After traumatic losses threw Christina and her husband (away on training for his new job) off-balance and into financial ruin

After traumatic losses threw Christina and her husband (away on training for his new job) off-balance and into financial ruin

PENINSULA HOME FUND — With new jobs and help from the Home Fund, family looks forward to a brighter future

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. Or you can print out a donation coupon at the site and mail it.

FORKS — Christina’s world was full of despair.

She and her family lost their “dream ranch” in Oregon because of the economic downturn.

Her beloved little sister was murdered — a victim of domestic violence.

Then she and her husband and their young children were evicted from their rental home after it changed ownership.

“I cried when I found out the Home Fund could help us get the kids really good winter boots and jackets they desperately needed,” says Christina. “Like lots of people, it was hard for us to ask for help.”

The Peninsula Daily News’ “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund provided the family with a voucher to Forks Outfitters so the children could get the boots and jackets.

When Christina found part-time employment with a child assistance program, it had dress requirements, and the Home Fund was able to provide her with work clothes for the job.

“I don’t take that help for granted,” she says. “The Home Fund was there to help us out when we really needed it.

“Until you hit that spot, you think you just can’t do it anymore. You can’t know how much it means to have a community that will help you. It’s been eye-opening.”

Things are looking up since those Home Fund grants.

She loves her work, and her husband has a good new job, too.

And “Forks is it for us,” she says. “This community has revived my soul.”

The family lives in a RV while they search for a new rental home.

“The kids think we’re camping,” she says.

“We have room for our dog and kitties, and the kids have room [where the mobile home is parked] to ride their little bikes, so it’s kinda a blessing in disguise there as we look for a rental.”

A year ago, she wouldn’t have thought much of anything was a blessing.

“I shut down from everyone,” she says. “It was too hard losing our ranch and my little sister at the same time.”

She says she started to pull out of her deep depression when their children, 4 and 5, got into ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program).

Leadership abilities

“I found my calling with ECEAP,” says Christina.

Once a month, they attend an ECEAP Early Head Start and Head Start family night for an “informational and fun family get-together that increases family bonds.”

Christina and her husband met in the Air Force. She was in charge of two training squadrons — 850 men and women — and worked the maintenance side of Air Traffic Control.

Lorena Perez, an ECEAP facilitator, noticed her leadership skills and asked, “Christina, can you be one of our parent officers?”

Christina has taken on other jobs for the group — and now is also a regional parent representative for the Washington State Association of Head Start & ECEAP.

“WSA is where we represent ECEAP and Early Head Start at the Capitol in Olympia to advocate for our children,” she explains.

About a month ago, “we went and got to sit and talk face to face with our representatives and senators. I think I found my calling.”

She also meets with various parent groups to help educate them about finances, nutrition and “a lot of different aspects on everyday life for some of these families.

“So it takes on a whole big role that’s brought me back into the world just when I needed something greater to focus on rather than myself. I just feel getting in to this program has really saved my life.

“Still looking for a home to rent, but for now we’re OK, and that’s a good thing.”

Peninsula’s safety net

Between now and New Year’s Eve, the Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for North Olympic Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn — is seeking contributions for our annual holiday season fundraising campaign.

From Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim and LaPush, the Home Fund — now in its 26th year — 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.

No deductions

As of last Monday, the Home Fund had helped 3,766 individuals (1,213 families) in Jefferson and Clallam counties this year.

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

Every penny goes to OlyCAP — nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs — the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the Peninsula.

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

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

The average amount of help is usually below $100 — this year it has been $69.16 per person.

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

‘Hand up, not handout’

As needed, 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.

The goal again: “a hand up, not a handout.”

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

(See accompanying 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.

Out of money Dec. 31

Since its beginning in 1989, the fund has relied on the support of Clallam and Jefferson residents.

Individuals, couples, businesses, churches, organizations and school groups set a new record for contributions in 2013 — $268,389 — smashing the old record of $268,137 set Dec. 31, 2012.

As of last Monday, $257,507 had been spent for Home Fund grants.

And as we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the remaining money — $10,882 — is expected to be spent before Dec. 31.

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 the Sunday before 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 Nov. 27 and Dec. 3:

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

■ Leila Roberts, Port Angeles — $25. In memory of Dan Roberts Sr., forever in my heart.

■ Pam and John Clise, Port Townsend — $100.

■ Steven A. McCreary, Port Townsend — $250.

■ Ron and Judy Priest, Sequim — $100.

■ Ann R. Thomas, Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Alan Thomas.

■ Becky and Earl Archer, Sequim — $100.

■ Joe and Dee Blanchard, Sequim — $200.

■ Bob and Sharon Litwin, Sequim — $100. In honor of our grandson, Jonathan.

■ Rick Willis and Lizbeth Harper, Sequim — $1,000.

■ D. Jean Lodeen, Port Angeles — $300. In memory of O. Erven Lodeen.

■ Stanley and Janine Moore, Forks — $100.

■ Margie Movius, Port Angeles — $113. In honor of two well-qualified electricians, Josh and Cole. These two were hired to put in new electrical outlets in an old house. I was very satisfied with their work and would recommend them both. They are currently employed with Extra Mile Tech & Electrical.

■ Margie Movius, Port Angeles — $113. In memory of my daughter, Beverly J. Rice.

■ Margie Movius, Port Angeles — $113. In memory of my son, Paul J. Raber.

■ Margie Movius, Port Angeles — $113. In memory of my nephew, Patrick W. “Pat” Rose.

■ Margie Movius, Port Angeles — $65.50. In honor of Phillip Downer, M.D., of Orthopedic Specialists of Seattle. Dr. Downer is one of only a few physicians in the Pacific Northwest who perform hip replacement surgery using the anterior approach. This new procedure offers patients quicker steps to recovery and makes small-incision surgery an option for more patients.

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

■ Nancy Lang, Port Angeles.

■ Larry and Lynn Gosser, Port Angeles.

■ Rose Crumb, Port Angeles.

■ Mike and Patti Brandt, Sequim.

■ Ron and Sandy Casscles, Sequim.

■ JoAnne Hughes, Port Angeles.

■ Diane Kaufman, Port Angeles. In memory of Dick Catlett.

■ Joseph Cress and Elaine Peaslee, Sequim. In memory of Jenny Cress.

■ Hoch Construction Inc., Port Angeles.

■ Paul Forrest and Gail McDonald, Port Angeles.

■ Tom and Judie Sharpe, Port Angeles.

■ Norman Gallacci, Lacey. In memory of members of the Gallacci and Morris families and members of the PAHS Class of 1952. PEACE!

■ Jan and Tom Kummet, Sequim.

■ Joe and Sue Twogood, Port Angeles.

■ Judy Munro, Port Angeles. In loving memory of my parents, Tom and Sally Munro, and my sister, Marsha Munro, who are always in my heart.

■ Dorothy Phillips, Port Angeles. In honor of hardworking city crews (Light and Street).

■ Rosemary Kane, Port Angeles. In honor of Midge Bader.

■ Frank and Karen Jahns, Port Angeles.

■ Nancy A. McDonald, Port Angeles. In memory of Robert “Mac” McDonald.

■ Mr. and Mrs. Willard R. Baker, Sequim.

■ Cyndi L. Ross, Port Angeles. In honor of my mom, Jo Ross. Welcome to Sequim!

■ Nick Kravchenko, Port Angeles.

■ Bill Wheeler, Sequim.

■ Emil and Judy Moilanen, Port Angeles.

■ Thad and Merrie Jo Schroeder, Port Angeles.

■ Mike and Patty McCarty, Port Angeles.

■ David and Lisa Bednarski, Snohomish. In honor of Ron Bednarski.

■ Neil Burkhardt and Jane Stewart, Sequim.

■ Ruth Welch, Port Angeles. In honor of Frank Welch, humanist.

■ Frances and Keith A. Wollen, Port Angeles.

■ Chris and Valerie Mohr, Sekiu. In memory of Harold Van Riper.

■ Al and Barbara Deese, Port Angeles. In memory of Ann Holke.

■ Lillian Adamson, Port Angeles. In memory of Bill.

■ Drs. Joseph L. and Judy M. Price, Sequim.

■ Quail Hollow Psychotherapy PLLC, Sequim.

■ Kelly and Julie Fisher, Port Angeles.

■ Bill and Sarah Tozier, Port Angeles. In memory of Everett Tozier.

■ Ron Goldhammer, Port Angeles. In memory of Leland Goldhammer.

■ Mr. and Mrs. Terry R. Santos, Sequim.

■ Marvin and Carolyn Morillo, Port Angeles.

■ Patricia Bartlett, Sequim.

■ Nydia Levick, Sequim. In honor of Dal Kilmer.

■ Jennifer Swenson, Sequim. In memory of Richard Swenson.

■ Ella M. Sandvig, Port Townsend.

■ Dr. Roger Eichman, Nordland.

■ Ron and Kathi Larsen, Sequim. In honor of Phil Harris and FFCC.

■ Dan and Esther Darrow, Port Ludlow.

■ Bob A. Massey, Sequim. In memory of Margaret Massey.

■ Kathryn M. Monds, Port Angeles. In memory of Hal and Marion King.

■ Rita Marston, Port Angeles. In memory of Don Marston.

■ Gary and Geri Braun, Port Angeles.

■ Stan S. Johnson, Port Angeles. In memory of Dave Dickinson.

■ Barbara Stender, Port Townsend.

■ Nancy Fowler, Port Townsend.

■ Bob and Sue Erzen, Sequim.

■ Jim and Jane Ratliff, Sequim.

■ Janet Cattano, Sequim.

■ Phil and Marian Meany, Port Townsend.

■ Kieth and Laurene Haugland, Port Angeles.

■ Beverly Stanley, Port Angeles.

■ Lucille Caughron, Sequim. In memory of Leonard Caughron.

■ Sylvia Meyer, Port Angeles. In memory of Bob Baldwin.

■ Russell and Sandra Hesselman, Port Angeles. In memory of Richard Scott Hesselman.

■ Jay and Alicia Crawford, Sequim.

■ Larry and Karen Mann, Sequim.

■ Phil Edin and Margie Huetter, Port Angeles.

■ Beth Mackey and Stan Goddard, Port Townsend. In honor of Julie Marston.

■ Dorothy Munkeby, Port Angeles. In memory of friends, Milton Hunt and Jan Ljubich.

■ Stan and Susan Kriegel, Port Ludlow. In honor of our servicemen and servicewomen.

■ John and Mary Wegmann, Port Angeles.

■ Jay Burcham, Port Townsend. In loving memory of my wife, Shirl.

■ Raymond and Janet Morgan, Port Angeles.

■ Karen Sue Scott, Port Angeles. In memory of all former students.

■ Ed and Phyllis Hopfner, Port Angeles.

■ Beth Lorber and Peter Bonyun, Port Townsend.

■ Doug and Trudy Rittenhouse, Port Angeles. In memory of Ruth Lund.

■ Brian and Kay Clark, Port Angeles.

■ Mary E. Robinson, Port Angeles. In memory of A.V. “Robbie” Robinson. Miss you so very much. Love, Mary and family.

■ Ms. Janet Nickolaus, Port Angeles. In memory of Winnie Nickolaus.

■ Marjorie Faires, Port Angeles.

■ Pam and Randy Gardner, Port Angeles. In memory of Jan and L.D. Gardner.

■ Ms. Susan Molin, Sequim.

■ Arlene Cox, Sequim.

■ Fred and Carol Royce, Port Angeles.

■ M. Barnell, Port Angeles.

■ Hazel Vail, Port Angeles. In memory of Ken Vail.

■ Jim and Cathy Hinz, Sequim.

■ James and Lucy Kittrick, Port Angeles.

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

■ G.E. and Judy Gleaton, Port Angeles.

■ Don Wilson, Port Townsend. In memory of Linda Farina.

■ Marilyn Whidden, Port Angeles. In memory of my loving husband, Charles.

■ Mary Kaul, Sequim. In memory of Gene and Bill.

■ Joan Morrish, Port Angeles. In memory of Bert Raber, my son.

■ Vic Heiskala, Port Angeles.

■ Bill and Jill Dole, Port Angeles. In honor of L. Wayne Ostlund.

■ Arthur and Karen Haugstad, Sequim.

■ Juanita Weissenfels, Forks. In memory of Liz Brown.

■ Stephen D. Murphy, Port Townsend. In honor of all disabled veterans.

■ Joyce Chiasson, Port Angeles. In memory of Jack Chiasson.

■ Daphne Raymond, Port Angeles. In loving memory of Leo and Brian.

■ Bill and Sharon Alton, Port Angeles.

■ Michael and Prudence Nathan, Port Angeles.

■ Monica L. Mansfield, Sequim.

■ Gerald and Charlotte Pierce, Sequim.

■ Sheryl Slack, Port Angeles. In memory of Ken and Marge Hansen.

■ Lucy E. Willis, Sequim.

■ Fran Whelan, Sequim.

■ Jeff and Michele Reynolds, Port Angeles. In memory of Merle and Ruth.

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

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $25.

■ Port Townsend — $100.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Townsend — $100. In memory of my husband.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Jim and Mabel.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Townsend — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $200.

■ Sequim — $25.

■ Sequim — $300.

■ Port Angeles — $50. In memory of William Gaskill.

■ Sequim — $50. In memory of Chuck Blum.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Sequim — $35.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $500.

■ Port Angeles — $400. In memory of Jack and Bal.

■ Port Angeles — $500.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $40.

■ Port Townsend — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $250.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In honor of the Volunteers of Clallam County Fire District No. 2.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $1,000.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $250. In memory of Marian Fisken Byse.

■ Port Angeles — $250.

■ Sequim — $75.

■ Sequim — $30.

■ Sequim — $250.

■ Sequim — $100.

■ Port Angeles — $100. In memory of Joseph Crowley.

■ Beaver — $50.

■ Sequim — $65.

■ Port Angeles — $100.

■ Sequim — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $50.

■ Port Angeles — $25. In honor of the Baha’i faith.

■ Sequim — $300.

■ Port Angeles — $25.

_________

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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