Here to Help: Christmas Project, Native Peoples

Kudos to the community for another season of giving.

Many example of generosity during the holidays flowed out like a cornucopia after (and before) Thanksgiving, and while some suffered from the shot of snow and cold last week, the work goes on and deserves recognition as well as support.

Friday and Saturday are delivery days for Hood River County Christmas Project, which this year supports 449 families who have registered for food and gift packages this year.

The baskets are handed out Dec. 16 and Dec. 17 from 1-6 p.m. at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, with the possibility of a schedule change if the weather forces the issue — more snow and ice are expected later in the week.

Because of the potential for bad weather, the effort can use more volunteers to help pack, and toys and food might get packed up earlier in the week as a result. In addition, monetary donations are still being sought, as funds from the 20th Annual Fashion Show — The Christmas Project’s primary fundraiser — fell short on revenue.

To contribute to the Christmas Project, checks may be mailed to PO Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031. All donations are tax-deductible.

For more information on how to help, visit the Hood River County Christmas Project’s website at

Meanwhile, gifts are sought for all ages to pass out at a Christmas party for Native Americans at locations in the Gorge.

The party is Dec. 17 at Columbia Gorge Community College, Building 1, café, The Dalles, from 5-10 p.m. The event has been organized by Lana Jack, a Celilo Village resident. She is the founder of the Columbia River Indian Center, an organization in the process of gaining nonprofit status. Jack started the holiday party and gift and supply drive last year. Jack is seeking wrapped gifts labelled “female child,” “male child,” “adult female” and “adult male” prior to the party; please put age on children’s gifts.

Jack’s campaign is about more than toys, however. Many Native Americans experience homelessness, and donations are being collected to meet basic needs — clothing, food and shelter — for families spending the winter at one of the in-lieu sites. High on her list are blankets, plastic tarps, ropes, candles, sleeping bags, batteries, gas and propane vouchers, coats, towels, warm clothing for all ages and both sexes, and boxed and canned food items.

Dale Walker of Secure Storage, Hood River, invites anyone with non-perishable donations to bring them to his facility, located at 1400 Tucker Road, next to Nobi’s, between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. There is no charge and they will be kept for Jack to collect and distribute.

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