St. Charles Hospice Christmas Auction and Holiday Partnership give community generosity a chance to shine

You know you live in a community full of generous people when a fundraiser pulls in $90,000 in one night and it's actually a decline from the previous year.

That's exactly what happened at the St. Charles Hospice Christmas Auction earlier this month. The event that has endured for more than 25 years has become a substantially successful fundraiser, at least in terms of monetary donations, bringing in more than $100,000 in recent years. People have bid four-figure amounts for Christmas tree displays, and in some instances more than $10,000, and oftentimes they will donate them right back for another round of bidding. The generosity is incredible.

Now that the Hospice Auction has passed, the Holiday Partnership has taken center stage as the most visible fundraiser in town. Instead of gathering and bidding on elaborately decorated Christmas tree displays, quilts and wreaths, locals are asked to donate food, Christmas gifts and cash to help those who are less fortunate enjoy the feasts and gifts of the holiday season.

Already, you can visit local facilities like the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce office or Crook County Sheriff's Office and see a large amount of food donations have already come in. You can find giving trees with gift tags all over the community as well as Toys for Tots boxes, and if you stop by the Holiday Partnership headquarters in the next couple weeks, a massive collection of toys fills table upon table, waiting for people to wrap them up.

Distribution Day, this year on Dec. 20, is quite a sight as well. Hundreds of bright yellow Les Schwab Tires bags cover much of the Carey Foster Hall building, each one of them a package going out to a grateful family.

This is a great time in Crook County to pitch in and help make people's Christmas a bit merrier this year. Whether it's donating food from the kitchen cupboard, going shopping for a complete stranger, or opening your checkbook or wallet, the community puts a premium on helping people who need it, and during the holiday season, those opportunities reach an all-time high.

And you don't have to donate your food or money. Holiday Partnership organizers would be more than happy to see people donate their time. Gifts need wrapped, food boxes need organized, and all of these special packages need delivered to local homes.

Crook County residents demonstrate time and time again their incredibly generous spirit. It's impressive. And if you want to get involved, there is no better time than the Christmas season.

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