Never too early to help the Helpline

Nonprofits work hard to catch the eye of philanthropists in hopes they'll provide sustainable income to their organization. Queen Anne Helpline is pleased to have caught the eyes of two young Queen Anne philanthropists: Claire Godbout and Nicole Godbout.

Claire Godbout is a fifth-grader at Pacific Crest Montessori, and her sister Nicole is in second grade there. The sisters have been donating money to the Queen Anne Helpline every two months for the past three years.

Karen Keeley, the girl's mother, said that they have a three-S's rule when it comes to their allowance: they divide it into savings, sharing and spending. The girls picked the Helpline as the place they wanted to donate to and share their allowance with.

The girls initially learned about the Helpline when they participated in the Helpline-sponsored Fun Run a few summers ago. After that, they visited the Helpline office and brought by some money they'd made from their lemonade stand - $18.

"The staff [Helpline] was so nice to the girls," Keeley said. "They told them exactly how that money would help someone out."

Since then, the girls have learned even more about Helpline services. They know that with $15 the Helpline can issue an ID card to someone who needs it. A card that is necessary to have in order to qualify for other social services. The girls try to save up $15 every two months or so and bring it in

"When I gave money to the Help-line last time, they wrote me a letter and told me I gave someone a bus ticket," Nicole said, beaming.

Donna Hegstrom, auction coordinator for the Helpline, wrote the letter to the girls to make sure that they knew how much the Helpline appreciated their generosity.

Keeley believes the whole experience of giving to the Helpline has had a huge impact on her daughters. "It makes them aware that even in our community there are still people who need help," she said.

Plus, she added, they look forward to giving.

During the holiday season, many people hope to instill in their children a sense of charity. Claire and Nicole, Hegstrom points out, have that sense of charity all year long.

...and never too late

It's never too late to begin donating. The Helpline needs donations for Thanksgiving baskets for families. Holiday giving trees are being set up at various businesses and churches on the Hill; more than 100 families need help this year. You might purchase the annual Helpline ornament, soon to be available at Communique and Queen Anne Books as well as the Tree Lot and other locations to be announced. This year the ornament features a pewter dove for $10. Clothing donations for the clothing bank are always welcome, particularly men's clothes.

For more information, call the Helpline at 282-1540.

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