Money may be temporarily short for many because of COVID-19 precautions.
We want to help.
The Peninsula Daily News and Olympic Community Action Programs are working together to temporarily convert the Peninsula Home Fund to collect donations to help neighbors impacted by layoffs, recession or illness and who are unable to pay bills because of the unique coronavirus.
It is called the COVID-19 Relief Fund.
All donations will be made to the Peninsula Home Fund, but those funds will be earmarked specifically for those impacted by the virus.
OlyCAP has said it hopes to have the funds available for use by those who need it by April.
“We’ve made the decision to relaunch the Peninsula Home Fund to raise COVID-19 relief to help those in our community who have been impacted financially by the downturn of the economy through this crisis,” said Terry Ward, Peninsula Daily News publisher.
“We know that residents of the North Olympic Peninsula are caring and giving and want to take care of their neighbors, so we want to provide a source for that in our partnership with OlyCAP,” he said.
“We know many businesses in our community have been forced to lay off employees. Our business has been affected, too, but we still want to provide a vehicle to help those in need during this especially trying time.”
Cherish L. Cronmiller, OlyCAP executive director said that the agency, which on Tuesday closed all its offices to face-to-face encounters with the public, hopes “to be able to mobilize and start using these funds as early as the first of April as we alter our own work procedures adhering to social distancing guidelines and limiting face-to-face contact.”
She said she has been impressed with the outpouring of support already seen in the community. As of Tuesday, more than 100 people had stepped up to volunteer via a link to a form posted on social media on Saturday.
An assistance form offered Tuesday drew inquiries form such people as a senior who can’t afford a prescription, a substitute bus driver whose partner’s income won’t cover utilities and a person with a minor child at home who recently lost a job when a bar closed and needs rent assistance.
“Our agency sees people struggling every day, but when financial hardship is compounded by this unique disaster, a pandemic, we know there are people out there terribly concerned about their next paycheck,” Cronmiller said.
“We expect people will need a broad range of assistance from covering a car repair to rent assistance.
“We appreciate that the community trusts OlyCAP to triage these assistance requests and that we are diligent in collecting information to ensure that we are a being a good financial steward of the public’s generosity.”
How to donate
To donate, write a check to the Peninsula Home Fund, attach it to the coupon that appears in today’s PDN and mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.
Checks and coupons also can be dropped though the mail slot at the office at 305 W. First St., Port Angeles. The office is closed to walk-in traffic to protect the health of employees and customers during the COVID-19 outbreak.
You can also contribute online with a credit card at www.olycap.org, where a “donate to COVID-19 Relief Fund” button will direct you to the form that was for the 2019 Peninsula Home Fund. Despite the label on the form, it will get donations to the right place to be used for virus impact relief.
Like the Peninsula Home Fund, no money will be deducted by the Peninsula Daily News for administration fees or any other overhead.
Every penny will go to OlyCAP, which will use 10 percent to help pay for services.
All contributions are federally tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.
Your personal information is kept confidential. PDN does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone or make any other use of it.
The PDN expects to publish a list of contributors — named and anonymous — every other Sunday.
How to apply
To apply for a Peninsula Home Fund grant, contact an OlyCAP office by telephone.
OlyCAP has closed its offices to face-to face contact but is still providing services.
• Clallam County residents can call 360-452-4726.
• Jefferson County residents can call 360-385-2571.
Leave a message in the voice mail box at either number, and a caseworker will call you back.
If you have any questions about the fund, call Publisher Terry R. Ward at 360-417-3500 or email [email protected].