The newspaper really can make a difference, as families at Pioneer House now know.
Dr. Alan Carnahan of the Safe Harbor Pediatrics Rural Clinic in Warrenton donated his health care services to children living in Pioneer House after reading an article about the shelter in The Daily Astorian Aug. 26.
He and his wife, Tami, were concerned that the children living there weren't getting the proper medical attention they needed. With cold and flu season coming, the Carnahans were worried that children and infants might contract RSV, a respiratory virus, strep throat or the flu and parents might not be able to treat them.
Untreated, these illnesses can cause heart disease or death in children. They immediately called and proposed their idea to Caron Hart, the executive director of Pioneer House.
"Anyone who donates that sort of stuff in the community ... has really stepped up to the plate," Hart said. "It's exciting to be able to call and say, 'we've got a child who needs antibiotics.'"
Dr. Carnahan can see patients at his office, at 429 S.E. Marlin Ave., Suite C in Warrenton, or, if the patients can't get there, he has offered to come to Pioneer House to perform exams, administer vaccinations or whatever else is needed.
Hart is excited that the Carnahans donated the services and hopes that the residents gain a better understanding and working relationship with medical personnel. She said she hopes families and children learn how to better care for themselves, even when living situations are unsatisfactory.
"I think we can expedite some medical care and prevent things from happening (like lice), so if we can get a little faster on the ball with preventative stuff and educational stuff, that would be good," Hart said.
"After we get a doctor on board, we want a dentist and then a philanthropist," Hart continued, laughing.
Pioneer House is a nonprofit, three-day emergency shelter and home to families who are trying to get back on their feet. It is the only shelter in the area to serve children.
Donations can be brought to Pioneer House at 76 West Bond St., Astoria. For more information, call 325-5510.