Warming Shelter; Needs; Soup; A Day In The Life; Love Your Neighbors Week; Song: Helping Cupid

CONTENTS 2/14/2021
Warming Shelter Update
Soup Brigade
A Day In The Life
Love Your Neighbors Week
Personal Love
Radio Free Fl!p: Helping Cupid


The roster for volunteers filled immediately. When they posted for extras yesterday, they just needed to tuck in a few more of the volunteers they hadn’t been able to use yet, because some had to cancel due to the snow. Six hours ago I saw a post that said there were then 4 open spots to volunteer. Everything else had been filled.
2/15- 1am-5am
2/16- 1am-5am
2/16- 5am-9am
2/16- 9am-1pm

Temporary Warming Site at Depot Market Square

There are 4 volunteers at a time. You check people in. Monitor the bathrooms. Let guests in/out one at a time. Make sure everybody is following the rules (there aren’t many). Visit with guests. It’s pretty straightforward. Everyone wears masks, over their noses too. Even when sleeping.

Those of us at high risk? It’s fine to stay home! Others are taking our place to protect us too, while they help care for the most vulnerable. Parks Director Nicole Oliver has been down there personally, working hard during this time. I have been deeply moved at the kindness there.

Case workers who had lost contact with individuals they were assisting, have reconnected with some of them there, and had housing for a few of them. Volunteer nurses apparently were able to provide some care for trench foot.

We donated at least 20 sleeping bags, and are working to get even more. Big Five will be trying to get more from their warehouse Monday, still at the sale price. And when I say “we” I mean YOU, all you wonderful people who have sent donations!

The shelter closes Tuesday. This is a good time to write the Mayor and City Council requesting that they find another space to keep the warming shelter going at least through February. The weather will be shifting to rain-on-snow which is even harder to get warm in.




Gummy Fruit Snacks (lots and lots and lots)
Bottled drinking water – lots of it
Tons of big packs of AAA batteries
Two 4-packs of D batteries
Fleece blankets
Deals Only has tarps!

More Laundry Brigade members. I sent today’s batch in. Expect contact soon from someone saying Fl!p sent me…


I’ve got wonderful ingredients, pots & pans to cook in, take-out containers, and even some recipes. I’ve got a recipe promised that is like a baked French toast loaf with built-in bacon. Want to learn to make that? I’ve got everything you’d need but the milk. I need another dinner cook for each of Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and two cooks to sign up for days after that. I’ve got Out-Reachers to deliver if we can fill them up with meals.


Even in the snow, cooks and drivers and Out-Reachers got food and supplies out to many who need it. Thank you all SO much!

A kind neighbor from Sunnyland came with a pick-up truck and got the huge pile of cardboard from my back porch and dropped it off for folks to tuck under their tents, tarps, and bed rolls, to help keep things dry. And took 4 dozen hot hardboiled eggs as well. Another Sunnyland neighbor offered jars of oregano for our cooks. She had bulk ordered a pound of it, and discovered that oregano is very light weight. A pound is a lot! So the neighbor coming for the cardboard also picked up the oregano. And took one jar to SwiftHaven for the group kitchen tent there. She’ll drop another at Unity Village next time she’s on that side of town. And since she was stopping at SwiftHaven, we also loaded her up with a set that had come in of those plastic drawers that fit so well in the tiny homes… and round we go! Oh, and before she came to my house, the truck owner went to SmartFoods and got a ton of snacks and hot drink packets, and took them to the Warming Center. In one of those “While You’re Out” cascades, I had her running all over town!

A couple friends walked over from the Lettered Streets to bring a big bag of snacks for the Depot Market Warming Center. Another neighbor dropped everything to come get 10 more sleeping bags (the last of the current batch) to take down to the Warming Center when they called me that they had run out again. And he took along the snacks that had showed up minutes earlier!

The head of the Parks Department called to see if I might be able to find a volunteer to help her wash a bunch of the sleeping bags we had donated. She didn’t want them wasted, and was planning to take them to wash and dry at a laundromat. I’m not sure that happened today, but I think it’s going to happen. From what I hear behind the scenes, she has acted with courage, integrity and compassion in this difficult time.

All the fabulous warm gloves that showed up at my door yesterday and today have gone out for use. And the long johns, boots, hats, scarves, fleece mittens. Batteries, headlamps, hand and toe warmers, mylar blankets, tarps…

The camp stove that an Out-Reacher requested yesterday showed up! And it’s already in her hands. She will deliver it tomorrow, along with some donated freeze-dried camping meals, on her friend’s birthday! What could be more perfect?

This evening I was able to order ten more closed cell foam ground pads with mylar. I got 6 last week. I just found a great price and will order still more after I talk with the company, hopefully tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will also take the next steps to buy more sleeping bags with all the money donated already for them. And, a friend told me Big 5 moved to the corner of Stuart Rd and Meridian 2-3 years ago. So you can see how often I went shopping, even before the pandemic.

(I must confess, so much of this is just SO MUCH FUN!!! And thank you for your patience with me when the wave tumbles me under. And for writing me again if I haven’t responded in a reasonable time frame.)


Decorate the Columbia Share Shack with hearts, pictures, art on the clothesline with messages of love for your neighbors between 2/14 and 2/20. On Valentines Day, draw hearts and messages of love on the sidewalks for your neighbors to enjoy! On Saturday 2/20 from 10am-2pm, we will have our annual CNA membership drive AT the Share Shack (Corner of W. Connecticut and Henry St) where 40% of your membership will be donated to one of the following organizations of your choice: Whatcom Human Rights Task Force, Whatcom Community Foundation, Homes Now, The Mission, Northwest Youth Services or The Food Bank. $10 individual membership, $15 for family membership. You can drive up and we will have COVID safe measures for paying for your membership (cash, check, venmo options) and for letting us know where you want your donation to go! If you can’t make it to the membership drive, please fill out this form:


IF you would like to become a CNA Board member, you can indicate your interest on the form too!
Thank you,
Columbia Neighborhood Association Board


I took some time off this morning, and again at dinnertime to hang out with Zeke. We had a fancy take-out dinner thanks to a neighbor who drove through the snow to pick it up for us!! And another friend brought us flowers!!! And another neighbor shoveled our walk to the street in front and the car in back!!! I set up a pretty dinner table with a white tablecloth, red glass dishes, and candles. And Zeke and I dug out red shirts, which counts as having gotten dressed up these days. I am feeling deeply loved from all directions. Thank you everybody!


Zeke wrote a song a while back, that seemed appropriate for this day. But maybe not quite for a family audience…


Love/Fl!p 360-671-4511  2518 Cherry Street flip@columbianeighborhood.org

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