Hood River County Christmas Project coordinator Bruce Holmson has announced registration dates for the upcoming 2013 holiday season. According to Holmson, the sole purpose of the program is to provide assistance with holiday food and children’s gifts, during the Christmas holidays, to low-income families living within Hood River County.
The Christmas Project is available to Hood River County families meeting State of Oregon Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) standards (previously known as food stamps), although they do not need to be presently receiving SNAP benefits. Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of income and residency. Eligible children in the family must be living at home. Christmas Project applications will be taken again this year at the following locations:
In Cascade Locks, applications will be taken at The Cascade Locks City Hall – FISH Food Bank on Wednesday, Nov. 20, from 2 to 4 p.m.
In Hood River, applications are being taken at the Oregon Department of Human Services, 1610 Ninth Court on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 8, 15, 22 and Dec. 6, and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 9, 16, 23 and Dec. 7.
In Odell, applications will be taken at the Odell Food Bank, 3440 Odell Highway, from 4-6 p.m. on Thursdays, Nov. 14 and Dec. 5.
In Parkdale, applications will be taken at the Parkdale Community Church during Food Bank hours (4-6 p.m.) on Mondays, Nov. 11 and 25.
Applicants can sign up at whichever location is most convenient for them.
This year, the Hood River County Fairgrounds has again offered its facilities for distribution of the Christmas baskets to the families. Registered families will need to come to the Community Building this year, on Dec. 20 and 21, from 1-6 p.m. to pick up their baskets. Baskets for seniors and people with disabilities will be delivered to their residences Saturday, Dec. 21.
Holmson said that last year the Christmas Project provided food and toys to approximately 500 families (more than 2,000 men, women and children) within Hood River County.
“We will continue to need the community’s help in money donations, toys, and food items, to make another successful year,” he said.
The main fundraiser for the Christmas Project this year is the 17th Annual Gala Fashion Show, scheduled for Nov. 15 (Friday) at the Best Western Hood River Inn Gorge Room. Insitu, Dakine and Pistil are helping to sponsor the gala this year.
In addition, a Hood River Lions grant will be used to help purchase new toys and a grant from the United Way of the Columbia Gorge will be used to add a variety of healthy, nutrient-packed food items within each family’s food box. Many area churches, civic organizations, local schools, individuals and families participate by sponsoring families, or donating food, toys, and cash.
During mid-November and December, the following businesses will have food and toy collection barrels for folks to drop off items:
Alder Creek Kayak and SUP
CenterPointe Community Bank
The Children’s Play Place
Columbia State Bank
Hood River Middle School
Hood River News
Hood River Sports Club
Horizon Christian School
Orchard Lanes Bowling
Print It/Sign Media
Washington Federal Savings
Westside Elementary School
Wy’east Middle School
To contribute to the Christmas Project, checks may be mailed to P.O. Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031. All donations are tax-deductible [501 (c)(3) organization].
As always, the committee is looking for new people to help with family registration and directing or participating in various aspects of the project.
For more information on how to get involved or sponsor a needy family, call Kym Zanmiller at 541-386-5153 or visit hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com