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American Red Cross employees, volunteers and family members form a support team for donors at Friday’s annual Thanksgiving Week blood drive at Hood River Elks Lodge. More opportunities to donate blood come in January in Hood River County; see details, this page.

Food barrels are out for Christmas Project and other school and community efforts to provide for those in need for the upcoming holidays are underway. Look for these and other ways to help, and let us know at hrnews@hoodrivernews.com if you have something you want the community to know about.

Here’s an update of ways to help:

Share the Warmth
Real estate brokers throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington are gearing up for Windermere Real Estate’s annual Share the Warmth campaign.
Now through Dec. 18, Windermere brokers will be collecting new or gently used adult-sized coats and twin-sized blankets for community members in need.
In the Columbia River Gorge, the donations will be distributed to those in need by local charities and shelters, including Soroptimist International, Washington Gorge Action Program, plus local schools and sheriff’s offices.
Those who want to help can stop by participating Windermere offices to drop off donations. Windermere’s Columbia River Gorge locations are:
  •  Bingen: 106 W. Steuben Ave.
  •  Cascade Locks: 651 WaNaPa St.
  •  Hood River: 504 Cascade and 315 Oak St.
  •  The Dalles: 122 E. Second St.
  •  Stevenson: 220 S.W. Second St.
  •  White Salmon: 216 E. Jewett Blvd.
“Share the Warmth is a prime example of how Windermere Real Estate brokers step up to help those in need in our local neighborhoods,” said Scott Mitchelson, president of Windermere Services Company in Oregon and  southwest Washington. “Every year, I’m amazed by the generosity of our neighbors and am grateful that we operate in communities that take care of each other in times of need.”

Christmas Project
Hood River Christmas Project provides food, toys and other goods to families and seniors in need just before Christmas.
To help by volunteering or sponsor a family in need, visit www.hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com.
The Hood River County Fairgrounds has again offered its facilities for food/toy packing and distribution of the Christmas baskets to the families. Dates are Dec. 20-21, and Dec. 21 in Cascade Locks.

American Red Cross Blood Drives
Three Hood River blood mobile visits are planned in the coming weeks:
  • Dec. 16: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Walmart, 2700 Wasco Ave.
  • Dec. 17: 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Waucoma Building, 902 Wasco St.
The Red Cross urges eligible donors to be the lifeline for patients in need this holiday season by making an appointment to give blood or platelets.
While helping to save lives is likely motivation enough, those who come out to give through Dec. 18 will also receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.
It’s quick and easy to find a convenient blood drive. Search for drives by ZIP code and make an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, online at RedCrossBlood.org, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

CL Giving Tree 2019
Parents or guardians who need a little extra help to provide a happy Christmas to their children, ages 0 to senior in high school, can sign up to receive a gift from the Giving Tree. Children must reside in the Cascade Locks —  Dodson/Warrendale area. Sign up at Cascade Locks City Hall until Friday, Dec. 6. Gifts will be delivered beginning Monday, Dec. 16.
Santa’s helpers can get a tag from the Giving Tree through Dec. 9; bring the unwrapped gift ($45 limit) and tag for the elves to wrap and deliver.
Gifts for needy seniors collected at HRVAC
Hood River Valley Adult Center is now accepting donations for its fourth annual Senior Christmas Project.
Bring in new, unwrapped socks, winter hats, gloves and other warm items to the center; they will be distributed to area seniors in need, said center Executive Director Amy Mallett. Monetary donations are also being accepted.

Photos with Santa benefit annual Christmas Project
On Saturday, Dec. 7 at Hawks Ridge Assisted Living, 1795 Eighth St., Hood River, Santa will make a special appearance from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., to take photos with all who stop by.
A donation of non-perishable food, an unwrapped toy or cash is requested, which will go directly to the Hood River County Christmas Project. 
This event is co-sponsored by Hawks Ridge Assisted Living and the Hood River EyeOpeners Lions Club.

Riverside Giving Tree
Donations of gloves, sleeping bags and other items are accepted at Riverside Community Church for guests at the Hood River Warming Shelter and those served by Operation Nightwatch in Portland.
Needed are:
  • Waterproof gloves and long underwear, hats, glove and scarves —  adult sizes only
  • Sleeping bags and tarps
  • “Hot hands” hand warmers (charcoal activated)
  • CAT bus tickets
  • Gift cards, $5 or $10 to local restaurants
Bring items to Riverside, weekdays, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Fourth and State streets.

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