In three weeks, donations to the Poulsbo Lions Raab Foundation Bellringer Fund total $4,559.
Over $1,500 came in during the third week, after starting out with nearly $3,000 over the first couple weeks.
Last year the Bellringer Fund received over $18,000 in donations that were distributed to Fishline, ShareNet, St. Vincent DePaul at St Olaf’s and Coffee Oasis.
For over 75 years the Poulsbo Lions Club has been helping the community through its Bellringer Fund. The fund is administered by Lions volunteers and without any administration costs are used 100 percent to assist those less fortunate. In recent years the Bellringer Fund and the Lions Club have ceased direct purchases of food and gifts. Instead, donations are distributed to agencies in the community that have the ability to do more with the funds received.
This year the fund is expanding the supported charities to include American Legion Post 245 of Poulsbo, which provides services to veterans of the armed forces in North Kitsap. The group built Veterans Memorial Plaza in Poulsbo and also places wreaths on graves of veterans in local cemeteries.
It also assists veterans and their families; provides scholarships, meal vouchers and gift cards; fixes medical assistance equipment; visits veterans in facilities; and more. With additional funding from the Bellringer Fund, it hopes to also help with short-term financial needs for vets.
Many members of the club are weekly volunteers to charities. For several years the Poulsbo Lions Evening Pride Branch has grown produce in their garden next to the main fire station in Poulsbo. This year the members provided 721 pounds of fresh produce from the garden to ShareNet.
For several years, member Elda Armstrong has provided fresh produce to Fishline and this year provided 596 pounds. For the last few years, members have provided laundry services to the homeless. As an ongoing project, the club provides for sight and hearing services for those who otherwise are unable to provide for themselves.
In the fall each year members of the club go to all of the elementary, preschool and daycare schools, both public and private, and perform sight screening for new students. Dictionaries are provided to students in several elementary schools.
The intersection of Highway 3 and 305 are litter-free thanks to members of the club. Each year the club hosts a Pancake Breakfast and Strawberry Booth during Viking Fest to fund scholarships to North Kitsap students.
The club has been involved in several major projects in the community. The largest project is at Poulsbo Fish Park where boardwalks and viewing platforms were built by Lions members. Club members say that if you walk on wood, they put it there.
Tax-deductible donations can be mailed to: Lions Club Bellringer Fund, P.O. Box 1244, Poulsbo, WA 98370 or via PayPal at poulsbolions.blogspot.com.