'A hand up, not a handout': This season's Peninsula Home Fund campaign debuts

Peninsula Daily News

print Print This | Email This

Most Popular this week

Want more top stories? Sign up here for daily or weekly newsletters with our top news.

Economic times challenge 2013 Home Fund

One hundred percent of the Peninsula Daily News' Peninsula Home Fund is used to help people.

Every dollar donated goes to OlyCAP — Olympic Community Action Programs, the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the North Olympic Peninsula — without deductions by the PDN.

But because of the extraordinary demand experienced by OlyCAP — and plummeting cutbacks in grants and government support — for the first time in the history of the Home Fund, OlyCAP used a portion of the fund in 2012 to help pay for vital programs and services that help those in need.

This has continued in 2013 and is limited to 10 cents of every dollar donated. The agency actually has averaged 8.9 percent — just short of 9 cents per dollar.

OlyCAP can no longer absorb the costs of managing all the facets of the Home Fund — screening applicants, providing counseling and carefully disbursing the funds — without financial assistance.

It must tap a small portion of the fund as tough times compound the challenges it faces to help those in need.

The fund is not set up to hand out money passively; through OlyCAP, recipients play active roles in their own success, their own rehabilitation, their own futures.

That's the “hand up, not a handout” focus of the Home Fund.

It will be detailed in stories every Wednesday and Sunday through Dec. 31 in the PDN.

As we begin our 25th annual fundraising campaign for the Home Fund, we acknowledge not just the challenges OlyCAP faces but the success it has created thanks to generous PDN readers stepping up to donate.

Assistance from the Home Fund usually averages less than $100 and is also limited to one time in a 12-month period.

The average amount of help this year has been $69.86 per person or family.

Often, a onetime grant from the Home Fund is all it takes for recipients to get back on their feet again.

“We continue to see a huge need across the Peninsula, with the three highest needs being in housing, energy and transportation,” says Geoff Crump, OlyCAP executive director.

“Having just completed a community-needs assessment across Clallam and Jefferson counties, our data tells us that these areas are indeed where people need the most help; they are their biggest expenses.

“In Jefferson County, for example, 46 percent of households pay more than 30 percent of their household income toward their rent; 39 percent in Clallam pay more than 30 percent of their income toward their rent.”

The Peninsula Home Fund is a powerful source of support for children, families and seniors throughout our North Olympic Peninsula community when there is no place else to turn.

It's never been more important.

Peninsula Daily News
A GRANDMOTHER CARING for two small children received help with her utility bills.

An out-of-work logger in Quilcene got money to obtain prescribed medicine.

A fourth-grade student got the glasses he needed to do his schoolwork in Port Townsend.

Material was provided to help a volunteer group assist a Port Angeles woman with repairs to her mobile home.

A Forks woman received a load of wood to heat her house.

Using a record-breaking $268,137 given in 2012, more than 3,000 individuals and households in Jefferson and Clallam counties have received help so far this year from the Peninsula Daily News' “hand up, not a handout” Peninsula Home Fund.

From today to New Year's Eve, the Peninsula Home Fund — a safety net for North Olympic Peninsula residents when there is nowhere else to turn — is seeking contributions for its annual holiday season fundraising campaign.

The Peninsula Daily News will publish stories every Wednesday and Sunday during the campaign listing contributors and reporting on how the fund works.

Peninsula safety net

The Peninsula Home Fund is a unique nonprofit program:

No money is deducted by the Peninsula Daily News for administration fees or any other overhead.

Every penny goes to OlyCAP — nonprofit Olympic Community Action Programs — the No. 1 emergency-care agency on the Peninsula.

The money goes to help the most vulnerable members of our community, from infants to families to seniors.

Please note: Because of heavy community demands, the loss of grants because of the economy and recent cuts in government funding, OlyCAP beginning in 2012 was permitted to use 10 percent — 10 cents of every dollar donated — to pay for the vital programs and services for Home Fund clients.

OlyCAP has kept it below 10 percent — specifically, 8.9 percent.

■ The Home Fund is not a welfare program.

Money is used to give families and individuals from Port Townsend to Forks, from Quilcene and Brinnon to Sequim, Joyce and LaPush “a hand up, not a handout” to get through an emergency situation.

Assistance, which usually averages less than $100, is also limited to one time in a 12-month period.

The average amount of help this year has been $69.86 per person or family.

Money from the fund is used for hot meals for seniors in Jefferson and Clallam counties; warm winter coats for kids; home repairs for a low-income family; needed prescription drugs; dental work; safe, drug-free temporary housing; eyeglasses — the list goes on and on.

All instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through a crisis — and back on the path to self-sufficiency

Home Fund case managers often work with each individual or family to develop a plan to become financially stable — and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

As needed, Peninsula Home Fund contributions are often used in conjunction with money from churches, service clubs and other donors, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

The goal again: “a hand up, not a handout.”

All contributions are IRS tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law for the year in which the check is written.

Your personal information is kept confidential.

The PDN does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone or make any other use of it.

Out of money Dec. 31

Since its beginning in 1989, the fund has relied on the support of Jefferson and Clallam residents.

Individuals, couples, businesses, churches, organizations and school groups set a new record for contributions in 2012 — $268,137 — smashing the old record of $254,593 set Dec. 31, 2011.

As of Oct. 31, $199,884 has been spent for Home Fund grants.

And as we move into winter, the toughest period of the year, all of the remaining money is expected to be spent before Dec. 31.

To apply for a Peninsula Home Fund grant, contact one of the three OlyCAP offices:

■ OlyCAP's Port Angeles office is at 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall); 360-452-4726. For Port Angeles and Sequim area residents.

■ Its Port Townsend office is at 823 Commerce Loop; 360-385-2571. For Jefferson County residents.

■ The Forks office is at 421 Fifth Ave.; 360-374-6193. For West End residents.

Leave a message in the voice mail box at any of the three numbers, and a Home Fund caseworker will phone you back.

OlyCAP's website: www.olycap.org; email: action@olycap.org.

Geoff Crump, OlyCAP's executive director, oversees disbursements from the Peninsula Home Fund.

How to donate

From children's pennies to checks for thousands of dollars, the generosity of Peninsula Daily News readers makes a positive difference.

A gift of any size is welcome.

The Peninsula Home Fund has never been a campaign of heavy hitters.

If you can contribute only a few dollars, please don't hesitate because you think it won't make a difference.

Every gift makes a difference, regardless of its size.

To donate, write a check to “Peninsula Home Fund” and attach it to the coupon that appears in today's PDN.

Mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362.

You can also contribute online using a credit card: Just click on https://secure.peninsuladailynews.com/homefund

Again, all contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

You will receive a written thank-you and acknowledgment of your contribution.

If you have any questions about the fund, phone John Brewer, PDN editor and publisher, at 360-417-3500.

Or email jbrewer@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 22. 2014 11:00PM
Reader Comments
Local Business
Friends to Follow

To register a complaint about a comment, email moderator@peninsuladailynews.com and refer to the article and offending comment, or click here: REPORT ABUSE.

Peninsuladailynews.com comments are subject to the Peninsuladailynews.com User Policy.

From the PDN:

All materials Copyright © 2017 Black Press Ltd./Sound Publishing Inc. • Terms of UsePrivacy PolicyAssociated Press Privacy PolicyAssociated Press Terms of UseContact Us