Rudolph on the Executive Team who spearheaded much of the effort!  Anika Moran, Trish Crocker, Kim Peterson and Kari Moore from Human Services were key.  But thanks go to all those who took their time to make it happen, including Assessor-Treasurer Mike Lonergan, Councilmembers Dave Morell, Paul Herrera, and Marty Campbell.  Olga Piddubba and the Slavic Christian Center were critical to the effort, and Temple Beth El hosted a coat drive.

Additionally, every year, County departments “adopt” families and fulfill Christmas wish lists for young and old in our community. I appreciate the staff members from Human Services who work to make the magic happen for so many people.

But that generous spirit extends well beyond our County team.  Faith communities throughout the County get in the spirit, like University Place Presbyterian Church’s “Community Christmas” which helped 600 neighbors celebrate.  I saw Rotarians and Kiwanians out “ringing bells” for the Salvation Army.  The Tacoma Yacht Club has a “Santa Project” to help kids who are less fortunate.

It truly “tis the season of giving” and your generosity – and that of our community –  is such an encouragement to me.  What generosity encouraged you this season?

Wishing you a fun holiday week of Hanukkah and Christmas,