Upper County Christmas Baskets – Apply starting Oct. 17, 2018

christmas-is-sayingThe Upper Kittitas County Senior Center wants to help make Christmas brighter for families in the Upper County, again this year.

If your family, or someone you know, needs a little extra help during Christmas, please come in / have them come in and fill out an application starting Wednesday, Oct. 17th. Applicants will need to ask for Susan. The last day for submitting applications for the 2018 distribution will be Friday, Dec. 7th (earlier applications appreciated to help us out with processing and planning amounts of items needed). The Giveaway will be Friday, Dec. 14th.

Our Christmas Baskets Program does this in special 2 ways:

  1. For recipients, the generosity of caring local people helping local families in need means filling meals for Christmas Dinner and beyond, all in a dignified anonymous way.
  2. For donors it is a convenient, well-organized way to maximize your holiday giving and ensure that it gets to LOCAL families who will appreciate the assistance. Donate money, canned food (non-expired only please) and/or “adopt a family”. See details below.


Everything you need to know to sign up or contribute

(Contains excerpts of an article by Erik Pague published in the local newspaper, the Northern Kittitas County Tribune, updated for 2018.)

The Holiday Giving Program coordinated by the Putnam Centennial Center, made possible by the generosity of community members, will be accepting nominations for Christmas Baskets to give out in time for Christmas beginning Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018.

Center director Susan Klein said applications will be available at the center and accepted no later than Friday, Dec. 7th, but that it’s a great idea to apply early. The center is at 719 E. 3rd St. in Cle Elum and can be contacted at 509-674-7530. Klein is available to help with the applications Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“It’s just to help anyone in the community that needs help for Christmas,” Klein explained. “They get Christmas dinner and they get extra food that will probably last them a week.

“[in 2016] we had about 150 families and each year it seems to grow. We never turn anybody down.”

The food baskets contain items like potatoes, eggs, milk, canned fruits and vegetables, spaghetti and sauce and a gift certificate to purchase groceries – like a holiday ham or turkey – at a store.

For families looking to apply

Starting on Wednesday Oct. 17, 2018, families can visit the center and fill out an application. The forms remain anonymous except for when Klein reviews them to make sure the right food baskets are given to the right families.

The form asks how many members are in the family and has a section to request gifts for children between the ages of infant and 17-years-old. Only one item per child should be listed and it’s suggested that it be an item that is a “need” or a “wish.” Expensive items or high tech items like game consoles, tablets or iPhones will not be eligible. Clothing wishes should specify the item, size and preferred color.

Once all the items are collected, families will need to return to the center on FRIDAY, DEC. 14, 2018 between 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Only very specific circumstances will be considered in having the center deliver donations to families that day.

Helping in other ways

Money donations will also be accepted to help cover costs the Centennial Center bears in purchasing food for the baskets. Canned food (non-expired please) donations accepted. There’s also an option for a generous person, business or club to adopt an entire family to purchase all the gifts and food to cover them.

Klein said volunteers to help load up boxes on the distribution day wouldn’t be necessary.

The center also partners with the KXLE radio station to put on a penny drive. Penny containers will be set up in businesses around the area starting the first week of November. Funds raised stay within the upper county.

Side Note: Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

The Putnam Centennial Center is hosting a free Community Thanksgiving Dinner on Wednesday, Nov. 23, from noon to 2 p.m. (2018 date and time tba) The dinner is open to anyone in the community.

Post expires at 1:00am on Tuesday December 18th, 2018

2 New Computers for the Center Use and 2 Showers for the Emergency Shelter

Thank You to the Suncadia Community Enhancement Fund!

A big thank you to Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement for funding two grant requests for the Upper Kittitas County Senior Center.

The first one was for 2 new computers and the second one is for 2 showers.

Since we are the Upper County Shelter, it will be a huge plus to have showers, should the need arise for us to open as a emergency shelter. The showers have been ordered and before long will be in place.

Our 2 new computers are here and what a difference it has made. Our other computers were very old and sometimes would not work at all.

Thank you so much to Suncadia Fund For Community Enhancement.

Join Us in Celebrating a Renewable Energy Partnership

Please join Upper Kittitas County Senior Center at the dedication celebration for the newly installed solar panels that are generating electricity for the facility.

When: Wednesday, July 18, 2018 – 10am-11:30am

  • 10am Program begins
  • 10:30 am Reception and Facility Tours
  • 11:30 am Conclusion

Where: Upper Kittitas County Senior Center – 719 E 3rd St., Cle Elum, WA 98922

RSVP: Please respond to Adam Crawford at adam.crawford@pse.com on or before Wednesday, July 11

The Upper Kittitas County Senior Center’s mission is to enhance the physical, emotional and economic well-being of seniors’ lives in Kittitas County; and serves as an emergency shelter. The 18 kilowatt solar project is expected to save the organization approximately $3,700 each year.

“We appreciate the Puget Sound Energy grant,” said Upper Kittitas County Senior Center President Susan Klein. “It means a lot for our center and our community. Solar panels will help with our energy costs and will definitely be a plus for the Center.”

Dishwasher Replaced by Grant from Suncadia Fund

The new Hobart dishwasher, fully installed and functioning. (Photo by Frank Schuchman.)

A grant from the Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement has allowed us to replace the old dishwasher with a new one. It has been installed, and should last for many years to come. “Thank you to Bob Spaulding, one of our members, for all his work writing this grant,” said UKCSC President Susan Klein. The Center also thanks the Suncadia Fund for Community Enhancement for this generous grant.

On Friday January 12, 2018, workers begin installation of the new Hobart dishwasher in the Centennial Center kitchen. (Photo by Frank Schuchman)

Center Receives PSE Grant for Solar Panels

The Upper Kittitas County Senior Center has received a grant from Puget Sound Energy (PSE) for solar panels for the Putnam Centennial Center. They are slated to be installed mid April 2018. Wray Electric from Ellensburg was selected as the contractor for this installation. Center President Susan Klein said, “Thank you to Puget Sound Energy who has always been supportive of the Center and we appreciate it very much.”

Lunch delivered to CLE ELUM BUSINESSES on Wednesdays AND Thursdays!

If you are a Cle Elum business and would like a great lunch delivered to you on Wednesday’s OR Thursdays just give the Center a call. Call us at (509) 674-7530 on Tuesday for Wednesday or Wednesday for Thursday, and our Sunshine Desk will give you the menu and lunch will be delivered to you on Wednesday or Thursday. Lunch is just $6.00 each.