The Queen Anne Helpline wants to help area residents give the perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

We are asking people to donate in honor of someone they care about who inspires them,” said Cara Lauer, executive director of Queen Anne Helpline, adding that the organization will then give a Valentine’s Day card to the person in whose honor the donation was made.

People often donate in honor of neighbors that they feel like are really the glue that keep their neighborhood together,” Lauer said. “We play a part in that as well. People [donate as] supporters of the helpline and what we are working toward in general, but also in honor of someone who creates a more loving, caring community.”

Folks can even receive Valentine’s Day cards into March, if supplies are available, Lauer said.

I don’t think anyone would be offended by getting a Valentine in March,” she said.

While the promotion is geared toward cash donations, in-kind donations will also be accepted.

We would be happy to send a card if someone wants to bring clothing or food or hygiene items and asks us to honor someone… that’s great,” Lauer said.

She said the Queen Anne Helpline wants to be a hub of creating a culture where people support one another, where people are invested in the wellbeing of the greater community.

Around since 1982, Queen Anne Helpline has always used a neighbors-helping-neighbors model, but Lauer said the Valentine’s Day cards can help people who are feeling isolated find that spark of community that they may need.

People are looking for ways… to connect with one another one-on-one, and to connect with one another through local organizations like the helpline,” she said. “Even to add a little bit of love, or humor or lightness to the day-to-day grind that folks are working through.

While some people are critical of Valentine’s Day, calling it a Hallmark Holiday, Lauer said that it’s always a good time to tell people they are loved and to invest in community.

The Helpline will accept these donations in order to run all the services it offers to people in need.

There are a lot of people in this area, contrary to popular belief, that are struggling to keep their heads above water, to keep financially afloat and to maintain stable housing,” Lauer said. “And that’s part of the work that we do — to prevent homelessness.”

She said that Queen Anne Helpline often becomes the place where people go to or call when they have a loss of resources, with no one else to turn to.

The Helpline offers both financial support and other supportive services.

For those in zip codes 98109, 98119 and 98199, the Helpline can offer its financial support by paying rent, utilities and move-in costs directly to landlords or utility companies when people are at risk of losing housing, or getting the lights shut off.

Once people have established that they live in one of those zip codes they meet one-on-one with a program manager who conducts an interview to see if the client’s situation warrants financial aid.

That can be a job loss or medical emergency,” Lauer said. “In terms of move-in, it can be expensive to move. It can be hard to leave a bad situation, and it can be hard to get… something like that security deposit or last month’s rent.”

Everything that’s not financial help is called supportive services. That can be clothing, food, hygiene products, bus tickets, or referrals to other places to seek support.

I think people really like visiting us,” Lauer said. “We have kind of a warm, welcoming atmosphere. We encourage people to make appointments, and we hold half-an-hour appointments on the days that we’re open, between 10 and three. So people have enough time to access everything, to take advantage of everything that we can do to get people to a stable place.”

The supportive services are accessible from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 311 W. McGraw St., in Queen Anne.

Everyone who needs the services are qualified to make use of them.

People can take three buses to come here because they know that it’s part of maintaining their budget,” Lauer said. “Supportive services are open to clients every 30 days, so we do have some clients who come on a regular basis because they are on a fixed income through disability payments or other sources.”

People are able to budget and make end meet with Queen Anne Helpline as part of the equation.

The supportive services offer an extensive mens’s and women’s clothing bank as well as linens and backpacks and things that get bundled into that group.

The helpline is not a full-scale food bank, but it offers a day’s worth of healthy food that people can access — either a family bag of food, or an individual bag. There are also snack bags available for those that don’t have access to a kitchen.

Helpline… is about human potential,” Lauer said. “We believe that everybody has something to give and everybody needs support in certain ways. So we are kind of a community hub for people who are donors and volunteers as well as people who are in a place where they need to ask their community for some help.”

To get involved, call 206-282-1540.