SPiN still needs you

by Tom Saunders, SPiN Board member

SPiN Cafe 2021 is a success story in rebranding and building a successful organization which has gained the trust and support from local government agencies, businesses and many individuals on Whidbey Island.

We are proud to say that the issues we faced in 2019 are long gone and we are a proud organization of 5 individuals on payroll together with over 30 volunteers, an Executive Director and a volunteer Board of Directors who are all committed to our mission. 

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Be a Spreader!

SPiN Cafe superspreaders Carol and Bob Wall have a message for all of us.

Catch some kindness … and be a super spreader!

To celebrate Valentine’s Day, please join SPiN Cafe and spread kindness in our community.

“Kindness is Contagious” yard signs will be available beginning Thursday, February 4, at the Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce, 32630 Hwy 20.

Make a Kindness is Contagious gift to SPiN Cafe. Suggested donation: $25. Funds will be used to bring kindness and dignity to our SPiN Cafe guests, the most vulnerable among us.

You can also email spincafeoh@gmail.com or call 360-682-5949 and we’ll get a sign to you.

At SPiN, it is our hope that you will help spread kindness in our world.

Community grants help SPiN serve neighbors

Thank you Safeway for your support of our Whidbey Island community.

In some good news amidst uncertain times, SPiN Cafe received grants last month that will go far in support of our service to the Whidbey Island community.

SPiN received $5,000 from the Safeway – Nourishing Neighbors Community Relief fund. We got this wonderful news on July 27 from Sara Osborne, Safeway’s Director of External Affairs.

Asked for a reaction, SPiN Executive Director Tom Saunders said the grant will help cover the additional overhead and meal costs brought about due to Covid-19. The grant is “very important to the survival of SPiN Cafe,” Saunders said, “as we have seen a decline in regular donations since March.”

To help in the interim, Island County has also chipped in with a $8,750 grant under the federal CARES Act for social service organizations affected by COVID-19. This was a huge help and was specifically allocated for groups like SPiN who have seen support decline in the pandemic.

“Given the totality of what everyone is facing,” says Saunders, “it is understandable that so many are being prudent with their finances just as we are at SPiN Cafe. We are very fortunate to have so many volunteers involved with making sandwiches and assembling the sack meals for distribution each week since March 17th.”

While volunteers make us successful and keep our costs down, there are still very real expenses in providing meals – now seven days a week, averaging nearly thirty a day – to our neighbors. Thank you to Safeway, and to the people of Island County, for your support.

Generosity supports SPiN work

The generous resources of our Oak Harbor community have yielded help for those in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Through the Evangelical Lutheran Churches in America Daily Bread Grant program, SPiN Cafe recently received nearly $3000 from members of our community and a $500 direct grant from the ELCA Hunger Program.

SPiN volunteer Paula Mihok keeps safe, and provides hand-sewn masks for our guests. Thank you Paula!

The ELCA grant was offered to help local congregations work with feeding ministries they support. SPiN worked through Oak Harbor Lutheran Church and received help in raising funds from many churches and groups in the community. 

Meanwhile the Whidbey Community Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Resilience Fund Grant brought us an additional $2500. This fund was started by WCF in March, and, through the generosity and support of the Island community and beyond, WCF has raised over $160,000 for this Fund.

These funds will help us continue serving sack lunches, and extend the service days. It is our hope to soon be serving seven days a week.

Every dollar helps! If you’d like to help us continue this vital service, please go to SPiN’s Donation Page to contribute.

Thank you to ELCA, WCF, and so many members of our community who have shown your love and caring for your neighbors. You are actually saving lives.

Don’t they believe in angels?

Y’know Clarence… maybe you shouldn’t talk about angels around here…

Over seventy years ago, Frank Capra tossed that question at George Bailey in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” George brushed it aside, embarrassed, with a “sure, they believe in angels…” and Clarence shot back:

“Then why should they be surprised when they see one?”

Aren’t we all a little bit that way? We believe there’s good out there, we believe someone’s watching out for us, for our friends, for our neighbors, but when we’re actually faced with a shining example, we find ourselves disbelieving.

SPiN is blessed with angels all around our community, but unlike Clarence, there are two in particular who roll their eyes at these heavenly thoughts. Then of course they go on joyfully about the hard work of being angels.

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