Giving trees

Students prepare one of the many Giving Trees around town in December 2018 for the Stanwood Camano Food Bank Christmas House. The effort continues again this year.

If you want to take time to give back, circle Dec. 3 on your calendar.

For 24 hours, is the central hub offering Stanwood and Camano Island residents an opportunity to support a variety of projects that provide basic needs and enhance the quality of life in our community.

The fifth annual SC Give features 21 local organizations seeking donations for a number of local projects, according to Bev Pronishan, Stanwood-Camano Area Foundation executive director.

She said the fundraising goal this year is $65,600. A goal-measuring bar at shows a running tally of donations.

SC Give began Dec. 1, 2015, when a small pilot program was conducted on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. It raised $30,000 in a 24-hour period for 13 projects, directly benefiting the community. In the 2016 SC Give, community members and sponsors donated more than $61,000 to benefit 21 community projects. In 2017, even without bonus sponsors, community donations grew by 15 percent, reaching $53,500 to support 21 projects. Last year, $61,100 was given to support 21 projects.

All credit card processing fees for online donations made on Giving Tuesday will be covered by the Donna J. and Charles T. Cole Charitable Foundation. Also, donations made through SC Give on Giving Tuesday will make projects eligible for money donated by local businesses, maximizing donation dollars.

Each organization with a physical location has invited an organization without one to join their open house. That way, representatives of both organizations can meet with people and answer questions about their projects. The open house locations and participating agencies are listed at

Learn more at or contact Executive Director Bev Pronishan, or 360-424-7086.

Use to donate to these local causes:

  • Shop With a Cop — Camano Law Enforcement Support Foundation: Sheriff's deputies take children Christmas shopping who were identified by the school of being in need.

  • STEM & Literacy Academy for Low Income Students — Foundation for Academic Endeavors: Send 15 at-risk children, ages 3 to 16, to a five-week summer program to sharpen their academic skills and better prepare them for school in the fall.
  • Soap Box Derby Scholarships — Arrowhead Ranch Foundation: Help 20 local low-income children, ages 7-17, learn STEM skills, collaboration and sportsmanship as they build and compete in the annual Stanwood-Camano race.
  • Diapers, Socks, Underwear: Essentials for Everyone — The Caring Place: Help The Caring Place provide diapers, socks and underwear free of charge to local families in need.
  • Science & Technology Camp for Girls — AAUW, Stanwood/Camano Branch: Tech Trek is a one-week STEM camp at PLU sponsored by AAUW for local girls entering eighth grade.
  • Special Care for Shelter Animals — Camano Animal Shelter Association: Give shelter animals a second chance with essential medical & dental care, supplies and special foods.
  • Respite Time for Caregivers — Camano Center: Provide 650 hours in scholarships to caregivers so their loved one can join an Adult Day Program that challenges minds, lifts spirits and keeps bodies moving.
  • Encourage and Foster Healthy Relationships — Citizens Against Domestic & Sexual Abuse: Bring CADAs Healthy Relationships program to Stanwood-Camano middle school students, equipping them with skills in empathy and consent, and promoting healthy relationships.
  • Restore a Smile to Someone in Need — Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano: Help local low-income residents obtain needed dental care.
  • Basic Needs Assistance for Families and Individuals — Community Resource Center of Stanwood Camano: Financial help for people in need of assistance to provide basic needs and prevent disconnection of essential services or eviction.
  • Save Freedom Park & Rotary Adventure Playground — Freedom Park Association: Cover maintenance costs for the park and playground at Terry's Corner, which was built by the community - for the community.
  • Providing Comfort During Times of Crisis — Hope Unlimited: Help provide mental, physical and emotional first aid to community members who are experiencing a tragedy or crisis.
  • Whole Person Healthcare ... For Life — Safe Harbor Free Clinic: Empower people with chronic illness to thrive in everyday life through health education and compassionate care.
  • Critical Repairs Needed for the Historic Floyd — Stanwood Area Historical Society: Protect the integrity of this grand old 1902 Public Hall that the community saved and stop the blistering paint, wood rot and bird damage.
  • Food & Critical Supplies for Children in Need — Stanwood Camano Food Bank Services: $40 will nourish our local babies & toddlers with nutritious food for their growing minds & bodies and essential supplies to keep them clean and comfortable.
  • Hygiene Products for Food Bank Families — Stanwood Camano Food Bank Services: Your gift of $25 will "shower" four families in need with a hygiene kit complete with deodorant, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush, razor and feminine product.
  • Books for Preschool Children, Imagination Library — Stanwood Camano Island Rotary Foundation: Promote early childhood reading and literacy by helping Rotary provide free, age-appropriate books each month to local preschoolers from birth to age 5.
  • Seniors Need Trips, Meals, & Wellness — Stanwood Community & Senior Center: Help combat senior isolation by supporting the LEAP program to provide socialization through trips, meals and wellness.
  • Living-wage Jobs for Stanwood-Camano Residents — Village Community Services: Help low-income Stanwood-Camano residents gain the insight, motivation, and skills they need to both secure and keep a living wage job.
  • Activities Scholarships for Low-Income Seniors — Warm Beach Senior Community: Help seniors face challenge of aging by providing scholarships to participate in programs that create life-affirming experiences.
  • Free Y Membership for Low-Income Families — YMCA, Stanwood-Camano Branch: Help support 15 families in need. A Y membership provides a place to improve overall health, build lasting relationships, set goals and improve confidence.

Christmas House

This holiday season, the annual Stanwood Camano Food Bank Christmas House hopes to serve more kids than ever.

Christmas House provides a chance for parents in need to “shop” free of charge for their children up to age 18. All gifts are new, and they aren’t just toys, said Mardi Jorgensen, coordinator of the project. 

Community members can help by donating gifts at “giving trees” found around the Stanwood-Camano community, but be sure to check with the giving tree hosts to be sure the donations are going to the food bank’s Christmas House.  

Suggestions for donations include toys, clothes (size newborn to 3X), pajamas, games, gift cards or certificates, socks and underwear, mittens/gloves, hats/scarves, boots/shoes, quilts and toiletries. 

“We always fall short in tween/teen gifts, mainly because they are so hard to shop for,” said Jorgensen, adding that gift cards are popular.

The effort is expected to serve about 1,200 local children this season — about 200 more than last year, Jorgensen said.

Distribution of gifts runs Dec. 13-22 and is by appointment. To make a shopping appointment, call 360-629-2789 or visit the food bank, 27030 102nd Ave. NW, Stanwood.

Donations to Christmas House are tax deductible. Make checks payable to the Stanwood-Camano Food Bank marked for Christmas House. For other donations, ask for a receipt. Information: 360-913-1551

Official drop-off locations 

  • Camano Island IGA: 370 NE Camano Drive, Camano Island
  • Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church: 27201 99th Ave NW, Stanwood
  • Stanwood Camano YMCA: 7213 267th St. NW, Stanwood
  • Haggen Food & Pharmacy: 26603 Lindstrom Road, Stanwood
  • Stanwood Camano Thrift Shop/Food Bank: 27030 102nd Ave. NW, Stanwood
  • Stanwood-Camano Community Resource Center: 9612 271st St. NW, Stanwood
  • Studio 271: 9009 271st St. NW, Stanwood
  • Skagit Farmers Supply Country Store: 8815 272nd St. NW, Stanwood
  • Rite Aid: 26817 88th Ave. NW, Stanwood
  • QFC: 27008 92nd Ave. NW, Stanwood
  • Amigo Family Mexican Restaurant: 6996 265th St. NW, Suite 102, Stanwood
  • Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant: 9200 271st St. NW, Stanwood
  • Mission Motors: 9922 Highway 532, Stanwood
  • Brookdale Stanwood: 7212 265th St. NW, Stanwood
  • North County Fire & EMT: 8117 267th St. NW, Stanwood 
  • Christmas House: 9928 272nd Place NW, Stanwood (call 360-913-1551 before coming to donate)

Housing Hope

Stanwood Housing Hope has 39 units between Lervick Family Village and Lincoln Hills for homeless families or very low-income families. The Stanwood Housing Hope ambassadors are seeking donations of $50 gift certificates to a local grocery store for each of these families for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

"We like to give each child at Lincoln Hills and Lervick Family Village a filled stocking for Christmas, this year there are 68 children," Housing Hope Ambassador Carol Jensen said. "We supply the stockings, and we are looking for people, groups, businesses to adopt one or more and fill them and return them to us by Dec 15."

The stockings can be picked up by calling Jensen at 425-422-2244, they are pre-labeled as to boy or girl and an age. They come with a list of suggestions.

Holidays at Cocoon House

Cocoon House, which provides outreach, housing and prevention services to at-risk and homeless teens and their families, is seeking donations of items from their Holiday Wish List. Items are small and reflect basic needs, according to the organization.

To view the list online, or call 425-259-5802 or email

Fill the bus

Stanwood Camano School District Transportation Center will host a Fill the Bus event 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, to collect nonperishable food for the Stanwood Camano Food Bank. Buses will be parked in Stanwood at QFC and Haggen Foods and on Camano Island at Camano Plaza IGA. The Food Bank’s wish list includes food in cans boxes and bottles: tuna, soup, sauce, broth and beans. The bus will also collect personal care items.

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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