Thankful Thursday: Stocking stuffers brighten Christmas for those with mental illness

January 17, 2013 

On the second Tuesday of December, the NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Tri-Cities members met to stuff 100 Christmas stockings for individuals who live with mental illness. For some of these folks, it may be the only gift they receive.

The Christmas stockings give-away was conceived by Melody Otness, who has generously supported the project for the last several years. Other local businesses have also supported the stocking project, and as secretry of NAMI Tri-Cities, I would like to thank them on behalf of the organization.

This year, Burger King helped stuff our stockings with a gift certificate, and in previous years, McDonald's, Dairy Queen, Albertson's and Safeway willingly provided certificates or other items for the stockings.

But the Christmas stockings project has become more than giving a gift to persons with a mental illness. It also brings together NAMI Tri-Cities members to do something we believe to be worthwhile. It builds camaraderie, community and support within our group.

So again, thank you, Melody, for your thoughtfulness in conceiving of this idea, thank you local businesses for showing you care for special people in the community and thank you NAMI members for working together on this event.

JUDY COX, Richland

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