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Neighbor Aid update: 241 donors, $36,803 as of Dec. 12
KINGSTON — Approximately 241 donors contributed $36,803 to ShareNet’s Neighbor Aid campaign as of Dec. 12.
That’s according to ShareNet board secretary Barbara Brumagin.
The campaign, which helps local residents in need of food, shelter and other assistance, continues through January. The campaign total and a list of donors will be published in the February edition of Kingston Community News.
Watch the thermometer on Lindvog Road and Highway 104 to see what you and your neighbors are doing to meet local needs.
More than 300 donors — churches, companies, households, individuals and organizations — donated $73,846 to Neighbor Aid during the 2011-12 campaign.
That amount, a ShareNet record, helped put 280,691 pounds of food on local residents’ tables and keep people from being evicted or having their utilities turned off.
The money ensured 80 children got proper nutrition during weekends. It provided holiday meals for 695 individuals, provided Christmas gifts for 121 children, and provided necessary school supplies for 165 students.
“It’s just amazing,” ShareNet board secretary Barbara Brumagin said at the end of the last campaign. “I think everyone doing what they can makes a difference.”
ShareNet serves Eglon, Hansville, Indianola, Kingston Little Boston, Port Gamble, and a portion of Poulsbo and Suquamish.
ShareNet operates a food bank, a clothing bank, and a program to make nutritious food available for school children on weekends.
ShareNet also helps families and individuals facing eviction or needing help keeping their utilities on.
The increasing need met by ShareNet paints a picture of the times: In 2007-08, ShareNet’s food assistance was one-fourth of what it is today. ShareNet’s staff has met the need without an increase in staffing or space; today, it has the same number of staff (four part-timers) in the same space as 2007-08. (Volunteers worked 3,938 hours on 2011, according to the ShareNet website.)
ShareNet’s annual budget is about $150,000.
ShareNet executive director Mark Ince theorized that giving has increased because people in the community are seeing the need close to home.
“They’re feeling the pinch themselves, whereas maybe four years ago [the economic downturn] hadn’t hit Kitsap that hard,” Ince said in an earlier interview. “Now, maybe they have neighbors who are suffering, or family members who are suffering. They are seeing it up close and personal in their own lives.”
Ince said the increase in giving will enable ShareNet to help more people.
“More money allows us to serve more people, to augment our current programs and to create new programs. We created Food to Grow On, which provides weekend food for school children. That continues to expand. [In 2011], we added Kingston High School for the first time. [Giving] allows us to have a bigger impact on the community.”
Brumagin said giving to Neighbor Aid in 2011-12 was diverse. Liberty Bay Auto in Poulsbo donated $100 for every car sold in November; that came out to $5,000. Two donors gave money from trust funds. Others gave what they could.
“We are very humbled and grateful,” Brumagin said in an earlier interview.
— TO GIVE:
ShareNet, 6061 United Road, Kingston.
Mail: P.O. Box 250, Kingston, WA 98346.
Phone: (360) 297-2266. www.sharenetfoodbank.org.
Amounts raised in previous years:
2012: $36,803 as of Dec. 12