Next Door needs $1,860 to meet $100K matching grant

Next Door Inc. is on the verge of a major capital goal.

The nonprofit agency needs $1,860 to match a $100,000 grant made last year by Luhr Jensen Company.

The Next Door has until Jan. 31 to raise the remaining funds, according to Heidi Venture, NDI development manager.

This is the first matching grant ever received by NDI, and “we really weren’t sure what would happen,” Venture said. “Our supporters came through for us, and we even had donations from 45 people who have never given to us before.”

In 2009, Phil and Judy Jensen loaned NDI $300,000 to help pay for the renovation of the agency’s new building in Hood River while NDI waited for grants to be funded.

“When our loan was due in June 2012, they told us they’d be happy to give us $100,000 as a matching fund in honor of Phil’s dad, Luhr Jensen, with a final matching date of Jan. 31, 2013,” Venture said.

“Phil and Judy are great people, and their offer couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Janet Hamada, NDI director.

“In discussing what they wanted the Luhr Jensen Match Fund to accomplish, the Jensens did not have a particular focus; instead they let us decide if we wanted to earmark it to one of our 28 programs or for administration in general,” Hamada said.

“We decided that we would use the match for any individual donations, including those that are program-specific.

“For example, donations to Klahre House School, New Parent Services and Big Brothers-Big Sisters have all been matched. This has been a help to the programs. General donations have also been matched, which has helped all our programs.”

Toward the match, NDI received 14 donations in amounts over $1,000, all from individuals — except one from the congregation of the Hood River Alliance Church.

The largest matchable donation was $10,000; the smallest, $10.

“So far, we’ve been able to match 256 donations for a total of $98,140. We are very grateful to the amazingly generous people of the Columbia Gorge,” Venture said.


Anyone who wants to donate to the Jensen matching fund can call Venture at 541-436-0303, or visit and click the Donate button.

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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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