As Christmas nears, consider expanding your gift list just slightly to include a small donation to the Peninsula Home Fund.
The fund collected by the Peninsula Daily News and administered by Olympic Community Action Programs (OlyCAP), offers a hand up, not a handout, to your neighbors on the North Olympic Peninsula. It is spent entirely in Clallam and Jefferson counties.
Through New Year’s Eve, the Peninsula Home Fund is seeking contributions for its 30th annual holiday fundraising campaign — and a little can mean a lot.
The average amount given per person this year from the 2017 campaign has been $129.
Although amounts are small, the value to the recipient can be huge.
It can mean assistance in paying rent to continue to have a place to live or help in covering a utility bill, so that the adults and children in the home are warm.
It can help cover such basics as clothing and laundry money, hygienic supplies or eye glasses.
It can pay for an essential car repair that allows the recipient to get to work or to school.
Seniors on fixed incomes have dipped into the fund for unexpected expenses.
Each month, OlyCAP donates $2,000 to the free clinic operated by Volunteers in Medicine of the Olympics (VIMO), specially to alleviate dental pain and other dental problems for those in need.
By offering an essential bridge when things just don’t match up, the Home Fund helps people pursue their goals and become happier and more productive.
Just as awards of money are small, so can donations be small.
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.
It creates a safety net for North Olympic Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn.
It can make a crucial difference — and fulfill a need that many of us are closer than we might want to admit to experiencing.
“As the social safety net becomes increasingly tattered, torn and stressed, people are increasingly at risk of falling through the growing gaps,” said Dale Wilson, OlyCAP executive director in a letter published on Thanksgiving, the first day of the 2019 campaign.
“It is most often when people are in free fall that the Home Fund delivers resources when others have failed.
“Every contribution to the Hone Fund is far more than a donation,”Wilson continued. “It is recognition that not all humanitarian responses must come from somewhere, or someone, else.
“The fund is a statement that both individually, and as a collective, people across the Olympic Peninsula are prepared to respond to the needs of others.”
No money is deducted by the Peninsula Daily News for administration fees or any other overhead.
Every penny goes to OlyCAP, which has had to set aside 10 percent to pay for programs and services for Home Fund clients.
All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.
Many use the opportunity to remember and honor loved ones. Donations are made by individuals, couples, families and larger groups, with the name of the donor or anonymously.
To donate, write a check to Peninsula Home Fund, attach it to the coupon that appears in today’s PDN and mail to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362 or contribute online using a credit card. Just go to www.olycap.org/peninsula-home-fund.
Many of us know the importance of buying locally. Giving locally is just as important.
Be the best of good neighbors and support the Peninsula Home Fund.
Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.