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A Christmas tree farm on the property allows children to be a part of the growing process, as well as providing business experience when they sell the trees each Christmas


vegetable and flower gardens through all phases, from planting, watering and caring for them, to harvesting the fruits – or in this case vegetables – of their labor. The vegetables are then donated to the Women’s and Children’s Free Restaurant in Spokane, and the flowers are hand delivered to the Veterans Home. This provides the children a sense of ownership in their work, and allows them to give to other groups of people who are experiencing different troubles. The children also work each year, selling


pre-cut Christmas trees, which are planted and grown on some of the 319 acres of Hutton Settlement’s property. Cotton says that they used to have the


children work to raise lambs for 4H, but it was too difficult for the children when they had to sell the animals. Now, in order to fill that need for a loving soft animal, there are housedogs for each of the four houses, allowing the children to bond and attach to a pet, without having to say goodbye to it. “The sense of community that is felt on


our campus between staff and kids is like no other place I’ve experienced,” says Milliken. “Living and working in this caring Hutton neighborhood where people collectively possess a sense of purpose and act with compassion makes for a fun and fulfilling place to be.” The greatest need for Hutton Settlement


at this time is identifying and reaching out to the families who are in need of hope and compassionate care. With recent budget cuts and services being cancelled due to current economic woes, families in crisis are left with less support and networks of care. As a longstanding child welfare organization in our community, Hutton Settlement wants to reach those families who desperately need some hope in their lives but don’t know where to turn. They are licensed to have up to 50 children living there, and their goal is to have every bed filled, knowing that they are providing comfort, stability and hope for the little ones who will fill those beds. “The best thing the community can do,


website,


from my perspective, is come visit us at the Hutton Settlement,” says Milliken. “See what we are about and see first hand the incredible work being done here. You don’t truly get a sense of the Hutton Settlement until you drive down our lane and visit us on our campus. From that experience, stories are shared and networks are formed, strengthening our ability to reach those invisible families in need of hope, healing and reconciliation.” According to the Hutton Settlement in


1918, Levi Hutton “was


recognized at a Shrine convention by the national Imperial Potentate who said, ‘If one man could build and do for children what


photo by David Crary


House dogs, like this one, provide a loving pet with which the children bond and learn the responsibilities of caring for an animal


Mr. Hutton has done, what could 500,000 Shriners do?’ Consequently, at the next convention, a plan was initiated to start the Shrine Hospital for Crippled Children.” Likewise, if Hutton Settlement can do for the children what they have done, what could the contributions of more from this community do? They might just be able to help provide a happily ever after to some of the most deserving children.


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