Holiday giving: how to help others

Looking to help provide for neighbors in need this holiday season? Here’s a list of ways to donate items, money, or time to local projects for the underprivileged in the Gorge:

OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD — From Nov. 17-23, Our Redeemer Lutheran Church will be the collection center for the annual drive to send care boxes to children aged 2-14 in more than 90 countries. In Operation Christmas Child, volunteers purchase clothing, toys and other non-perishable gifts for boys or girls aged 2-4, 5-9, or 10-14. Donors are encouraged to enclose a note and photo in separate envelope. A $5 donation is requested per box to cover shipping and other costs. Karen Goebel is local coordinator; she can be reached at 509-493-8665.

COATS AND BLANKETS — Six Windermere/Glenn Taylor Real Estate offices in the Mid-Columbia area are encouraging community members to “share the warmth” this winter by donating coats and blankets for the homeless.

The locally-owned Windermere offices will serve as coat and blanket donation sites for shelters and emergency care facilities for the needy. Now through Dec. 19, you can bring new or gently used coats and blankets to any of the Windermere/Glenn Taylor Real Estate locations listed below on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Each office has a drop box and will distribute the cots and blankets to people in need. Participating offices include the Hood River office, 504 Cascade; Goldendale, 104 N. Columbus; The Dalles, 312 E. 3rd,; Bingen, 220 W. Steuben; and Stevenson, 220 SW 2nd.

HOLIDAY FASHION SHOW — The Nov. 20 fundraiser for the Christmas Project will be at Hood River Hotel ballroom (see details on page A1).

FOOD DRIVE — Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Community is holding a food drive through Nov. 24. Bring non-perishable food items to Hawks Ridge, 1795 8th St. in the Heights, for donation to the FISH food bank. Call 387-4087 for details.

CHRISTMAS PROJECT — Coordinators Irv and Sherril Smith are seeking assistance for the program to help the county’s needy. Food, toys, sponsorships for families and seniors, and cash, are needed, as well as volunteers, according to the Smiths. The committee is looking for new people to help with organizing and directing various aspects of the project. If you would like more information on how to get involved, call the Smiths at 490-3625.To contribute to Christmas Project, mail checks to P.O. Box 682, Hood River, OR 97301. All donations are tax-deductible.

Individuals, groups or families wishing to sponsor families or seniors may call Anne Cathey at 354-3750.

Applications for assistance with holiday food and children’s gifts will be taken again this year at the State Office Building, 1610 9th Ct., in the Heights, located off Pacific Avenue, each Friday and Saturday through Nov. 22, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The program is available to families meeting Food Stamp Program eligibility standards, although they do not need to be actually receiving Food Stamps.

Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of income and Hood River County residence (power bill, phone bill or rent receipt) and a birth certificate, Oregon Health Plan paper, WIC card, or other document for each child living in the home.

MOSIER CHRISTMAS PROJECT — The Christmas Basket committee, under chair Marilynn Shaw, announced that attendees at the Christmas Craft Fair on Dec. 6 and 7 will be asked to donate a can of food which will be included in the baskets.

The applications for the baskets will soon be available at the Mosier gas station and the post office. They should be filled out according to the directions and returned to P.O. Box 202, Mosier.

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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 to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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