SPOKANE, Wash. --- Tree of Sharing helps thousands of people who would otherwise be forgotten. This year is a little different, because criminals vandalized the warehouse where gifts were being stored and sorted.
Now the Tree of Sharing is working around the clock to provide gifts to people in need who have nowhere else to turn.
"Our mission is provide holiday gifts for the often forgotten,” said Carl McConnell from the Tree of Sharing organization.
Every year KREM 2 partners with the Tree of Sharing. Last year the organization gave gifts to about 6,500 people. This year the need had grown by a thousand to 7,500. KREM 2 was there on Tuesday morning as members of the Washington National Guard volunteered their time to unload some of the donated gifts into the tree of sharing warehouse.
The warehouse space was donated by Avista and is used to sort through the thousands of gifts that they collect.
Sadly, thieves stole the copper wiring from the warehouse building. Because of that, volunteers had to work in the dark and without heat.
“A couple days before thanksgiving we discovered there was no power, so then we're looking around the building and we find that someone has vandalized the power and apparently stolen a fair amount of the wiring,” said McConnell.
“Vandals and thieves used these pallets to get on the roof and pull wire out of the air conditioning and furnace units that are on the top of the building,” added McConnell.
Cutting live wires is dangerous, so Avista believes the person who stole the wire, knew what they were doing. So far, no one has been arrested. Avista is now paying for electricians to restore power to the building. Until the power comes back on, all volunteers can do is open the blind and bundle up while they work.
“Right now we have daylight and we have heat generated by activity and that's it,” commented McConnell.
The Tree of Sharing still needs your help. If you want to find out how you can get involved or donate a gift to someone, go to any area mall. Or check out their website here.