How to Help for Oct. 12

Volunteer as a tax preparer

For more than 35 years in the Gorge, the AARP Tax-Aide program has been operating with volunteers to prepare taxes for senior citizens and low- to moderate-income persons, free of charge. Volunteers are needed to join the program.

If you don’t seize up at the thought of preparing income taxes, and kind of enjoy unique situations, fiddling with numbers, decoding things like tax rules, this might be for you.

There are six days of training in January over a two-week period, usually in The Dalles. After that, passing a test is required for certification. Self-study or online training is also available.

Tax-Aide volunteers work in Hood River, White Salmon and The Dalles and Tygh Valley, with a minimum four-hour-per-week commitment requested.

There is lots of support and collaboration; no one is expected to know it all. Tax-Aide volunteers prepare returns using Tax-wise on IRS-loaned laptops.

For more information call Ronell Currie at 541-478-3461.

FISH food bank building project

Donations are being sought to help the FISH food bank building project. The four locations in Hood River County now serve more than 400 families each month, and a new facility is needed that allows clients to wait out of the rain, is handicapped accessible, and where volunteers can efficiently and safely stock and store food with adequate food storage.

For more info call 541-490-1470 or visit fish-food-bank.com. Building contributions can be sent to FISH, 1767 12th St., #147, Hood River, OR 97031.

Parkhurst House Senior Living Community

Do you have an open heart and some extra time? Parkhurst House is seeking volunteers who will spend a little time with its residents doing activities that you both enjoy, such as playing cards, exercise, singing, playing a musical instrument, watching movies, scrapbooking, sewing or cross-stitching, religious studies, playing bingo, cooking, reading books, giving manicures, facials or massages, gardening, storytelling, poetry reading, playing sports or board games.

To volunteer call Parkhurst House at 541-387-4600. Parkhurst is located at 2450 May St., Hood River.

Hat Project welcomes volunteers, yarn

Do you crochet, knit or loom? The residents and friends of Parkhurst House Senior Living Community cordially invite you to help create warm hats to give to those in need this coming winter season. The Hat Project members will be donating its creations to various charities in Hood River and Wasco counties.

The group meets each Monday from 10 a.m. to noon at Parkhurst House, 2450 May St., Hood River.

Those wishing to donate yarn, crochet hooks, knitting needles, looms or their own hat creations are welcome to drop them off at Parkhurst house as well. The group is gratefully accepting donations of yarn of any color, weight or blend, in any amount.

For more information contact Terri Hansen at 541-387-4600.

Next Door seeks foster parents

The Next Door is interviewing prospective foster parents for Hood River and Wasco counties. NDI provides care and behavior treatment for children and teens, ages 6-18, and is seeking individuals who are willing to open their hearts and their homes.

As a professional foster parent, you can give a child a place to call home; a safe, healthy, nurturing environment that many children have never known. You can be a part of helping these children and teens restore their lives and grow to be successful adults.

The ideal foster parents believe, like NDI does, that every child and every family deserves a chance to build a good life.

The need is now. NDI provides continuous training, 24-hour support and paid days off.

If you are interested, or know anyone who would make a great foster parent, contact Andrea Wood at 541-308-2207 or andreaw@nextdoorinc.org, or click on Foster Parenting at www.nextdoorinc.org.

Help grant senior wishes

Hawks Ridge Assisted Living Community is working on a new special program: Senior Wish Project will grant members of the senior community “special wishes,” such as reliving a childhood memory, an afternoon at a favorite fishing hole or a glider ride through the Gorge.

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For more information, contact Kelly at 541-387-4087 or marketing@hawksridgeas-sistedliving.com.

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Latest video:

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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