ERROR: Macro sectionTag is missing! Thank you, PDN readers, for supporting 'a hand up, not a handout' Peninsula Home Fund. Together, we can change lives -- Port Angeles Port Townsend Sequim Forks Jefferson County Clallam County Olympic Peninsula Daily NEWS
Thank you, PDN readers, for supporting 'a hand up, not a handout' Peninsula Home Fund. Together, we can change lives

By Peninsula Daily News staff

Give voice to your heart
A GIFT OF any size is welcome.

Peninsula Home Fund has never been a campaign of heavy hitters.

If you can contribute only a few dollars, please don't hesitate because you think it won't make a difference.

Every gift makes a difference, regardless of its size.

To donate, write a check to “Peninsula Home Fund” and print out the coupon above.

Mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

You can also donate online by credit card.

Go back to the www.peninsuladailynews.com home page, then click on “Peninsula Home Fund — Click Here to Donate.”

All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

The fund's IRS number, under the auspices of OlyCAP, is 91-0814319.

Whether you donate by coupon or online, you will receive a written thank-you and acknowledgment of your contribution.

To delay may mean to forget.
REQUESTS FOR HELP from the Peninsula Daily News' Peninsula Home Fund are up — and contributions are down — as the New Year looms.

PDN readers are unfailingly generous, but a still-down economy has cut into their numbers.

The fund is kept afloat by our readers' donations, including an extraordinary gift of $25,000 last week by a Port Angeles-based company that asked that it be “anonymous.”

For 24 years, the Home Fund has been a safety net for Jefferson and Clallam residents when there is nowhere else to turn.

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to LaPush, the Home Fund is a “hand up, not a handout” for children, teens, families and the elderly to get through an emergency situation.

Individuals, couples, families, businesses, churches, service organizations and school groups set a record for contributions in 2011 — $254,593.73.

With heavy demand this year, the carefully rationed fund is being depleted rapidly.

Since Jan. 1, the Home Fund has helped about 3,000 households and individuals.

As we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the money collected in 2011 is expected to be exhausted by this coming Monday, Dec. 31.

With less than a week to go to New Year's Day, the Home Fund so far has collected $182,404.31 for use in 2013.

But our holiday-season fundraising campaign is not over.

There is still time, and reason, to help.

Some people call the Home Fund “shoestring philanthropy.”

Money from the Home Fund usually is given out in small amounts, normally up to $150.

But even though the dollar figures are small, the impact can be big, in huge, life-changing ways.

The Home Fund is designed to get an individual or family through a crisis — assistance is limited to one time in a 12-month period — and every effort is made by Home Fund counselors to put them back on the path to self-sufficiency.

That's the “hand up, not a handout” focus of the fund.

A modest amount of money from the fund went to Audrey M. so she could meet utility and housing deposits as she climbed back to a normal life.

She was penniless, homeless and without a job when she arrived in Port Angeles from an unsafe life in Pierce County.

Today, she is married to a “wonderful, dependable man.”

She studied for and then attained her GED — General Educational Development certificate — and “I have a wonderful job, and I am surrounded with good people.”

She was at a turning point, and the Home Fund helped her “feel like a person who has worth.”

She added: “The Home Fund didn't just help me financially — it helped me emotionally.

“I wouldn't have been able to pull my life together without this community's support.”

The Home Fund provides a unique lifeline on the North Olympic Peninsula.

Money from the Home Fund goes for hot meals for seniors, meeting rent, energy and transportation needs, warm winter coats for kids, home repairs for the low-income, needed eyeglasses and prescription drugs, dental work, safe and drug-free temporary housing . . .

The list goes on and on . . .

Home Fund donors' investment in the lives of their neighbors makes it happen.

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BELOW IS OUR INTRODUCTORY STORY ON THE PENINSULA HOME FUND



A GRANDMOTHER CARING for two small children received help with her utility bills.

An out-of-work logger in Quilcene got money to obtain prescribed medicine.

A fourth-grade student got the glasses he needed to do his schoolwork in Port Townsend.

Material was provided to help a volunteer group assist a Port Angeles woman with repairs to her mobile home.

A Forks woman received a load of wood to heat her house.

Almost 3,000 individuals and households in Jefferson and Clallam counties have received help so far this year from the Peninsula Daily News' Peninsula Home Fund.

From Thanksgiving to New Year's Eve, the Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for North Olympic Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn — is seeking contributions for its annual holiday season fundraising campaign.

Peninsula Daily News publishes information on the Home Fund every Wednesday and Sunday during the campaign. The Sunday article lists contributors and reports on how the fund works.

[To read last Sunday's story, click on: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/article/20121223/NEWS/312239986 ].


Peninsula's safety net

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim and LaPush, the Home Fund is a “hand up, not a handout” for children, teens, families and the elderly to get through an emergency situation.

Money from the Home Fund goes for hot meals for seniors, meeting rent, energy and transportation needs, warm winter coats for kids, home repairs for the low-income, needed eyeglasses and prescription drugs, dental work, safe and drug-free temporary housing . . .

The list goes on and on.

Begun in 1989, the Home Fund is supported by Jefferson and Clallam residents.

Individuals, couples, families, businesses, churches, service organizations and school groups set a record for contributions in 2011 — $254,593.73.

With heavy demand this year, the carefully rationed fund is being depleted rapidly.

As we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the money collected in 2011 is expected to be exhausted by Dec. 31.

Home Fund is not a welfare program.

Assistance, which usually averages less than $100, is also limited to one time in a 12-month period.

The average amount of help this year has been about $57 per family.

As needed, Peninsula Home Fund donations are also used in conjunction with money from churches, service clubs and other donors, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

The Home Fund staff's most important goal is to get the individual or family through a crisis and back on the path of self-sufficiency.

Whenever possible, case managers work with each individual or family to develop a plan to become financially stable — and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

The goal again: “a hand up, not a handout.”

All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible for the year in which a check is written.

(See accompanying box, at right.)

Your personal information is kept confidential.

The PDN does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone or make any other use of it.

Peninsula Home Fund is a unique nonprofit program.

No money is deducted by the Peninsula Daily News.

Every penny goes to OlyCAP to help the most vulnerable members of our community, from infants to families to seniors.

Because of the extraordinary demand experienced by OlyCAP in 2011 and 2012 — and plummeting cutbacks in grants and government support — for the first time in the 24-year history of the Home Fund, OlyCAP used a portion of the fund in 2012 to pay for the helping hands who see clients.

The amount is limited to no more than 10 percent — 10 cents of every dollar donated.

OlyCAP has kept it below 10 percent — specifically, 8.9 percent.

The fund is not set up to hand out money passively.

OlyCAP can no longer absorb the costs of managing all the facets of the Home Fund — screening applicants, providing counseling and carefully disbursing the funds — without financial assistance.

It must tap a small portion of the fund as tough times compound the challenges it faces to help those in need.

Applying for a grant

To apply for a Peninsula Home Fund grant, phone OlyCAP at 360-452-4726 (Clallam County) or 360-385-2571 (Jefferson County).

■   OlyCAP's Port Angeles office is at 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall); 360-452-4726.

■   Its Port Townsend office is at 803 W. Park Ave.; 360-385-2571.

■   The Forks/West End office is at 421 Fifth Ave.; 360-374-6193.

OlyCAP's website: www.olycap.org; email: action@olycap.org.

If you have any questions about the fund, phone John Brewer, Peninsula Daily News editor and publisher, at 360-417-3500.

Or email him at john.brewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 25. 2012 7:25PM
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