Help Open door celebrate its 40th

August 3, 2011

A quilt of social service groups, past and present, helps form the evolution and current makeup of The Next Door Inc., which this week celebrates 40 years of work helping the community.

The quilt includes programs with names such as Big Brothers, Housing For All, Nuestra Communidad Sana, El Nino Sana, Court-Appointed Special Advocates, Families First and Healthy Start.

These names, and more, all suggest a basic theme: people working together to move others toward healthier ways of life.

Congratulations to Director Janet Hamada and staff, and the board and supporters of Next Door for the organization's four decades, and counting, of making life a little better, one person at a time.

The agency has settled into its newly refurbished location on the Heights. Grants and extensive local contributions have coalesced to fund the building acquisition and renovation, but the agency is still working to raise the funds to pay off those costs. Community members can learn more about that, as well as the Next Door Inc. programs, at a 40th anniversary open house from 3-7 p.m. Thursday, co-hosted by Chamber of Commerce as the monthly Business After Hours.

Next Door started in 1971 in a big old farmhouse at May and 11th streets, which became The Klahre House; and for years the corner was graced by a brick pillar and a plaque with the name of Jim Klahre, DI's founding board chair. NDI bought the house in 1987, but Klahre House as a separate building is no more.

Klahre House is now under the same roof as the rest of Next Door, yet it keeps a separate identity (and a separate entrance) as a place of education and support for youth who are in foster care.

But the plaque is right there in the foyer, a weathered memento, in that remodeled building, of the roots of NDI's outreach.

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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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