When left in the cold

When left in the cold

PENINSULA HOME FUND: Family takes more confident step into the future, thanks to Home Fund

  • Tuesday, December 31, 2013 12:01am
  • News

EDITOR’S NOTE: For 25 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 https://secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund.

By Karen Griffiths

For Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — Do I pay for food? Rent? Electricity?

Tim Seals, an Army veteran, and his wife Jessica lacked the income to pay all three on a consistent basis.

They kept making their decision on what seemed most important at the moment — and the most urgent was feeding their young sons, Michael, almost 5, and Chance, almost 2.

Then the lights went out.

There was suddenly no heat.

The city had shut off the power because of an overdue power bill.

“We couldn’t heat the baby’s bottles or provide warm food — and it was cold inside,” says Tim, a former team leader in the infantry.

Scrambling for what to do, they contacted OlyCAP — nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs, the No. 1 emergency-care agency in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

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

With two young children in a home without heat, the Seals were able to receive emergency aid right away.

The power was turned back on later the same day.

Until they received help paying the past due amount, it was a constant struggle for the Seals to keeping current on their city of Port Angeles utility bill.

At the time the power was shut off, the family was past due by $727.

They’d applied for the low-income resident’s discount but weren’t receiving it yet.

Good news came to the Seals when their Peninsula Home Fund counselor was able to coordinate paying the past due amount with other local partners — and retroactively apply the low-income discount, reducing the final bill to $117.81 which was covered by the Home Fund.

“The Home Fund was a saving grace for us,” says Tim. “Really, the help means everything to us.”

The Home Fund gave them the bridge they needed to stabilize their finances.

“We were scared, and it was hard on our marriage,” says Jessica. “Now, we kind of feel like things are coming in to place.”

She works for AmeriCorps/VISTA at a public housing resource center.

She’s been taking classes at Peninsula College and hopes one day to teach math.

Tim is a jack-of-all-trades who is struggling to find a full-time job with a family-wage salary.

He works for his father-in-law in the construction business when there is work available.

Thanks to the generosity of PDN readers and the Home Fund, “we are definitely standing up again,” he says.

‘Hand up’

The PDN’s Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for local residents when there is nowhere else to turn — is seeking contributions for its annual holiday season fundraising campaign that runs from Thanksgiving through Dec. 31.

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 is used for hot meals for seniors in Jefferson and Clallam counties; warm winter coats for kids; home repairs for a low-income family; needed prescription drugs; dental work; safe, drug-free temporary housing; eyeglasses — 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 2012: $268,137.

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

Since Jan. 1, the Home Fund has helped more than 3,100 individuals and households, many with children.

As we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the money collected in 2012 is expected to be exhausted by this coming Tuesday, Dec. 31.

Not a welfare program

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

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

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 $69.86 per family.

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

And, 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 fund is not set up to hand out money passively.

The Home Fund staff’s most important goal is to get the individual or family through a crisis.

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 to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which a check is written.

(See accompanying box)

Your personal information also 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.

Applying for a grant

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

■   OlyCAP’s 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: www.olycap.org.

Email: action@olycap.org.

Geoff Crump, OlyCAP’s executive director, oversees disbursements from the Peninsula Home Fund. He can be reached at 360-385-2571 or by emailing gcrump@olypen.com.

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

Or email Brewer at jbrewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

Contributions so far

The Peninsula Daily News publishes the donation coupon and information about the fund every Sunday and Wednesday during the fundraising campaign.

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. 18 and Dec. 24.

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

■ Earl and Betty Lou Burgett and family, Port Townsend — $1,000. In loving memory of our dear precious Kathleen.

Her spirit and legacy live on through her amazing art, her beautiful smile and her unconditional love.

■ Heien Family, Sequim — $213. In memory of Irene and Rita.

■ J. C. and Pat S., Sequim — $200. PDN, you get better every year. The Home Fund is the best I have ever seen. God bless you for the good work you do in our community.

■ John and Julie Kochanek, Sequim — $100. In memory of our parents.

■ Al and Lori Althoff, Sequim — $125.

■ Soeren and Connie Poulsen, Sequim — $250.

■ Steve and Lucy Nordwell, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Wilda and Ernie Nordwell and Bob Kennedy.

■ Dick and Judy Owen, Port Angeles — $200. In honor of all the volunteers who help out in our community!

■ Little River Tenancy in Common, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Jodi O’Neill, Port Angeles — $40. In memory of Col. F.M. O’Neill.

■ Darlene Jones, Port Angeles — $150. In memory of Jimmie and Jeremy Jones.

■ Tri Area Garden Club, Port Townsend. — $500.

■ Dry Creek Grange Ladies Auxiliary, Port Angeles — $100.

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

■ Patricia A. Donlin, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Bonita Wilson, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Scott Wilson.

■ Sally Milici, Beaver — $100. In memory of Dirk Milici.

■ John and Shirley Rutz, Port Angeles — $50.

■ Charles and Eycke Strickland, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Tutti Laabs.

■ Heather and George Irwin, Port Angeles — $500. In memory of Christin Stock.

■ Larry and Pat Harwood, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Holly and Jase Raines, Scottsdale, Ariz. — $100. In honor of Mesky and Adam Ripley.

■ Roberta C. McMahon and Jerry Spieckerman, Port Townsend — $100.

■ Norm and Liz Bernahl, Sequim — $250. In honor of Neil Meagher.

■ Dwayne Deering, Port Angeles — $100. Thank you so much for continuing the Home Fund.

It was very important to our family when we needed help in 2009.

I had recently lost my job and had to take a lower-paying job and try to make ends meet.

We have three children and had fallen behind on our rent. We just needed a little help to make it through a rough patch.

We just moved back to this area, and I am very proud to contribute this $100 to help other families in need.

Thank you, PDN.

— Dwayne Deering, father of three, who hasn’t forgotten the help he received.

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

■ Barnell family, Port Angeles.

■ Selden McKee and John Bodger, Port Townsend. In memory of Kathleen Burgett.

■ Debi and Phil Saxton, Port Townsend. In loving memory of Kathleen Burgett and her beautiful spirit.

■ Debi and Phil Saxton, Port Townsend. In loving memory of Don and Eileen Garling.

■ Ray and Donna Guerin, Sequim.

■ Clallam County Road Department Employees, Port Angeles.

■ Hannah Singhose, Port Angeles. In memory of Leola, who knew the reason for Christmas.

■ Kathleen Chapman, Port Angeles. In memory of Jack B. Chapman.

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

■ Dick and Sue Knight, Port Townsend.

■ Rolland and Diane Kenitzer, Port Angeles.

■ Paul and Mara Mowery, Port Angeles.

■ Al and Jane Bloomquist, Port Angeles.

■ John H. Munro Jr., Sequim.

■ Olympic National Park Employees’ Association, Port Angeles. In honor of all past and present employees.

■ Beverly and Glenn Dawson, Port Angeles.

■ Rose Crumb, Port Angeles. In honor of Red Crumb.

■ Barb and Mack Boelling, Port Townsend.

■ Mark and Diana Schildknecht, Sequim. With thanks and appreciation to those who volunteer their time, energy, and ideas to the many organizations in our local area.

■ Iris F. Heston, Port Angeles. In honor of Peninsula Daily News’ Great Idea!

■ Mary Robinson, Port Angeles. In memory of A.V. (Robbie) Robinson.

■ Ake and Siv Almgren, Sequim. In memory of Gail St. Peter.

■ Janis Burger, Port Angeles.

■ DeDe Juliussen, Sequim.

■ Dale and Barbara Cushman, Port Angeles.

■ Clare and Don Hatler, Sequim. In memory of Bob Vail.

■ Swain Family Foundation, Sequim.

■ Gary and Linda Reidel, Port Angeles. In loving memory of our dear cousin, Diane Lee Weed, and our dear aunt, Marie Sagersa.

■ Theresa Gross, Sequim.

■ Bedford’s Sodas, Port Angeles. In memory of Ted and Ethel Bedford.

■ Bart and Marilyn Irwin, Port Angeles.

■ Richard and Barbara Jepson, Sequim.

■ Jean Irvine, Port Angeles. In memory of Helen Irvine.

■ Oscar and Marcia Heydorn, Sequim. In memory of Aunt Mae and Uncle Bud.

■ David and Karen Papandrew, Sequim.

■ Candace and Mike Shale, Sequim.

■ Robert and Virginia Bowling, Sequim.

■ JH Kelly, LLC, Longview, Wash. This donation is being forwarded to you on behalf of the employees of JH Kelly and our crew at the Nippon Paper jobsite [in Port Angeles].

We hope this contribution will help to brighten the holidays for many this season.

■ David and Ann Salmon, Port Angeles. In memory of Ralph Leon and Ethel Salmon.

■ Susan and Jerry Cange, Sequim.

■ Bob and Verna Edwards, Port Angeles. In honor of my brother and my family in Michigan.

■ Dan and Janet Gouin, Port Angeles.

■ Maxine V. Clark, Port Angeles. In honor of Ann and Larry Groessl.

■ Douglas Cudd, Port Angeles. In honor of Carole Cudd.

■ Bonnie Bulach and Pete Mehl, Port Angeles. In memory of Cliff Bulach.

■ Monty and Gerry Crouch, Carlsborg. In memory of George and Louise Simonson.

■ David J. and Kay T. Goetz, Port Townsend.

■ Enza McCormick and Ann Waldron, Sequim.

■ Dick and Gloria Atkins, Port Townsend.

■ Chul and Kay You, Port Angeles.

■ Judith Carlson, Port Angeles.

■ Anita Brubaker, Wilmette Ill. In honor of Dave and Barb Brubaker. Merry Christmas to all!

■ Gwen Lovett, Port Townsend.

■ Bette Kerrigan, Port Angeles. It is with the greatest pleasure and pride to honor my son, Air Force Master Sgt. Jason R. Kerrigan, who retired Dec. 18, 2013, after serving 24 years in the military.

Thank you, son. I love you so much.

This donation is also in honor of Jason’s wife, Heather, and his son, Josten. I love you both.

My donation is also:

In honor of my family: Kathy McFarland, Darcy Beasler, Linda Beasler, Travis and Josh McFarland.

In memory of my dear mom, Betsy Jacobs; my brother, Jim Beasler; and my dad, Tony Beasler.

To thank you all, military women and men, past and present. You are responsible for my freedom to write this. God bless the United States of America.

■ Phil and Janie Hill, Port Angeles. In memory of Pat Woodcock and Arvil and Frances Sanford.

■ Janet Cattano, Sequim.

■ Robert and Hayes Wasilewski, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents.

■ Terry and Cleone Telling, Quilcene. In memory of Don Truesdale and sisters: Leona, Billie, Sandy and Dianna.

■ John and Darlene Mjoen, Port Ludlow.

■ Marline and Michael Lesh, Port Angeles.

■ Isabel Paniagua-Stevens, Sequim. In memory of Joyce Gallagher.

■ Layton Carr, Sequim.

■ Ross Canning, Port Angeles.

■ Anne and Vincent Murray, Port Angeles.

■ Joe and Cheryl Winney, Port Angeles.

■ Dennis A. Duncan, Port Angeles. In memory of Dorothy Duncan.

■ Barbara Hughes, Sequim. In memory of Harry Hughes.

■ James R. and Elena S. Karr, Sequim. In memory of Gus.

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

■ Mickey and Beth McGuffin, Sequim.

■ Lon and Joan Zimmerman, Port Townsend.

■ Tom and Jacque Schaafsma, Sequim. In memory of Owen Sumerwell.

■ Rudy and April Hiener, Port Angeles. In memory of Ken and Charlotte Bradford.

■ John Farnsworth, Sequim.

■ Robert Travis, Sequim. In honor of Lisa Travis.

■ Marie Cauvel, Port Angeles. In memory of Dianne Durrwachter.

■ Cyndi Ross, Port Angeles.

■ Jim and Robbie Mantooth, Port Angeles. Thank you, Peninsula Daily News.

■ Don Bourgo, Sequim.

■ Vivian Brown and Douglas Patt, Sequim.

■ Rex Wilson, Port Angeles. In memory of PDN colleagues Henry Acevedo, Brad LaBrie, Tom Thompson, Jim Manders and Gary Jones — one heckuva news team.

■ Katherine Dunham, Sequim.

■ Riki and JD Lami, Sequim. In honor of Barb Lami.

■ Sheryl Slack, Port Angeles. In honor of Ken and Marge Hansen, my parents.

■ Nancy Vivolo, Port Angeles.

■ Barbara Baker, Sequim. In memory of Cy Severson.

■ Velma Johnson, Sequim. In memory of Corky Johnson.

■ Brian Roe and Linda Abbott-Roe, Port Townsend.

■ James and Julie Emery, Port Angeles.

■ Melissa F. Soares, Sequim. In honor of Hana Cannon.

■ Dave and Sally Ellefson, Port Angeles.

■ Pat Wisen, Sequim.

■ Patricia Wheatley, Port Angeles. In memory of my children: Tami Jo and Byron.

■ Lillie Wirt, Port Angeles. In memory of Will Wirt.

■ Erika Chiang and family, Newcastle, Wash. — In memory of my dad, Will Wirt.

■ Evan Wirt, Redmond, Wash. — In memory of my dad, Will Wirt.

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

■ Portland, Ore. — $145. In memory of Martin Konopaski.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $100. My small gift is sent with gratitude for my many blessings.

My wife and two children have gone to heaven, and God is taking care of them.

I hope this check helps those people less fortunate here in our small portion of God’s earth, and brings smiles to their faces.

May God bless all of you for your marvelous work.

■ Port Angeles — $500.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $150.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Sequim — $20.

■ Port Ludlow — $150.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Ludlow — $100. In honor for the Wagner family.

■ Port Angeles — $500.

■ Sequim — $500. In memory of Terri Hertzberg.

■ Sequim — $500.

■ Sequim — $100. In memory of Candy Olmer.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $500. In memory of Mel Sinton.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Townsend — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $25.

■ Sequim — $15.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Forks — $100. In memory of Liz Brown.

■ Port Townsend — $100. In memory of David W. Thompkins.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Townsend — $150.

■ Port Angeles — $150.


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 jbrewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

We’ll rerun the listing correctly.

Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

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