United Way gives record amount

News staff writer

May 10, 2006

The United Way of Hood River County announced a record level of funding to area organizations and agencies.

“For the second year in a row, people in Hood River County have stepped forward with record donations and contributions,” stated United Way Board President Paul Blackburn.

“We are very pleased to announce the award of over $90,000 to 17 agencies. These dollars will allow those service providers to dedicate more of their time to fulfilling their missions, and less time trying to make ends meet.”

Several of this year’s recipients have historically received funds from United Way, including Hospice of the Gorge, Next Door, Inc.’s New Parent Services and the Columbia Gorge Center, among others.

First-time recipients include the Next Door’s Independent Living Program and Mountain Orchard Academy and Start Making A Reader Today (SMART).

Allocations Committee Chair Becca Sanders observed, “The funding requests we received were all very worthwhile. It’s unfortunate that we can’t fund them all, but are very pleased to be able to increase overall funding again this year due to the generous support from the community.”

Agencies receiving United Way allocations, with amounts received in parentheses, are:

* New Parent Services ($8,100);

* FISH Food Bank ($4,800);

* First Book ($2,000);

* Columbia Gorge Center ($11,500);

* Big Brothers/Big Sisters ($5,000);

* Independent Living Program ($6,042);

* SMART ($5,000);

* Next Door Inc. Youth Crisis Shelter ($3,000);

* Pioneer Potlatch ($4,660);

* Providence Community Caregivers Faith In Action ($3,040);

* Mountain Orchard Academy ($3,000);

* Eastern Oregon Support Services Brokerage ($1,250);

* Hospice of the Gorge ($10,095);

* Nuestra Communidad Sana ($4,000);

* Girl Scouts ($5,060);

* CGCC Adult Literacy Program ($900);

* American Red Cross ($14,000).

To donate or to get involved with United Way, contact Barbara Briggs at P.O. Box 2, Hood River, OR 97031, or phone (541) 386-6100, or e-mail: unitedway.hoodriver@charter.net

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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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