How to help during the holidays, Dec. 23 edition

Blanket Drive returns

The Wasco County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is hosting its fifth annual Blanket Drive. All items collected will be donated to The Warming Place in The Dalles, and to Gilliam and Sherman County Emergency Management.

The Warming Place is also in need of warm socks. Other warming items (such as coats and gloves) will also be accepted.

Come to the parking lot at 523 East Third St. (across the street from Sawyer’s True Value) on Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Donors can simply pull up to the curb to drop off new or gently used (and washed) blankets, socks and other warming items.

FISH commemorative brick

Purchase a commemorative brick to support the FISH Food Bank this holiday season. Bricks will line the entryway to the Hood River FISH Food Bank site, and can honor loved ones or special friends, recognize an organization, share an inspirational thought, or show support of FISH.

Purchases help support the mission of FISH to supply nutritious food to Hood River County residents in need of help. Orders will be taken until Jan. 15. The application form can be found online at %20Purchase%20Form.pdf.

Warming Shelter

Hood River Warming Shelter, a service of Hood River Shelter Services ( is open nightly at Riverside Community Church in Hood River. For questions about volunteering and donating items, email info@ Warm goods are needed, including gloves and sleeping bags.

Each overnight stay contains three shifts: 5-7 a.m. (wakeup, checkout and cleanup), 5:45-10:15 p.m. (setup, intake and service), and 10:15 p.m. to 5:15 a.m. (evening prep and overnight watch).

Returning volunteers are asked to sign up for their first shifts at the email above, or if they have not yet received the scheduling link.

For those who wish to donate physical items, the shelter is always in need of heavy winter gloves and sleeping bags, she said. Email to arrange for pickup or drop-off.

The shelter also needs volunteers to sign up for the Laundry Love program. Coins and laundry detergent — and about three hours a week once a month — are needed.

Laundry Love Coordinator Alicia Speidel explained that volunteers meet Warming Shelter guests at the laundromat at a designated time with quarters and detergent so guests can do laundry.

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