by JULIE DUETSCHER
For the Reporter
It’s easy to imagine, when walking through the front door and into the living room of the Jones family, what Santa’s workshop might be like this time of year.
Strewn across the floor, couch, coffee table, chairs and stretching into the adjoining dining room, are discarded wrappings, bags of candy, and red and green handmade holiday stockings bursting with new toys.
With nearly two months of work behind them, the pair last week embarked on the final step of a local Girl Scout holiday tradition that began 18 years ago – the year Claire was born – to deliver stockings to children in need.
Claire has been a Girl Scout since kindergarten, and took on the stocking drive for her senior project and Girl Scout Gold Award.
“I thought it would be cool to take ownership of a project I’ve been involved with for so long,” Claire said.
Claire is following in the capable and well-worn footprints of 20-year Girl Scout veterans Terri Weiler and Debbie Fisher, who have managed the stocking endeavor since its inception.
That first year they filled them with homemade coloring books and crayons and gave them to a Redmond nonprofit.
Debbie, who is Claire’s Scout leader and senior-project mentor, teamed up with Terri a few years later and the project grew in size.
That’s when they began working with Matthew House, which serves an often overlooked population of families who are frequently low income and headed by single women.
Many of these women find themselves raising children alone when their partners begin serving prison time at the Monroe Correctional Complex.
Life can be extra tough for these women and children.
The girls of the Sammamish Girl Scouts make and fill stockings will never know whose hands receive them.
“We have children working to benefit children – that link is important,” Terri said.