Operations for the 2015 The Hood River County Christmas Project will begin this week with the start of family registration signups.
Christmas Project applications will be taken at the following locations and dates:
Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH Food Bank) on Wednesday, Nov. 18, from 1 to 4 p.m.
Oregon Department of Human Services, 1610 9th Ct. on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, on:
Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Nov. 6, 13, 20 and Dec. 4
Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Nov. 7, 14, 21 and Dec. 5.
For details on how to get involved or sponsor a family in need, visit www.hoodrivercoun....
Odell Food Bank, 3440 Odell Highway, from 3:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, Nov. 12 and Dec. 3.
Parkdale Community Church during Food Bank hours, 4 to 6 p.m., on Mondays, Nov. 9 and 23.
Applicants can sign up at whichever location is most convenient for them.
The program benefits many families in need from Hood River County that meet State of Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. A Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) card or an Oregon Health Plan (OHP) card also meets the registration requirements. Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of eligibility and residency. In each of the last five years, about 500 families (over 2,000 men, women, and children) have received support.
The Christmas Project is a volunteer-driven program. Coordinated by a volunteer board, approximately 300 local volunteers assist each year to make the program work. Volunteers help to register clients, organize canned food drives, sponsor families, pack toy bags and food boxes, deliver boxes to seniors and people with disabilities, and distribute the boxes to families on their scheduled pick up dates.
Again this year, the Hood River County Fairgrounds has offered their facilities for food/toy packing and distribution of the Christmas baskets to the families. Hood River, Odell, Pine Grove, and Parkdale recipients will need to come to the Community Building this year, on Dec. 18 and 19, from 1-6 p.m. to pick up their baskets. Cascade Locks recipients will need to pick up their baskets at Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH) on Dec. 16, from 1 to 4 p.m. Hood River, Odell, Pine Grove, and Parkdale seniors and people with disabilities will have baskets delivered to their residence on Saturday, Dec. 19. Cascade Locks seniors and people with disabilities will have baskets delivered to their residence on Wednesday, Dec. 16.
According to organizers, this year will mark the 91st year of the project. It was originally started in 1924 by the local Elks Club to provide assistance with food and children’s gifts during the Christmas Holiday.
How to support the 2015 Christmas Project:
The main fundraiser for the Christmas Project this year is the 19th Annual Gala Fashion Show, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 13, at the Best Western Plus Hood River Inn Gorge Room. The audience is invited to bring a gift — an unwrapped gift for any member of a family. Tickets are on sale now at participating stores for $25: Ananas Boutique, Columbia Gorge Dance Academy, Community Zumba, Doug’s Sports, Dream Street, Enchanted Alpaca, Flow Yoga, Gorge Style Salon, Plenty, and Shortt Supply, as well as from members of the group The Columbiaires.
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, Curves, DaKine, Hood River News, Hood River Sports Club, Melika, Naked Winery, Orchard Lanes Bowling, Print It/Sign Media, Rosauers, Walmart, and Washington Federal Savings.
To contribute to the Christmas Project, checks may be mailed to PO Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031. All donations are tax-deductible (501 (c)(3) organization).