December 17, 2014

Duringthe month of November, Saint Joseph’s House had 397 shoppers. The volunteers put in 384 hours. We would like to tell you about one of our fantastic volunteers: Ed Casten. Last summer one of the women that works on Thursday was taking a month off for vacation. Ed was asked if he would volunteer for the month to fill in. Since last year Ed has given 110% as a volunteer. He even drives by Saint Joseph’s House on the days we are closed to make sure the porch is cleared off. Sometimes he goes by late at night to check again. Twice when he was cleaning off the porch he reached down to pick up a shoe only to find a leg connected to it. Each time he found a person burrowed under the clothing on the porch with the intention of spending the night. Thank God it was Ed that found these people and not me, as you would have heard me screaming clear into Edmonds. Ed has been a true blessing to Saint Joseph’s House and all the people that we serve!
This is the season for family, twinkling lights and children’s laughter. I want to share with you about one of the clients that comes to Saint Joseph’s House. I will call her Susie (not her real name). Susie came to SJH when we were located on Cedar Street. We heard a knock on the door, when I opened the door I saw a neatly dressed young women with a baby in one arm and a paper bag in the other. She introduced herself and then explained that her son was growing so fast, she wondered if she could trade clothes. I told her of course. When her son grew out of clothes she would bring them in clean, folded and often pressed. Then came the next child (another boy), then the next (a little girl). Once when Susie came to SJH I noticed the little girl had a lot of eczema and Susie looked like she had been drug through the mill. She told me her husband was in trouble and going to jail. She confessed he had started drinking and things just went from bad to worse. After her husband had been incarcerated, Susie got her mother to move in with her to watch the children and she went to work. She got her family out of debt and became the sole supporter of her family. They didn’t have a lot but the children were always clean and happy. Susie worked two jobs at times to care for her family. This small woman of small statue became a woman of strength.

Susie’s husband finally returned home to the family, but it was soon evident things were not going well. One Saturday Susie came into SJH and I could see she was stressed. When I asked her if she was ok, she began to cry and confessed that her husband was going back to jail. After consoling her, Susie started crying harder and confessed she was pregnant again. I told her that God has a plan for her and the children and she needed to trust Him. I told her when my husband and I separated I too was pregnant. I can tell you from experience that God will be there for you and to trust him. Last week Susie came in with her family. The baby is now over a year old. She walks, talks and is adored by her older brothers and sister. Susie informed me that her husband would not be back and that she is doing good. Being able to come to SJH helps this woman and her children. With how quickly kids grow, the money she might spend on needed clothes could now be used to support the family in other ways. I share this with you so that you can feel pride in supporting SJH knowing that there are families out there not trying to abuse the system. They are working hard and giving all they have in support of their family. Christmas is always hard for these single parents because there is often little left over once the bills are paid. Children from low-income families often get little or nothing for Christmas. The parents feel guilty because when the children go back to school all the other kids are sharing what they got for Christmas and these kids wonder what they did wrong for Santa to forget them. Look around you…if there is a single parent in your area, reach out to them this holiday season. You may find this simple act really warms your heart!

Blessing upon you and yours, Merry Christmas

Lenora Bruce ~~ SJH Operational Director

November 14, 2014

September was our month to complete the big change from summer clothes to winter clothes. We are always so happy when it has been completed. During the month of September our volunteers logged in 481 hours and we had a count of 404 shoppers. Each shopper represents their entire family.
In October the volunteers logged in 383.5 hours and we had a count of 413 shoppers. October 31th we came into Saint Joseph’s House, removed all the Halloween items and replaced them with Christmas clothing. This allowed us to be ready for November 1st when we open our Christmas House.


”SJHLouise Burke is a lady that works every Thursday and she heads up our Christmas House. She starts working on it every September. Louise puts in a lot of time and does an amazing job for such a small area. The clients are allowed 4 points to shop in the Christmas House, and the holiday items range from 1 - 4 points. A shopper may choose 4 items at one point each or 1 item that is 4 points or any combination of items totaling 4 points . Louise also puts out a lot of what we call free items. That means you don’t have to give up a point to shop out of the free containers. Please stop by to see the Christmas house and be sure and tell Louise what a great job she is doing if she happens to be around.

Marysville Clothing BankSaint Joseph’s House runs on a point system for our regular items as well. Each client is allowed 10 points per person in their family up to 50 points per family. This is our way of controlling the inventory so one person cannot walk off with everything, but hopefully can find what they need. Often we have what we call a 2-for-1 specials. That means you are allowed two of a certain item and it will only cost you one point.

We are always looking for more volunteers to help especially during this time of year. If this is something you might be interested in, please stop by Monday or Wednesday between 9 and noon and fill out our volunteer form. I know we can find a place for you. Please keeps us in your prayers!

Blessings upon you and your family over the Thanksgiving Holiday!

Lenora Bruce ~ ~ SJH Operational Director 
October, 2014

The transfer from summer clothes to winter clothes is a long process. First we change out the kids’ room to provide needed clothing to those families with children going back to school. We have discovered that a lot of children, especially boys, have a large growth spurt from April to September. Our goal is to have the kid’s room converted to winter clothes on or before the 15th of August. This helps relieve those parents struggling to pay rent and feed their family on a limited income. Several mothers have stated how much it meant to them to be able to find school clothes for their children at Saint Joseph’s House. This was especially true when their children had grown out of most of their clothes. 

The men and women’s clothes were converted in September. The racks were stripped of summer clothes on September 13th, and then on the 14th a group from New Life Church came in and loaded the racks. This is a huge job that has to be completed before we could open again on the following Tuesday. Thank you New Life Four Square Church of Everett for the awesome job!!!


This year I have seen more homeless women, sleeping in a tent or car, than I have ever seen before. One woman has two children and a small dog living in her car, another is a mother with her mother and three children in a van, another is a battered woman sleeping in a tent in the woods near by. There are two sisters (one just recently released from prison and the other just lost her job) whom I spoke with recently. There was also an older woman who came in requesting a blanket because she had just become homeless. She was really struggling with the reality that she was homeless and asked if she could have a blanket and possibly a toothbrush. We were able to give her a sleeping bag and a woman’s homeless kit. This kit has soap, toothbrush, pair of socks, candle, shampoo, conditioner, a mirror (if we have one) and anything else our Rita T can find to put in these kits for homeless men and women. We were able to help all of these women who have recently become homeless. Through our amazing donors and our loving volunteers we are able to spread some hope and assist in very basic needs.


Now that the winter clothes are hanging and ready, we start working on getting out the Halloween items and preparing our Christmas House. Louise B heads up the Christmas House and she does a wonderful job. All of the volunteers at Saint Joseph’s House are really committed to supporting our clients in anyway they can. No one receives an income for working at SJH and many put in over 25 hours a month…we need to keep them all. Please keep our volunteers in your prayers!

Our records show that over a thousand people have shopped for their families from last September to this September. Blessings to you in the coming month!

Lenora ~~ SJH Operational Director
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