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Peninsula Home Fund begins annual campaign

Neighbor-to-neighbor unique giving program

It’s time to begin the annual campaign for donations to the Peninsula Home Fund.

The fund, now in its 34th year, has changed in its management structure while retaining the purpose it has maintained for decades: to allow neighbor-to-neighbor donations to help people living in Clallam and Jefferson counties who are trying hard to make ends meet but have come up short.

The generosity of local residents always has been overwhelming. This year, because of changes made to the fund, they have more ways to give.

They can mail checks to the Peninsula Home Fund along with the coupon attached to this story. They can donate with a credit card online by clicking on the Peninsula Home Fund button on the peninsuladailynews.com homepage. (Scroll way down). Donations also can be made to the Peninsula Home Fund account at any First Fed branch.

As always, donors will be listed in updates published in Peninsula Daily News throughout the campaign, which ends in January.

Gifts can be listed anonymously, by name only, by name and amount, or in honor of or in the memory of another.

Funds will be dispersed by Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP) professionals to North Olympic Peninsula residents in need. The donations fund needs that range from fuel to get to work, school or to medical appointments; rent, utilities; food, clothing and a variety of other shortfalls such as replacement of glasses for a child or help with a senior’s broken appliance that permits the person to remain living at home.

Most OlyCAP funds are dedicated to specific areas by the agency that grants the money. The Peninsula Home Fund is different in that it is available for the unexpected expense that doesn’t necessarily fit into a category.

It can help bridge the gap between making it this month and going under for a family or individual who can then continue improving their lives and go on with being or becoming productive members of society.

The Peninsula Home Fund is not a welfare program. Money is used to give families and individuals from Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim, Joyce and La Push a hand up, not a handout, to get through an emergency situation.

All instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through a temporary crisis — and back on the path to self-sufficiency.

Home Fund case managers often 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.

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

The only money ever taken from the fund is to assist OlyCAP with administrative costs. Every penny goes to OlyCAP, which this year will take 10 percent to assist with administrative costs.

The annual campaign always begins on Thanksgiving and extends through the holiday season. All contributions are federally tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.

“It is extraordinary that our readers and residents of the North Olympic Peninsula donate to this unique fund to help a neighbor when they need it,” said Eran Kennedy, publisher of Peninsula Daily News. “The legacy of the Peninsula Home Fund is the continued generosity of the community.

“Thanks to each of you for your support.”

How to apply

The best way to request assistance from the Peninsula Home Fund is to fill out an online inquiry.

The “Ask for General Assistance” button at www.olycap.org will take you to the request form, or you can go directly to olycap.formstack.com/forms/general_inquiry.

If you are unable to access the internet, you may call OlyCAP offices in Port Angeles — 360-452-4726 — or Port Townsend — 360-385-2571, regardless of which county you reside in, and the front desk staff will fill it out on your behalf over the phone.

Cherish Cronmiller, OlyCAP’s executive director, oversees disbursements from the Peninsula Home Fund.

Every donation, no matter the size, makes a difference. It creates a safety net for Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn.

From children’s pennies to checks for thousands of dollars, the generosity of Peninsula Daily News readers makes a positive difference.

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