The season of giving

Several area businesses, organizations have donation efforts underway

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Want to give locally this holiday season? If so, there are ample opportunities. These range from donating something to one of the “Giving Trees” located at local businesses, to contributing directly to organizations that help those in need.

Donations made at Washougal Family Dental will go to the homeless in Camas and Washougal.

“We choose a different charity to donate to every year, and after learning there are 400 homeless people in this area, we thought they really needed help,” said Shantelle Arney, insurance coordinator.

She went on a ride-along with Washougal Police Sgt. Zane Freschette on Sunday to donate the amassed collection of blankets, jackets, hats and gloves. Many of these were donated by partner dental businesses in the area.

“I am glad this will stay in our community.” Arney said.

Washougal Family Dental is still accepting items.

“We will definitely take donations,” she said. “There’s a need all year long.”

Shanahan Insurance, located on the edge of downtown Camas, collected canned food during its open house Friday for C.A.R.O.L., a Christmas basket program supporting local families in need.

“We enjoy the Camas community and wanted to help people out,” said Luke Shanahan, who co-owns the business with his father, Bob.

Santa and Mrs. Claus were the guests of honor during festivities at Priority Life Chiropractic and Massage in east Vancouver recently. Complimentary photos were available, with the contribution of a new toy or monetary donation for The Giving Closet.

The event also included free arts and crafts, Christmas movies, face painting and snacks.

The Giving Closet is a non-profit organization, located in Vancouver, which provides clothing, shoes and household goods, primarily for low-income people.

It was the ninth annual “Santa Day.”

“Each year, we choose a small, lesser known organization to donate to,” said Amanda Basich, chiropractic assistant. “Dr. (Mignon Cejalvo) met the awesome people of The Giving Closet a few years back at a church event. This was our second year hosting our Santa Day Toy Drive in their honor.”

She added, “Our community was so generous for our event this season. We also raised more than $700 in cash donations.”

Other local collection efforts that have concluded include the C.A.R.O.L. Toy and Food Drive, coordinated by the Camas-Washougal and East County fire departments.

Donations of new toys, non-perishable foods and money are given to local families in need.

Lily Atelier, a Camas downtown merchant, gathered gifts for children who spend time at The Jack, Will & Rob Boys & Girls Club.

The following is a sampling of local places to donate this holiday season:

  • Washougal City Hall, 1701 “C” St., 835-8501: A “Giving Tree,” contains gift wishes from local children. The efforts are being coordinated with the Children’s Home Society. Donations will be accepted through Thursday.
  • Washougal Family Dental, 1403 “C” St., 835-2178: Donations of hats, gloves, blankets or jackets for the homeless will be accepted through Friday, Dec. 18.
  • Temple Financial, 532 N.E. Third Ave., Ste. 200, Camas, 834-6470: A “Giving Tree,” contains gift wishes from local children. Clothing and toiletries will also be accepted and delivered to local families in need before Christmas. Donations can be made through Thursday.
  • Local organizations: Children’s Home Society, 1702 “C” St., Washougal, 835-7802; Inter-Faith Treasure House, 91 “C” St., Washougal, 834-4181; Refuel Friday, contact Tamara Dinius at; The Giving Closet, 2804 N.E. 65th Ave., Vancouver, 993-4800; Santa’s Posse, e-mail or call 397-2244; The Salvation Army, 1612 “I” St. Washougal, 835-3171.
  • Windermere Crest Realty Co., 401 N.E. Third Ave., Camas, 834-3344: Donations of new or gently used and laundered coats can be dropped off through Friday.