Single parent families. Grandparents raising grandchildren. Mothers laid off. Fathers looking for work. No money. No food. Everyone is hungry. Thousands of Clark County residents are barely able to afford the bare necessities, let alone gifts for their children during the holidays. Can you help a needy family celebrate the spirit of the holiday season?
The Columbian’s late owner and publisher, Don Campbell, originated the People In Need Program in 1979. He felt The Columbian, with its broad readership and spirit of community outreach, should be a positive force in helping the less fortunate in Clark County. Today, third generation owners, Scott and Jody Campbell, believe in the same founding principles of the program. Donations to The Columbian’s People In Need Fund are distributed to the local non-profits serving the urgent needs of children and families throughout Clark County, including The Salvation Army’s Adopt A Family program during the holidays.
You can make a difference in our community several ways:
1. Send a tax-deductible donation to: The Columbian People In Need Fund c/o The Community Foundation 610 Esther Street, Suite 201, Vancouver, WA, 98660. Please make checks out to Columbian People In Need Fund.
2. Visit the Community Foundation web site to make a donation by clicking here.
All proceeds from your donation will benefit children and families in need throughout Clark County. You will receive a receipt from The Community Foundation for your contribution.
3. Drop off your donation of toys for children, gifts for teens or gift baskets for a family at:
The Salvation Army
1500 NE 112th Avenue
Vancouver, WA 98684
4. Adopt a Family in need this holiday season by contacting The Salvation Army: 360-448-2880 or visit www.vancouver.salvationarmynw.org.
1. A mother of two little girls is a recent victim of domestic violence who is struggling to pay her rent and utility bills as she faces life as the only adult in the home. There is no money for Christmas gifts and little to buy food, she states. Some help from the community would help bring joy this season to her and children aged 3 and 6.
2. Here is a local family struggling just to get the basic needs for their three very young children. A monthly income of $1,300 isn’t leaving anything over for Christmas after the bills are paid. Two boys aged 1 and 6, and their 7–year-old sister could use some presents under the tree in this family requesting holiday help for the first time over the years.
3. An unemployed single mother of three was able to pay her rent to date, but having enough money to do so in the near future is doubtful. Blankets, coats, boots and other clothing are basic needs for two little boys aged 12 and 8, and a 10-year-old girl.
4. A single father is raising two special-needs girls aged 9 and 14 as he tries to make to do with an $800 monthly income. He struggled to keep the girls from going into foster care after they were abandoned by their mother.
5. A mother struggling with thyroid problems tries to make it with $2,100 a month raising 5 children under the age of ten. No father support payments are received to help out, and as she resolves to obtain help from Dad, she needs a helping hand this Christmas to provide a memorable holiday for four girls aged 1,6, 7 and 9, and a 6-year-old boy . Her work as a caregiver isn’t providing the income needed to buy presents or special Christmas dinner items.
6. Two small boys 6 and 1 live with a mom who receives some support from her ex-husband, but not even enough to pay the rent. She is looking for work but so far without success, and hopes the community will help her provide Santa’s deliveries for the little ones.
7. Medical problems for the mother and father of four children in his household keep the parents unemployed. Mom had to leave her job recently due to illness, and Dad is disabled and unable to hold steady work. They live on his Social Security income of $720 monthly. To help this Christmas, presents and some holiday food would bring smiles to the faces of girls aged 6, 9 and ten, and a 2-year-old boy.
8. A special needs little two year old girl who struggles with sensory issues and is a spinal bifida child makes it difficult to makes ends meet for Mom and Dad, who live on a combined income of less than $2,000 a month. What would be helpful is a gift of some toys that help motor skills development.
9. The wish list for this Mom and Dad with a 2-year-old girl is pretty basic: bedding, a high chair, potty-training toilet, shower curtain, rugs, window coverings, diapers, shoes, dishes. A $1,500 income doesn’t go far after paying rent and utilities, they say.
10. Mom works part time but Dad remains unemployed while the family car is in need of repair and they struggle to pay the rent. With two girls aged 8 and 1, some Christmas help in the form of toys and some food would be a great help. “We are struggling,” says Mom.
11. A couple with an income below $2,000 a month are hitting hard times after Mom lost her cleaning job in the summer. Dad is working as she looks for a new job but in the meantime there is worry about providing a special Christmas for girls 2 and 4. “There is nothing left after paying the bills,” declares Mom.
12. It is hard for Mom to raise 4 daughters, but add to the struggle with medical issues and the $800 monthly income is stretched to the breaking point. Mom reports recent homeless periods. The girls, aged 1,3,5 and 12, could use some Christmas joy with the help of the community.
13. Moving to the community recently from another state where a family member was injured in a drive-by shooting, Mom starts her new job in December, but there’s an income gap that makes buying Christmas presents and holiday food improbable. To help out, some toys for two boys 8 and 5, and a 9-year-old girl could bring some important relief to a struggling family.
14. Dad broke his arm and faces possible bone infections, resulting in substantial cutbacks in his work hours. Mom receives Social Security assistance due to her own medical issues. With a total family income of about $2,200 a month, and no insurance to defray medical costs – including Mom’s asthma, the outlook is dim for providing Christmas presents for two boys, 4 and 7, and a 1-year-old girl.
15. Social Security income for a sight-impaired 8-year-old daughter is the only income in this home where Mom raises two boys (12 and 6 months) as well on the $660 monthly check. Mom, unemployed and single, lost her job during a maternity leave recently, finding it difficult to look for new work since she needs to stay home for the children. Gifts and food this Christmas would help spark their holiday.
16. Landscaping work for Dad has slowed this season, as usual, and Mom isn’t employed as she cares for boys 8 and 11 and a 7 year old girl. Food and some Christmas gifts would brighten the holiday for this family facing difficult times.
17. A physical health disability makes it hard for the single Mom of three young teenagers to work in an effort to increase their $733 a month income. She hopes for a little help from the community to give a nice Christmas day of opening presents for the 13-year-old twin boys and their 14-year-old sister. Paying the bills is hard, she says. “This has been a very difficult year,” Mom adds. “Some help for food for a Christmas dinner would be helpful.”
18. A single mother works, but the $1,331 average monthly income isn’t enough to make ends meet. Now, her hours are being cut, and she is the sole income resource for the family with three little ones who need winter coats. A 2-year-old girl and her brothers, 7 and 11, could use some Christmas cheering up this year.
19. This couple with three children were barely making ends meet when he worked, but when his restaurant job ended as the business closed events turned even more difficult. “Everything else is OK, but we just need some help this Christmas,” says Mom, who hopes for some community assistance in the form of gifts and food for a 3-year-old girl and her brothers, 9 and 7.
20. A 2-month-old girl needs clothing, formula and other baby items, says the mother of this family also includes a girl of 6, and a boy , 12. Warm clothing is needed by the older children, she adds. This household depends on $1,200 a month. There is also a 16-year-old at home.
21. A mother of two boys, 4 and 12, worked until the end of October when her job was lost, and as she looks for another place of employment, she hopes the community will extend a helping hand to give the children a good Christmas morning of surprises. At this time, she exists on less than $700 monthly with some public assistance for rent payment.
22. A leg up from the community would help this family of six with only $1,326 in month income. Mom and Dad hope their four little ones will have a joyful children’s Christmas. The family includes two girls, 5 and 8, and two boys, 4 and 1.
23. Medical difficulties in this family of five living on $1,450 a month create a large need for community help. Mom had to quit her job to care for a 9-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome, and a 2-year-old girl who doctor’s describe as suffering from “failure to thrive.” The social services income isn’t going to leave enough for Christmas expenditures for the family, which includes a 7-year-old boy.
24. A single mother of two girls, 4 and 7, lives on $1,566 a month. There is no father in this home, an no child support for the children. Some help this Christmas might include some gifts and food for a celebration of Christmas Day.
25. Mom in this family with 5 children needs to face cancer surgery in December. Dad is the sole income provider, but his landscape job hours are being cut during the winter, making it hard to make ends meet, says the mother. “”Some presents for the children this Christmas would be appreciated,” she says. There are two girls, 9 and 14, and three boys, 10-year-old twins and a 12-year-old.
26. Winter boots, shoes and other necessities are needed by a family of five living on a $1,800 per month income, finding it very hard to make ends meet with that income. Christmas help would be appreciated for two boys, 6 and 8, and a 4-year-old sister.
27. A great-grandmother who has custody of an 11-year-old girl is suffering from cancer, and having a most difficult time with a $1,231 per month income. Some presents and food would make their Christmas more joyful this year.
28. Barely able to pay the bills with a $2,200 monthly income, Mom is unable to work due to foot medical problems. Meeting rent and utility bills is hard, she says, noting that her husband faces shorter work weeks from December through February. Help would be appreciated for two boys, 5 and 12, and a 6-year-old girl.
29. Just before loss of the husband to cancer in October, a Mom of a 9-year-old girl says her apartment was destroyed by fire in mid-year and their furniture was lost to the flames or stolen. Living on about $1,500 a month, she finds it hard to find money for Christmas presents and food this year.
30. Dad was laid off this year but just started a new job, bringing $1,500 into this home which is pressed to pay back bills. Mom asks for some help this season to give a happy Christmas to two boys, 1 and 6, and two girls, 4 and 7.
31. Mom just moved her two little girls to this area to escape what she terms a “negative environment” for the family. She was forced to leave all the toys and most other items, including most of the clothing, behind in the move. While she brings in $650 a month from a new part-time job, she finds it difficult to come up funds for Christmas presents and food this year for the 4- and 5-year-old.
32. Blankets for everyone are needed in this home headed by a single mother who is trying to manage with four children on less than $1,400 a month. She recently tore ligaments in her foot during a fall. Children include two boys, 9 and 11, and two girls, 10 and 14.
33. Mom and Dad were forced to move their three children from an apartment when the landlord evicted them to remodel the premises. As a result, they were forced to take out a loan to pay for the move, while they continued to struggle on a $3,200 a month income. One boy, 13, is autistic, and Dad suffers from diabetes. The other children are a 10-year-old boy and a girl, 3. Insurance is not covering all of their needs and the family continues to try to handle unpaid medical costs.
34. “There is just no money for Christmas presents or food,” says a Mom of three girls aged 3, 8 and 10 in this home where the father brings in only $2,000 a month. While they attempt to pay their bills, they ask for some community help this year to bring some joy to the little ones.
35. Mom’s epilepsy makes it hard for her to work, so she depends on a $!,079 monthly public funding income to raise a boy, 8 and a girl, 6. She asks for clothing for the children. Some toys and food would also help this family enjoy a nice holiday this Christmas.
36. A mother of two – a boy, 1 2, and a girl, 5 – often faces homelessness, but is currently living with a friend who is helping out with an income of about $2,700. Mom has a spinal cyst and thyroid issues, tapping her energy and making it hard to hold a job. Some help for Christmas presents and food would be appreciated.
37. “Our entire family needs clothing,” proclaims a Mom of three little ones, who struggles with her husband to raise children on a combined income of $1,227 a month. Warm winter coats are also on their wish list. “We are having a very difficult year,” she says. “It’s our worst Christmas struggle in eight years.” To help out, some gifts and food – along with some needed items to wear – would be appreciated for two girls, 2 and 10, and their 7-year-old brother.
38. Winter coats are needed, says the Mom in a home without a father present. Four children are in need of Christmas presents and food, including two boys, 3 and 11, and two girls, a 9-year-old and a little sister of 3 months.
39. Blankets, shoes and coats are needed by two children – a boy, 4, and a girl, 7 – in a home with $2,100 of income. Dad was unable to work for part of 2015 due to surgery. Mom does not have a job.
40. Clothing for the children – a boy, 6, and a girl, 11 – are requested by Mom and Dad who struggle on less than $500 a month of income. They have applied but not yet been approved for rental assistance. Boots and shoes are also requested, but some toys and food would be great for a Christmas celebration.
41. Physical limitations keep Mom from working more hours, and Dad’s trade job isn’t steady, resulting in a $2,500 a month income for this family with two boys, 7 and 10, and a 3-year-old girl. Some help from the community for Christmas presents and food would bring smiles to the faces of the little ones – and their parents as well.
42. A Mom of four children recently lost her job, and has applied for rent assistance, although it has not been approved to date. This family income is restricted to food stamps. To help out, presents and food for the children would help bring joy to three little girls, 5, 8 and 13, and their 7-year-old brother.
43. “I just want to have a good Christmas for the kids this year,” says a single Mom of four: three girls aged 1, 3 and 4, and a boy, 6. The total income for the household is $1,700. Some assistance from the community would help this family enjoy Christmas presents and food they cannot afford by themselves.
44. Mom sustained a miscarriage earlier in the year and was left unemployed afterwards in this family where Dad brings in $2,300 to raise two boys, 2 and 5, and a daughter, 5.
45. Mom is single and is raising four little boys, ages 2, 7 and 11, on $475 a month. That leaves zero dollars with which to purchase Christmas toys and some food for a nice holiday meal. Some help from the community can bring a nice day to the family on Dec. 25 this year.
46. Mom has gone through three surgeries this year, and depends on food stamps and an adult daughter’s income of $1,100 to support this family of six. Some Christmas help would be appreciated for two little girls, aged 6 and 1, and a 7-year-old boy.
47. Clothing is a primary need in this family including a Dad on public support of $913 a month, with some food stamps to help feed four children and the parents. There are two boys, 8 and 10, and two girls, 6 and 7, who will be wondering if Santa will leave some nice surprises this holliday.
48. There is a total of $1,900 coming into this household with two boys, 9 and 14, and their parents. Mom is expecting a baby soon so in addition to some toys and food, a few newborn items would be appreciated.
49. Mom is trying to raise four girls, aged 5, 8, 14 years, and a 6-months-old, on child support of $1,281 a month. It is a struggle to make ends meet and try to buy Christmas presents and holiday food, so she is asking the community for some help this season.
50. Dad isn’t working and Mom brings in $1,700 a month from what she considers to be consistent work. Yet, raising three little ones on this income is a stretch. To help, presents for the children – two boys, 4 and 8, and a girl, 9 – would be a big help. The family would also appreciate some items for a Christmas dinner.
51. Though Dad is working and making just enough to keep a roof over their heads, money is still tight for this low income family of 7 who are in need of clothing and jackets this winter. This family with children ranging in ages 14, 13, 8, 3, and 3 months would greatly appreciate some help to provide a little Christmas cheer and warmth for their brood this season.
52. This family of 4 just moved to the US 1 year ago and are currently without work. Mom and Dad request nothing for themselves but the mother shares that they are in need baby items and children’s clothing for the winter months ahead. They have a little 5 year girl and a 6 month old infant boy.
53. With no income this season, this family of 4 is hoping for some help to bring a smile to a little 8 year old boy and 7 year old girl this Christmas. Parents have requested nothing for themselves but share that remote control helicopter for their and a set of beads for bracelet making for their little girl would be appreciated.
54. Caring for triplets brings some financial struggles for this family of 7. Mother and father have requested nothing for themselves but hope someone can help provide a little Christmas joy for their 3 little toddler girls, ages 1 ½ years old, and 2 young boys, ages 10 and 8. Mother has requested educational toys for their triplets and Legos for the boys.