City employees give back this holiday season

Press Release Date:
Thursday, December 19, 2013

City of Vancouver employees are committed to public service, in more ways than one. This holiday season, they have been giving generously, through sponsoring local families, gift giving to charities and events.

Various departments and staff throughout the City are donating their time, money and energy to help make someone else’s holiday a little brighter.

It started this October, when City staff participated in their annual United Way employee giving campaign – pledging more than $40,000 in donations to local United Way charities in 2014.

Since then, numerous holiday giving projects have occurred or are now underway, including:

City Attorney's Office
  • Staff sponsored a local family in need by providing gifts for all of the family members and taking donations to sponsor the family’s Christmas dinner. The gifts will be delivered right before Christmas by members of the City Attorney’s Office.
  • The City and County Domestic Violence Prosecution Center, is doing their annual Shop with Cops event. Using donations from Walmart and General Mills, they will purchase gift cards for the event. Children of families that are involved with domestic violence will be matched up with an officer who will take them around the store to purchase gifts for themselves and/or family members. Volunteers from the City Attorney’s Office and the Clark County Prosecutor’s Office will also be wrapping the gifts at the event.
City Manager's Office
  • The City Manager's Office challenged Parks and Recreation Department staff to see which employee team could donate the most to United Way this year. The manager of the losing department would answer phones in the winning department. City Manager’s Office staff won this bet, donating $8,400 to the Parks’ team donations of $2,800 – however in a show of good sportsmanship, City Manager Eric Holmes and Assistant City Manager Dave Mercier answered phones and served lunches at the Luepke Senior Center anyway. Meanwhile, Parks and Recreation Manager Dave Perlick and Parks and Recreation Director Julie Hannon answered phones in the City Manager’s Office and handled more than their share of calls regarding everything from streets to strategic priorities.
  • Staff participated in the Clark County Children’s Sharing Project again this year, and supported 19 children from eight different families with gifts based on the children’s wish lists. In some cases, these may be the only gifts these kids from families in need receive.
Public Works
  • The Marine Park Engineering staff participated in the Children’s Center annual toy drive.
  • Every year, Construction and Engineering Services staff put together a full Christmas dinner for a local family, including turkey, trimmings and everything needed to put together a Christmas dinner, plus an added box of daily living personal care items, as part of a Salvation Army program.
Vancouver Fire Department

Firefighters held their 10th annual coat drive. They collected winter coats and distribute them to local schools and homeless shelters.

Vancouver Police Department (VPD)
  • On Nov. 25 and Dec. 20, the Vancouver Police Athletic League (PAL) partnered with Chris and Lisa from Chris Balmes Properties and Fruit Valley Elementary School to distribute 25 food boxes to families in need in the Fruit Valley Neighborhood, just in time for Thanksgiving and Christmas.
  • On Dec.8, Nautilus Inc. partnered with the Target store at 164th Avenue and Mill Plain Boulevard and the VPD for the 10th annual Holiday Helper event. Over 50 kids from the Share shelter, Safechoice Shelter and Vancouver PAL shopped with Vancouver Police and Nautilus staff at Target. Nautilus funds this event each year.
  • The 21st Annual Vancouver Police Officer’s Guild “Shop with a Cop” event was held on Dec. 14 at the Vancouver Plaza Target Store. At this special event, a local police officer is partnered with a child selected by the state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) who then helps the child select gifts for themselves and/or their immediate family members. The event is funded by the Vancouver Police Officer’s Guild, with a great deal of assistance from DSHS, Target and several high school service clubs.

Community & Economic Development (CED)

Staff adopted a family from the Open House Ministries and generously donated gifts for the parents and four children selected.

Finance/Law/Community Development Block Grant (CDBG)

Staff from the finance and law departments and CDBG program is currently raising money through auctions and donations for the Clark County Food Bank. Historically, they’ve donated $230.50 (2012) and $387.25 (2011) in cash and about 50 pounds of non-perishable food each year.

Parks & Recreation

The Leupke Senior Center hosted a giving tree to support the “Be Santa to A Senior” program with local non-profits.

Vancouver Fire Department coat drive (Station 2)
Shop with a Cop at the Vancouver Plaza Target
City Manager Eric Holmes, Asst. City Manager Dave Mercier and Parks and Recreation Business Manager Dave Perlick serve Meals on Wheels diners at the Luepke Senior Center
Shop with a Cop at the Vancouver Plaza Target
Toy drive at Lord's Gym
Shop with a Cop at the Vancouver Plaza Target