The year 2020 was marked by loss, uncertainty, distance and anxiety. But in times of challenge our community always rises to the challenge.
The population we serve is a vulnerable one and this crisis has only made their daily lives more difficult—accessing meal and food programs, securing employment or housing, paying monthly bills, and caring for themselves and their family.
We have had a tremendous outpour of financial support this year to help those in need.
It is reassuring that we can always count on our community, which is full of individuals, businesses, faith-based communities, nonprofit organizations, volunteers, school group and civic organizations who are bonded by the Clark County spirit in support of one another.
To all who have donated so generously—thank you!
Our staff and board remain focused on the needs of our clients and our community, adapting our programs as needed to meet challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic that will continue into the next year.
How Share Faced the COVID-19 Pandemic in 2020
We quickly pivoted in mid-March suspending our traditional Hot Meals service in the Share House dining room and instead served healthy to-go meals from the parking lot for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Share Fromhold Service Center was closed to the public and open by appointment only.
We were grateful to St. Paul Lutheran and St. Andrew Lutheran churches who despite closing their faith services continued to provide space for the Winter Hospitality Overflow shelters which were extended through June 30. Additionally, Women’s Housing and Transition was expanded to operate 24-hours at St. Luke’s, a tremendous safety net for the 18 women who are shelter residents at that house of faith.
Our partnerships also continued with Evergreen, Vancouver, Battle Ground and Woodland School Districts, as well as EOCF Headstart locations, to get food to children and their families through our Backpack, Food Box and Fresh Food Pantry programs.
And our Summer Meals program was modified to provide free grab-n-go meals from June 22 to August 14. We were fortunate to be offered use of the commercial kitchen at St. Joseph Catholic Church for volunteers to prepare and pack meals, as well as drop-off and pick-up meals in coolers and transport them to meal sites.
Our annual Gala, originally scheduled for April 24, was initially postponed until August and then ultimately canceled. Later in the year, our annual Soup’s On! event was reimagined as a virtual Soup Week which was held Oct. 5 to 10.
Share was fortunate to have been granted funds from the Community Foundation for Southwest Washington so that we could provide hazard pay to our staff on the front lines who continued to provide essential services to the most vulnerable members of our community.
Original COVID-19 statement posted on March 12, 2020.
As coronavirus continues to dominate the news, we want to assure you that Share is committed to doing our part to ensure the safety of our clients, staff, volunteers, donors and supporters, and the community at large.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Share’s programs, specifically the Backpack and Hot Meals programs, thrive because of our volunteers. Those of you still able to help us are welcome and truly appreciated.
Due to increased risk of spreading coronavirus, the Share Fromhold Service Center will be open by appointment only. We are currently not accepting donations of used clothing or items. Donations of new, needed items, such as non-perishable food, cleaning supplies, or homemade masks, can be arranged by appointment, please contact email@example.com or 360-952-8312. We apologize for any inconvenience.
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 weekly phone meetings 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, firstname.lastname@example.org or Amy Reynolds, Deputy Director, email@example.com.
For additional information about the coronavirus, including steps to take to protect yourself and your family, please visit: clark.wa.gov/public-health/novel-coronavirus