Peninsula Home Fund: Giving a hand up – — – not a handout – Another in a series of stories about the Peninsula Daily News” Peninsula Home Fund. Please click on the button at left to generate a coupon to complete and send in with your generous contributio

PORT ANGELES — Karen Tieden said she knows the importance of giving because she has been on the receiving end of life-changing generosity.

Karen, clean and sober after attending a recovery program, was faced with losing her room in a transitional house because she did not have deposit or rent money.

“Because of my previous behavior, I had burned all my bridges and did not want to go to the one place where I knew I could stay — the drug house,” she said.

“That would have been too slippery of a slope for me, and I do not want to slip.

“I worked too hard to get where I am today.”

Karen, 32, also did not want to stay in a homeless shelter, because, she said, it does not provide the safe, supportive atmosphere she needs.

Karen went to the Port Angeles office of OlyCAP — nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs, the No. 1 emergency care agency on the North Olympic Peninsula.

OlyCAP staff tapped into the Peninsula Daily News’ Peninsula Home Fund for “a handup, not a handout” — $175 to cover the cost of the deposit and first month’s pro-rated rent so Karen could stay in the transitional house.

“When they said we can use the Home Fund it was such a huge relief,” she said.

“This house is where I need to be now. It provides a safe place for me to continue getting well — and for my 3-year-old son, who lives with my mother, to visit me each day.”

Karen said the women who live in the house act as a family and support each other.

“I really need to be in this house right now to stay on the right track,” she said.

“I am grateful to have received this money and thank the people who donate to the fund to help others and wish them a Merry Christmas.”

Karen said one day she hopes to be able to make a donation to the fund.

“One of the things we learn in the 12-step program is that in order to keep what you have, you have to give back,” she said.

“I want to help someone else some day — and hope by telling my story that people will see that you can recover.”

Karen said she is optimistic about the future and is looking forward to February when she will begin attending hair school.

“Things are definitely looking up for me,” she said.

“I hope to get back on my feet so my son can live with me. I am working to do that now.”

No deductions

From Thanksgiving through Dec. 31, the 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.

The Peninsula Home Fund is a unique, nonprofit program.

* No money is deducted for administration or other overhead.

* All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

* Your personal information is kept confidential.

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

* Money is used to give families and individuals “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 the crisis — and back on the path to self-sufficiency.

* Every penny, every dollar, contributed to the Peninsula Home Fund goes to making life better for children, teens, families and the elderly across the North Olympic Peninsula — from Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to LaPush.

All the money collected goes — without any deductions — to families in Jefferson and Clallam counties for hot meals for seniors, warm winter coats for kids, home repairs for the low income, needed prescription drugs, dental work, safe, drug-free temporary housing, eyeglasses — the list goes on and on.

* Peninsula Home Fund 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.

Spent by Dec. 31

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

Individuals, couples, businesses and school groups set a new record for contributions in 2003 — $77,608.34.

All of that money is expected to be spent by Dec. 31.

The fund is managed for the Peninsula Daily News by OlyCAP.

* 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.

* Money is usually distributed in small amounts, usually up to $100.

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

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

OlyCAP’s Port Angeles office is 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall), 360-452-4726.

Its Port Townsend office is at 24 Seton Road (P.O. Box 1540, PT 98368), 360-385-2571.

The Forks office is at the community Recreation Center (across from City Hall), 651 E. Division St., 360-374-6193.

Its Web site is www.olycap.org; e-mail: [email protected] Tim L. Hockett, deputy director, oversees the Peninsula Home Fund.

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 [email protected]

How to donate

A gift of any size is welcome.

The Peninsula Home Fund has never been a campaign of heavy hitters.

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.

To donate, write a check to “Peninsula Home Fund” and attach it to the coupon that accompanies this story.

Mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles 98362.

Or drop them at the newspaper’s offices in Port Townsend, Sequim or Port Angeles (addresses on page A2 of the PDN daily).

Again, all contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

You will receive a written thank you and acknowledgment of your contribution.

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

The Sunday story includes a list of new donors.

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