Help a homeless child give mom a Mother’s Day gift

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FOR a homeless child living in a shelter or transitional housing, getting a Mother’s Day gift for mom can be a challenge.

There’s the question of money to buy the gift, finding time in stressful days to shop for it and then having a place to keep it a surprise until Sunday.

Nichelle Hilton wants to help. On Tuesday, the division resources coordinator for the YWCAhopes to have enough gift baskets so all 900 moms in the organization’s housing get one.

From her email tally of previous donors, she figures she’s about 400 baskets short right now.

What she’s looking for are gift bags — “you can make them as fancy as you want” — with less than $20 worth of pampering items: soaps, chocolates, gift cards, candles, bubble bath, nail polish, lipstick.

Each bag must have one essential item — a 99-cent Mother’s Day card for the child to sign.

The bags will be collected from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday at 2820 East Cherry Street, and caseworkers will distribute them to homeless children to give to their moms.

Donors can alert Hilton that they will be delivering a gift bag by emailing her at Or just drop off a gift bag on Tuesday.

Hilton does some version of this for all holidays — Easter baskets, cookie decorating on St. Patrick’s Day and, of course, Christmas gifts. It’s what she calls “reminding them of those little normalcies” of life.

It’s similar to other efforts that were mentioned in a recent story by Bob Young, a Seattle Times reporter. Washington Kids in Transition provided 15,000 small bags of food and supplied “emergency closets” at 16 schools with hygiene kits, socks and snacks. Operation School Bell in Everett, with help from the Assistance League there, gives allowances to children to buy new clothes. Clothes for Kids in Lynnwood also works through schools to help homeless children.

Give a gift for homeless children and help them fit in.