Students raise more than $11,000 in annual Work Day

By BOB WOOD

For the Hood River News

Students clad in white t-shirts flooded local businesses on Friday in an effort to raise money to benefit two local charities. This year’s beneficiaries of Community Work Day are Hospice of the Gorge and Community Education.

“We had around 342 students working,” said CWD Chairperson Nolan Johnson, a Hood River Valley High School student. “After our costs, we’re hoping to make about $11,000 that will be split between the two charities.” These figures are up from the $10,000 that the 325 student workers made during last year’s event.

This year marked the sixth year for CWD, which originally started as a coordinated effort between FBLA and the school’s ASB, but now it is solely the ASB’s responsibility. “It’s our way to get students some work experience,” said Activities Director Bob Kadell. “We are able to generate a lot of money for charity in one day, and it’s a good opportunity for the community to give to its own.”

Johnson, along with fellow chairpersons Katie Flory, Anna Hidle and Candice Hoag, worked hard to pull the event together. “It’s a lot more work than people think,” commented Hoag. “We had to talk to the teachers, the administrators, and then we had to get the students excited about it. After the students are done with their work, we still have to give the money to the agencies. The work starts in January and ends in June, but it’s great to give to the community.”

Although students are able to simply donate the $39 minimum and miss a day of school, many of them don’t mind doing work for a day. “I do so much community service already,” stated Michelle Connors, who worked at Holstein’s Coffee Co. for the day, “so working and donating money isn’t a big deal for me.”

The work that students do ranges from yard work for their parents to making coffee to simply helping organizations. Six freshman girls, under the supervision of soon-to-be Hospice of the Gorge Executive Director Deborah Whiting Jaques and Paul Lindberg, helped to stuff 6,000 envelopes at Dethman Manor for Hospice of the Gorge. “We’re really appreciative of Dethman Manor for letting us use their facilities,” Jaques said.

The letters will ask for donations and grants to help Hospice fund a new building in the Eliot Woods Business Park. “We’ve raised $55,000 already,” Lindberg said, “and we’re looking to raise the rest ($545,000) through donations and grants.”

“At first I thought, ‘Cool, we get to get out of school for a day,’” said Christa Chandler, one of the girls stuffing envelopes, “but then I thought about how nice it is to give to charity.” All of the girls agreed that it felt good to contribute to a good cause.

Employers feel good about giving to the community, too, and they also think of the preparation for life that kids are receiving through participating. “It’s a great opportunity for young people heading into the job world to get a taste of what it’s really like,” said Shane Langston, owner of Holstein’s Coffee Co., “and it also lets kids find possible summer jobs.”

All in all, students generally felt the same about their services. In the words of the girls who worked for Hospice, “We’re happy to give back to the community.”

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Bob Wood wrote this article as part of his Community Work Day duties at the Hood River News.

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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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