‘Ringing’ the bell for those in need

It’s a golden time to donate in North Kitsap.

And as the holiday season begins, organizers of the 50th annual North Kitsap Bellringer fund are asking locals to dig deeper than ever to support our less fortunate friends and neighbors. Sponsors from the Raab Foundation and the Poulsbo Noon Lions have set the bar high in the past and the community has never failed to answer the call.

So, after topping the 2000 goal of $20,000 — with $22,000 overflowing the Bellringer coffers — supporters will be making an even greater effort this year as they work to raise $25,000.

All money collected is used to purchase food and toys for North Kitsap families in need. The fund also assists with requests throughout the year for help with everything from utility bills, clothing and medical expenses to school supplies, rent and transportation costs.

“With the money we raised we have assisted the various needs of 145 families,” explained John MacDonald, CPA for the Raab Foundation. “In addition, we purchased 56 food baskets for distribution last Christmas.”

MacDonald also pointed out that poor economic times throughout the nation have increased the needs of local low-income residents and families.

“An indicator is that Fishline requested that we fill 75 food baskets this year for Christmas,” he remarked, noting that although there has been an higher outcry for financial assistance throughout the world and our own nation this year, almost every penny raised through the North Kitsap Bellringer Fund will remain in this community.

In fact, the vast majority of money donated is used within the North Kitsap School District boundaries.

“Our funds are used in the local community,” MacDonald reiterated. Thanks to volunteer labor there are no administrative costs associated with the fund, ensuring that 100 percent of the money collected is used to assist people in need throughout the area.

Tax-deductible donations can be made at Kitsap Bank in Poulsbo, 19725 7th Avenue and the North Kitsap Herald 18887 Highway 305. Donations can also be mailed to the Bellringer Fund at P.O. Box 1244, Poulsbo, WA 98370. Contributions of $250 or more receive a reciept for the donor’s records.

Families, individuals and organizations will be listed on the front page of the Herald every issue as donations are tallied.

Once again, the North Kitsap Herald will also be collecting toys for Fishline Food Bank. New, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at the office here between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

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