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December 17, 2003

Peninsula Home Fund helps woman get hearing aid

From: Port Angeles Peninsula Daily News, WA - Dec 17, 2003


FORKS -- After developing hearing problems and going deaf in one ear, a retired waitress figured she would never be able to purchase an expensive hearing aid.

''With just Social Security coming in, the expense was too much,'' said 73-year-old Wanda Olin.

Olin, who has lived in Forks for about 39 years, worked at the Loop Tavern as a waitress for 23 years and as a waitress at various other restaurants throughout the years.

But Cathy Ulin, OlyCAP -- Olympic Community Action Programs -- community resource referral services manager in Forks, set aside some money from the Peninsula Daily News' Peninsula Home Fund and began searching for other funding.

Susan Prince and Sandi Wilhelm of Mountain View Hearing Aid Center in Sequim first offered to sell the aid at cost -- $500.

Later, when additional funding could not be found, they paid half the cost from their own pockets.

The other $250 came from the Peninsula Home Fund.

''Normally, we only give $100 from the Home Fund to people,'' Ulin said.

''But every once in a while we make an exception -- and there was not funding anywhere else to help Wanda.''

Ulin added:

''Wanda has been in this community for decades and is a hard worker.

''Wanda is such a good old soul; she was going to be happy just not hearing. But that was not an option for us.''

Said Olin:

''I appreciate people donating (to the Peninsula Home Fund).

''If it would not have been for the Home Fund, I would not have been able to get the hearing aid.

''Which means I would not be able to hear very well. The hearing aid has helped.''

Olin has five grown children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

''I like to take care of myself,'' she said. ''I don't want to ask my kids (for help), because they have families of their own to care for.''

Olin said she wanted to thank every person who has donated to the Peninsula Home Fund.

''Thank you for donating -- it really helps,'' she said.

Jefferson and Clallam

Peninsula Home Fund is seeking contributions for its annual holiday-season fund-raising campaign.

Now in its 15th year, the fund is supported entirely by Jefferson and Clallam residents. It is managed for the Peninsula Daily News by OlyCAP, the No. 1 emergency care agency on the North Olympic Peninsula.

* In the past 12 months, the fund has assisted more than 750 households.

* No money is deducted for administration or other overhead.

* All contributions are fully IRS tax-deductible.

* No money is diverted for administration or other overhead. All costs are absorbed by the PDN and OlyCAP.

* All instances of help are designed to get an individual or family through the crisis -- and back on the path to self-sufficiency.

* Home Fund case managers work with each individual or family to develop a plan to become financially stable -- and avoid a recurrence of the emergency that prompted aid from the fund.

* Donors' personal information is kept confidential. The PDN does not rent, sell, give or otherwise share your address or other information with anyone, or make any other use of it.

* Individuals, couples, businesses and school groups set a new record for contributions in 2002 -- $67,048.

All of that money is expected to be spent by Dec. 31.

* Home Fund contributions are often used in conjunction with money from churches, service clubs and other donors, enabling OlyCAP to stretch the value of the contribution.

* To apply for a grant from the fund, phone OlyCAP at 360-452-4726 (Clallam County) or 360-385-2571 (Jefferson County).

* If you have any questions about the fund, contact John Brewer, Peninsula Daily News editor and publisher, at 360-417-3500.

The PDN is publishing stories every Wednesday and Sunday through Dec. 30 on how the Peninsula Home Fund operates.

How to donate

A gift of any size is welcome.

Peninsula Home Fund has never been a campaign of heavy hitters.

If you can contribute only a few dollars, please don't hesitate because you think it won't make a difference.

Every gift makes a difference, regardless of its size.

Copyright © Horvitz Newspapers, Inc.