Hood River County Christmas Project Registrations start Nov. 8

Hood River County Christmas Project coordinator Bruce Holmson has announced registration dates for the upcoming 2013 holiday season. According to Holmson, the sole purpose of the program is to provide assistance with holiday food and children’s gifts, during the Christmas holidays, to low-income families living within Hood River County.

The Christmas Project is available to Hood River County families meeting State of Oregon Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) standards (previously known as food stamps), although they do not need to be presently receiving SNAP benefits. Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of income and residency. Eligible children in the family must be living at home. Christmas Project applications will be taken again this year at the following locations:

In Cascade Locks, applications will be taken at The Cascade Locks City Hall – FISH Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m.

In Hood River, applications are being taken at the Oregon Department of Human Services, 1610 Ninth Court on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 8, 15, 22 and Dec. 6, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 9, 16, 23 and Dec. 7.

In Odell, applications will be taken at the Odell Food Bank, 3440 Odell Highway, from 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5.

In Parkdale, applications will be taken at the Parkdale Community Church during Food Bank hours (4-6 p.m.) on Mondays, Nov. 11 and 25.

Applicants can sign up at whichever location is most convenient for them.

This year, the Hood River County Fairgrounds has again offered its facilities for distribution of the Christmas baskets to the families. Registered families will need to come to the Community Building this year, on Dec. 20 and 21, from 1-6 p.m. to pick up their baskets. Baskets for seniors and people with disabilities will be delivered to their residences Saturday, Dec. 21.

Holmson said that last year the Christmas Project provided food and toys to approximately 500 families (more than 2,000 men, women and children) within Hood River County.

“We will continue to need the community’s help in money donations, toys, and food items, to make another successful year,” he said.

The main fundraiser for the Christmas Project this year is the 17th Annual Gala Fashion Show, scheduled for Nov. 15 (Friday) at the Best Western Hood River Inn Gorge Room. Insitu, Dakine and Pistil are helping to sponsor the gala this year.

In addition, a Hood River Lions grant will be used to help purchase new toys and a grant from the United Way of the Columbia Gorge will be used to add a variety of healthy, nutrient-packed food items within each family’s food box. Many area churches, civic organizations, local schools, individuals and families participate by sponsoring families, or donating food, toys, and cash.

During mid-November and December, the following businesses will have food and toy collection barrels for folks to drop off items:

Alder Creek Kayak and SUP

CenterPointe Community Bank

The Children’s Play Place

Columbia State Bank


Hood River Middle School

Hood River News

Hood River Sports Club

Horizon Christian School


Naked Winery

Orchard Lanes Bowling

Print It/Sign Media



Washington Federal Savings

Westside Elementary School

Wy’east Middle School

To contribute to the Christmas Project, checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031. All donations are tax-deductible [501 (c)(3) organization].

As always, the committee is looking for new people to help with family registration and directing or participating in various aspects of the project.


For more information on how to get involved or sponsor a needy family, call Kym Zanmiller at 541-386-5153 or visit hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com

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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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