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Local Non Profit Provides Solutions for Elderly and Disabled

VANCOUVER, Wash., March 19 /PRNewswire/ -- What happens when you are out in the community serving the elderly and disabled, and you continually see critical needs that are not being met?

That is the question that CDM Services, a local 501(c)(3) non-profit agency, has dared to ask, and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust has helped to answer. The result is the CDM Community Partnership Initiative (CPI), a three-year program that both CDM and the Murdock Trust hope will be ongoing.

"We have been providing in-home services for the elderly and the medically fragile since 1978," says Executive Director Eric Erickson. "That mission feels very good, but it also has its frustrations. One of those is that we see needs that are unmet, needs that fall outside the scope of our funding."

"Every day, in the course of providing home care through state and federal funds, CDM Services encounters needs in our community that cannot be met through traditional tax funded sources," says Board President Saxon Douda-Euliss. "These government funding sources are becoming more restricted all the time."

The Community Partnership Initiative was born of these shrinking resources and the frustration with seeing the elderly and disabled institutionalized when they don't need to be.

CDM received funding for start-up costs from the Murdock Trust in May, and has already addressed many needs in the community through service scholarships, emergency needs, home projects, and expanded services.

One aspect of the Initiative are the Helping Hands community outreach projects, which are a series of volunteer based home improvement projects that began in November 2007.

Four Helping Hands events will be held in 2008, with projects including home winterization, spring cleaning, summer landscaping, and fall repairs. The first 2008 Helping Hands event was held on March 15th, and consisted of two concurrent projects. The first team of volunteers gathered at the home of Marlane, 48, who suffers from the lingering effects of a stroke as well as recent hip replacement surgery. The Tornado that devastated parts of Vancouver destroyed her fence and ravaged her yard. CDM sprung to action, mobilizing a team to repair the fallen fence, remove the yard debris from the tornado, landscape, and spring clean.

The second team of volunteers gathered at the home of Virginia, who at 85 is severely limited. Virginia has a big backyard, but it had become overgrown, and desperately needed a spring clean-up! Virginia loves to relax on her back porch, but was unable, until CDM helped make her yard a place to enjoy once again.

Community support is badly needed for both the CPI as a whole and for the Helping Hands events.

Current corporate sponsors for the Helping Hands events include RSV Construction, Mindful PLLC, Dick Halvorson Associates (Independent Representatives of Primerica Financial Services), Westby Associates Inc, and the Vancouver Business Journal.

"The unmet needs of vulnerable people in your community can only be met through donations from people like you," says Cliff Johnson, Program Manager for the Community Partnership Initiative. "Every dollar you choose to give will be matched by Murdock. The Initiative will work to develop financial support through partnerships with companies, organizations, foundations, and individual donors."

Donations will directly help a person in the community by providing service scholarships, expanded services, including emergency needs, and more Helping Hands events. Previous emergency needs have included replacing locks and funds for a senior whose purse was stolen, providing needed medication after an open-heart surgery, and addressing nutritional needs of children and adults with disabilities and seniors.

For more information about this program contact Cliff Johnson at (360)896-9695, extension 26, or For information about gift programs, or to donate online, please visit our website at

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