Spirit of Christmas online auction runs through December 7 | News, Sports, Jobs – FORT MYERS

Sharon and Jim Jamieson will be hosting an online auction for their “Spirit of Christmas” fundraiser to purchase clothes and toys for needy families in Lee County. / Photo file

After 18 years of delivering holiday gifts to children and families in Lee County, Jim Jamieson said he had reason to quit.

With an online auction slated for next week and already over $ 20,000 raised for freebies, there are too many reasons not to.

Jamieson said he and his wife Sharon have not been very healthy since the pandemic, have almost stopped the annual “Christmas spirit” tradition last year during the COVID-19 pandemic and have since left Fort Myers beach.

“I was not going to do the event honestly”, Mr. Jamieson said.

In the end, distributing the clothes and toys needed by hundreds of children outweighs the burden he and Sharon must shoulder to reunite with families in need and work with county schools, local hospitals and churches to find where their efforts are. need the most.

“I think if I didn’t my stomach would explode” Mr. Jamieson said. “I couldn’t imagine not getting up and doing it.”

Due to their health concerns, the Jamiesons will once again host the annual fundraiser for their event with an online auction. The link to the auction can be found at https://auctionagogo.hibid.com/catalog/332264/spirit-of-christmas-2021-online-auction/. The online auctions are open and run until December 7.

“Last year we did (fundraising) online,” Jamieson said. In years gone by, they had American Legion Chicken Dinners on Fort Myers Beach, which filled the room.

They were still able to take 253 children “Christmas shopping,” Mr. Jamieson said. That was about 40 kids below the previous year’s grade that Jamieson hopes to approach again.

The goal is to provide $ 100 in spending money to parents of each child – mostly for clothes and toys at WalMart – although some foods are allowed.

The auction features gift cards to many of Fort Myers Beach’s popular restaurants and hotels, as well as Lee County golf courses, tickets to the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall, fishing tours, and tours. gift cards for health and beauty products.

“The beach has supported me so well” Jamieson said. “Bars and restaurants have brought us to where we are. “

He and his wife have not been able to return to their native Canada since the start of the pandemic and have since moved elsewhere in Lee County.

This does not stop their mission.

“We are very careful about how we choose (families who receive gifts). They must be pre-authorized for us ”, Mr. Jamieson said. “Schools know which children are wearing the same clothes. “

After being chosen, families will meet the Jamiesons at a Lee County WalMart and receive gift cards for shopping for their children. “They will pull on the strings of your heart”, Mr. Jamieson said.

Purchases will take place at WalMart this season, likely Dec. 15 or 16, he said.

Jamieson said the foundation has come a long way since he technically started the concept 19 years ago, when he said he “I took $ 100 out of my pocket for a woman who was not going to have a Christmas” for her child.

“It grew and grew.”

Jamieson said early on that they were auctioning pies on Fort Myers Beach for their “Christmas spirit” toy drive, impressing yourself by raising $ 800.

With more than $ 20,000 raised to date, the “Christmas spirit” appears to be in good shape.

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