PENINSULA HOME FUND — Couple sell their wedding rings to pay a bill

John and Sharon Trombly Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News

John and Sharon Trombly Karen Griffiths/for Peninsula Daily News

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 26 years, Peninsula Daily News readers in Jefferson and Clallam counties have supported the “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund.

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

To donate online by credit card, click on

SEQUIM — The Great Recession left them jobless, destitute and living in their van.

When they finally got an apartment, they still didn’t have jobs.

Peninsula Daily News’ “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund helped John and Sharon Trombly pay a past-due $300 rent bill and stay in the apartment.

“We don’t know what we would have done if the Home Fund hadn’t helped us,” says Sharon.

But there were more bills to pay, including one for $75.

They paid it by selling their wedding rings.

“We needed to do our part by doing everything we could to come up with the money, so we sold our rings,” says John.

As for holding on to their rings they’d worn from the day they were married 25 years ago, Sharon shrugs and says:

“Comes a point in time when you realize things are things, and we needed to do what we could to help ourselves.”

Thankfully, they now have a regular income and are able to pay their rent on time and meet other day-to-day expenses.

Still, “we don’t know what we would have done if the Home Fund hadn’t helped us,” says John, a veteran and a former building trades contractor.

Jefferson County

They were living in Jefferson County when the recession finally swept away both their jobs.

After unemployment — and extended unemployment — benefits stopped, they lived off their savings.

When that money was gone, they started living in their van with their dog.

“When you’re down, it’s really tough,” says John.

“You can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

“But once you’re up again, you feel anything’s possible.

“Our family here tried to help us. Our son was always thinking of ways to help us.

“Like the hitch on our van. He said, ‘You guys don’t need that hitch, why don’t we try to sell it?’

“So he took it off, but we found out it’s only good for Ford vans of that year.

“A month later, we decided to put it on Craigslist.

“There was a guy looking for this exact hitch.

“The price was right, and he bought it, and we needed that money.”

Today, John has a job in Sequim, and he and Sharon both volunteer at a local church, helping with its community dinners — they help prepare the food, serve and clean up.

“If nobody gave to Home Fund, which in turn was able to help us, I don’t know what we would have done or where we’d be,” says John.

“So we are very thankful and want to give back in whatever why we can — which is why we’re volunteering at the church.

“The Home Fund is much more than a charity because it’s a hand-up that gets you to another level, and that’s where we are, thanks to them.”

Money almost gone

As of the end of last week, the Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for North Olympic Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn — had helped 3,941 individuals (1,247 families) in Jefferson and Clallam counties since Jan. 1.

As we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the remaining money from last year’s fundraising campaign is expected to be exhausted by Christmas.

Only $1,087 remains from the $268,389 contributed by individuals, couples, businesses, churches, organizations and school groups in 2013.

And what good it’s done!

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim and LaPush, money from the Home Fund, now in its 26th year, has paid for hot meals for seniors; warm winter coats for kids; bus passes; keeping the power on; home repairs for a low-income family; needed prescription drugs; dental work; safe, drug-free temporary housing; eyeglasses — the list goes on and on.

No money is deducted by the Peninsula Daily News for administration, fees or any other overhead.

Every penny goes to OlyCAP — nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs — the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the Peninsula.

OlyCAP manages the Peninsula Home Fund for the PDN, screens the applicants, carefully disburses the funds and provides life-changing counseling and services to those who need a “hand up, not a handout.”

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

The average amount of help is usually below $100 — this year it has been $69.16 per person.

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

‘Hand up, not handout’

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

All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the 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.

How to apply

To apply for a Peninsula Home Fund grant, contact one of the three OlyCAP offices:

■ Its Port Angeles office is at 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall); 360-452-4726. For Port Angeles and Sequim area residents.

■ Its Port Townsend office is at 823 Commerce Loop; 360-385-2571. For Jefferson County residents.

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

Leave a message in the voice mail box at any of the three numbers, and a Home Fund caseworker will phone you back.

OlyCAP’s website:; email:

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

Or email

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.

Below is a list of donors whose contributions were processed between Dec. 12-17:

Thank you very much for making a difference in the lives — and futures — of your neighbors like John and Sharon Trombly:

■ Howard Gipson, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sally Milici, Beaver — $150. In memory of Betty Soderlind, who knew how to give unto others.

■ Bob and Barbara Gray, Port Townsend — $50.

■ PAHS Class of 1954, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of our classmates who are no longer with us. Class of 1954.

■ Jim and Dan, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Karen Blessing, Port Townsend — $200.

■ Barb Buchanan, Port Angeles — $25. In honor of James Buchanan.

■ Diane C. Reaves, Sequim — $50. In memory of Graham Reaves.

■ Jean Irvine, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Audrey Dery.

■ Pat Donlin, Port Angeles — $100. In honor of Dick Catlett.

■ Don Schreiner, Sequim — $175. In memory of Gwen Schreiner.

■ Jerry and Irene Cerra, Sequim — $50.

■ Olympic National Park Employees’ Association, Port Angeles — $200. In memory of past and present employees.

■ Paul S. Hanway, Sequim — $100. In memory of Erik Hanway.

■ Theresa Webster, Sequim — $50.

■ Larry and Pat Harwood, Port Angeles — $50.

■ Bruce and Gerri Ferguson, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Charlotte Ferguson and Jackie McCormick.

■ Chul and Kay You, Port Angeles — $300.

■ Beverly and Glenn Dawson, Port Angeles — $300. Thanks for helping our community.

■ Jerry Fisch, Carlsborg — $50. In memory of Bonnie Fisch.

■ Brian Anders, Port Angeles — $250.

■ Mary Louise Melly, Port Angeles — $100. In loving memory of our Grandma Dorothy Melly; Geoff, Jake and Laura.

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

■ Joe and Renee Bleile, Sequim. In honor of all our servicemen and servicewomen.

■ Chris and Myrna Juergens, Sequim.

■ Donald Fleisher, Sequim.

■ Margaret (Peggy) Conley, Port Angeles. Anyone in need. I am on housing and utility assistance. I received a small check from family and would like to share half with someone in need. Glad to share. Merry Christmas. God bless!

■ Ron and Marilyn Carlson, Sequim.

■ Jill Blake, Sequim.

■ Enza McCormick and Ann Waldron, Sequim.

■ Al and Kitty Gross, Port Angeles.

■ Del and Kris Cadwallader, Port Angeles. In memory of Bob Wilkins, a wonderful dad and person. In memory of dear friends Cheryl Johnson and Patsy Pitts. In honor of our military and veterans. God bless.

■ Clare and Don Hatler, Sequim. In honor of the person or persons who found my purse in Bremerton and delivered it to our mailbox post in Happy Valley, Sequim, on Dec. 5. (Clare Manis Hatler)

■ Shirley Van Riper, Sequim. In memory of Harold Van Riper.

■ Millie Lyon, Port Angeles.

■ Richard Serke and Theresa Killgore, Port Angeles.

■ Karen Coles, Port Angeles. In memory of Irving Jensen.

■ Dick and Kitty Rucker, Port Townsend. Thank you for this charity and the way that you give to people who need small amounts to get through their lives.

■ Harriet Angulo, Port Angeles. For all your good work.

■ Sue and C.V. Tondreau, Sequim.

■ Verna Partridge, Port Angeles. In memory of Jack Partridge.

■ Lois Myren, Port Angeles. In memory of Budd Myren.

■ Joe and Naomi Denhart, Port Angeles. In loving memory of our parents and cousin Linda.

■ Larry and Darlene McCaffrey, Sequim.

■ Mark and Patty Hannah, Port Angeles.

■ Maura and Roger Oakes, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents.

■ Robert and Sheila Becker, Port Angeles.

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

■ Marolyn and Herb Russell, Port Angeles. In memory of Willard C. Muller.

■ Chris Lemon, Port Angeles. In memory of Danny Holmquist.

■ Randy and Kim Lemon, Port Angeles. In memory of Danny Holmquist.

■ Carolyn Muller, Port Angeles. In memory of Willard Muller.

■ Gene and Ann Trelstad, Port Angeles.

■ Jon and Lori Jacobs, Port Angeles.

■ Dan and Judith Hendrickson, Port Angeles.

■ Barbara K. Miller, Port Angeles. In memory of the Rev. Richard Levy.

■ Richard and Elizabeth Geddes, Port Angeles.

■ Roy and Mary Gotham, Port Angeles.

■ Hal Bishop, Carlsborg.

■ Lois M. Mahaney, Port Angeles.

■ Capt. and Mrs. G. Dohse, Chimacum.

■ Steve and Gwyn Callis, Port Angeles.

■ Mad Maggi Boutique and Salon, Sequim.

■ Debby Smith, Sequim.

■ Ronald Huffmaster, Sequim.

■ Erwin and Diane Jones, Sequim.

■ Pat Flood for Olympic Acupuncture, Port Angeles. In honor of Cynthia Dawson and Nancy Taylor, my heroes and friends.

■ Janet MacDonald, Sequim.

■ Mary Thayne, Sequim.

■ Michael Witkin, Port Angeles.

■ Sandra Smith-Poling and Mitchell Poling, Port Townsend.

■ Beth McGuffin, Sequim.

■ Bill and Virginia Kinney, Sequim.

■ R. Dart and Marjorie Whitmore, Sequim. Thank you for making it easy to help our neighbors.

■ Ms. Diane Wheeler, Port Angeles.

■ Linda Norris, Port Angeles. In memory of Jerry and Steve Norris.

■ Mr. and Mrs. George Norris, Port Angeles.

■ Cornelia Schadler, Sequim. In honor of Lee G. Squier. In honor of Kim and Rebecca Knudeson. In honor of Margot and Roger Squier.

■ Bette Schueler, Port Angeles. In memory of Larry Schueler.

■ Penny Brewer and family, Sequim. In loving memory of our beloved father and husband, David Brewer.

■ Shirley Lehman, Sequim. In loving memory of my two guys, husband Chuck and our son Randy Lehman.

■ Ross and Vee Canning, Port Angeles.

■ John and Phyllis Kendall, Port Angeles. In loving memory of Graham, Marty, Sandy and Paul.

■ Marie Johnson, Sequim. In memory of Carl and Emelia Okert.

■ Walter Classman, Sequim.

■ M. Evelyn Boyd, Port Angeles. In honor of Al Mueller.

■ Ms. Carol Martell, Port Angeles. In memory of Eleanor Martell.

■ Ronald A. Sidwell and Robin L. Sidwell, Port Angeles.

■ Connie Anderson, Port Angeles. In honor of Raymond Carver.

■ Anthony B. Lier, DDS, MS, Port Angeles. In honor of your families, by “Rogue”:

James Robbins family, Boulder, Colo.

Thomas Robbins family, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.

Estevan Andrade family, Boise, Idaho.

Stephen Scovic family, Lafayette, Calif.

Lindsay Lier, Costa Mesa, Calif.

■ Dan and Eve Farrell, Port Angeles. In honor of Kate Sommer and Doris Goodman.

■ Elizabeth J. Burritt, Port Angeles. In memory of Doris Goodman. Doris was quite an inspiration for so many people, encouraging them to do their very best in life. She touched so many during her journey here on Earth. Rest in peace, Doris.

■ DixieLee and Stan Sayles, Port Townsend.

■ Irma Stennes, Port Angeles. In memory of my daughter, Denise Fletcher.

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

■ Ray and Donna Guerin, Sequim. Holiday blessings. As the holiday season approaches, we are once again reminded of the many blessings we have received throughout the year and, in turn, desire to bless others. Thank you for being the inspiration that urges us to “pay it forward.” The Ray and Donna Guerin Family Foundation. God bless you.

■ Olympic Electric, Port Angeles. In memory of Henry and Jane Burkhardt.

■ Joan Gloor, Port Angeles.

■ Mary and Diana Schildknecht, Sequim. In honor of all military veterans.

■ Stan and Colleen Freidberg, Port Townsend.

■ Suzanne Hadley, Port Angeles. In memory of Paul, Darlene and Emalene. In memory of beloved friends and kin.

■ Ken and Marilyn Jacobson, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents, Mons and Nadene Botnen and Norm and Phrania Jacobson.

■ James and Sheri Mackrow, Port Angeles.

■ Katherine Dunham, Sequim.

■ Gloria Ricketts, Port Hadlock.

■ Judith Hoffman, Port Angeles.

■ Michael and Pamela Caldwell, Port Angeles. In memory of Don and Betty Gray and James Caldwell. Loving mom and dads. In our hearts forever.

■ Nancy and Sandy Goldstien, Sequim.

■ Marcia Fagin, Sequim. In memory of Arthur Fagin, my dad.

■ Bob and Verna Edwards, Port Angeles.

■ Doreen Lidgate, Sequim.

■ Bonita Wilson, Port Angeles.

■ Donna Karls and Eric Miner, Sequim. In memory of our wonderful neighbor, Bob Beeson.

■ Marilyn Bruning, Sequim.

■ Sharon Hollatz, Port Angeles.

■ Bob and Berit Cole, Sequim.

■ Nancy Hafner, Port Townsend. In memory of Kenneth.

■ Leslie Campbell, Port Angeles.

■ Darold and Kay Seed, Port Angeles.

■ Ron and Michele Fraker, Port Angeles.

■ Jack and Janet Real, Sequim. In memory of Frank Durbin.

■ Jackson L. and Elizabeth Ann Williams, Sequim.

■ Gary and Lynn Anderson, Sequim.

■ Edith Snelgrove, Port Angeles. In memory of David Pitts and Patsy Hart.

■ Everest and Donna Hackett, Sequim.

■ Jean Stratton, Port Angeles. In memory of Robert Steven Iverson.

■ Jay and Paula Richter, Port Angeles. In honor of Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County.

■ Theresa Gross, Sequim. In memory of Jack Gross.

■ Elsbeth Switzer, Sequim. In memory of the Alioto family.

■ Edna and James Kridler, Sequim.

■ James Symes, Sequim.

■ Helga and Bob Greer, Sequim.

■ Marshall and Kim Clark, Spokane.

■ Patricia M. Randall, Port Angeles. In memory of Richard “Frank” Randall.

■ Mike and Patti Brandt, Sequim. In memory of Mildred Brame.

■ Sterling and Jean Epps, Sequim. In memory of Russell and Louise Hetsler.

■ Margaret S. Savory, Port Angeles. In honor of my sister and brother.

■ Jack and Jan Tatom, Sequim. Thank you for what you do!

■ Barbara Vanderwerf, Sequim.

■ Richard and Suellen Knight, Port Townsend.

■ Candace and Mike Shale, Sequim.

■ Joe and Cheryl Winney, Port Angeles.

■ Donald and Barbara Reidel, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents, Max and Sylvia Reidel and Arthur and Armada Dixon.

■ Steve Moore and Gigi Callaizakis, Port Townsend. In honor of Jane Stearns, Elaine Moore, Diane Count.

■ Ralph and Shirley Klein, Sequim.

■ Kathy Barnes, Sequim.

■ Pam and Bruce Busch, Sequim.

■ Catherine Woodahl, Sequim.

■ David and Linda Lyon, Sequim.

■ Mike and Melanie Webb, Sequim.

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

■ Port Angeles — $500.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $1,000.

■ Sequim — $150.

■ Port Ludlow — $500.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In memory of George Van Deusen.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $25. In honor of Casey and Nina Rumore.

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

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sekiu — $150. In honor of Sharon Ryan.

■ Carlsborg — $500.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In honor of Ann Eastman.

■ Port Townsend — $200.

■ Port Hadlock — $100. In memory of Margie.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $10.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Pete Capos

■ Port Angeles — $300.

■ Sequim — $1,000.

■ Port Ludlow — $100. In honor of Jessica Phelps.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Port Townsend — $50.

■ Port Townsend — $300.

■ Port Angeles — $25.

■ Sequim — $1,000.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $1,000.

■ Sequim — $250.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Townsend — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Sequim — $750.

■ Sequim — $500.

■ Port Townsend — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Carlsborg — $300. In honor of staff and owners of the Oak Table. I appreciate the service and great food.

■ Sequim — $1,300.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $1,500. In memory of Marlene Kling.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $250. In memory of Dorothy Melly.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $10.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $125.

■ Port Angeles — $150. In honor of D.B., S.M., K.E.

■ Port Angeles — $150. In honor of L.K., D.R., T.C.R.


EVEN THE BEST handwriting can be hard to decipher at times.

Please report any errors in this list to John Brewer, 360-417-3500 (there’s voice mail if he’s away), or email him at

We’ll rerun the listing correctly.

Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

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