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Mayor Tinkerbell

Team Tink
Team Tink

On July 22nd Tinkerbell, representing the Interfaith Council for the Prevention of Homelessness (IFCH) became UnOfficial Mayor of Vashon, having raised over $20,000. It was a journey of love, commitment and passion involving literally hundreds of individuals. The campaign was filled with emotion, desire and perseverance! “Fun-raisers” were held at Palouse Winery, May Kitchen and Bar, Lucy’s Table and even a Pan-Tinkcake Breakfast at the Methodist Church. During this coming year “Team Tink” will continue to raise awareness and funds for this small grassroots non-profit organization. “We have only just begun” as we Islanders really can find solutions to this growing community concern!

The woman behind the Tinkerbell persona is me, Colleen Carette. I have lived on the Island over a dozen years (yes, a newcomer!) with my wife of 26 years, Sue Carette of Windermere. I am a believer in “Think Globally, Act Locally”. Last November I realized I needed to “get into action” within my community!  During the months of campaigning, I spoke at Rotary, Real Estate companies, house parties and held four events attended by 100’s of concerned individuals. Dozens donated their time, their tips, their talents and their passion! I utilized facts and statistics regarding the 77 homeless we currently have on our island, the lack of affordable housing for those at risk for becoming homeless and the growing need of families, elderly and the infirmed who are unable to pay their bills each month. Then I spoke from my heart about those I knew who had told me their stories. Families that were able to stay in their homes as a direct result of receiving IFCH assistance of which, 90% only needed help one time!

I had several motivators pointing me to run with IFCH. When I was a struggling Mom with three sons and a minimum wage job, I was financially helped by a San Diego non-profit. In addition, during my 26 years of sobriety I have personally known dozens of individuals struggling to maintain shelter while attempting sobriety. I also did it because it is the right thing to do. Homelessness is an enormous issue yet it can be prevented by a concerned community - one family at a time. I wanted to be a part of that solution.

I am a new IFCH board member and know that the funds from the unofficial mayoral campaign are being used as they arrived. These monies do make a difference. It made a difference to the family that was going to move into their van to live, it makes a difference to the guy who has lived in a shed for 12 years and is now in an apartment, it made a difference to the 147 individuals assisted last year by this organization. It made a difference to the teenager who asked how he could help and then volunteered to serve dinner to the homeless that night and signed up for every week this year. It made a difference to the cancer survivor who traveled to and from her treatments by offsetting the ferry costs.

All donors of time and money make a difference and become “part of the solution”. Please consider contributing to the solution. VashonTink.com or ifchvashon.org