Doug Stork reads to his granddaughter

Doug Stork reads to his granddaughter

PENINSULA HOME FUND — When a family’s world turned upside-down, Home Fund was there for them

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 https://secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund

PORT LUDLOW — “One should never take for granted even the little things in life,” says Kerry Stork.

“You never know when a catastrophic event can change your life, and those little things are taken away — and you realize they weren’t such small things after all . . .”

Her husband Doug nods his head.

“Every year at this time I read those Home Fund stories in the Pen Daily News,” he says. “Every year I’d read ’em.

“I never thought in a million years I’d need help from the Home Fund, too.

“Now I’m just so thankful it’s there.”

It was a year ago this month that baby Grace was born, shortly after her mother, Katie — Kerry and Doug’s youngest daughter — had returned to live in the family home in Port Ludlow.

There had been concerns — especially about money.

“It had been just the two of us,” says Doug.

“When you bring a baby into the house, and your kids have been gone for years, well, there’s a lot of stuff you need to think about, to prepare, plan and have in the house. Ongoing expenses like diapers, wipes, clothes.”

At the time Doug’s was the only household income. Kerry was a homemaker, and Katie had taken time off work to care for Grace.

But while jobs could be slow at times, Doug was well established in the area as a house painter.

Things looked OK.

And Grace quickly became the joy of the lives.

“She is good, happy baby that’s brought us a lot of happiness,” says the proud grandfather.

It was last May, the Monday after Mother’s Day, when the Storks’ world turned upside down.

Doug was getting ready to go to work.

His right side gave way.

He was unable to move.

A stroke caused by high blood pressure put him in the hospital.

This was followed by months of physical therapy.

Speaking with a noticable slurred drawl, he says:

“I’m getting stronger all the time, but no where near 100 percent.”

When they didn’t have the gas money to travel from Port Ludlow to Silverdale for his physical therapy, Doug and Kerry were referred to the Port Townsend office of OlyCAP — Olympic Community Action Programs.

Among its many responsibilities, OlyCAP — the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the Peninsula — manages the Peninsula Daily News’ Peninsula Home Fund, screening the applicants, carefully disbursing the funds and provides life-changing counseling and services to those who need a “hand up, not a handout.”

The Home Fund was tapped to get Kerry gas cards so she could drive Doug to Silverdale.

It was also used to pay their past-due heating bill.

But without an income, they were also five months behind on their rent — and facing eviction from the home they moved into in 1995 when Katie and her older sister were in grade school.

Home Fund counselors now worked with OlyCAP Database Specialist and Housing Services Coordinator Nancy Blackmer.

Learning that Doug was a military veteran, Nancy told him she could help through a program supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs called Supportive Services for Veterans and their Families.

All she needed was his honorable discharge papers.

“Problem was I didn’t keep my papers,” says Doug.

“I thought only those with 20 plus years of service got help like that, and I’d only had six.”

He credits “my computer-savvy wife” for contacting the VA and getting copies of his honorable discharge.

He now qualified for housing assistance. His past due rent was paid. They wouldn’t be homeless.

Doug was also signed up for Social Security disability income.

He says while family and friends helped them quite a bit, it was Nancy and the Home Fund counselors at OlyCAP who provided the family with help, hope and guided them through the process of attaining some financial stability in their “new

normal.”

“I’m getting stronger everyday, so I hope to go back to work and do something,” he says.

“I’m only 62. I’m sure there’s some work I can do.”

For now, Kerry is looking for work, and Katie has a part-time job.

Doug kicks himself for not paying attention to his high blood pressure, saying if he had, “I could have avoided this stroke.

“You can check you blood pressure for free at QFC, Safeway, Wal-Mart. Lot of stores have machines to check it for free. I know I should have checked, but I never did.

Just prior to the stroke he says he’d been feeling extremely tired and fatigued, but “I just thought I was tired because old age.”

“That OlyCAP is a really good organization,” he says, “because I tell you, without their help I don’t know where we’d be living; probably in a shelter.

Money almost gone

As of Monday 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 and 1,255 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 almost exhausted.

Only $207 remained last week from the $268,389 contributed by individuals, couples, businesses, churches, organizations and school groups in 2013.

And what good it’s done!

And for so many!

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.

What the fund will do for our North Olympic Peninsula community in 2015 . . . depends on how much is raised in 2014.

Shoestring philanthropy

The Home Fund is not a welfare program.

The average amount of help is usually below $100 — this year it has been $69.16 per person — with a limit of one grant from the fund within 12 months.

But even though the dollar figure is small — some call it “shoestring philanthropy” — the impact can be big, in huge, life-changing ways:

Instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through a crisis — and every effort is also made to put them back on the path to self-sufficiency.

As was done with the Storks, volunteer Home Fund case managers at OlyCAP will work with individuals or families to develop a plan to become financially stable — and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

And, as needed, Peninsula Home Fund contributions are often used in conjunction with money from other agencies, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

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

Every penny contributed goes to OlyCAP to support our neighbors in need in Jefferson and Clallam counties.

All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written. (See above box)

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: www.olycap.org; email: action@olycap.org.

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

Or email jbrewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

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. 18-24:

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

■ Employees of Clallam County Road Department, Port Angeles — $400. Please find enclosed a check for $400 to help support those in need. We are proud to be able to support your fund again this year. Even though our employees are feeling the effects of the economy slump — they still stepped up to the plate. Thank you for all the work you do to help those in need.

■ Marcia and Bob Homer, Sequim — $100. In memory of Trevor Homer.

■ Judy and Dick Owen, Port Angeles — $200. In memory of our Uncle Bud.

■ Judy and Dick Owen, Port Angeles — $50. In honor of Patty Rosand. Enjoy your retirement, my friend and Soroptimist Jet-Setter!! Congratulations on a job well-done!

■ Steve and Sandy Bengtson, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Barbara and John Cameron, Sequim — $200.

■ Local 1619 City of Port Angeles Employees Union, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees — $300.

■ Steve and Lucy Nordwell, Port Angeles — $100.

■ Olympic Peninsula Base, United States Submarine Veterans, Inc., Chimacum — $100.

■ Gary and Elaine Nelson, Port Townsend — $100.

■ Ray Weinmann, Port Angeles — $300.

■ Freia Palmer, Port Angeles — $150.

■ Sam and Martha Baker, Port Angeles — $300.

■ Mary Jane Schmidt, Port Townsend — $100. In memory of Mary and Bernard Andrews.

■ Marie Cauvel, Port Angeles — $200. In memory of Shirley Lackman.

■ Dick and Fran Niichel, Scottsdale, Ariz. — $500.

■ Alvin F. and Jean Slaight Jr., Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim Seventh-Day Adventist Church, Sequim — $500.

■ Madeline and Keith Harrington, Port Angeles — $1,300. In memory of Margaret Miller.

■ Chris Gutmacher and Andy Stevenson, Port Angeles — $125.

■ David and Mary Hostvedt, Port Angeles — $50.

■ Andy and Jeanne Jubb, Carlsborg — $100. In memory of Esther Fiddler and Marian Platt.

■ Ms. Naomi Marcus, Port Townsend. $300 — In honor of the Marcus Family.

■ Joe Dickhut and Dianne Wardlow, Port Angeles — $200. In memory of Shirley Wooldridge.

■ Duncan and Sue Duvall, Port Townsend — $100.

■ Eliska Skopecek and Brice Glende, Oakland, Calif. — $500.

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

■ Rob and Cindy Tulloch, Port Angeles.

■ Arnold and Debbie Schouten, Port Angeles.

■ G. Chad Bowechop, Neah Bay.

■ Pat Bohn, Sequim. In memory of Hal Bohn.

■ Joanne Eagan, Port Angeles. In memory of Virginia Halpin.

■ Douglas and Sandra Cudd, Port Angeles. In memory of Carole Cudd.

■ Elizabeth J. Burritt, Port Angeles. In memory of Vernon S. Cooper. Vern was truly a devoted and loyal stepfather to me; he was always there to lend a hand, and give advice when I needed it — I miss you, Vern! Rest in peace.

■ Paul and Diane Shager, Sequim.

■ Heather Peters, Chimacum. In memory of Jack Phillips.

■ Clover B. Gowing, Sequim. Honoring local Freethinkers and Humanists who recognize that anyone can define her/his challenges and resolve them through their own initiative.

■ Heather Peters, Chimacum. In memory of Ellsworth “Pete” Peters: For Grandpa — a husband, father, grandfather, veteran and friend, who lived life with dignity, and is remembered with love.

■ Jack and Maecel Foote, Port Angeles.

■ Linda Button, Port Angeles. In honor of Dorothy Waterhouse.

■ John and Ellen Kassen, Port Angeles.

■ Sue Priddy and Allen Herlyck, Port Townsend.

■ Louise Potter, Sequim. In memory of Ruthella Potter.

■ The Peters Family, Port Angeles. In memory of Loyd and Randy Peters.

■ Donald Mason, Port Angeles. In honor of the Don Mason family.

■ Emery and Lila Winters, Port Angeles. In memory of our parents.

■ Florence Chamberlain, Port Angeles.

■ George and Jolie Will, Sequim. In honor of our human family.

■ Pat MacRobbie, Sequim.

■ Barbara Sepersky, Port Townsend.

■ Paul and Sharon Martin, Port Angeles. In memory of Peggy McDonnell.

■ Laura Behr and Tom Christman, Port Angeles.

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

■ H.J. and D.M. Legg, Carlsborg. In memory of Pat Logan.

■ David and Danna Owens, Port Townsend.

■ Charles Byrd, Sequim. In memory of Karen Byrd.

■ Larry and Pat Ledbetter, Port Angeles.

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

■ Roger Zerener, Garden Plain, Kansas. In memory of Adam Zerrener. (My great uncle Adam is buried in the Ocean View Cemetery [in Port Angeles]. He migrated to Port Angeles in the late 1800s and was a tailor. Note his last name is spelled a bit different than mine. Apparently my grandfather who ended up in Kansas made the change. I have been to Port Angeles on two occasions and felt very much at home. Can’t wait to come back this spring. Roger Zerener.)

■ Ms. Marjorie McDonald, Port Angeles. In honor of Alice Russell, Phyllis McDonald, Lucia McDonald, Jean Brandland, George McDonald.

■ Robert Tain, Sequim. In memory of Mrs. Betty Kruger.

■ Erica C. Schreiber, Sequim. In memory of my 3 nephews who died this year.

■ Rae and Bruce Leiper, Port Angeles.

■ Rick and Tanya Smith, Port Angeles.

■ Elaine Powlesland, Sequim.

■ Ken and Mary Campbell, Port Angeles.

■ Cathy and Charlie Magnusen, Sequim.

■ Judy Carlson, Port Angeles.

■ Bob and Joanne Bird, Brinnon.

■ Dan and Janet Gouin, Port Angeles. In memory of Fay Hammond.

■ Steven and Diane Ross, Sequim.

■ Eldora Pederson, Port Angeles.

■ John and Marie Marrs, Port Angeles. In memory of Perry, Margie and Larry Brackett.

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

■ Steve and Llinda Bailey, Carlsborg.

■ Jerry and Jackie Schwagler, Port Angeles.

■ Don and Vicki Hinrichsen, Port Angeles.

■ Caryl and Michael Oros, Port Ludlow.

■ Jenifer and Lynn Taylor, Port Townsend.

■ Norma Wiggins, Port Angeles. In memory of Dora Anton.

■ Bud and Ginny Bowling, Sequim.

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

■ Mary D. Van Rossen, Port Angeles.

■ Marlynn Langford, Port Angeles. In honor of Calvin Langford.

■ William and Margaret Klover, Port Angeles.

■ Sara Lee O’Connor, Port Angeles.

■ April Kilgore and Monroe Stringham, Port Angeles.

■ Joanna Baker, Port Angeles. In memory of Harrison “Bud” Baker and Piper Cameron.

■ Rick and Margaret Yates, Port Angeles.

■ Mary Jill Klay, Sequim.

■ Bonnee Zander, Tacoma. In honor of Rebecca Zander.

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

■ Judy Volkmann, Port Angeles. In loving memory of my Dan.

■ Diane and David Bommer, Port Townsend.

■ Michael and Marcia Mallinger, Port Angeles.

■ John and Denise Kane, Sequim. In honor of Rick and Julie Offner. They join us in appreciation of the Peninsula Home Fund’s mission and the help it provides to so many and in so many ways.

■ Grace Wanrow, Sequim. In memory of Michael Wanrow.

■ Dennis Beguelin, Sequim. In honor of Jesus Christ.

■ Liz and Norm Bernahl, Sequim.

■ Vivian Brown and Doug Patt, Sequim.

■ David and Anita Brubaker, Wilmette, Ill. In honor of David and Barbara Brubaker.

■ Glen Martin and Rita Frangione, Port Townsend.

■ Robert Zeff, Sequim.

■ Dolores Mangano, Port Angeles. In memory of Louis Mangano.

■ Ethel Butler, Port Angeles. In memory of Harold Butler.

■ Tom and Sandi Shields, Sequim.

■ Beth and Jim Garifalos, Sequim.

■ Shari Spencer, Port Angeles. In memory of Eugene Spencer.

■ Kay McClurken, Port Angeles. In memory of Chuck, Al and Stu.

■ Kathy and Pat Durr, Port Angeles. In memory of George and Margaret Holinga.

■ Bob and Lucille Schmitt, Port Angeles.

■ Bernard Del Valle, Port Townsend.

■ Ron and Cathy Grant, Sequim.

■ Stefan J. and Mary Biskup, Port Townsend.

■ Robert and Gunvor McClinton, Sequim.

■ Joyce Morden and Joe Tamony, Port Angeles. In honor of Karen Walden and Irv Walden.

■ Emil and Judy Moilanen, Port Angeles. In honor of Dale Durrwachter. We thank Dale for his many thoughtful acts and kindnesses. We miss him this Christmas, and look forward to our time together.

■ Shirley Widdicombe, Sequim. In memory of my husband, Bob.

■ Judy and Dick Richmond, Sequim. In memory of Chaz Sands.

■ Judy and Dick Richmond (mom and dad), Sequim. In loving memory of our son, Richard.

■ Margery Wilder, Port Townsend.

■ Don Hasley, Port Townsend.

■ Susan and Charles Cange, Sequim.

■ Rita and Tom Thatcher, Sequim. In loving memory of our son Tim, and in honor of our son Todd.

■ Rita and Tom Thatcher, Sequim. In loving memory of our sisters and brothers: Rosa, Nina, Lois, Conrad and Jim.

■ Pam and Ted Bedford, Sequim. In honor of Ethel Elaine and Theodore G. Bedford. The best parents any child could ever ask for.

■ Charles and Linda Faires, Port Angeles.

■ Betsy Reed Schultz, Port Angeles.

■ George Jacobssen, Port Ludlow.

■ Kristi Meek, Port Angeles. In loving memory of my mom and dad, Marge and Ken Hansen. We miss you!

■ Cindy and John Mackay, Sequim.

■ Randi and Heather Hansen, Port Angeles. In memory of our friend, Phyllis. Gone since 2005, but alive in our memories.

■ Ron Hayes and Melinda Bryden, Port Townsend.

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

■ Sequim — $100. Peninsula Home Fund: Thank you again for helping so many people, especially during these times when there are so many who need a hand up. My small gift is sent with gratitude for my many blessings.

■ Sequim — $200 (via two prepaid VISA debit cards).

■ Sequim — $500.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $50. In memory of Deborah Hollingsworth.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $250. In honor of Frank.

■ Port Townsend — $200.

■ Port Townsend — $50.

■ Sequim — $75.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Sequim — $20.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Anonymous — $50. In honor of Barbara McCabe.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $25. In memory of Angelo and James Prodoti.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $75.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $10.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Brinnon — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Shreveport Louisiana — $10,000.

■ Sequim — $1,100. In honor of Jean Heesels-Petit. In recognition of her extended service as Commodore and leadership of the Sequim Bay Yacht Club.

■ Port Angeles — $15.

■ Nordland — $10.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $100. In memory of Max Gerber.

■ Port Angeles — $125. In honor of my parents.

■ Port Ludlow — $200. In honor of U.S. service personnel.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Townsend — $200.

■ Port Townsend — $100. (Just moved here. We think this is a great service. Thank you!)

■ Port Angeles — $250. Blessed holiday wishes to our Sequim family of “3 and one-fourth,” Joe, Callie, Steve, and ?. Have a super 2015, we love you. Betty, Nancy and Donny.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Ludlow — $250.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $250.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $50. In memory of Merla Broderick.

■ Port Angeles — $300.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $1,000. In memory of Clyde M. Fuller.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Hadlock — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $500. In honor of our precious son, Mark.

■ Sequim — $25. In memory of Shirley Wells.

■ Port Angeles — $25.

■ Port Townsend — $25.

■ Sequim — $100. In memory of Doug and Lillian Babcock.

■ Manchester, Conn. — $100. In memory of Doc Morrison.

■ Port Angeles — $333.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Sequim — $200. (Thank you for the work you do.)

■ Sequim — $200. In memory of Anna Barrigan.

■ Port Townsehttp://ptedit.sx.atl.publicus.com/apps/pbcsedit.dll/rednd — $100. In honor of Joanne Tyler.

_________

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 jbrewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

We’ll rerun the listing correctly.

Our sincerest appreciation again to our donors.

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