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Christmas Project: Where and when to sign up, and how to help

Registration for the 2017 Hood River County Christmas Project started Nov. 9 and continues for families in need through Dec. 9.

The program provides assistance with food and children’s gifts, during the Christmas holiday and can benefit many Hood River County families that are currently receiving State of Oregon Supplemental Nutrition Assistance, or who have a Women, Infant, and Children (WIC) card, or who are enrolled in the Oregon Health Plan (OHP card).

Families wishing to apply will need to bring proof of eligibility and residency. Last year, approximately 480 families (over 1,900 men, women, and children) registered and received community support.

The Christmas Project is a volunteer-driven program. Coordinated by a volunteer board, approximately 300 local volunteers assist each year to make the program work.

Volunteers help to register clients, organize canned food drives, sponsor families, pack toy bags and food boxes, deliver boxes to seniors and people with disabilities, and distribute the boxes to families on their scheduled pick up dates.

Again this year, the Hood River County Fairgrounds has offered their facilities for food/toy packing and distribution of the Christmas baskets to the families. Hood River, Odell, Pine Grove, and Parkdale recipients will need to come to the Community Building this year, on Dec. 15-16, from 1-6 p.m. to pick up their baskets.

Cascade Locks recipients will need to pick up their baskets at Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH) on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 1-4 p.m. For Hood River, Odell, Pine Grove, and Parkdale seniors and people with disabilities, baskets will be delivered to their residence on Dec. 16.

Christmas Project applications will be taken at the following locations and dates:

Cascade Locks — The Cascade Locks City Hall (FISH Food Bank) on Wednesday, Nov. 15 from 1-4 p.m.

Hood River — Oregon Department of Human Services, 1610 Ninth Court on the Heights off of Pacific Avenue, on:

Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Nov. 17, Dec. 1, and 8.

Saturdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 11, 18, Dec. 2 and 9.

Odell — Odell Food Bank, 3440 Odell Highway from 3:30-6 p.m. on Nov. 30.

Parkdale — Parkdale Community Church during Food Bank hours (4-6 p.m.) on Monday, Nov. 13 and 27.

Applicants can sign up at whichever location is most convenient for them.

Ways to support the 2017 Christmas Project:

To help by volunteering or sponsor a family in need, visit www.hoodrivercounty christmasproject.com.

During mid-November and December, the following businesses will have food and toy collection barrels for folks to drop off items:

Alder Creek Kayak and SUP, Bette’s Restaurant, INB Bank, Columbia State Bank, Curves, DaKine, Hood River Hobbies, Hood River News, Hood River Sports Club, McIssac’s, Mid-Columbia Center for Living, Naked Winery, Orchard Lanes Bowling, Print It/Sign Media, Rosauers, Tum-A-Lum, UPS Store, Walmart, Washington Federal Savings, and Hood River County Veteran’s Office.

All donations are to a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) organization. To contribute to the Hood River County Christmas Project, mail checks to PO Box 872, Hood River, OR 97031, or to donate using a credit card, visit www.hoodrivercountychristmasproject.com.

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