Hoq Elks donation

One day after the fire on Wednesday, Sept. 14, that displaced 77 residents from Montesano Health and Rehabilitation Center, a local community organization started offering a helping hand.

Hoquiam Elks Lodge 1082 is providing a donation site for people who want to help send clothes, slippers, pajamas and similar items to the residents. Cash donations are accepted too, according to Bob Hansen, exalted ruler of the Hoquiam Elks Lodge. Gift cards are also accepted.

Hansen said he and JoAnn Copeland brought up the need to help the nursing home when they heard about the fire.

“People lost everything and some of them don’t have family,” Hansen said.

It sounds as though Hansen and Copeland just wanted to help.

“We said, ‘Hey, we can’t let this happen,’” Copeland said. “We are an organization that gives back to the community. We need to do something.”

And now, the community is helping do the same.

“We have quite a bit of stuff already donated,” Hansen said.

So far, according to Hansen, wheelchairs, walkers, canes and hospital beds have been donated to the Hoquiam Elks Lodge.

“The community is quite generous,” Hansen said.

Hansen said the Hoquiam Elks Lodge supports its community.

The first part of the Elks mission is to “inculcate the principles of charity, justice, brotherly love and fidelity,” which means the folks in Hoquiam are practicing what they preach.

The Elks Lodge has also donated $500 for the cause.

“We help a lot of places,” Hansen said. “(Then) this came along and we stepped up and we’re glad to help.”

Copeland said hearing about the fire was “very devastating.”

“I had a lady who comes to our Friday night bingo call me from the fire,” Copeland said. “And (she) asked if we would be able to donate water, or anything right away.”

Then Copeland spoke to the Elks board of directors and asked “Why can’t we have this as a dropbox location for people who live in the area and don’t have a place to put (donations?)”

Copeland then announced at Friday night bingo that the Elks Lodge would be a donation site, and the donations started right after.

“(Then) a gentleman gave me a $5 donation right off the bat, which was really nice,” Copeland said. “A lot of those people don’t have a lot of money.”

According to Copeland, donations have been “pouring in.”

“Bob (Hansen) and I both offered to go pick stuff up for people if they couldn’t make it in,” Copeland said. “Right now, our fireside room is pretty full.”

On Tuesday afternoon, Copeland said there had been “such a massive over-pour” of donations that the donation window will close at 6 p.m. on Saturday. Copeland said if people still want to donate through the Elks Lodge, she’ll make sure the donations go to the appropriate beneficiary.

Copeland said she doesn’t know the amount in monetary donations the lodge has received because she hasn’t looked at them yet, adding those types of donations are still coming in.

In addition to the Elks Lodge, Aberdeen Community Clothing Bank and the Labor of Love Clothing Bank in Elma are also providing donations.

Aberdeen Community Clothing Bank — 301 N. G St., — is open Monday through Thursday. The hours are below:

• Monday — 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m.

• Tuesday — 9:30 a.m.-11:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

• Wednesday — 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

• Thursday — 9:30-11:45 a.m.

Labor of Love Clothing Bank — 207 N. 3rd St., Elma — is open Tuesday and Thursday. The hours are from 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday.