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Islanders in need can help themselves to PPE and warm winter gear at OCRC’s new walk-up window.

Take a look at OCRC’s new client reception/Coates’ Cabinet office

  • Mon Feb 15th, 2021 1:30am
  • Life

Submitted by The Orcas Community Resource Center.

The Orcas Community Resource Center (OCRC) is now open for limited in-office hours in their newly established client reception/Coates’ Cabinet space facing North Beach Road. OCRC moved into the previously occupied Apothecary space when it became available during the first COVID lockdown. “We’ve been eager to open our doors for some time now, but the pandemic necessitated remote service,” said Erin O’Dell, OCRC’s Executive Director.

2020 was a busy year for the Orcas Community Resource Center. 1,312 clients and 723 households were served with 14,156 services, more than doubling OCRC’s 2019 totals. 1,480 services were for the Coates’ Cabinet. “Our scope and clientele has grown tremendously during this pandemic, so it made sense to expand our footprint to accommodate more traffic and Coates’ Cabinet inventory,” said O’Dell. Current office hours are Monday through Friday, from 10am until 2pm, with COVID safety protocols in place. The Orcas Community Resource Center continues to serve the community remotely outside of those hours.

Megan Ehrmantraut, Community Support Assistant at OCRC ,had this to say: “If you are a client of OCRC, please feel free to stop by during the above office hours for our Coffee Care service. We offer hot coffee and tea or oatmeal if you find yourself in need of a warm-up. We look forward to seeing familiar faces again soon!” Meg can often be found in OCRC’s new front office space, answering phones, assisting community members in need with their intake process, and helping clients at the new walk-up window service. Baskets of PPE and winter gloves are placed on the front window shelf. Stop by and pick some up if you are in need!

The Coates’ Cabinet program is now administered in OCRC’s new front office space, and is fully stocked with lots of household essentials. Their winter coat rack is flush with men’s and women’s coats in a range of colors, styles and sizes. New and welcome additions to Coates’ Cabinet include warm winter socks and gloves, and hygienic personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks for adults and children, face shields, and hygienic gloves. Coates’ Cabinet is still held on the first and third Tuesday of the month, with bags ready for pick up from 3-5pm. Clients may sign up for one pickup per month, and may request 5 items per household, with one more item for each additional household member. New clients should fill out an intake form, available on OCRC’s website and at the new client reception/Coates’ Cabinet space. Clients are asked to send a list of items for inclusion in their Coates’ Cabinet bags no later than noon on the first and third Monday of the month. A bilingual current inventory list can be found on their website. “This program is so important to our community,” said Holly Southern, Programs Administrator. “Essential household items like toilet paper, paper towels and laundry detergent can take a big chunk out of an already stretched budget. It’s a pleasure to prepare these bags each month – our clients are so appreciative.”

Orcas Community Resource Center was able to expand its footprint and Coates’ Cabinet inventory due to generous grants from the Coates Foundation, Orcas Island Community Foundation (OICF), and hundreds of individual donors. OICF and Norman and Robin Coates are big supporters of OCRC. They saw a need in the community and stepped up to fill that gap. Orcas Community Resource Center wants to extend a huge ‘Thank you!’ to all involved for their compassionate support in helping to keep our community warm, dry, and safe throughout these colder winter months.

If you, or someone you know, is in need of a warm winter coat, a cozy pair of socks, PPE for protection from COVID, or other household supplies, please reach out to the kind staff at OCRC. They’ll be happy to assist you. Our island is safer when ALL of our islanders are cared for.

The Orcas Community Resource Center provides social services to Orcas Islanders in need. Like us on Facebook (, or check for updates. For more information, email or call 360-376-3184.


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Holly highlighting OCRC’s new window service, seen from North Beach Road.

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Meg lights up OCRC’s new front office space.

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