COVID-19, the pandemic, by whatever name applied, people want and need to know what’s going on with the virus in order to stay safe and healthy. Depending on how much we can personally handle, that may mean ‘what’s going on’ in our own localities or ‘what’s going on’ in the world at large. Thankfully, available to balance out the heavy-duty information are the cute pet videos, and the items and stories of people helping people that crack open our hearts, and may even surprise us with spontaneous tears.

There are many communities, and a wealth of stories about people making a difference in the lives of others along the Kitsap Peninsula. Chief among them is that we humans, unless we’re meditating somewhere in a mountain cave, must have food on a regular basis. And those whose business is preparing and serving food, businesses large and small, from fast food service to leisurely dining experiences, hope to come out the other end of this current situation intact. Their immediate goals are to keep their workers employed and make a positive difference to those in need. By adopting out-of-the-box thinking, and stepping forward with those seed ideas, while at the same time staying open and flexible to what turns up, they’re creating positive changes!

The Kingston Ale House is a great example of thoughtful action by owners, Kim and Tony Clark, (Kim is pictured above with their executive chef, Andy Bynum) after brainstorming with their staff. Their mission is to help out families that are financially impacted by the recent business closures due to the world-wide health crisis.

Sequence of events:

  • The week before Governor Inslee's directive to temporarily close dine-in and other related establishments, the Kingston Ale House realized that restaurant closures would soon be a reality and began to pivot towards delivery. This meant being ready to provide their regular menu meals via delivery and pickup when restaurants had to close their doors.
  • Realizing that many people would lose their jobs, and kids being out of school could mean loss of meal support from that source, they decided to donate kids’ meals for free (so far 500 served). When the community heard about it they stepped up with donations of both money and food to help that effort. This helped enable Kingston Ale House to go a step further and provide family meals that could feed up to 4 persons at reduced prices, and to date 43 for free.
  • Realizing how the community wanted to support their efforts, on March 18th, 2020, they set up a GoFundMe page titled "Food for Thought - Helping Our Kingston Family" with an initial goal of $5,000. That goal was met within roughly three days, so they upped it to $10,000 which was reached in a little over a week. They’ve now reached almost $15,000. These funds are used solely for free grocery care packages for those families in need (so far 170 care packages have been provided).
Kim Clark holds a few of the over 200 Idahoan mashed potato packets donated by a local resident. Boxes of donations from residents and businesses have turned the Kingston Ale House's dining area into a giant pantry! Businesses that have provided various support include: Cookie Creations, Port Gamble Store, Little City Candy, Thistle Floral and Home, Sweet Briar Mobile Grooming, Bridge 2 Bridge Beverages, Geissler Repair Services Unlimited, Chef Petra Velie and golf pro David Tunkkari of Bainbridge Island's Meadowmeer Golf & Country Club, as well as a number of generous folks at Amazon Web Services.
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Importantly, the Kingston Ale House wants to identify and add families in need to their list. Please contact them by phone: (360) 881-0412 or (425) 348-8664 or find them on Facebook and Instagram where they give a shout out to all the other folks who have donated goods and services to the mission. People are so innovative about knowing how to help! 

Kitsap Culture is taking this opportunity to unabashedly ride on the coat tails of David Nelson, Editor of the Kitsap Sun, per his Sunday April 5th opinion piece. He writes that the nonprofit organizations, as well as small businesses, are suffering in our towns right now. In his column, he reminds us of a one day online fundraising event that will take place on Tuesday, April 21st. This is the Kitsap Great Give, a drive that supports more than 300 nonprofit organizations in the county and North Mason. For more information please visit the Kitsap Great Give.

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Experience Kitsap focuses on anything of cultural interest within the Kitsap region.

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