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Gifts of meaning: New ways of seasonal giving

Plenty of businesses got on board Dec.11 for the Hood River Chamber of Commerce’s first Holiday Giving promotion.

The day, and the event, have passed, but not the opportunities to give.

Recipients included FISH, May Street Elementary, Meals on Wheels, Hood River Warming Shelter, Helping Hands Against Violence, and New Parent Services. The idea of buying board books for young children who are clients of New Parents Services is not only timely and needed but a lot of fun: these are hands-on books that really do help instill a love of books in our youngest future readers.

Recent studies of adolescent and teen readers show that they actually prefer conventional paper books to electronic ones. New Parent Services and their business sponsors are onto something in making this effort a focus this year. (Taco del Mar in Hood River and Washington Federal Savings in The Dalles are collection sites, along with Waucoma Bookstore in Hood River. Board books are available at Waucoma and G. Williker’s Toy Shoppe in Hood River, and Klindt’s Booksellers in The Dalles.)

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Another innovative way to give this season is the United Way of the Columbia Gorge’s new “Meaningful Gifts” campaign; for donations of $10, $25 or $50, you can support youth literacy and nutrition, and family and senior nutrition programs by donating to United Way, on behalf of Next Door Inc., Meals on Wheels, Start Making A Reader Today, and FISH food banks.

A gift card will be sent to a family or loved one, describing your donation. Call United Way at 541-386-6100 for details on how to order.

Add these efforts to the food drives for FISH and Christmas Project that are in full swing, and it’s easy to see that the Hood River community is both a place with people in need as well as numerous, rewarding opportunities to help.

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