Sharing Lives: 2020 Spring Edition

Please note this edition was published at the end of March 2020. Updates to Share’s response to the COVID-19 crisis can be viewed by clicking here.

We Care About Our Community: How Share is Facing Coronavirus

As coronavirus continues to dominate the news, we want to assure you that Share is focused on our mission and committed to doing our part to ensure the safety of our clients, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters, and the community at large.

It’s true, these are unprecedented times. But our community always steps up to help those in need.

We are grateful for our partnerships with Evergreen (EPS) and Vancouver Public Schools (VPS). While VPS is suspending their food program at this time, we continue to get bags of food to children—and their families—through EPS. At the Share Fromhold Service Center, a small crew of staff and volunteers (while adhering to social distancing guidelines) pack 600+ food bags which are available at “grab & go” school locations from 9 to 11 a.m. on Thursdays (visit evergreenps.org for site locations, vansd.org for updates and clarkcountyfoodbank.org/coronavirus for additional food resources).

While our dining room at Share House is closed, our ‘delivery window’ is open. To-go meals are served daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner; meals times remain the same. This change was implemented on March 14 and will continue until further notice.

We are grateful to St. Paul Lutheran, St. Andrew Lutheran and St. Luke’s Episcopal churches who despite closing their faith services continue to provide space for the Winter Hospitality Overflow and Women’s Housing and Transition shelters.

We also want to express our appreciation to the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington who has granted funds to Share so that we may provide hazard pay to our staff on the front line continuing to provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of our community.

We cannot fully express the depth of our gratitude for individual volunteers and business groups who continue to donate their time to help keep these programs open and serving our neighbors and families who rely on these meals.

Share Fromhold Service Center: Due to increased risk of spreading coronavirus, the Share Fromhold Service Center will be open by appointment only. If you have a scheduled appointment, please ring the doorbell. No donations are being accepted at this time.

Share Family Shelters: We will continue to provide meals to the families and single women living at Share Homestead, as well as providing support to our off-campus families residing temporarily at local apartments while Share Orchards Inn is under construction.

At all Share facilities, we will continue to follow all recommended local sanitation and health guidelines. Staff members practice proper hygiene, including handwashing with soap and water, as well as disinfecting high-touch surfaces.

Clients in shelters, at Lincoln Place and those receiving meals at Share House also are encouraged to practice proper handwashing with soap for 20 seconds or using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol when handwashing isn’t available.

The show will go on for our ‘There’s No Business Like Share Business’ Annual Gala, which has been postponed to Saturday, August 8, 2020.

Our Appeal for Meals (formerly called Hunger Appeal) will still be held during the first week of June.

For Our Volunteers:
• Liquid hand soap and single-use paper towels are stocked at all hand-washing sinks/stations.
• Hand sanitizer is provided at entrances and common areas.
• Volunteers accepting and sorting donations will be provided with disposable gloves.
• All high-touch surfaces, including door handles, restrooms, counters, tables, surfaces in use during volunteer activities, will be routinely disinfected.

Volunteers age 60 and over are STRONGLY ENCOURAGED to stay home and not volunteer. We will not bar you from entering, but we acknowledge the unique risks facing our older volunteers, and we want you to be safe.

We serve a vulnerable population. We understand your commitment to helping those in need. However, we kindly request any volunteers with symptoms of an illness (e.g. cough, fever, sore throat) notify us, and to stay home until symptom free for 72 hours. Additionally, if your immune system is compromised or you are nervous about being in a public place, we respect and support your decision to stay home. When you are ready to come back and volunteer, our doors will always be open to you.

This is a dynamic and fast-moving situation. We are regularly monitoring updates from the Clark County Public Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) as well as twice weekly phone meetings conferences with public providers. We respect and follow recommendations by experts in the field.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this issue, please contact Diane McWithey, Executive Director, dmcwithey@sharevancouver.org or Amy Reynolds, Deputy Director, areynolds@sharevancouver.org.

Additional articles in the 2020 Spring edition include: Lincoln Place Celebrates 4th Anniversary with 1-year, 100% Retention; Volunteer Spotlight: Sue Young; Every28Days: Because Feminine Hygiene Products Should Not Be a Privilege; The Show Will Go On — Gala Postponed to Aug. 8; Welcoming Clients Home, One Basket at a Time; Clients Move Into Permanent Supportive Housing; “Harry Potter & the Cauldron of Soup” Soup’s On! October 25; Distance Socially, Eat Locally; Support Our Appeal for Meals, June 1 to 7

Download a PDF version of the 2020 Spring Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.