‘Habitat’ looks for homeowners

If your family needs a better place to live but doesn’t have the financial resources to make it happen, the Mid-Columbia Habitat for Humanity affiliate would like to hear from you.

The new affiliate of the international faith-based organization is hoping to hear from families in need of better, affordable housing. A subcommittee will consider applications and family need in selecting a family to take ownership of the affiliate’s first home project. Plans call for construction of that home sometime in 2003.

To qualify for preliminary screening, families resident in the Mid-Columbia area for at least one year must also show an ability to make small monthly payments, a need for better housing, and a willingness to invest ’sweat equity’ with Habitat volunteers to build the home.

Habitat for Humanity has scheduled four meetings in the Hood River and Bingen-White Salmon areas, to offer more information to interested families and take formal applications. Those meetings will be held at:

* St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1501 Belmont Drive, Hood River, OR 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 3; 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6.

* Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ, 480 E. Jewett Blvd., White Salmon, Wash. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 8; 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13.

* Community volunteers work side-by-side with future homeowners to build their homes. Homeowners repay the cost of no-interest, no-profit mortgages. Cash flow from those payments helps finance subsequent construction.

* The Mid-Columbia affiliate earlier this summer began a capital campaign to fund its first house. The “Hundreds for Habitat” campaign is seeking 1,000 annual donations of $100 each, for a total construction funding of $100,000.

* To make tax-deductible contributions to the Habitat affiliate, send checks to:

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

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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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