Columbia Gorge News presents this list of ways to help around the Gorge during the COVID-19 pandemic. If your group would like to be included, email information to Trisha Walker at twalker@hoodrivernews.com.

Circles Of Care seeks volunteers

A new program in The Dalles, Circles of Care, is seeking volunteers to help older adults with grocery shopping or phone check-ins. Gracen Bookmyer, community liaison, said the program is coordinated by statewide non-profit AgePlus with the mission of improving the lives of older adults in the communities they live. Those who would like to volunteer in the effort, or are an older adult who would like to receive help, should call Bookmyer at 541-397-0724 or email gbookmyer@ageplus.org.

Volunteers in Action

Volunteers in Action Program Coordinator Britta Willson has expanded the Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital program to include anyone over the age of 60 who has some kind of condition that makes going out into public dangerous. Volunteers are needed for weekly shopping trips and phone calls.

For more information on how to volunteer or to register as a client, contact Willson at 541-387-6404 or Brittany.willson@providence.org.

Education Foundation matching grant

The Hood River County Education Foundation has received an anonymous matching grant of $12,500 to help fund emergency COVID-19 related expenses anticipated by the Hood River County School District. With students and teachers now dependent on online instruction, funds for books and supplies to send home to students and improved WiFi capability are greatly needed.  Every dollar donated will be matched by this grant, meaning a full match will provide $25,000 to the district for these expenses, said a press release.

To make a donation, visit www.hrcef.org or send a check made payable to “HRCEF” to COVID-19 Emergency Fund, Hood River County Education Foundation, 1011 Eugene St., Hood River, OR 97031.

United Way of the Columbia Gorge

The COVID-19 Gorge Community Response Fund, a fund established by the United Way of the Columbia Gorge and the Healthy Gorge Initiative, has awarded more than $15,000 in grants to local nonprofits to address the immediate needs faced by nonprofit organizations and their clients. The fund will continue to review applications on a weekly basis and award funds while they are available.

Financial donations to this fund are urgently needed to help agencies provide food, shelter and other necessities to children, the elderly and others who are in need in the Gorge community, said a press release. To donate securely online, go to www.unitedwaycolumbiagorge.org/give, or send a check or money order, payable to the United Way of the Columbia Gorge, to PO Box 2, Hood River, OR 97031.

If your organization provides essential services in Hood River, Wasco, Sherman, Klickitat or Skamania counties and needs assistance due to conditions caused directly by the COVID-19 pandemic, your organization is eligible for grants from this Community Response Fund. Applications are collected for review at 5 p.m. each Friday. For funding guidelines, visit www.gorgeimpact.com.

WAGAP seeks donations

WAGAP (Washington Gorge Action Programs) is seeking donations of money, food and essential items that are in demand right now. They cannot take volunteers at this time to adhere to social distancing guidelines. Donations to the Community Relief Fund can be made through PayPal at www.wagap.org or via check to WAGAP, PO Box 805, Bingen, WA 98605.

Community members needing assistance are encouraged to call 1-509- 493-2662 or toll free 800-755-1192.

Mid-Columbia Senior Center quilters

Mid-Columbia Senior Center quilters seek donations of quarter-inch elastic or iron-on interface as group members continue to make masks for those who work in public or are caregivers. Finished masks are also requested. To donate, leave items in the designated box at the center, located at 1112 W. Ninth St., The Dalles.

Celilo meal kits

Celilo Restaurant in downtown Hood River is closed, but kitchen staff there are working in distance-appropriate groups of three to keep cooking. Co-owner Ben Stenn said the restaurant is feeding its employees during the downtime, and employees are making meals to take out to those in need. After closing March 16, Celilo used up its stores on hand to cook meals for families identified with the help of local agencies and for providers who are separated from their families, or less able to cook due to COVID.

“We’ve started to buy more goods and are serving about 50 families, with more being added,” Stenn said. The cost of meal kits for 50 people is $500; if you can help defray the cost, call 541-386-5710.

PPE donations

Donated masks, gowns and other personal protection equipment (PPE) are accepted Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1-2 p.m. outside the Hood River County administration building, Sixth and State, Hood River; items are distributed throughout the Gorge.

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