Port Townsend, Washington
ECHHO (Ecumenical Christian Helping Hands Organization, secular) is a small non-profit located in Port Townsend, Washington. We provide rides to medical and other essential appointments (1,235 trips @ 78,008 miles driven by our volunteers last year). We live in an area under-served by public transportation and as the "oldest" county in Washington State, have many elders who have no nearby family or others to support them. We also lend free of charge durable medical equipment (2,242 pieces last year, everything from hospital beds to toilet risers, canes, crutches, lift chairs and electric wheelchairs), and our volunteers perform minor household chores and repairs. We have 70 volunteers who provided 3,660 services last year, including errands, delivering food from the food bank to shut-ins and much, much more. Our volunteers worked 4,718 hours last year. ECHHO is well known in the community of East Jefferson County, and is held in both high esteem and tremendous gratitude in our area. The impact of our services here creates both opportunities for volunteers to learn new skills and make new friends, and both volunteers and clients are given an increased sense of participation in a caring, compassionate community. 86% of our support comes from the local community. Because nearly all of our volunteers are retirees and eventually "age out", we always need more volunteers, as well as financial support.
. "I don't know what we would have done without ECHHO! We used your services when our parents moved in with us during their final months, and both my husband and I have borrowed equipment from you."
. "I have multiple serious medical conditions that make it impossible for me to drive. ECHHO drivers take me at least weekly to doctors in Seattle. The drivers are always courteous, on time, and if I need to nap in the car, they quietly accommodate that. I am losing my vision and live alone, and cannot imagine my life now without ECHHO. (From a young man.)
. "Delivering food from the food bank is the highlight of my week! The people are so happy when I go to their homes. Sometimes I get on the floor and play with the dog and the owners love this because they can't do it anymore. I even taught someone's grandson how to ride a bike!" (From a volunteer)
ECHHO helps the elderly, low income and disabled persons of East Jefferson County to live independently in their own homes, regardless of faith, age, ability or income.