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PeninsulaNorthwest

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2012

PENINSULA DAILY NEWS

Give voice to your heart 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 on this page. Mail both items to Peninsula Home Fund, Peninsula Daily News, P.O. Box 1330, Port Angeles, WA 98362. You can also donate online by credit card. Just visit www.peninsuladailynews.com, then click near the top of the home page on “Peninsula Home Fund — Click Here to Donate.� Or use the QR code above to access with your smartphone. All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible. The fund’s IRS number, under the auspices of OlyCAP, is 91-0814319. Whether you donate by coupon or online, you will receive a written thank-you and acknowledgment of your contribution.

OLYMPIC COMMUNITY ACTION PROGRAMS

Rich Ciccarone meets with clients in the OlyCAP/Home Fund office in Port Townsend in 2010, shortly after he began working there as a volunteer.

A helping hand behind Home Fund Many people mistakenly think these folks have never worked. While some are elderly or disabled, many are folks who have lost their jobs and are struggling to find work. Some people still are employed but find it impossible to make ends meet or pay for medical EDITOR’S NOTE — Nonprofit Olympic Community Action emergencies. The story behind each client’s Programs — OlyCAP — is the situation is different, but they all No. 1 emergency-care agency in have a common need for help. Jefferson and Clallam counties. None of these folks seeking OlyCAP also oversees the “hand assistance wants to be in this situup, not a handout� Peninsula ation. Home Fund for the Peninsula I often see that it is very diffiDaily News, screening the applicants and carefully distributing the cult and embarrassing for people to walk in and ask for help. money donated by PDN readers. Our first goal is to ease their Rich Ciccarone, a retired corpojourney and work from there. rate executive from New York City, is chairman of OlyCAP’s board of Thursday sessions directors. He is also Home Fund volunteer Each Thursday, I meet with in the OlyCAP office in Port three or four clients. Townsend. Through a structured interview In this article, he writes firstprocess, I assess their situation hand about his experiences as a and the assistance options availHome Fund caseworker. able. The PDN publishes information However, it is the actual story on the Home Fund every Wednesof each person’s dilemma that is so day and Sunday during our gripping. annual fundraising campaign Many times, people are doing from Thanksgiving to Dec. 31. fine, and then their life situation The Sunday articles also list takes a sudden turn for the worse. the week’s Home Fund donors. Some cases remain with you forever — helping a homeless BY RICH CICCARONE woman, only to learn she passed FOR PENINSULA DAILY NEWS away a few weeks later. Remembering her gratitude PORT TOWNSEND — Back in February 2010, I learned that Oly- and the hug of joy this kind woman so freely gave me — this CAP was looking for Home Fund volunteers to counsel clients seek- will always remain imprinted in my heart. ing assistance. I felt blessed to know this After joining the OlyCAP Home woman and provide assistance for Fund team, I quickly discovered that there are many people in our her. It was heart-wrenching to see a community who have literally young mom crying and to hear her fallen through the cracks and are murmur to her little baby, “It is in dire need of assistance. going to be OK now. Mommy can Assistance can take many buy soap and shampoo for you.� forms — monetary, counseling or The stories go on: referral to other sources in the community. ■A man with severe tooth

Work is ‘most rewarding of my life’

To delay may mean to forget.

Change someone’s Peninsula

pain thanking me profusely for getting dental assistance. ■A woman who needed work clothes to start a job as a traffic coordinator. ■ A man who needed eyeglasses to get his commercial driver’s license so he could start work as a truck driver. ■ A woman on the verge of eviction who needed a bit of rental assistance before her Social Security started. Each story leaves its mark. All the clients I meet are so very grateful for the assistance OlyCAP provides. It is not only the amount of money we provide, but the fact that we can help when there are no other options available to these people. Many times, our assistance is enough to get them through their immediate crisis. Some clients keep in touch and let me know how things are going. It is a privilege to be able to meet and assist these good folks. This is indeed the most rewarding experience of my life.

All gifts, no matter what size, make a big difference. Here is my donation of $__________ for 2012. Print name(s) ___________________________________ Address _______________________________________ City/State __________________________

Make check or money order payable to “Peninsula Home Fund.�

To contribute by credit card, complete the following: Visa MasterCard Card No.: Expiration:

Three-digit security code: Name as it appears on card: Signature: Day phone number (with area code):

il Peninsula Daily News Home Fund Ma : P.O. Box 1330 to Port Angeles, WA 98362

More volunteers needed

How would you like your gift recognized in the Peninsula Daily News? Name(s) and amount Name(s) only Anonymous I designate my contribution In memory of: In honor of:

We do need more Home Fund volunteers at OlyCAP. If you can make a commitment to meet weekly with three or four clients, we will train you for this volunteer opportunity. Personally, giving of oneself is the ultimate richness in life.

Honoree’s Name: You can also add a message of 25 words or less. (Use a separate sheet of paper.)

Contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible. 100 percent of your caring donation goes to Olympic Community Action Programs to help children, seniors and families in Clallam and Jefferson counties. Written acknowledgment will be mailed to donors by Jan. 31, 2013. Questions? Call 360-417-3500.

__________ TO LEARN MORE about becoming a Peninsula Home Fund volunteer or to apply for a Home Fund grant, phone OlyCAP at 360-452-4726 (Clallam County) or 360-385-2571 (Jefferson County). ■OlyCAP’s Port Angeles office is at 228 W. First St., Suite J (Armory Square Mall); 360452-4726. ■ Port Townsend office is at 803 W. Park Ave.; 360-385-2571.

■Forks/West End office is at 421 Fifth Ave.; 360-374-6193. OlyCAP’s website: www.olycap. org; email: action@olycap.org. If you have any questions about the fund, phone John Brewer, PDN publisher and editor, at 360-

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360 457 6759 “Working with people to create beautiful homes and environments.�

417-3500. Or email him at john.brewer@ peninsuladailynews.com. Our twice-weekly stories about the Peninsula Home Fund are posted at the PDN’s website, www.peninsuladailynews.com.

HAPPY SPA-LIDAYS! H

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