La Clinica warms the Gorge with winter clothing drive

January 14

La Clinica del Cariño treats colds and helps fight the cold weather.

One sweater, or stocking cap, at a time.

“Warm up the Gorge” clothing drive — Calentando El Gorge — started last week and will continue for one more week, as a way to help the clinic’s clients deal with frigid weather.

“I wish I had started this sooner,” said Dr. Connie Serra, a family practice physician at LaClinica. “I think a lot of people had this same idea, I just took a couple of steps to help it happen.”

“It’s going just great,” said Daniel Ward, La Clinica director. Donations can be made at LaClinica offices in Hood River or in The Dalles (see details below).

Anyone in need of clothing can take items, at no charge, from shelves in the entry way of the clinic. They disappear almost as soon as they are put out, Ward said. New coats and other high-quality items have made their way onto the shelves.

“It’s really a good thing. It’s very cold,” said Annamarie Alamo of Parkdale, who selected some sweatshirts for herself, her child, and her husband. The family arrived from Mexico three years ago and are still adjusting to winters in Hood River County.

The last two weeks’ harsh weather have been tough on many clients of La Clinica, Serra said.

“I see patients who have just arrived from Mexico, and some of them have never experienced cold like we’ve had. They are way under-dressed. We see it all day long,” she said. “The people who are in need of (warm clothes) are generally the same people we treat here at LaClinica. I thought, ‘How can we help?’”

She started with her own closet, cleaning out good items that her son, Lucas, 4, had outgrown. She then sent out e-mails to everyone who works at LaClinica asking them to donate. They brought in bagloads, and so did some of their friends.

“Clients have also donated items,” Serra said.


From now until Friday, anyone can bring clean, gently-used, winter coats, sweaters, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves to the lobby of La Clinica in Hood River, at 849 Pacific Ave. (a block east of Rosauers) or La Clinica in The Dalles, at 425 E. 7th (next door to the Wasco-Sherman Health Department). Child-sized warm things are especially needed.

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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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