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Many find the spirit of giving

Sebastian Cline, 12, and Christian Forbes, 8, take time selecting gifts for their parents Saturday at St. Hubert Catholic Church, Langley. - Gayle Saran
Sebastian Cline, 12, and Christian Forbes, 8, take time selecting gifts for their parents Saturday at St. Hubert Catholic Church, Langley.
— image credit: Gayle Saran

Saint Hubert was bursting with the Christmas spirit Saturday.

The Catholic church in Langley was a merry place, with boxes packed with the fixings for Christmas dinner and huge sacks of gifts chosen for 31 needy families adopted for the Christmas season.

Santa Claus himself even made an appearance, delighting everyone present.

The collected gifts were part of an effort to take care of the needs of families at Christmas and is a collaboration among the Family Resource Center, area churches, the South Whidbey High School leadership class, Good Cheer, Readiness to Learn, and a number of local service organizations and businesses.

A special part of Saturday's event was the gift shopping room where children could choose Christmas presents for their parents. Adult-appropriate gifts were scattered over tabletops while children carefully perused their choices.

Christian Forbes, 8, summed up the feelings of some of the other children there.

"This is really neat. I can't wait until they open them on Christmas morning," Forbes said.

Each child walked around the table carefully examining each item. There was a lot of thought going into each choice. Forbes' parents will be unwrapping a photo cube, an alarm clock and teaspoon set.

In the room next door, teen volunteers Adrienne Hawley and Jennifer Pan helped younger children wrap gifts to take home and tuck under the tree. A variety of gifts -- perfumes, after shave, clocks, radios, linens -- were available for free to children at the event.

As it has in the past, Webb's Department store of Freeland donated 125 pairs of men's and women's shoes and slippers manufactured by Naot. Federal Express donated all the shipping charges.

"This is going to be an annual project for us," said store owner Tricia Webb. "The company believes in helping organizations to assist families on a local level. We got a lot of positive feedback from last year's participants."

Organizations worked together to improve the quality of Christmas family adoption by pooling resources, avoiding duplication of service.

"The community really works together to make this coordinated effort a success," said Gail LaVassar, director of the Family Resource Center. "We organize it so that each family is helped and there is enough for everyone."

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