Paper Ornaments Spark Christmas Magic: Kettle River-Buckhorn Gives Back

Every December since most can remember, the Washington Federal Bank in Republic, Washington – a small town just five minutes from Kettle River – Buckhorn (KRB) – puts up a Christmas tree in the lobby. Families in need write the age of their children and a gift suggestion on a paper ornament: you select a paper tag, purchase and wrap the gift, and bring the present back to the bank, which in turn passes it along to the in-need child.

It’s a simple but meaningful mechanism for bringing the magic of Christmas to the less fortunate.

This year KRB took the first ten tags placed on the tree: and when our people were done buying and wrapping the gift suggestions on those tags – toys, coats, boots – they went out and bought more. Some gifts went to disadvantaged families in nearby counties; others went to a group of elderly who live in a small local senior’s home. One of KRB’s own – Rick Rose (Environmental Specialist) – dressed up as Santa to take the seniors their gifts.

All of this holiday community support was made possible through generous financial donations from KRB employees. This year our people in Washington State gave over $6,000 – a number that was matched by Kinross. This is the third year KRB has participated in local holiday campaigns like these.

Once the money is collected from our employees we divide it into three different pots,” said Susan Byington (Administrative Assistant, Safety and a 2013 Kettle River – Buckhorn LOVA Winner for Outstanding Corporate Citizenship.)  “The money we collect helps us buy Christmas gifts for the bank program, local in-need senior citizens, and other families facing hardships in Okanogan County. In addition, we donate new or gently used coats to the local school. We feel very proud to give back to our neighbours: our employees are truly caring people.”  

Members of our Kettle River – Buckhorn team – including Rick Rose (Environmental Specialist) dressed up as Santa – delivering Christmas gifts to local seniors