Give the gift of warmth | LETTER TO THE EDITOR
November 5, 2011 · Updated 11:03 AM
To the editor:
Nine percent unemployment. The U.S. poverty level the highest in 22 years. What does all this mean here on South Whidbey?
For those of us who volunteer at Helping Hand, the current economic environment means a 53-percent increase in the number of people seeking financial assistance. It means sleepless nights wondering if we will have the financial resources to make it through winter, when demand for help always increases. It means having to say no when our funds are depleted.
Maybe you are thinking that you don’t know anyone in your circle of family, friends and acquaintances that might need assistance from Helping Hand. Well, do you shop at Payless, the Goose, the Star Store or Red Apple for groceries? Do you shop at Ace Hardware or Sebo’s? Do you eat at the Useless Bay Golf & Country Club, the Freeland Café, LaCasita or Prima Bistro? Do you buy coffee from Whidbey Coffee or Jet Java?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then you probably know some of our clients. Gardeners, landscapers, construction workers and housecleaners are also among our working clientele. In other words, you probably do know someone who has needed just a little help in the last year.
In 2010, we gave financial assistance to 575 people, including 222 children. As of the end of September, we have already given financial assistance to 578 people, and the winter months are still ahead.
We are anticipating that another colder than normal winter, coupled with potential budget cuts to the Opportunity Council’s funding, will increase the number of people seeking assistance from Helping Hand in the next few months. To help meet this increased demand we are asking that you consider making a tax deductible donation to our Warmth and Shelter Fund — any amount will help.
Please visit our website at www.helpinghandofsouthwhidbey.org and view the videos of our volunteers sharing their experiences. Listen to the needs they hear each day. Donations can be made through the “Donate Now” button on the website or by mail at PO Box 661, Langley, WA 98260.
Thank you for giving the gift of warmth and shelter to your South Whidbey neighbors.
Helping Hand of South Whidbey