Home Fund helps mom ‘pull my life together’

EDITOR’S NOTE — For 21 years, Peninsula Daily News readers in Jefferson and Clallam counties have supported the Peninsula Home Fund.

Today, we feature another in a series of articles that provide a window into how the fund operates and who benefits from our readers’ generosity.

The next article will appear Wednesday.

PORT ANGELES — Heroes come in many sizes, shapes and forms.

Audrey Munoz-Aultman knows that firsthand.

One of her heroes is her son, Anthony, now 10.

About a year ago, she lost control of her car.

It went off the road, flipped upside-down and trapped her inside.

Anthony untangled himself and ran two blocks in his pajamas and bare feet before he was able to flag down a car for help.

“I was airlifted to the hospital,” says Audrey, 31.

“He saved my life.”

Says Anthony:

“I got my own fireman hat that has my name carved into it, and I got to ride in a fire truck to school.”

Audrey also sees her neighbors on the North Olympic Peninsula as heroes.

They helped her through OlyCAP and the Peninsula Daily News’ “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund.

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

Some people call the PDN’s Peninsula Home Fund “shoestring philanthropy.”

Money from the Home Fund is usually 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.

So far this year, the Home Fund has touched almost 2,100 individuals and families in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

A modest amount of money from the fund went to Audrey so she could meet utility and housing deposits as she climbed back to self-sufficiency.

The Home Fund helped her “feel like a person who has worth.”

She adds:

“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.”

She was connected with the Home Fund through OlyCAP.

OlyCAP is nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs, the No. 1 emergency care agency in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

It also screens the applicants for the Home Fund and distributes the funds.

At OlyCAP, she met with caseworker Jackie Jones.

“Oh my goodness, that woman is just incredibly wonderful, warm and supportive,” says Audrey.

She moved into an emergency shelter through OlyCAP’s Housing Resource Center.

Jackie recommended Audrey look for work through Catholic Community Services Jobs.

Catholic Community Services hired her temporarily as an office assistance.

Last July, she was given a permanent position working in the church’s Volunteer Chore Services, a program in which people volunteer their time or money to help low-income older adults with household chores they can no longer do or provide transportation for essential errands.

“I have a wonderful job, and I am surrounded with good people,” says Audrey.

She also supplements her income with house cleaning.

Earlier this year, she studied for and then attained her GED.

In July, she married Travis Aultman, whom she first met while living in Pierce County.

She describes Travis as a “wonderful, dependable man.”

And, she adds, “since September, he’s gotten steady work” through a temporary job services agency.

“His ability to get work in the community, too, is also a blessing for us.

“Without that, it would be really hard to make ends meet.”

Sitting in the cozy two-bedroom home she shares with Travis and Anthony, Audrey says that for the first time in her life, she feels stable, secure — and that she belongs.

“The people here are so neat,” she says.

With an air of disbelief and awe, she adds:

“When I arrived, nobody knew me, yet they took me in, cared for me and made me feel my life mattered.

“I mattered.”

No deductions

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

All the money collected for the Home Fund goes — without any deductions — for hot meals for seniors; warm winter coats for kids; home repairs for the low-income; needed eyeglasses and prescription drugs; dental work; safe, drug-free temporary housing . . .

The list goes on and on.

Through Dec. 31, the PDN’s Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for residents in Jefferson and Clallam counties when there is nowhere else to turn — is seeking contributions for its annual holiday season fund-raising campaign.

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to LaPush, it’s a “hand up, not a handout” for children, teens, families and the elderly.

• No money is deducted for administration or other overhead.

Your entire donation — 100 percent, every penny — goes to help those who are facing times of crisis.

• All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

• Your personal information is kept confidential.

Peninsula Daily News does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone, or make any other use of the information.

• Instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through the crisis — and every effort is made to put them back on the path to self-sufficiency.

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

In many instances, Peninsula Home Fund case managers at OlyCAP work with individuals or families to develop a plan to become financially stable — and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

• Begun in 1989, the fund is supported entirely by Jefferson and Clallam residents.

Individuals, couples, businesses, churches, service organizations and school groups set a record for contributions in 2009 — $230,806.95.

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

So far, $199,000 has been spent. The last $30,000 of the money collected in 2009 is expected to be exhausted before Dec. 31.

• Peninsula Home Fund contributions are often used in conjunction with money from other agencies, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

• As was done with Audrey, money is usually distributed in small amounts, usually up to $150.

• Assistance is limited to one time in a 12-month period.

Applying for a grant

To apply for a grant from the fund, phone OlyCAP at 360-452-4726 (Port Angeles and Sequim) or 360-385-2571 (Jefferson County).

There’s also an OlyCAP office in Forks — 360-374-6193.

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

Or e-mail him at john.brewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

Peninsula Daily News publishes stories every Sunday and Wednesday during the fund-raising campaign listing contributors and reporting on how the fund works.

Contributions so far

While most of the money is raised between Thanksgiving and Dec. 31, the fund itself never closes.

Donations of any amount are always welcome.

Here is a list of donors whose contributions were received between Dec. 9 and Dec. 15 — thank you very much for making a difference in the lives — and futures — of your neighbors:

• Shirley Stolz and Steve Clark, Makawao, Hawaii — $100. In memory of Fred Stolz.

• Barbara Clampett, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Bruce Clampett.

• Kenneth (Mike) and Patti Brandt, Sequim — $25. In honor of Lori Butler.

• Steve and Gloria Ricketts, Port Hadlock — $100.

• John Bodger and Selden McKee, Port Townsend — $100.

• Marjorie Nichelson, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of my parents, Irene and Richard Folger.

• Barbara Brittingham, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of my beloved sister, Joan Favre.

• The Olympic Electric Co., Port Angeles — $300.

• Anita and David Brubaker, Wilmette, Ill. — $100. In honor of Dave and Barb Brubaker.

• Mel and Helen Williams, Port Townsend — $100.

• Ruth Lund, Port Angeles — $25.

• Linda Norris, Port Angeles — $50. In memory of Steve Norris.

• Walter and Edith Rowell, Centennial, Colo. — $100. In honor of Ben and Donna Pacheco and our family relocated to the Peninsula and working to help their local friends.

• Marie C. Cauvel, Port Angeles — $200. In memory of Orvel and Vineta Cauvel.

• Mary Louise Melly, Port Angeles — $100. In honor of Peninsula College Early Head Start, Educare, FLE and ECE staff. You are the most wonderful people to work with. Thanks for all you do for children and families in our programs. M. Lou.

• Sonje Beal, Syracuse, Utah — $250. In memory of Craig Baughman.

• Myra W. Ward, Sequim — $100.

Charles Williams, Port Angeles — $25.

• Monte Rivett, Port Angeles — $50. In honor of Greg and Barb, Matt and Rose.

• LaVonne and Bill Mueller, Sequim — $100.

• Renate B. Melvey, Sequim — $50.

• Ed and Adeline Ostrowski, Port Angeles — $100.

Many thanks also to these donors (who requested that the amount of their donation be kept private):

• Verna Partridge, Port Angeles. In memory of John Partridge.

• Mary and Rishard Gorczewski, Sequim. In memory of Barbara and Louise.

• Grace Wanrow, Sequim. In memory of my love, Michael Wanrow.

• Joyce Chiasson, Port Angeles. In memory of Jack Chiasson.

• Jim and Faith Haynes, Sequim.

• Darold and Kay Seed, Port Angeles.

• Tom and Sandi Shields, Sequim.

• Sally Milici, Beaver. In memory of my darling, Dirk Milici.

• Catherine White, Port Townsend.

• Candace and Mike Shale, Sequim.

• Elaine C. Goodwin, Port Townsend. In memory of Alan Goodwin.

• Leland J. Coulter, Sequim.

• Mack and Barb Boelling, Port Townsend.

• Dan and Judy Volkmann, Port Angeles.

• Diane Wheeler, Port Angeles.

• Georgia Fraker, Port Angeles.

• Joe and Sue Twogood, Port Angeles.

• Darryl and Joan Walker, Sequim.

• Joe Floyd and Barbara Noble, Sequim.

• May Carrell, Port Angeles.

• Lois C. McGuire, Sequim. In memory of Chuck McGuire.

• John and Marta Trowbridge, Sequim.

• Erwin and Diane Jones, Sequim.

• Dave and Sally Ellefson, Port Angeles.

• Lee and Irene Wyman, Port Angeles. In memory of brother-in-law Don Repp.

• Irene Wyman, Port Angeles. In memory of dear friend Gladys Bondurant.

• Elaine Powlesland, Sequim.

• Jack and Janet Real, Sequim.

• Randy and Kim Lemon, Port Angeles.

• The Tallmadge family, Port Angeles.

• Steve and Jean Reed, Port Townsend.

• Mr. and Mrs. William Dickin, Sequim.

• The Olympic Suites Inn, Port Angeles.

• Nik and Judy Dolmatoff, Port Angeles.

• Dallas and Penny, Sequim. For ones in need.

• Ella Sandvig, Port Townsend.

• Gene and Betty Stahl, Sequim.

• Joe and Cheryl Winney, Port Angeles.

• Al and Kitty Gross, Port Angeles. Merry Christmas, and thank you for caring for the needy at this time of year.

• John and Lois Camealy, Galena, Ohio. In memory of family: Nan Anthony, Fern Skinner and Billy Welsh.

• Jerry and Judy Mann, Sequim.

• LaVeta Edmonson, Carlsborg.

• Richard Serkes and Theresa Killgore, Port Angeles.

• Gary and Kathleen Hussey, Port Angeles.

• Roland and Vivian Raymond, Port Townsend.

• Sherie Maddox, Port Angeles. In memory of Timmy.

• Anne and Vincent Murray, Port Angeles.

• Karen and Bob Agee, Port Angeles. In memory of Emily Luenow.

• Jim and Marci Thomsen, Port Angeles. In honor of Reath Ellefson and all the volunteers who help with the community Thanksgiving dinner at Queen of Angels Church.

• Karen and James Pate, Port Townsend.

• George and Shirley Williams, Port Townsend. In honor of Keith and Manine.

• The Hoch Construction Co., Port Angeles.

• Tom and Deb Cox, Sequim.

• Dora Hall, Sequim.

• Jodi O’Neill, Port Angeles. In honor of Col. Frederick M. O’Neill, USAF.

• Lissa Munro and Paul Butler, Port Angeles.

• Ron and Bobbi Khile, Port Townsend. In memory of Robert Duncan.

• Barry and Ellen Lerich, Nordland.

• Dennis and Patti Toth, Sequim.

• Kay McClurken, Port Angeles. In honor of Chuck and Al.

• Elizabeth and Richard Geddes, Port Angeles.

• Betsy Jacobs, Port Angeles. In memory of my husband, Elmer Jacobs, and son, James Beasler, and friends the Rev. Jack and Mrs. Jack Thornton. Miss you more than words can say. Also in honor of daughter Bette Kerrigan. I’d be lost without her care. Love you much, Mom.

• Paul and Bobbie Ryan, Sequim. In memory of Clifford and Pat Lunneborg.

• Elaine Fredrickson, Sequim.

• Joan Wright, Sequim. In memory of William Babcock.

• Doug McClary, Sequim. In memory of Jack and Mardelle McClary.

• Joanna Baker, Port Angeles. In memory of Harrison “Bud” Baker and Piper Cameron.

• Jim and Robbie Mantooth, Port Angeles.

• Cynthia Spawn, Port Angeles.

• Sandy Frankfurth, Sequim. In loving memory of Eleanore Phillips.

• David and Diane Horton, Port Angeles. In memory of our sweet Molly.

• David Storm, Seattle.

• John and Phyllis Kendall, Port Angeles. In memory of Dayle Seaton of Port Angeles.

• Claude Hall, Sequim.

• Trudy and Doug Rittenhouse, Port Angeles.

• John and Merelene Helpenstell, Port Angeles. In honor of Margaret Weed and Holly Lynch.

• Chris and Valerie Mohr, Sekiu.

• Kathy and James Wesley, Port Angeles.

• Rick and Julie Offner, Silver Spring, Md. In honor of Denise and John Kane. This donation is made in the spirit of the holiday on behalf of your community.

• Samuel Shusterman, Port Townsend. In memory of Frances P. Shusterman.

• Dorothy Munkeby, Port Angeles. In memory of my parents, Julia and Albert Haller, and Dr. Terry D. Munkeby.

• Mary and Chris James, Port Townsend. In memory of Liz Smithson — your gift to the children of Port Angeles goes on forever. Thank you.

• M.J. Childress, Sequim.

• Willard and Paula Baker, Sequim.

• Paul Blake and Martha Ellul, Sekiu.

• Rick and Wendy Oak, Port Angeles.

• Walter Classman, Sequim.

• Robert and Ann McCartney, Port Angeles. In memory of Kevin McCartney.

• Jon and Lori Jacobs, Port Angeles.

• Carolyn Ramey, Port Townsend.

• Ted and Nan Mulholland, Port Angeles.

• Mary E. Reid, Port Angeles.

• Jay and Alicia Crawford, Sequim.

• James and Mary Jane Moore, Sequim. In honor of our brothers and sisters in lieu of Christmas gifts.

• Jerry and Ann Rasler, Port Angeles. In memory of our mother, Sue Lea.

• Dr. and Mrs. James Emery, Port Angeles.

• Kevin Fitzgerald, Sequim.

• Ken and Charlotte Patterson, Port Angeles. In memory of Betty Grunwald.

• George and Heather Irwin, Port Angeles. In memory of Christin Stock.

• Don and Gwen Schreiner, Sequim.

• Alice and Frank Donnelly, Port Angeles.

• Rosemary Kane, Port Angeles. In honor of Midge Bader.

• Midge Bader, Port Angeles.

• Alton Mattioli, Port Townsend. In memory of Doris Hanby.

• Bob and Joni Kennedy, Port Angeles. In memory of Laura Kennedy.

• Jean and E.C. Gockerell, Sequim.

• Merrill Jefferson, Sequim. In memory of Bee Jefferson.

• Jackie M. Herring, Sequim.

• Douglas Atterbury, Port Angeles. In honor of Habitat for Humanity volunteers.

• Richard and Elizabeth Dorrell, Port Angeles.

• Don Pitkin, Sequim.

• Gary Sirguy, Port Angeles.

• Ron Miller, Sequim.

• Dora and Gary Schaefer, Port Angeles. May traditions old and new bring happiness to your holiday celebration and a very happy new year to all.

• Nora and Lew Polizzi, Sequim.

• Jeff and Denise Dingle, Sequim.

• Steve and Kathy Smith, Port Angeles.

• Ardith Hansel, Port Angeles.

• Gerri Ferguson, Port Angeles. In memory of Jackie McCormick. In honor of Linda Rudy.

• The Port Angeles High School Class of 1954, Port Angeles.

Many thanks also to these donors (who requested anonymity):

• Sequim — $50.

• Port Angeles — $50.

• Sequim — $100.

• Sequim — $100.

• Port Angeles — $25.

• Port Ludlow — $100.

• Port Angeles — $25.

• Port Angeles — $30. In honor of Eileen Weir.

• Port Angeles — $50.

• Port Angeles — $200.

• Sequim — $100.

• Port Angeles — $25.

• Port Angeles — $50. In honor of Dean Palmer.

• Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Joe Melton.

• Port Angeles — $20.

• Port Angeles — $1,500.

• Sequim — $100. In honor of Kate, Susan and Julie and in memory of John Degutes.

• Sequim — $50.

• Sequim — $50.

• Sequim — $25.

• Sequim — $25.

• Sequim — $25.

• Sequim — $55.

• Port Angeles — $100.

• Sequim — $25.

• Port Angeles — $25.

• Sequim — $100.

• Port Angeles — $50. In honor of Ida, a grandmother unknown.

• Port Angeles — $250.

• Port Angeles — $50. In memory of Nancy Peterson.

• Sequim — $100.

• Sequim — $500.

• Sequim — $100.

• Port Angeles — $50. In memory of Whitey Peterson.

• Port Angeles — $500. In honor of Kathy Wahto.

• Port Angeles — $200.

• Sequim — $100.

• Port Angeles — $100.

• Chimacum — $50.

• Sequim — $200

• Sequim — $500.

• Sequim — $100.

• Sequim — $25.

• Sequim — $100.

• Sequim — $25.

• Port Angeles — $150.

• Port Townsend — $100.

• Sequim — $50.

• Port Angeles — $150.

• Sequim — $15.

• Port Townsend — $25.

• Port Townsend — $100.

• Port Angeles — $100.

• Sequim — $25.

• Sequim — $50.

• Port Townsend — $100.

• Port Townsend — $200.

• Sequim — $100.

_________

HANDWRITING CAN BE hard to decipher at times.

Please report any errors in this list to John Brewer, 360-417-3500 (there’s voicemail if he’s away) — or e-mail him at john.brewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

We’ll rerun the listing correctly.

Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

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