Priceless love adds to ‘Tots’ total

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SANDPOINT — “The Gift of the Magi” has to be one of my favorite holiday tales.

The classic tale by O. Henry (the pen name of William Sydney Porter) tells the story of a young married couple living in a small apartment. With-out much mon-ey, they have two prized possessions: Del-la’s long, flowing hair that a queen would envy and Jim’s shiny gold watch, which had belonged to his father and grandfather before him.

It’s Christmas Eve and desperate to find gifts for each other, the pair make selfless decisions. Della sells her hair to raise enough money to buy a pocket watch fob chain for her husband’s watch. Jim sells his watch to buy beautiful jeweled combs for Della’s hair, combs she’d been dreaming over forever but knowing they would never have enough.

Uncharacteristically late, Jim finally walks in the door and gives Della her present, of little value with her hair now short. Della than gives Jim his present, a chain of no use since he no longer has the watch.

The pair realize that their love for each other is what matters and how priceless a treasure it is.

That priceless love can be seen every day in this community, no more so around Christmas time, when everyone gives what they can, some a little, some a lot to the Sandpoint Lions’ annual toys for Tots drive — all with the same boundless love that Jim and Della have for each other in “The Gift of the Magi.” The only thing that matters is making sure everyone has a merry Christmas, one filled with love.

Today’s total is $1,000, bringing the total to $12,376.21

Generous contributions were received from: Linda Krasselt, $100; Shannon & Duane Abromeit (in memory of Betty Abromeit), $100; Donald & Jacquelyn Knechtges, $200; anonymous, $300; and Cliff Irish Trucking (Cliff & Patricia Irish), $300.

The goal for this year’s campaign is $50,000 — the same as it has been in past years. The Lions make the most of the money by shopping bargains, and with the assistance of generous local businesses.

The Toys for Tots program provides free new toys for children living in the Lake Pend Oreille School District, from Sandpoint to Clark Fork and all points in-between. A Christmas dinner for the family is also provided.

Those who need help this year can apply at the Lions Den, 607 S. Ella Ave., Sandpoint (west of Memorial Field next to the Bonner County Historical Museum.)

The Lions Den will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. through Monday, Dec. 19, so members can accept applications. Applications also are available at the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare office.

If you have any questions about Toys for Tots sign-up, call Judy Dabrowski, 208-290-5314.

Donations for Toys for Tots can be dropped off at the front desk at the Bonner County Daily Bee, 310 Church St., from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. Donations also can be mailed to the Sandpoint Lions Club, P.O. Box 414, Sandpoint, ID, 83864

You can also drop off donations at Columbia Bank’s main branch in Sandpoint, 414 Church St., or at the Ponderay branch, 300 Kootenai Cutoff Road.

Donations made by check are preferred. Be sure to include a note with your check indicating that it is a Toys for Tots donation. If you wish to make an anonymous donation, please include a note.

If the donation is being made in someone’s name, be sure to also include a note.

Caroline Lobsinger can be reached by email at and follow her on Twitter @CarolDailyBee.

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