OREGON CITY, Ore. - Christmas didn’t come early this year, but a lump of coal did.
Oregon City charity Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart, recently learned it will have to find a new home, and quickly.
“We just found out we have to be out of this space at the end of next week,” said chairman Willy Stalker.
The organization hast been filling and distributing handmade Christmas stockings to the less fortunate since 1997. It gives age-appropriate stockings to people ranging in age from newborn to senior citizen.
The workshop space was donated, and Stalker said the organization has long known it might be forced out if anybody wanted to lease it.
Still, having to scramble for a new location on short notice has left the organization in a bind.
“We're just looking for our new home, and we need some place that's pretty permanent,” said volunteer Katie Hovanic.
For the time being, donated items and other items are being stored. The group works all year to prepare for Christmas – a halt in the proceedings could mean a less-than-merry Christmas for thousands.
“We did over 3,000 last year, so that's 3,000 people who won't have a Christmas stocking this year,” Hovanic said.
The group, which is made up entirely of volunteers, thinks it will figure out a way to get through at least this year’s holiday.
“We're determined to at least do this year,” Stalker said. “I mean, we're going to make sure we do this year regardless, whatever it takes.”
Beyond that, things get dicey.
Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart, which was named the best non-profit in Oregon City last year, is hoping to find somebody willing to donate a reasonably large space from which it can work.
Visit their website if you want to make a donation.