Open your heart for the holidays

The Olympian’s Light of Hope listing aims to help people in the community make a difference

lpemberton@theolympian.comNovember 25, 2012 

It is the season of giving.

And during the next several weeks, South Sound residents have an opportunity to open their hearts and spread some holiday cheer through The Olympian’s Light of Hope.

Look in today’s paper for a mega-list of holiday wishes compiled by local agencies that screen and work with folks in need. Anyone who would like to help someone on the list is encouraged to contact the organization directly.

They are groups such as Barb’s Family and Friends, an Olympia-based nonprofit that organizes free community meals at Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“The numbers have grown to really, really huge proportions,” said Rodney O’Neill, whose late mother, Barb, began the tradition more than 40 years ago. “We went from serving 1,500 people a year, to serving over 4,000 people a year (through the organization’s various projects).”

O’Neill operates a barbecue catering and food cart business and recently opened Barb’s BBQ 3 at 1500 Jefferson St. in Olympia.

Barb’s BBQ 3 is a popular lunch spot for state workers; its plates range from $6 to $8, and specialties include apple-wood smoked pulled pork and beef brisket.

“All of the recipes I use are my mom’s,” O’Neill said.

And a portion of his company’s sales — including 100 percent of the proceeds from the dessert case at his café — go to support Barb’s Family and Friends’ annual Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners and Easter basket projects.

“We don’t have a constant revenue for the dinners, and we have to go out and fundraise and do food drives for it,” O’Neill said. “When I set up the (dessert) case, that’s what we set it up for, so we could create some revenue for the nonprofit.”

As in years past, most of the requests featured in the Light of Hope are relatively small, but they could make an incredible difference in people’s lives.

Remember those travel-size toiletries from a business trip that were never used? There’s a homeless shelter that could use them for its clients.

And that extra bag of baby outfits in the hallway closet? There are a couple of groups that would love to pass those along to low-income moms who are in desperate need of baby and toddler clothing.

Some organizations are asking for volunteers who would be willing to donate their time and expertise.

“Giving comes with two parts — your time and your money,” said Paul Knox, executive director of the United Way of Thurston County. “In both cases, you’re giving your love and support to the community.”

The sluggish economy has forced nonprofits to scale back their work, restructure and ask for donations of time and money to help make up for cuts in grant funding and other revenue.

“The last three years have been a struggle,” Knox said. “A number of nonprofits have actually gone out of business in our county. But others are doing well.”

In fact, the United Way of Thurston County plans to launch an online program in January that will help match people with volunteer work in the area. There’s been quite a bit of demand for that type of service ever since the Volunteer Center of Lewis, Mason and Thurston Counties shut its doors in July 2011, Knox said.

Meantime, other nonprofits, such as the Boys & Girls Club of Thurston County and the Family Support Center, are actively fundraising for upcoming construction projects, an indication that the future is looking brighter, Knox said.

“Optimism is picking up for all of us,” he added.

Although names aren’t published with the Light of Hope, the requests represent real people, who, without support from the community, would likely go without this holiday season.

Take the single dad who is trying to finish a degree in welding. He’s the head of “Family No. 11” for City Gates Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit that helps low-income families with housing, clothing, utilities, food and other emergency needs.

His 5-year-old son would like a train set. His 4-year-old son would like some toy cars.

And his request?

Prayers for his little family.

Lisa Pemberton: 360-754-5433 lpemberton@theolympian.com @Lisa_Pemberton

LIGHT OF HOPE 2012

Barb’s Family and Friends

Barb’s Family and Friends is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that has been serving the Thurston County community for the past 42 years. The programs expanded to include food baskets, warm clothing and blankets at Thanksgiving and toys for kids, gifts for parents from their children, free clothing, coats, blankets and food baskets at Christmas dinner. Project Easter Bunny was added later, providing Easter baskets and books to kids.

Barb’s Family and Friends holiday dinners serve approximately 2,500 meals each year. Project Easter Bunny provides 500 free Easter baskets annually.

The organization needs are monetary donations, volunteers, food, toys, teenage gifts and gifts for parents, clothing and warm coats.

There are special families Barb O’Neill’s Family and Friends would like to have adopted this year. For information and donations, call Rodney O’Neill at 360-485-9931.

City Gates Ministries

City Gates Ministries has been a faith-based outreach organization operating in Thurston County since 1995 and has been an IRS approved nonprofit corporation since 2005. We have since grown and evolved into our present form that shows the love of Jesus Christ by helping people in need. The ministry reaches out to financially distressed individuals and families who find themselves needing assistance with housing, utilities, food, clothes, job search advice, and many other services. In our mentoring program we teach life skills and encourage involvement in the faith based community. Contact City Gates at 360-705-0291 and leave a message in reference to the families you are interested in helping.

A list of some of the items we always need:

Street survival gear: Personal items, batteries (AA, AAA, D, C), deodorant and razors, toothbrushes and toothpaste, aspirin, Ibuprofin and Aleve, cough drops and syrup, bandages and antibacterial ointment, emergency candles, flashlights, sewing kits, sunscreen, allergy meds, shaving cream, Q-Tips, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper, hand sanitizers, washcloths and towels; small individual items, such as travel-size shampoo and soap packages.

Camping and other: Blankets, pillows, tarps, backpacks, small propane bottles, sleeping bags, tents, camping gear, Bibles, gas vouchers, bus passes, phone calling cards, bottled water, energy bars;

Men’s and women’s clothing: Jackets, coats, sweatshirts, hoodies, T-shirts, jeans, sweatpants, socks and underwear, shoes, sneakers, and rain gear.

Children: Same type of clothing as listed above, plus diapers and diaper wipes, baby supplies, small toys and childrens’ books.

Food assistance: Mac and cheese, pasta (rice, macaroni, spaghetti), pasta sauce, canned foods, dry mashed potatoes, boxed cereals and oatmeal, peanut butter and jelly, gravies, frozen meats (hotdogs, hamburger), Vienna sausages, margarine, powdered milk, cookies, dried fruit, Top Ramen and Cup-o-Noodles, pancake mix and syrup, Rice-a-Roni, Jell-o and pudding mixes, dried beans, and just about any nonperishable food item.

Covenant creatures: Dog and cat food, treats, flea collars, leashes, harnesses, and toys.

Other: We will gladly accept cars or trucks in running condition.

Families in need:

Family 1: Low-income grandmother raising her granddaughter, 6, who needs winter boots (not rain boots, please) size 10; legging pants size 6/7; turtleneck size 6; loves art and making crafts, drawing paint by numbers, and would like a Spirograph; Pillow Pet; unicorn; Grandma would like bath towels; queen-size comforter; bath tub stuff; kitchen towels; socks, size 6 (likes Old Navy).

Family 2: Homeless family waiting on housing, and hoping to be in a home before Christmas. Boy, 7, likes Super Heros action figures; X-Box games; winter coat size 8; gloves and socks. Boy, 4, likes WWF super hero action figures; needs a winter coat size 4T; gloves and socks. Girl, 2, needs clothes, size 2T; Adora dolls; Adora kid couch; and Princess dolls. Dad would like tools, screwdriver set and fishing gear. Mom would like dishes, towels and bed sheets, California king.

Family 3: Single mom has girl, 14, who would like sneakers size 71/2; winter coat, size medium; pants, size 8; shirts, size medium; loves anything to do with opera music. Girl, 11, like sneakers, size 3; winter coat, size 11/12; pants, size 10/12, shirts, size medium; she enjoys anything to do with art, and collects rocks. Boy, 2, needs boots, size 4; BB Blanket, training pants, size 2T; and toys. Mom needs a winter coat, and sneakers, size 51/2.

Family 4: Single dad recently lost his job and is trying to keep a kid in college. He has a boy, 9, who would like a gift card for any clothing store to buy pants; an air pump for balls, bicycle tires, etc. Girl, 19, needs a day pack to carry school supplies or a gift card for Fred Meyer or Walmart to buy one. She likes Trident mint gum, and red Gatorade. She also is in need of money for tuition. Dad asks for prayers for his family, silverware, gift card to any clothing store to buy a pair of jeans, food, and a twin bed.

Family 5: Single dad lost his job. He has a girl, 8, who needs clothes, size 10; shoes, size 3; a Monster High Barbie; hat, gloves, scarf, hair accessories, perfume, shampoo, deodorant, soap, etc. Boy, 3, clothes size 3T; shoes, size 10; Mickey Mouse toys, learning toys; hat, gloves, and scarf; size 4 diapers, wet wipes, bubble bath, soap, etc. Boy, 6 months, needs warm clothes, size 9-12 months; shoes, size 3; diapers size 3, wet wipes, teething toys, Boon spoon, feeding gear; and light-up noisy learning toys.

Family 6: Single working mom, has boy, age 9 months, who needs clothes, size 12 months; winter coat; shoes, size 4; size 3 diapers; teething tablets; Boon spoon; light-up noisy learning toys; and books.

Family 7: Low-income family, has a girl, 11/2, who needs clothes, size 18 months-2T; winter coat; warm boots, size 5; Elmo toy; and learning toys. Boy, 9 months, needs clothes, size 12-18 months; shoes, size 4; diapers size 3, bubble bath, baby wash, and bath toys.

Family 8: Low-income family has a girl, 3, who needs size 5T clothes; shoes size 11-12; music; Princess; Fogs. Boy, 10 months, needs size 24 months clothes; shoes, size 5; Brite music toys; and “Jungle.” Mom and dad would like a gift card, and a prayer for a blessed year.

Family 9: Two single moms living together to make ends meet, recently lost housing benefits. In the household is a girl, 11, whose favorite colors are purple and green; she likes hair pretties, and would like a blow dryer; loves girly stuff for her bedroom; needs pants, size 14; shirts, size medium; shoes size 51/2. A boy, 17, needs jeans 30/30. Mom would like dishes; bath towels; and kitchen utensils; pots and pans. A girl, 8, would like girly stuff for bedroom; bedroom set and pillows; perfume, and hair accessories. A girl, 18 months, would like toddler educational toys; books; diapers, size 3, and wipes; and stuffed animals. Mom would like bathroom towels; kitchen towels; soap, detergent, and cleaning supplies.

Family 10: Low-income single mom with a son that has medical problems can’t afford to heat home and trying to stay warm. In the home is a boy, 12, who would like jeans, size 14, size 14-16 shirts; shoes, size 8; hat and gloves; socks; twin comforter; family movies on DVD; and a Nerf gun. Mom needs pants, size 12 with wide legs, sneakers, size 8; a hat and gloves; a winter coat, size L; and an electric blanket. Grandma needs shoes, size 9; shirts, size medium; and a clock radio.

Family 11: Single dad in college working to finish a degree in welding, has son, 5, who would like a train set. Boy, 4, likes cars and Lightning McQueen. Dad would like prayers for his family.

Family 12: Very low-income family has boy, 11, who needs shoes, size 41/2; pants, size 10; shirts, size medium; he like Smurfs; would like a snow suit. Boy. 2, needs size 2T clothes; shoes, 51/2; a snow suit; he likes Doodlebops and Disney. A girl, 7 months, needs size 12-24 months clothes; shoes, size 1; Disney Princess; and a snow suit. Mom and dad would like a gift card and prayers for their family.

Family 13: Single low-income mom has girl, 5, who needs size 5T clothes; shoes, size 9; likes Dora and My Little Pony. A girl, 11, needs size 13 shoes; pants, size 12; medium shirts; and she likes horses. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 14: Single mom feeding an family of six, has girl, 7, who needs shirts, size large; pants, size 10-12; shoes, size 11/2; likes Barbies; likes to read and watch movies on DVD. Girl, age 6, needs shirts, size medium; pants, size 10, shoes, size 131/2; likes Barbies, puzzles, and coloring. Boy, 4, needs size 4T clothes; shoes size 91/2; likes cars, Handy Manny, and Mickey Mouse. Boy, 3, needs clothes, 24 months; shoes, size 2; noisy toys and bright lights. Boy, 18 months, needs diapers, size 2 with wipes; shampoo; teething rings, toys. Mom would like a movie gift card, some rest and a night out.

Family 15: Single mom, has boy, 7 months, who needs clothes, size 6-9 months; shoes size, 1-2; monkey; Elmo; high chair; diapers and wipes. Mom needs lots of prayers and would like a gift card.

Family 16: Homeless single mom of three trying to find housing, has girl, 15, who needs pants, size 13 junior; shirts, size L; shoes, size, 71/2; hair stuff; and music. Girl, 15, needs pants, size 13 junior; shirts, size large; shoes, size 8; would like art stuff and music. Boy, 1, needs clothes, size 24 months; shoes, 61/2; kids toys; monkey; toy lights and music. Mom would like a gift card and a home of her own.

Family 17: Low-income single mom has boy, 5, who needs pants, size 6-7T; shirts 6T; shoes, size 121/2; he enjoys puzzles and coloring; he would like a bike ramp; and he would like hand-held video games. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 18: Low-income single mom trying to make ends meet, has boy, 4 months, who needs clothes, shoes, size 1, Scooby Doo; Ninja Turtles; and Batman; diapers, size 3, and wipes. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 19: Low-income single mom, has girl, 10, who needs pants, size 16 junior; shirts, medium; shoes, 61/2; makeup; beads; and a Monster High Doll. Girl, 21/2, needs pants, shirts, size 4T; shoes, size 9-10; likes Dora and Disney Princesses. Boy, 9 months, needs pants, size 10; shirts, size large; shoe size 4-6; games; and video games. Girl, 6, needs pants, size 8; shirts, size medium; shoes, size 31/2; and games. Mom would like a Christmas tree, a gift card and prayers for her family.

Family 20: Low-income unemployed single mom has girl, 5, who needs pants, size 7; shirts, size 7; shoes, size 12; likes Little Pet Shop. Girl, 8, needs pants, size 12; shirts, size large; shoes, size 2; likes horses. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 21: Low-Income single mom has girl, 9 months, who needs clothes, size 12 months; shoes, size 1; likes Dora. There is also a newborn in the house who needs clothes, size 0-3 months; onesies, 0-3 months; socks, sleeper pajamas, soap, lotion and diapers. Mom would like a double stroller and boots, size 9.

Family 22: Low-income single mom has boy, 2, who needs clothes, size 18 months; shoes, size 5-6; likes Hot Wheels, Thomas the Tank Engine, and Jungle Junction. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 23: Low-income single mom has girl, 9, who needs pants, size 10; shirts, size 10; shoes, size 4; and Pet animals. Girl, 7, needs boy pants, size 8; shirts, medium; shoes, size 3, boy stuff. Boy, 2, needs pants, size 3T; shirts, 4T; shoes, 9-10; baby accessories; and toys. Mom would like a gift card and prayers for her family.

Family 24: Single low-income dad has boy, 2, who needs clothes, size 3T; likes Cars; and motorcycles. Dad would like a gift card.

Family 25: Low-income single mom has boy, 7, who needs pants, size 7; shirts, size large; shoes, size 12; likes Pokemon and Skylanders. Girl, 3, needs pants, size 3T; clothes, size 3T; shoes, size 8; likes Toy Story and dolls. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 26: Low-income single mom has girl, 6, who needs pants, size 7; shirts, size 13; likes Monster High dolls. Girl, 6, who needs pants, size 6; shirts, size 12; likes Hello Kitty. Mom would like a gift card.

Family 27: Mother of three has girl, 3, who needs clothes, size 4T; shoes, size 8; likes SpongeBob, Dora and Mickey Mouse. Boy, 3 months, needs clothes, size 4 months; likes Thomas the Tank Engine, Mickey Mouse and SpongeBob. Girl, 3 months, needs clothes, size 6-9 months, likes music, and would like a Brite Toy. Mom would like rest, prayer, and a gift card.

Family 28: Low-income single mom has girl, 4, who needs clothes, size 5T-6T, shoes, size 11; likes horses and Princesses. Boy, 3, needs size 4T clothes; shoes, size 9; likes Cars and trains. Girl, 3, needs clothes, size 4-5T, shoes, size 9, likes stuffed puppies and cats, and Hello Kitty. There is also a baby due in February. Mom would like a prayer and a gift card.

Family 29: Single homeless dad and daughter, 19, who enjoys reading books. Dad would like a gift card.

Family 30: Low-income single mom has girl, 12, who needs pants, size 12; shoes, size 7; large riding helmet; and Monster High dolls. Boy, 13, needs jeans, size 12; shirts, size large; shoes, size 8; likes to read Harry Potter books. Boy, 9, needs jeans, size 8; shirts, size medium; shoes, size 3; would like a bike; likes Cars. Mom would like a gift card and prayers.

Family 31: Unemployed mom and dad, have boy, 13, who needs pants, 29x30; shirts, size large; shoes, size 10; likes Cars and video games. Girl, 12, needs pants, size 14; shirts, size 7-8; likes horses; needs a riding helmet, size 8. Girl, 7, needs pants, size 8-9; shirts, size medium; Babies; Barbie video. Mom and dad would like a gift card.

Family 32: Unemployed low-income single mom has boy, 7, who needs pants, size 7; shirts, size medium; shoes, size 11/2; likes Cars and snakes. Girl, 5, needs jeans, size 7; shirts, size medium; shoes, size 7; likes board games. Boy, 11, needs jeans, size 10; shirts, size medium; shoes, size 4; likes to play backgammon. Girl, 8, needs jeans, size 8; shirts, size medium; likes video games. Mom would like lots of prayer and gift cards.

Family 33: Mom recently went through Stage 3 breast cancer, and has boy, 7, who needs clothes, size 8; would like a Lego set; Trio blocks; a Nerf gun; and a remote control car. Girl, 3, needs clothes, size 4T; Doll clothes for a 18-inch doll; a Dora doll; Geo and Bot stuffed dolls from Toys R Us (from team umi zoomie); and a stuffed toy. Mom and dad would like lots of prayer and a gift card.

Community Youth Services

Community Youth Services provides a continuum of services to improve the quality of life for homeless and high-risk youths and their families. Services include family counseling, therapeutic foster care, street outreach, transitional housing, job training, juvenile diversion, emergency shelter, and community service through AmeriCorps programs. CYS follows a positive youth development model, involving youths in all phases of their program participation.

Our agency needs:

Blankets; sleeping bags; tents and tarps; warm coats, jackets, hoodies – all sizes; rain jackets, rain pants; socks and warm sweaters; hats, gloves, scarves; battery-operated alarm clocks; date/appointment books; children’s clothing; bus passes; tooth brushes and other hygiene items; gift cards; household items.

We also need volunteers and tutors!

To help, call the office: 360-918-7844, or contact Barb Wakefield, 360-918-7844. Street address: 711 State Ave. NE, Olympia, WA 98506. Online: www.communityyouthservices.org.

Lewis Mason Thurston Area Agency on Aging

Information and Assistance/Case Management, a program of the Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging, provides information on and assistance with accessing a wide variety of social and health services as well as supporting vulnerable adults who struggle to remain in their homes.

Most of our clients are very low-income and have severe impairments that impact their ability to perform basic day-to-day activities. Many have substantial needs that go beyond the services available through community resources.

In addition to these needs listed below, the Area Agency on Aging maintains the Special Assistance Fund, which helps low-income adults year-round with emergency need for basics such as food certificates, utility bills, housing and medications. At this time of year, donations are also accepted and distributed for client-specific but less critical needs. Many of our clients have pets that are oftentimes their only source of friendship and companionship. Pet food, litter and veterinary gift certificates will be utilized and appreciated all year long.

To make a donation to one of these individuals, or to make a general donation to the Special Assistance Fund, please contact the information and assistance specialist in your county. Please call the specialist before you purchase items for specific individuals in order to be certain that the client you have chosen hasn’t already been provided for by others.

In Thurston County: Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging Information and Assistance, 4419 Harrison Ave. NW, Olympia, WA 98502, 360-664-3162, ext. 133. Mason County: Lewis-Mason-Thurston Area Agency on Aging Information and Assistance, 628 W. Alder St., P.O. Box 2087, Shelton, WA 98584, 360-427-2225, ext. 101.

Donations are tax-deductible.

Client 1: A 77-year-old woman who has a very small fixed income. She is a breast cancer survivor and strives for independence. Client is requesting a gift card to Walmart to purchase clothes.

Client 2: Lives alone and on a limited income. She does not have any informal supports. She has several medical conditions and struggles with mental health issues. She benefits from being able to utilize the public transportation system to get to various appointments and therapy groups and to keep from isolating herself. Client frequently uses the Intercity Transit system in Lacey and Olympia and would like a bus pass.

Client 3: A 49-year-old man suffers from numerous health conditions including congestive heart failure, COPD, arthritis and a history of transient ischemic attacks. Client has little family and is preparing to spend the holidays alone. Due to his health conditions, client spends significant portions of his time isolated in his home. He is requesting a Walmart gift card and cookbooks. He is especially interested in healthful-meal cookbooks.

Client 4: A 60-year-old with diabetes and amputation of the left leg. Client lives alone and is requesting a gift card to Top Food, Safeway, Trader Joes or anywhere that has a great selection of healthful foods for people with diabetes. Client has limited food stamps and finds it difficult to visit the food bank because the food bank does not always have diabetic foods.

Client 5: Is 58, and suffers physical disabilities and mental health disorders. Client lives with her daughter and young granddaughter. Due to client’s mental health disorders, she does not leave her home often. Client enjoys doing crafts with her granddaughter and could benefit from craft supplies, art supplies or a gift card to Jo-Ann Fabrics.

Client 6: Is 75, and suffers from COPD, depression and lives alone. Client does have dogs and cats. Client’s animals are a huge part to what keeps her happy. Client could benefit from a Petsmart or Petco gift card to assist with purchasing pet food.

Client 7: Lives alone in a small RV. Her only heat source is a tiny electric heater. Client would love some items to help keep her warm this winter. Client is requesting an electric blanket, warm nightgowns or pajamas and towels.

Client 8: Is a low-income couple living in rural Thurston County. They live with chronic pain and other health issues. They are both very sensitive to dust and mold. They are requesting cleaning supplies to help keep their home livable. They could use a broom, dust pan, liquid dish soap, paper towels and sponges. They also enjoy Western books and movies and puzzle books.

Client 9: A 65-year-old American Indian who lives in subsidized senior housing in Shelton. He is diabetic and attempts to eat healthful on a limited income. He receives some food assistance through the state but often runs out of food the last few days of the month. Client would appreciate a gift card to Fred Meyer to purchase healthful food.

Client 10: A 76-year-old woman who lives alone in the Mason County area. She is quite isolated, has no family in the area and is very low-income. She was given a computer recently but cannot afford Internet service. She has a phone through CenturyLink and the additional Internet fee would be $9.95 a month. She would love to have Internet and would greatly appreciate financial assistance to get this service on a one-year contract.

Client 11: Is a 77-year-old woman who lives alone in the Shelton area. She has no family in the area any longer and is now low-income due to losing her husband’s pension when he passed away. She has a large dog that belonged to her late son and would really benefit from some pet food.

Client 12: Is a 52-year-old female in Mason County with severe physical limitations and a limited income. Client is a larger woman and in desperate need of new clothing. She is requesting a gift card to Catherine’s as she needs to purchase items at a store that caters to fuller-figured women.

Client 13: An 83-year-old recently widowed woman living in Mason County. Her husband had Alzheimer’s disease, and she was his caregiver. She has a kitty that is her solace at this time. She is now very low-income due to loss of her spouse’s income. She could use cat food and litter.

SafePlace

Since 1981, SafePlace advocates have offered safety and support to survivors of both sexual assault and domestic violence. SafePlace provides life-changing services to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, including emergency confidential shelter; residential children’s program and support group childcare; 24-hour crisis line; in-person advocacy; community support groups in Spanish and English; information and referrals for other community services; client assistance funds; legal advocacy; support during and after a sexual assault exam; culturally relevant advocacy for underserved populations; and in-house Cambodian and Spanish translation.

Consider sending gift cards this year: Gas cards in $20-$25 increments; fast-food cards in $5-$10 increments; grocery and department store cards in $10 and $20 increments; Intercity Transit bus passes; phone cards in 30-, 60- or 120-minute increments; gift cards for shelter food or maintenance (Costco, Home Depot, or Lowe’s); gift cards for children’s program (Target, Joann Fabrics, Michaels, or Wind Up Here). Our ongoing necessities include toilet paper, paper towels, disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizers, large garbage bags, and diaper wipes.

For additional information on donating to SafePlace and its clients, call Derek, 360-786-8754, ext. 100. Donations can be brought to the buisiness office, 314 Legion Way SE, Olympia. Office hours are 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday-Thursday. Online: www.safeplaceolympia.org.

Turning Pointe Domestic Violence Services

Turning Pointe Domestic Violence Services was incorporated in 2000 and since that time has provided safety and support services to domestic-violence survivors and their families. Services are free and confidential.

Turning Pointe’s services include a 24/7 crisis line providing supportive advocacy and safety planning; local emergency shelter staffed 24/7 providing safe housing for survivors and their children; one-on-one advocacy-based counseling including information on other resources such as housing, social services, education, counseling, alcohol and drug treatment referrals, child care, employment, and medical treatment; legal advocacy to assist survivors with legal questions, help fill out paperwork, and accompanying them to legal proceedings; support groups in Spanish and English to examine the power and control dynamics of their relationships; “insights” classes, a series of six sessions covering topics such as domestic-violence dynamics, how children are affected, the cycle of violence, and basic life skills; community education on domestic violence issues; and The Domestic Violence Task Force, a group of community leaders working together to stop domestic violence in Mason County.

Each November Turning Pointe kicks off its annual Adopt a Family Christmas program. The Adopt a Family program is a wonderful opportunity to help survivors of domestic violence and their children have a pleasant holiday season in an otherwise traumatic time in their lives. Sponsors are needed each year to adopt families working with Turning Pointe who need help during the holidays. As a sponsor you can determine the size of the family you would like to adopt and Turning Pointe will provide you with a list of the family members’ ages and genders, clothing sizes, a “need” and a “want” for your consideration, and food items needed if requested.

If you would like to be a sponsor in our Adopt a Family program, please contact Terresa Morris, program coordinator, at 360-426-1216, or by email at terresa@qwestoffice.net. You can also visit our website and fill out a sponsor form at www.turningpointe.org.

In considering whether to participate in this program, understand that any contribution, whether it be donating a grocery store gift card, gas card, providing an individual gift or adopting an entire family, would be extremely helpful.

Union Gospel Mission

The Olympia Union Gospel Mission began its work with the homeless and needy in 1995 through a street ministry outreach. Sandwiches and hot drinks were offered in an atmosphere of love and acceptance. Meals, hygiene and addiction recovery services are ways we reach out to make a difference in people’s lives.

Our current mission needs are:

Dental: Good-quality, soft toothbrushes. Transformation program: school supplies, NIV study Bibles, bath towels, deodorant, razors, shaving cream, shower shoes, daily devotionals, bathrobes. Street ministry: coats/jackets, hoodies, hats, jeans, T-shirts, sweat shirts, blankets, sleeping bags, shoes, white crew socks, women’s hair brushes, gloves, boxer style men’s underwear, Q-tips. Kitchen: No. 10 cans of fruits and vegetables, fresh produce. Mission needs: white towels, white washcloths, low-sudsing laundry soap, travel-size toiletries, toilet paper, toothpaste, baby wipes, tooth brushes.

If you would like to send in a donation, please make your check payable to Olympia Union Gospel Mission. Send a check by mail to Olympia Union Gospel Mission, P.O. Box 7668, Olympia, WA 98507. Drop of your donation at: 413 Franklin St. NE, Olympia. Office hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. Phones: office, 360-709-9725; fax, 360-570-8848. Email: CustomerService@ougm.org. To learn more about the Union Gospel Mission’s programs and services, go online to www.ougm.org.

The Olympian is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service