A5 church news St Marks donates to community id program.jpg

St. Mark’s donated $1,500 to the Next Door Community ID program this week. Pictured, from left, are Anna Osborn, Lorena Sprager, Rev. Kelly Mahon, Claire Rawson and Alicia Ramirez Wilson.

St. Mark’s Episcopal Church donated $1,500 to The Next Door on Feb. 11 in support of its Community ID program.

Rev. Kelly Mahon said the Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon, of which St. Mark’s is a member, applied for a grant distributed by the Katherine Bisbee Foundation last year. The diocese, upon receiving those funds, then encouraged individual parishes to apply for smaller grants to benefit community projects.

The church applied for one of those grants in late 2019 with the Community ID program in mind, and received word two weeks ago that it had been awarded $1,500.

“The Community ID program is very theologically and practically congruent with our beliefs of helping people,” Mahon said. “Given the guidelines of the Bisbee grant, I figured this would be a good use of distributing funds from the region to a special local project.”

He said he found out about the Community ID program through Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM), and he and some of his parishioners were some of the first to register for the program in 2019.

“We’re happy to be a partner and in mission with The Next Door,” he said. “This is the kind of stuff the church should and can support.”

About the Community ID program

According to a Sept. 28, 2019, Hood River News article by Emily Fitzgerald, the Community ID program is the first of its kind in the Pacific Northwest and is one of about 30 local government ID programs in effect nationwide.

The IDs do not replace state or federal government-issued ID cards, but are accepted by a variety of organizations in Hood River County; some businesses also offer discounts to those who show their ID cards.

While the IDs themselves are officially authorized by Hood River County, the program is administered by Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM) via The Next Door and funded by private grants and card fees.

The cards cost $20 each, but applicants have the option to just pay $10, or to pay more as a donation to The Next Door.

For more information on the Community ID program or for a list of businesses offering discounts to card holders, visit nextdoorinc.org/community-id.

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