The spirit of giving is alive and well

As the “Giving Season” officially winds down, I am in awe of all that our community continues to provide. As you may know, the Orcas Community Resource Center works with Island Market to facilitate the Giving Tree, a program that helps more than 200 island children and their families enjoy a merrier Holiday Season.

The Giving Tree is an integral part of our community’s holiday spirit because any family that is facing a difficult time can request help and have their wish to provide a positive Christmas experience for their child filled by someone who wishes to do so. The need to give is fulfilled as well as the need to receive. It’s a win-win. And a huge amount of organizing, planning, and coordinating is done by many elves in our office and throughout the community. We are able to make Christmas wishes come true while providing warm, friendly, non-judgmental outreach to folks who may not know where to turn in a time of need now or down the road.

This is always a busy time of year in at the Resource Center because needs are higher and more acute in the colder, leaner months. Our days are filled helping people navigate through life’s challenges in accessing affordable health care, applications for rental and energy assistance and sometimes finding the right fit to help through a crisis be it financial, physical or mental. We’ve seen an increase in foot traffic through our office now that we are in town and we are able to accommodate larger groups as well as volunteers.

We are grateful to have been included in the OICF annual holiday grants catalog for help with our Emergency Rental Assistance Fund. Thanks to the support of catalog donors, we will be able to give timely help to six families. This year’s holiday season was also a little busier than normal because we initiated our first annual donor campaign. We are grateful to report that you’ve come through for us! We are off to a great start towards maintaining our current operations while looking forward to expanding our services to meet the needs of our community.