Peninsula Home Fund helps mother and son keep their power on

EDITOR’s NOTE: – This is another in a series of articles on the Peninsula Home Fund. Please click on the HOME FUND link at left to get a form for your donation.

PORT ANGELES — Jennifer Gertson and her 10-year-old son, Rocky, moved from Spokane to Port Angeles last year, looking for a fresh start.

Their move followed a tragedy — Rocky’s older brother, Jan Michael, had drowned in the Spokane River.

“I had driven though Port Angeles before and just fell in love with it,” Gertson recalls.

“You have the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other — and some of the friendliest people I have ever met, so we moved here.”

But Gertson, 42, could find only temporary, part-time jobs.

In August, “I was in danger of having my electricity shut off and just didn’t have the money to pay the bill,” she says.

“When I found out the Home Fund could help us, it was such a relief.

“It was like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulders.”

Gertson and Rocky received about $160 from the Peninsula Daily News’ Peninsula Home Fund to keep their power on.

“She just needed that ‘hand up’ to keep her going,” says Kathy Warner, client services specialist for OlyCAP — Olympic Community Action Programs, which screens applicants for the Home Fund.

“It was a couple of days before school started, and the day before Jennifer began a job-training program secured for her by OlyCAP (and which she has now nearly completed).

“She and Rocky are such wonderful people, and were so grateful for the help.”

Says Gertson: “The people at OlyCAP have helped us so much. I am amazed at how giving people in this community are.

“I want to thank people for donating to the Home Fund — because I don’t think people know how much and how many people they help when they donate.”

Gertson considers herself lucky because she has her health, Rocky and her training class. She is hopeful of getting a permanent, full-time job soon.

‘Hand up, not hand-out’

“We view the Home Fund as a ‘hand up,’ not a ‘hand-out,’ says OlyCAP’s executive director, Dan Wollam.

“Our goal is not only to be their with a safety net, but also to help people find the resources to invest in themselves so that they become so stable that they need no further help.”

Peninsula Home Fund is seeking contributions for its annual holiday-season fund-raising campaign.

Now in its 15th year, the fund is supported entirely by Jefferson and Clallam residents.

It is managed for the Peninsula Daily News by OlyCAP, the No. 1 emergency care agency on the North Olympic Peninsula.

* In the past 12 months, the fund has assisted more than 750 households.

* No money is deducted for administration or other overhead.

* All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

* No money is diverted for administration or other overhead. All costs are absorbed by the PDN and OlyCAP.

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

* 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.

* Donors’ 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.

* Individuals, couples, businesses and school groups set a new record for contributions in 2002 — $67,048. All of that money is expected to be spent by Dec. 31.

* 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.

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

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

Through the end of December, the PDN will do stories every Wednesday and Sunday on how the fund operates.

How to donate

A gift of any size is welcome.

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.

New contributions

The following are contributions received between Nov. 29 and Thursday, Dec. 4 — thank you very much for making a difference in the lives — and futures — of your neighbors:

* Camilla Kelly, Port Angeles, $200, in memory of JoAnne Lepak and Richard Carter.

* Dianne Williams, Port Angeles, $25.

* Jim and Carol Nelson, Port Angeles, $100.

* Garry and Karen Wegener, Sequim, $25.

Many thanks also to these donors (amount of donation private):

* The Toggery, Port Angeles.

* Gary and Geri Braun, Port Angeles.

* Herb and Sandra Balch, Sekiu, in memory of Earnie Meadows and Numah Balch.

* Bingo Crew, 7 Cedars Casino, Blyn. We want to help a needy family in a small way. Enjoy the holidays.

* Laurie Singhose, Port Angeles, in honor of Chuck, Shirley and Wade.

* Rosemary Russell, Port Townsend, in honor of Brenda McMillan.

* Vee and Hal Bishop, Port Angeles, in memory of Cherrie Lee.

* Joe and Naomi Denhart, Port Angeles.

* The Pony Express 4-H Club, Port Angeles, in memory of Matt Edwards.

* Larey and Sylvia Fox, Sequim, in memory of Les and Eileen Woodland.

* Randy and Donna Gore, Port Angeles, in memory of Frank Welsh

* Al and Lori Althoff, Port Angeles.

* Eve Armstrong, Sequim, in memory of Lt. Col. Donald N. Armstrong, USAF (Ret.).

* Nadine Ferguson, Sequim, in memory of Allen Ferguson.

* Joan G. Walker, Sequim, in memory of Leonard Walker.

* Rosemary Cockrill, Port Angeles. Merry Christmas. PDN is to be commended for sponsoring the Home Fund. A great way to give a “hand up,” not just a “hand-out.”

* Ann Chang, Port Angeles, in memory of Phyllis Miletich and Beth Kautz. This gift is dedicated to the memory of two caring and inspiring ladies whose lives touched so many people.

* Kathy and Pat Durr, Port Angeles, in memory of George and Margaret Holinga.

* Barb and Carl Miller, Port Angeles, in memory of Frank Welsh.

* Ann Holke, Port Angeles.

* Don Burns, Port Angeles.

* William and Sharon Bugg, Sequim.

* Amy R. Brandon, Port Townsend.

* Bob and Berit Cole, Port Angeles.

* Allen and Shirley Dewey, Sequim.

* Richard and Barbara Jepson, Sequim.

* D. Owens, Port Townsend.

* David Martin, Sequim.

* Mr. and Mrs. Tony Masi, Port Angeles.

* Dennis and Diane Isaac, Sequim.

* Howard and Margaret Witt, Sequim.

* Voneda Stiewe, Chimacum.

* Jack and Janet Real, Sequim.

* Jean and E.C. Gockerell, Sequim.

* Gary and Marilyn Peterson, Sequim.

* Jerry and Arlane Weed, Sequim.

* Judy and Terry Sullivan, Forks.

* Doug and Trudy Rittenhouse, Port Angeles.

* Jim and Rachael Graham, Port Angeles.

* Patricia and Otto Eifert, Sequim.

* Karen and Tony DeLorenzo, Port Townsend.

* Jean and O.D. Hegseth, Port Angeles.

* Mr. and Mrs. Williams Beal, Port Angeles

* Floyd and Rosalyn Young, Port Angeles.

* Robert and Sheila Becker, Port Angeles.

Many thanks also to these donors who requested anonymity:

* Forks, $500, in memory of Olive King. (This is a correction for an entry published Nov. 30 that mistakenly listed the amount as $300.)

* Sequim, $500, in memory of Ralph R. Thomas.

* Neah Bay, $250, in honor of Those Who Serve.

* Port Angeles, $100, in memory of Helen Marzullo.

* Sequim, $100, in honor of Jean.

* Port Angeles, $50, in honor of Curt Wilson. Miss you. Love you always and forever.

* Port Angeles, $25, in memory of George Crawford.

* Port Angeles, $25, in memory of Loren Lindell.

* Sequim, $25. Thank you for the job you do.

* Port Townsend, $25. Given with love and appreciation for all that you do.

* Sequim, $40.

* Port Townsend, $25.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Sequim, $50.

* Sequim, $200.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Sequim, $100.

* Sequim, $25.

* Port Angeles, $25.

* Sequim, $100.

* Sequim, $50.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Angeles, $50.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Sequim, $50.

* Port Angeles, $30.

* Sequim, $25.

* Port Townsend, $25.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Angeles, $25.

* Sequim, $100.

* Sequim, $100.

* Sequim, $50.

* Sequim, $50.

* Sequim, $100.

* Sequim, $100.

* Port Angeles, $50.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Angeles, $50.

* Port Angeles, $25.

* Port Hadlock, $50.

* Sequim, $50.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Sequim. $50.

* Sequim, $100.

* Port Angeles, $25.

* Sequim, $100.

* Port Angeles, $100.

* Port Ludlow, $100.

* Sequim, $30.

* Forks, $25.

* Sequim, $100.


Handwriting can be hard to decipher at times. Please report any errors in this list to John Brewer, 360-417-3500, Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

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