Opinion

Not your average stockings

The purse strings are being pulled every which way during the holidays, but for one group of people, they are often forgot about amidst the hustle and bustle to give here and there.

One local organization, however, is making sure those living with HIV or AIDS are not forgotten this holiday season. The Kitsap County HIV AIDS Foundation, an all-volunteer board, is helping to raise money for those affected by the illness. Now in its eighth year, Stockings for a Cause brings holiday magic to those who may need it the most.

“We raise the money for holiday giving,” said foundation volunteer Natalie Bryson.

Community members have donated their time and resources to make extravagant stockings to be bid on in a silent auction. Following the foundation’s open house at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, at the new office, located at 2841 NW Kitsap Place behind Michaels, the silent bidding will commence at 2 p.m. and will continue until 4 p.m.

“We have just wonderful hand-crafted stockings made by people in the community,” Bryson said.

Even children are getting in on the giving with North Mason School District donating a 7-foot stocking to be hung along a wall. The foundation has already collected about 60 stockings for the silent auction.

“We have all sorts of wonderful stockings,” Bryson said.

Not only is this event a great way to find a unique present for that special someone, but it’s a good cause that helps people right here in Kitsap County. If you’ve never participated in Stockings for a Cause, it’s a great way to get involved in the community while having a little fun.

Organizers are hoping to raise $4,000 at Saturday’s event. With that money, gifts or gift cards will be purchased and distributed to those living with HIV or AIDS.

The event coincides with World AIDS Day which helps raise money to find a cure, spread awareness about the disease and remember those who have died from the illness.

For those who are unable to make it to the open house or silent auction, there’s still another way to participate on Saturday.

There will be a remembrance ceremony later that day at 6 p.m. at the Norm Dicks Government Center, located at 345 Sixth Street in Bremerton.

“It’s something we’ve done for many years so people can remember those who have passed from AIDS,” Bryson said. “It’s really a moving ceremony.”

Even if you’re strapped for cash, you can still show your support by remembering those who have lost their lives.

For more information about Saturday’s events or to donate to the Kitsap County HIV AIDS Foundation, call (360) 698-3335.

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