Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity begins fundraising efforts

Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity has finished a year of work laying down its legal framework. This month, the new affiliate will hold two public meetings to rally community support for funding and building a house.

Habitat officials at each meeting will explain plans, enlist volunteers and launch the “Hundreds for Habitat” campaign to raise $100,000 in donations of $100 from 1,000 people.

“This first fundraising campaign will establish the foundation for our first year of homebuilding,” said George Volker, affiliate board president. “We hope that at least 1,000 people will join us as founding members of the Mid-Columbia affiliate, and help in any way they can to insure that families in our community have safe, decent and affordable housing.”

The kickoff events are scheduled for:

7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Rd.

7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29, at Bethel Congregational UCC, 480 E. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon.

All meetings are open to the public. The local affiliate needs volunteers to help it finance and build a modest home for a deserving family.

Volunteers help find and purchase a suitable lot, secure financial and material support, select a family to take ownership of the home, then work side-by-side with the future homeowner to build a house.

Homeowners invest their “sweat equity” as a down payment, then repay the cost of no-interest, no-profit mortgages. Loan payments finance future home projects.

Since 1976, the nonprofit, nondenominational Habitat for Humanity has built more than 100,000 houses in more than 80 countries, including about 30,000 houses across the United States.

“Everyone loves to saw boards and pound nails,” Volker said. “Just as important — and just as fun — we need help developing resources to make that happen.”

The Development Committee needs people to coordinate publicity, newsletters, brochures, a Web page, special events, volunteer and donor databases, grant writing, display development and mailings.

People with skills or interests in working on these efforts are encouraged to attend either of the sessions, or contact the Development Committee in Hood River at 541-308-0500 or in White Salmon at 509-493-3720.

To make tax-deductible contributions, send checks to:

Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity, c/o Brian Baynes, Treasurer, Box 1201 Carson, WA 98610.

To learn more, contact George Volker, president, 4460 Riordan Hill Dr., Hood River, OR 97031, 490-3994.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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