Neighbor Aid raises $56,785 for ShareNet

KINGSTON – The community contributed $56,785 to ShareNet’s 2012 Neighbor Aid campaign.

That’s down from the $73,846 contributed in the 2011 campaign but, ShareNet executive director Mark Ince writes in his column in this edition of the Kingston Community News, each donation will “support ShareNet’s efforts fighting hunger and poverty issues in the North End.”

All told, donations were made by 394 households, individuals, organizations and companies.

“Neighbor Aid 2012 enjoyed the support of hundreds of local individuals, businesses, service clubs and schools, all coming together through ShareNet to help hungry people in our community,” he wrote.

“Your support, whether time, money, or service, ensures ShareNet can continue to operate. If you met our clients directly, they would tell you themselves how grateful they are. We extend that gratitude toward you.”

According to Ince, ShareNet experienced growth in all areas. “We distributed over 35,000 more pounds of food this year than last. We had almost 800 more individual instances of service in 2012. More service means more work: volunteers served over 1,000 more hours than in 2011.”

Of the money raised by Neighbor Aid, $30,000 to $35,000 is used to help people faced with eviction or losing their utilities, Ince said.

“From our perspective, we’re not down about it, we’re not focusing on it. It’s still a real significant amount of money and we’re intensely grateful for it,” Ince said.

“The discrepancy isn’t significant enough that it will undermine our budget. We could get a grant that we’ve never received before. We never know what’s going to transpire through the year.”

This year, ShareNet, North Kitsap Fishline and St. Vincent de Paul  will administer funds from the Poulsbo Lions/Raab Foundation Bellringer Fund — $29,000 raised in December and January to assist local residents in financial crisis.

Ince said ShareNet’s share of that money “will definitely offset” the decline in Neighbor Aid contributions.

Ince said ShareNet’s annual budget is approximately $150,000. Eight to 10 percent of the budget comes from grants, 5 to 7 percent comes from federal programs, and rest comes from Neighbor Aid and individual contributions through the year.

ShareNet is a state-registered charity operating under the 501c3 of Bayside Community Church. It operates a food bank and thrift store, and provides emergency food provision, emergency power and rental assistance for residents faced with shut-off notices or eviction, and a weekend take-home food program for school children.

ShareNet’s service area is Kingston, Eglon, Hansville, Indianola, Little Boston, Port Gamble, and some border addresses in Poulsbo and Suquamish. The rest of North Kitsap is served by Fishline.

ShareNet is affiliated with the Kitsap County Food Bank Coalition, the Washington Food Coalition, Feeding America, Food Lifeline, and Northwest Harvest. The purchasing power of these networks helps ShareNet stretch every dollar.

If you have need or would like to contribute to ShareNet as a donor or volunteer, here’s the contact information:
ShareNet, 6061 United Road, Kingston.  
Mail: P.O. Box 250, Kingston, WA 98346. 
Phone: (360) 297-2266.  


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