After a successful career in sales and as owner of Rex Pegg Fabrics, a Tacoma wholesale upholstery and foam rubber supplier, Don and Pat Scott retired permanently in Ocean Shores.
“We were looking for somewhere to get away for the weekends and we always loved the beach since it wasn’t far away,” Pat said, recalling the earlier days before their part time residency in 1987.
“We call ourselves I-5 dropouts,” Don often tells people since their retirement.
Immersing themselves into community life through local social and volunteer organizations, the Scotts committed time and resources in giving back to their adopted community.
They decided their philanthropic intentions would be targeting needy children of low-income and financially strapped families in the North Beach area.
By fostering community events, beginning with a Christmas party for children ages 12 and under, their stage was set. The first Christmas Party was in 2002 at the Ocean Shores Elks Club.
The Christmas Party outgrew that facility and was soon moved to the Ocean Shores Convention Center.
Taking the organizational lead, the party became the central focus of the couple’s efforts.
Assuring the event’s success requires a full year of preparation. The couple rely on many volunteers who handle donations, purchase stock, warehouse toys and hold fundraising garage sales at the Scott’s home. The future 2016 Christmas party is no exception.
“Right after the first of the year many retailers have big discounts on toys and we shop as far as Tacoma, Chehalis, Centralia. We go for the toys they are getting rid of,” Don said. “Then we bring them home where we have a lot of helpers. We rented a trailer this last year because we didn’t want to make so many trips to Olympia and so on.”
As the high quality toys, new bikes and stuffed animals arrive or are purchased by the Scott’s, they are stored in a large area above a garage on their property.
“Most of the funds we earn from garage sales. People donate stuff to us for our garage sale on the Fourth of July and we have a lot of people that write a check,” Don said.
“We haven’t had any financial shortfalls because we have so many people who want to support it, without any solicitation people step up,” he added.
It was shortly after the first Christmas party that the Scott’s realized they would require a 501(c)(3) non-profit business tax status to move on into the future.
“We went to the Kiwanis,” Pat said, the dynamic duo’s “bean counter.”
“Kiwanis are strictly for children,” she said. “Everything is for kids and so that was a good fix to begin our 501(c)(3) status.”
Completing that union, no solicitation work on their part was needed to make the Christmas party roll on. With all the contributions and donations tax deductible, there was another incentive for business and gifting people’s support.
“The parent or guardian calls and talks to me about the kid’s clothing needs. When we go shopping, we are a team,” Pat said. “We organize things so we can shop. We go through and maybe buy 88 pairs of blue jeans. We have the size down with a letter for the each kid and the family with a number. We write that on the garment’s tag as we buy it.”
The purchases are brought back to their home. When the time comes as many as twenty volunteers wrap the individual gifts then deliver them to the families.
Finally, in November, a holiday party is thrown for teens in the North Beach community.
“We don’t work that one, we finance it,” Don confirms.
Last year, 391 kids attended the Kiwanis North Beach Children’s Christmas event. The North Beach Teen Christmas Party included snacks, games and gifts for more than 55 teenagers. Clothing and shoes were delivered to 53 kids.
Don and Pat possess a shared, strong sense of honest humility. The Scott’s good outreach in giving, leading, organizing and lending a hand to less fortunate neighbors is always displaced by praise for the higher order of work handed down by others. The volunteers, supporting businesses and donors are always the heroines and heroes of their story.
To make a donation to support Don and Pat’s efforts, call Pat Scott at 360-289-4608.