Family Homelessness

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Spokane Valley Kiddos In Need – Not Just for Christmas

These are all kiddos in our schools that have some really basic needs – not just for Christmas. So even if you can’t get these items to me before Christmas, it would all help! Remember to pass the word on - as a lot of people might be getting rid of items as they get new items this Christmas: plates, clothes, microwaves, linens…..etc…

Just contact me, MJ @ or 443-9935 if you have any items for the following students:

Anything you can do would be great!

1. The “L” Family is a family of 6 w/ 4 kiddos in Central Valley School District.
Family in huge transition, even though both parents are working, they really don’t have the means for Christmas as they are taking everything they have to get into a permanent place ASAP. Both mom and dad are working, and have to work on Christmas Eve. 
We’re trying to take some food over Thursday for them to make up some hot turkey sandwiches for Christmas – but any home baked items might be a really nice adition. Anything you can do would be awesome! They are right now staying in temporary housing @ a 1 bedroom Motel room w/ no kitchenette & just a small refrigerator. They have a small burner and a microwave -  that’s all that is available for them to cook with.
  • Girl = 13, size womans’ L
  • Boy = 14, size XXL, size 38
  • Boy = 15, size XXL, size 40
  • Girl = 17, size womans’ L

  o Their needs include anything to celebrate Christmas – gifts, meal, etc.
     A movie night out w/ the family might be a great thing – or dinner.
  o Furnishings for their new place – I will get more details
  o Some gift cards to Walmart/Target/Fred Meyer for food/needs for the home/Christmas presents
  o A Permanent Place for their Family – getting a deposit together is a bit of a struggle.

Other ideas = sweats, hoodies, t-shirts
Underwear & socks
Backpacks for all 4

Gift Cards, etc…

2. Female – pregnant soon-to-be mom who is living w/ boyfriend who is working. They have been living downtown, but are moving to the Valley this weekend to be closer for her school. Do not have vehicle, transportation by bus only.

  o Crib for baby, due in late Feb – even a portable crib.
  o Maternity clothes for mom – need warm, winter clothes size 6-7 but pregnant.
  o Hooded sweatshirts – L
  o Sweats
  o Tops
  o New Baby items
  o Baby carrier
  o Baby bouncy
  o Diapers
  o Crib bedding
  o Bottles
  o Any other baby items
  o Baby warm outdoor clothes (for transporting in Feb/March via bus – waiting at bus stops, etc.)
  o Furnishings for new place (moving from a furnished to unfurnished)
  o Work pants for Dad
  o Black twill
  o Size 30/34’s
  o Hoodies/Sweatshirts – size M
  o Hygiene basket for both of them – needing all personal items.
  o His & Her shampoo
  o His & Her deodorant
  o Razors
  o Toothpaste, tooth brushes
  o Etc.
  o Gift for the 2 of them for Christmas – maybe a movie night, or dinner?

3. Contacts - Eye Exam & Contacts for 2 girls
  o Affecting their reading and studies, but won’t wear glasses & don’t have the funds for contact        exam or contacts
  o Having headaches from straining

4. Male – living at Crosswalk downtown
  o Needs size 11 tennis shoes
  o Socks
  o XL Sweatshirts/Hoodies
  o Shirts

5. Female – mom is having surgery and will be out of work for awhile
  o Need food
  o She is looking for a job (student) to help w/ finances
  o Gift cards

6. Female –
  o Needs clothes – size 20 jeans or equivalent

7. Male – Hoodies/sweatshirts – size XL

8. Female – winter shoes & tennis shoes size 9

9. Female – needs clothing and items for baby
  o Wears size 2 – needs any clothing
  o Especially sweatshirts - hoodies
  o Also desperately looking for a job – very hirable
  o Needs diapers for a two year old
  o Needs clothing for 2-year old

10. Female – need clothing and baby items
  o Baby – 2 ½
  o Baby boots 3T & shoes
  o 3T coat & warm cloth
  o Pullups
  o Lots Food
  o White winter coat – Small
  o Gloves for her
  o Gas Card

11. Female – 16
  o Likes black
  o Needs XL Hoodies/Sweatshirts
  o XLShirts
  o Very shy

12. Female – living on her own
  o Needs job
  o Food – mainly kitchen staples
  o Dinner plates & kitchen supplies
  o Cooking supplies

13. Female – in need of clothes
  o Size 10
  o In need of any clothes

14. Barker extras – just to have if needed for some of their students:
  o Hoodies/Sweatshirts all sizes : M/L/XL/XXL
  o T-shirts all sizes
  o Gloves & Coats
  o Sweats all sizes sexes
  o New Underwear & socks - both sexes and all sizes
  o Bus passes

Let me know any thoughts or suggestions you might have! Thanks!
And thanks again for all your help, helping these teens in need!

TOGETHER, We ARE Making A Difference!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What a Community Can Do - TOGETHER!

This is just an update from the needs that were sent out about the “O” Family last week:


What a Blessing!

• I’d like to thank a certain Redeemer Lutheran mom’s group for their generous donations & a few other private donors for their caring donations for this family!
• A private donor donated propane on Friday – enough to last them for 15 days – which helps w/ cooking and hot water for showers & cleaning!
• We paid their lot rent on Monday, to ensure they would continue having shelter, heat, and a place to stay.
• Today I will be going with them to pay their storage up-to-date so that they will be able to access their belongings, and not lose their things to auction!
• Through Redeemer Lutheran, we were also able to secure a storage place at no cost for the “O” Family’s things. So we plan on moving their things this Sunday after church – any able & strong bodies that would like to help, please contact me! This will keep the storage fees from continuing to accrue monthly!
• What an amazing blessing our community has been for this family!!!! They are so encouraged!!!! Thank you for your continued prayers and care for this family. There are still needs that are needed, as you can check below – but what amazing things a community, coming together can do!!!!
• On behalf of the ENTIRE “O” Family – THANK YOU!!!!

TOGETHER, We ARE Making A Difference!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Meals Report -- 61!!!

Happy Post-Thanksgiving to all of you! I wanted to give you some definite numbers on our Thanksgiving Meal Drive - 61 Central Valley Families were given a full Thanksgiving Meal Dinner, including turkey, potatoes, vegies, stuffing, pie and other trimmings! (The above pictures don't show the turkey and bag of potatoes that were given with every meal, this was just the trimmings!) 45 dinners were delivered to Barker High students, 8 to Broadway Elementary students, and 8 to Progress Elementary students! Thank you again to the ONE* community who donated all this food for our Central Valley students and families! What a Blessing! We continue to see what we can do when we come together and work together for the good of our neighbors!!!

Also, thank you to those who have given donations through the easy "donate" now button through paypal! We so appreciate your donations!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thanksgiving Needs

Another Family needs your help: Mom & 3rd grade daughter need:

  • Help fixing their car - they are living with a family in CDA and need to transport back and forth for school. The car's problems seem to be a radiator issue.
  • They need help packing and moving from Spokane Valley to temporary home in CDA.
Another Central Valley Family: Single Mom & 3 kids: (4th grade & 3rd grade twins)

  • Boots: girls: size 4 (likes Pink)
  • size 6 (likes Purple) Need Met - THANK You!!!!
  • boy men's size 6.5 (any boy colors)
  • All 3 need snow gloves and socks
Another single mom, as I stated in the list of needs on the left really needs your financial support this week. The mom needs $150 to help cover half of her all-day kindergarten placement of her child. We do not want to move the child due to increased trauma the family has had (father died unexpectedly in May, family had to move, mother just started a new job but won't get paid for 2-3 weeks.) Even if you can give $20 -- 8 people giving $20 would help this mom.                Need Met!

- You can email me @ and let me know if you can help or if you'd like more information.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday, Nov. 23rd

An Awesome Sunday! Thank you to all of you who brought food for our Thanksgiving Meals in a Bag Sunday at ONE*! Our best estimates are that we received 58 Turkeys!!!! We will be putting meals together today for Barker High families and other schools, so I will update you on exactly how many meals are distributed. What an amazing blessing!!! I hope to post some pictures soon!

Just to update you on a few things:
  • Family really needs propane to be able to take showers and cook their food. They have about 3 small tanks (5 gal) & 1 bigger tank (25 gal.) If 4 people gave $20 for their propane, we could get all the tanks filled!
  • Also could use some dish towels and rags.
  • Money to buy toiletry items or Winco gift card, (toilet paper, dog food, etc.)

I hope you all were able to read the article in Spokesman Review this Sunday, as they talked about homeless kiddos in our schools - it definitely painted a picture of what the situation is like right now. They also noted our PTA HEART in Hand Outreach in the article for a way to help.

Again, together we can make a difference, and we are! I so appreciate your help in advance! Thank you for keeping these in need in your prayers and in your hearts during this time! And thank you for doing your part of taking care of our neighbors! Please let me know if you can help in any way.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

More Needs

Thank you for all of your feedback on this Blog! It's exciting to see what caring individuals we have in our community, and I know TOGETHER, we CAN make a difference -- AND WE ARE!!!!
I have listed a few more needs over on the left, as we have teens - some on their own - struggling to make ends meet. They need clothes, linens, baby items, and even dishes & serving ware. Having an option for them to just be able to "shop" and pick out their own would be a huge blessing. I figure - your dollar can go farther at Goodwill & Value Village than other places, and there are great selections there! If you'd like to purchase these items individually, please let me know, and I can get you more specifics.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

What is needed Now?

The thanks I've received from this family have been great! They are 'overwhelmed' with the generosity and care of our community! They are so very thankful and have asked me to please share their thanks with everyone!

So what is needed now?
  • As temperatures drop, propane is needed to help heat their RV and to cook with. Last time it cost $80 to fill 2-5 gallon tanks and 1 25-gallon tank. They have an additional tank that was given to them. Again if you could donate even $20 - we'd only need 5 people to be able to fill all the tanks that should last them about a month.
  • Consider how you might be able to bless this family for Thanksgiving. However, there's not really means for them to cook a large turkey since they are in a RV. Maybe you'd have some ideas?
  • Other families/students are also in need, so you will see an updated list on the left hand side of this blog. Right now we need wrestling shoes for a teen. I will get more information ASAP.
I thank you in advance for your concerns, your prayers for these families and students in need, and your networking capabilities. This will be the best way I know how (at the moment :) ) to keep an interactive updated list. Again, feel free to share this blog!

One other great thing that I want to share quickly is what a local church is doing to help meet the needs of kiddos & families in our District.
  • This HEART in Hand Outreach has facilitated a partnering of our Faith Based Communities with local schools to help facilitate the meeting of the these needs that are present in the families of our schools. One of our local churches (ONE*) will be delivering at least 40 “Thanksgiving Meals in a Bag” on Monday to Barker High School, which will include a frozen turkey, stuffing, potatoes, rolls, pie and even instructions and leftover recipes. These meals will be given to teens determined by the school administration that represent some of these families in need. This church has also decided to help fund Barker High School’s Annual Thanksgiving Celebration, where the school provides a great feast for all the students and staff. This year this celebration includes a “Community Give-Back” program where Barker High Students will be making gifts and crafts to give back to local organizations and communities, like Candlelighters, a local Retirement Home, Progress & Broadway Elementary Schools, Meals on Wheels, Kiwanis, and Barker families.

What we have done already

FYI - the below needs have been met! See what a community coming together can do! You all are AWESOME!!!

Spokane Valley Family In Need, Can You Help Now – Even a Little?

The “O” Family

The “O” family is a Spokane Valley family that has 6 kiddos in our school district and 2 adults. They are living in a 36 foot RV right now and have been living there for 4 months. They had to move out of their rental home suddenly when their landlords went into foreclosure on the property, which they were not made aware of. It took a lot of their money to move all their belongings into storage and to get a Mobile Home Park slip. They are awaiting some low-income housing that would be big enough for their family of 8. They are in need of some hope and some help. Even a little help would be much appreciated!

• One of the most urgent things for this family Spokane Valley family right now is for their Storage Unit to be paid up-to-date by November 3rd or the contents of their Storage Unit will be completely auctioned off November 4th. They would lose all of their belongings that are in storage that they could use once they are able to get into some low income housing.
I believe that it is around $160 (**see below). Can you do $20?? If 8 people did $20 -- we could get this need met!

***UPDATE – I called the storage place yesterday, ABC Storage – N. of the Freeway off of Pines, and they said they need to pay $205 by this Tuesday (Nov. 3rd) for the storage not to go into Auction status – which incurs more penalties. I also asked them if there was anything they could do, and there was a few community members trying to help this family. The worker was going to talk w/ the manager today and will get back to me.

***UPDATE (10/30)– we have received $60 by asking 10 people to donate $20 each. Even $10 donation will help us get closer to meeting this need!

***11/1 UPDATE -- 4 more people have stepped up and promised to give for this family - so now we are at 9 families who have given a total of $210 - we needed $205!!! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I know the "O" family will be so blessed by this news (I am seeing them today & will share with them!) If those who said you could help could get the $ to me tomorrow, I will take it directly to the Storage Facility tomorrow. WAY TO GO EVERYONE!!!! WHAT A HUGE BLESSING YOU HAVE BEEN TO THIS FAMILY! This will give this family more time to be able to pay their total bill off, and keep them from having their things go into auction.

• They are also in need of help fixing their only vehicle's clutch (on an older truck.) The cost to fix this is around $500 estimated. They are only able to get around by STA right now. If you know of anyone who might be willing to help, please contact me.

***11/17 UPDATE: As of Monday, this family has received a donation from another family of a 7 passenger VAN!!!

• They also are in need of some STA bus passes. As of November, she said they would need 3.
***11/17 UPDATE: Not needed now, since the awesome donation of the listed above van!

• It also costs them around $12/week to do their laundry (in quarters only!) at the washing machine closest to where they are staying. There is no quarter machine there, so they have to have quarters to wash their clothes.

Here is some more information about some of their needs:

"Our family has come across hard times and we are in need of several household items. If you come across anyone that may have extras we could use them:
- Household goods are needed such as:
  • baby wipes (unscented),
  • pullups size 3-4T,
  • Toilet Paper,
  • Shampoo and Conditioner (All Natural),
  • Bar Soap (Scented Free)
  • Razors for men and women,
  • Dish Soap (Dawn),
  • Paper Towels, etc...
  • Dog food and Cat food
  • We do get food stamps so food items are not neccessary.
  • Girl: 15 yrs old, needs shirts of any kind: M-L in adult, also need waterproof shoes 9.5 wide or snow boots. (*see below)
  • Girl: 13 yrs old, needs waterproof shoes or snow boots in 9.5-10 wide.
  • Boy: 13 yrs old, needs size 12-14 pants, shirts of any kind size M, needs waterproof shoes or snow boots in size 10 mens.
  • Girl: 10 yrs old has a bday on 11/2/09. Needs pants that are low rise size 10 short little girls, winter shirts of all kinds size M in girls, waterproof shoes or snowboots in size 1.5 little girls.
  • Boy: 8 yrs old, needs winter shirts of all kinda size 8-10, needs waterproof shoes or snowboots in size 1 little boys.
  • Boy: 3 yrs old is in need of pants size 5-6T. Winter shirts size 5-6T and waterproof shoes or snowboots size 11.5 little boys.
  • Adult male needs 3XLT shirts of any kind.
  • Adult female needs size 12 average pants.
- Any help would be of great appreciation. We desperately need some sign of hope. Are you my hope and guidance?" ~This was written by Jan, the Mom.

***UPDATE 10/29 -- we have found a donor for boots for the family! Thank you!!!

***11/17 UPDATE A donation was made to the family in clothes - so now the whole family, except for the 2 younger ones, all have newer clothing, winter boots and coats! Thank you for your help!

***11/17 UPDATE A donation from a community member was made for a Winco Gift Card so the family was able to purchase all the toiletry items needed. THANK YOU!

***11/17 UPDATE - the 2 younger kiddos have also received clothing now, so clothing is not an issue - for now. THANK YOU!

(The unscented & all natural items are needed because there is a sever allergy in the family. Even hugging one of the family members who is wearing something washed in tide - can make the person pass out.)

HOW YOU CAN HELP? -- You can contact me if you have any items that you'd like to give the family. Our Central Valley Council PTA has also just set up a fund for Spokane Valley kiddos and families in need that can take your charitable tax deductible donation, and you can receive a receipt from us. Just contact me for more information by sending me a message if you are able to help in any way. Thank you for helping!

Here We Go!

I'm laying in bed in the middle of the night, thinking, how are we going to have an interactive list for the needs of this outreach group "HEART in Hand?" I am still considering using a group email list, (such as yahoo or google groups) but for now I think this might work! So I look forward to your comments on how to make this better and more interactive. (Especially since I have never officially "blogged" before!)

Please, if you a see a need you or someone you know can help with, please comment on it, then other people can see what has been taken care of and what is left. I look forward to starting this journey with you. Also, do forward this blog web address with others so we can spread our community!