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You too can be an Hidden Hero!

Last month we featured several hidden heroes: Katie Wilson, who works tirelessly on our transit issues and the trio of Dexter Mitchell, Paul Gray and assistant Eric who collaborated to give haircuts to kids at Leschi School just before picture day. I know we don’t often meet one of these natural “helping” opportunities, but there are so many needs in the community that we all can give what we can to help meet these needs.

We recently learned that there are 70 students at Leschi School who are either homeless or in transitional housing. This is more than double the number from last year. Here’s how you can help: Every December, Leschi Elementary offers a giving garland for our families in need. We invite community members to come to the school to pick up a gift tag. This year we are helping over 30 families. Kids are asking for clothes, games, toys and bedding. We also provide Target, Safeway and Grocery Outlet gift cards to all the families. (Thanks to Leschi resident and PTA member, Katie Busby.)

Leschi Market offers a great price on 4 pound hams for the food bank: $8. Protein with little waste. And the Market takes the hams to the food bank for you! Quick and easy!

If green space is your passion, you may want to donate to the Leschi Natural Area. We were unable to take any donations while our non-profit status was under review, but we are now reinstated by the IRS back to the suspension date. So no interruption; if you made a donation during the last year, it is tax deductible. Checks can be sent to Leschi CC with the Natural Area in the memo line.

The Central Area Senior Center serves many low-income seniors who participate in the noon meals and avail themselves of the health services. The Director Dian Ferguson is familiar with the needs and a holiday donation would help purchase a needed item for a low-income senior.

We know homelessness is a critical issue here and we know that folks are living in our parks…just not openly. Living outside in this wet climate is not healthy and it looks as though we will have a colder winter. One of my favorite organizations is the Low Income Housing Institute that built the Ernestine Anderson Place on Jackson and the new 68 unit workforce facility (Abbey Lincoln Court) just to the east of it. LIHI coordinated building the tiny houses with other groups: very small, but off the ground and each house has a door that locks. You can see a small settlement of these structures on 20th off Union beyond the Lutheran Church. They are fast and cheap to build ($2200 each) and a good transitional solution when we are looking at the large numbers needing help. LIHI has three Urban Rest Stops where homeless individuals may shower and wash their clothes. You may donate to any of LIHI’S projects at their website.

Just Google Low Income Housing Institute and select the Donate button.

Take the first tiny step toward becoming a hidden hero and help meet someone’s needs!

~Diane Snell

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