WHO Newsletter | March 2019

Honoring A Life that Truly Made a Difference: Pastor James Stender
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
—Romans 8:28

It is with great sorrow and regret that we share the sad news that Pastor Jim Stender passed away on February 8. It is hard to put into words the shock and loss all of us at WHO are feeling. Pastor Jim was the rock and spiritual leader for WHO as well as pastor of St. Andrew Lutheran Church. He was instrumental in the creation of, and oversight for, the Winter Hospitality Overflow homeless program. His commitment to the WHO was unwavering for 16 years.

Jim was fond of telling the story of the first WHO kick-off meeting. Members from faith-based communities met with Jim and staff from Share, including Amy Reynolds. Jim and Amy were up front, fielding questions when members of the audience started to pledge thousands of dollars on behalf of their
congregations. While Amy had never had an experience where person after person offered up money without being asked, Jim just turned to her and said, “This happens here.” It was a miracle he was familiar with, because he inspired those around him to be the miracle workers he knew they all could be—he inspired people to be their best. Jim had an awareness of God that exists in every day life, in every action or event.

Jim described WHO as a three-legged stool between the faith communities, the Council for the Homeless and Share. He believed strongly in the value of partnership, the compassion and expertise brought by each group, and that the stool just couldn’t work without each of the legs.

Jim spent his career the way he lived his life. Being abundant in his generosity. Inspiring others to be equally generous. Encouraging everyone to keep going. And to keep being a kind and caring person every day. His legacy of good deeds and hope are a challenge for all of us to live up to.

Please pray for comfort and guidance for the Stenders as we remember the words of Psalm 46:1, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

February was a month filled with generosity…

  • Many, many thanks to Church of Christ volunteers. This incredible group always gives St. Andrew Lutheran Church the perfect mid-season clean!!! Our counters, closets, fridges, and kitchen sparkle. Thank you Diane, Beth and Billy for bringing such an outstanding team.
  • Oh, the February weather outside was frightful!! We fight to keep the drafts out, but when you are only 2 inches off the floor, another blanket is a bonus. Thanks to Jana for delivering a half dozen soft, warm, cuddly blankets.
  • Grateful to the many hands and hearts that served at the St. Paul WHO in Feburary, including Salmon Creek United Methodist Church, Camas Friends Church, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church. Thank you very much!
  • There are so many unseen delights when you spend time with homeless people. The chalk art of the residents at St. Paul WHO is just amazing. “Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”—Camille Pissarro

Click here to download a PDF of the March 2019 newsletter.

WHO Newsletter | February 2019

It was a full house—327 guests—for the annual WHO Winds & Strings Celtic Bank Benefit Concert. The music was inspiring. The public generosity amazing. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard and gave so willingly to help WHO thrive. Your total financial generosity came to $6600! That is a blessing beyond measure.We say it often, and mean it every time: We Couldn’t Do It Without You!

Spotlight on Volunteers: These two generous people, Gail and Kevin, of New Heights Church, have come into the St. Andrew Lutheran WHO every Friday morning for the past two seasons, bringing with them a hot breakfast. On January 25, it was scrambled eggs, sausages, biscuits and muffins. Guests were gobbling it down. Such a great change from cold cereal. They also regularly bring needed items like plastic bags, ponchos, etc for the guests. Gail and Kevin—thank you from all of us at WHO!

A BIG ‘Thank you’ to Clark College students for volunteering their time at the St. Paul WHO in late January. They rolled up their sleeves, scrubbing and cleaning. The site is sparkling from their amazing work!

WHO Newsletter | January 2019

Christmas at the St. Paul WHO was a wonderful melting of old friends and new. For the past several years, our wonderful friends at Congregation Kol Ami have taken the helm of the St. Paul shelter during the Christmas season. This is a beautiful gift to our volunteers from other faiths. We appreciate it so much. Our new friends, whom we look forward to continuing to connect with, come from Ontario Systems LLC. Heather Scukanec headed up a team of elves, Eddie & Kelly Mendenhall and Brenna Daughtery to build giant stockings for  the men to carry necessities with them. Such a perfect treat.

At the St. Andrew WHO, Christmas was truly remarkable. From the beauty of the St. Andrew services heard through out the building, to the amazing generosity of churches, volunteers and community support our guests were blessed. Special thanks to the volunteer crews from Members and Friends of the Vancouver Washington Stake, to the Danielle Garner family who provided the stockings for the second year in a row, and to the volunteer elves who put everything together for the guests.

Spotlight on Volunteers! For December, we would like to thank Andrea B. who has been a part of WHO for ages. She gets up every Thursday morning, before 6 a.m., and comes in to volunteer. She is a pro and really helps all the other volunteers when they are covering the bleary-eyed early morning shift. Thank you, Andrea!

One of the coolest parts of the WHO experience are all the generous teens that come to serve the homeless. On Dec. 19, the entire La Center High School basketball team served at St. Paul. They played games with the guests, helped in the kitchen and visited with the men. Awesome stuff. Go Wildcats!!

Click here to download a PDF of the January 2019 newsletter.

WHO Newsletter | December 2018

We are extremely blessed by the support of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, who in Nov. hosted their 20th choir concert fundraiser for charity. For 15 of those 20 years, the collected funds have been donated to WHO and this year’s offering was nearly $8,000! The WHO will use this generosity with great care, as they always have. Thank you to everyone who created, donated, and participated in this event.

A double-dipper of donation generosity! On Nov. 17, the Sunshine Division of Portland pulled up in a huge truck bringing pallets of food related items for WHO. This is our first time partnering with this group. We are grateful for this new opportunity!

Spotlight on Volunteers:
Our monthly newsletter has a new feature: Volunteer(s) of the month! For December, we would like to thank Sandy Erickson (left) and Linda Harris (right), who have volunteered for WHO for the past 16 years.

-We have a scad of different nicknames for our extra volunteers. “Filler-Inners”, “Singlets”, “Indie-Volunteers”—whatever we call them, their gift is the same. They fill in when we have holes in the schedule and are invaluable to our organization. To every one of them we say: ‘Thanks!’

Would you like to host a drive for WHO? Contact Jane Seidel, WHO Donations Coordinator, at for suggested items

Click here to download a PDF of the December 2018 newsletter.

WHO Newsletter | November 2018

Applebee’s Flapjack Fun-draiser! So many wonderful friends joined us, in fact 345 people supported us at 3 locations: Mill Plain, 112th and Hazel Dell. Donations totaled over $7,000! Multiple churches served the guests, sold tickets, and made this possible. Tons of fun—we can’t say “Thank You” enough for all the generosity that came our way!

WHO thrives because of the generosity of others. Last year, a volunteer noticed how difficult it was for the men of St. Paul Vancouver to climb up and down on the floor to sleep and get up daily. Inspired to action, she took up a collection and ordered 25 new cots for the facility. The stack of Amazon boxes arrived in late October, just days before the new mats, which were purchased by a grant from Council for the Homeless and the Ed & Dollie Lynch foundation. You can help, too! WHO St. Paul needs twin sheet sets and twin comforters for the new mats.

So blessed by the generosity of the Women of Bethel Lutheran Church and other congregations whose “Who Is My Neighbor?” conference was full of love, support and all these supplies for WHO. What a way to start our 16th Season!

You Can Host a Drive!

  • Supplies: Disinfectant wipes, windex, plates, bowls, and cups (350), napkins, sandwich bags, brown paper lunch sacks, paper towels and toilet paper and large black garbage bags.
  • Groceries: Koolaid, cups of soup or mac ‘n’ cheese, 5 loaves of bread per day, meat and cheese, peanut butter, jelly, lunch size bags of chips, fruit snacks or fruit cups, cookies, cereal, milk, fresh fruit, juice and baked goods.
  • Hygiene items: Toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, unscented small soaps, body lotion, hand cream, deodorant, diapers and feminine products.

Click here to download a PDF of the November 2018 newsletter.

WHO Newsletter Archive:

March 2018 Issue of WHO Newsletter
February 2018 Issue of WHO Newsletter
January 2018 Issue of WHO Newsletter
December 2017 Issue of WHO Newsletter

November 2017 Issue of WHO Newsletter
October 2017 Issue of WHO Newsletter


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