My family is from the Oso community. My cousins have been among the many volunteers on the ground doing an amazing work. Being “locals,” their understanding of the area has been absolutely critical to the relief efforts. Their knowledge of the location and usability of back roads, the location of heavy equipment and where to find local resources, like gravel, is invaluable. I have cheered them on and checked in every day. I have listened to the stories and hardships—it is heart-wrenching.
The news is doing a good job of not over-sensationalizing this event because it really is as bad, and might be even worse, than reported. I have worked on many disaster sites and led a few teams, but I have never seen devastation like this before. The loss of life and the magnitude of the slide and its location have created a very challenging rescue and recovery operation.
I am heartened by the efforts of the Oso, Arlington and Darrington communities and the work of Snohomish County, the State and the Federal response teams. We are at the point where large sums of money are being donated and used to stabilize the situation and lots of government agencies and large non-profits are in full support mode and using their expertise to help these communities. Although this outpouring of giving and help is incredible, from my past experience during and after disaster responses, it usually wanes fairly quickly, but the physical, emotional and financial impact will continue for those rebuilding their lives. It is a part of human nature to rally our efforts at a time like this, but these efforts are hard to sustain long-term.
So here is what I am proposing:
The Klesick Family Farm would like to engage in the disaster relief for the long haul. I have budgeted $1,000/month to help put families back on the ground. We will be working with local community churches that are nimble and able to quickly get resources to the impacted families.
Like us, many of you have already donated –thank you. However, I would ask you to consider partnering with us for the long haul and setting up a recurring tax-deductible donation on your account. Imagine if half of our customers added an extra $1 per delivery—we could raise $3,500 per month to extend hope to our neighbors in Oso and Darrington.
How to Help the Oso & Darrington Communities
- Give through Klesick Family Farm: Give your charitable contribution through Klesick Family Farm and we will get it into the hands of the locals. You can either make a one-time donation or add the donation as a recurring item to your regular produce delivery. Recurring donations will be scheduled to terminate at the end of June or sooner if you’d prefer. 100% of donations will go local community churches and other non-profit organizations to directly help families who have been most impacted. Donations are tax-deductible. Donors will receive a tax statement at the end of the year. Please visit our website to donate.
- Red Cross of Snohomish County: If you wish to help victims of the Oso mudslide, cash donations are preferred. The American Red Cross is no longer collecting items. Go to the Red Cross of Snohomish County at www.redcross.org/snoco to donate. People can also text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
- Darrington Community Center: The Darrington Community Center welcomes any donations brought into the center, which is located at 570 Sauk Ave. 360-436-1217.
- Check with your local bank, as many have set up accounts to donate toward the relief effort.
Thank you for your generous outpouring.