The following information is provided by

Below is a list of verified ways to help those affected by the Oso mudslide. Be careful if you are approached to give money to organizations you haven’t heard of. State officials warn that scam artists might try to take advantage of the situation by posing as legitimate charities. The Secretary of State has more advice on donating wisely on its website; the governor’s website also has information about this and much more.

Where to donate

  • Red Cross: If you wish to help victims of the Oso mudslide, cash donations are preferred. The American Red Cross is no longer collecting items. Go to the Red Cross of Snohomish County at to donate. People also can text “RedCross” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
  • United Way has established a community-wide recovery fund to assist those affected by the mudslide. Information on how to donate is at Checks may be sent to: United Way of Snohomish County, Attn: Finance Dept., 3120 McDougall Ave., Ste. 200, Everett, WA 98201.
  • The Salvation Army is collecting donations for local disaster relief efforts. Donate by phone at 800-725-2769, online at or by mail to the Salvation Army, Northwest Divisional Headquarters, 111 Queen Anne Avenue N. #300, Seattle, WA, 98109. Designate your gift as “disaster relief.”
  • The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is a local organization that is giving 100 percent of donations directly to those affected. The Cascade Valley Hospital in Arlington treated several victims in the aftermath of the mudslide. Donate at this site or by phone at 360-435-2133, ext. 7805. You can drop off/mail donations to 330 S. Stillaguamish Ave. in Arlington or donate to the fund through an account at any Union Bank.
  • The Coastal Community Bank is accepting donations for slide victims at all branches: Darrington, Camano Island, Everett, Monroe, Stanwood, Sultan, Silver Lake, Smokey Point, Snohomish and Whidbey Island.
  • A special Mudslide Relief Campaign has been organized by the Community Fund Drive, state government’s workplace giving program that invites state and higher education employees to give to the charity of their choice. For information, go to
  • The Greater Everett Community Foundation has a page for Oso Emergency Funds.
  • The Family Support and Research Center is in direct contact with Darrington families providing resources that will support them long term. The funds are also distributed by a team of school board members and community leaders. 360-436-0308. 1078 Fir Street, Darrington, WA 98241.

Other fundraisers

  • The Darrington Community Center welcomes any donations brought into the center. 360-436-1217. 570 Sauk Ave., Darrington, WA 98241.
  • The Oso Mudslide Relief Community Collection Center is looking for volunteers to move and inventory donations, transport goods, provide housing and help with website maintenance.
  • Arlington and Bothell Helping Hands locations are currently accepting donations, including clothes, food and toys. Every little bit helps. 360-435-2214. 18722 59th Ave NE Arlington, WA 98223.
  • The Orcas Island Booster Club is raising money with “Step Up To The Plate For Darrington.” The fundraiser was organized by Orcas Island student athletes who play against Darrington.
  • KeyBank Stanwood is raising money for Amanda Skorjanc, a teller, and her 6-month-old baby, who were both seriously injured and are hospitalized. They lost their home, belongings and car. KeyBank has opened a contribution account to benefit Amanda and her family. 360-629-6489.
  • Gas cards for the long commutes many Darrington residents now face can be donated by mailing checks with “gas card” on the memo line to PO Box 90 Darrington WA 98241. Jesse Jones of KING 5 is promoting the effort.
  • The Darrington Food Bank is accepting donations but would like people to call ahead of time so they can coordinate drop off and storage of donations. 360-436-1833.
  • The Snohomish County Volunteer Search and Rescue K9 Team is taking donations through their website or mailed to 5506 Old Machias Rd., Snohomish, WA 98290.
  • The Granite Falls High School ASB Leadership Class has been collecting monetary donations for the American Red Cross to help support those who have been affected by the disaster. These will be collected at the front office of the high school. Please contact Debbie Lindahl at 360-691-7713.
  • The city of Darrington has said that people looking to donate by mail can send a check made out to “North Counties Relief Fund” at Coastal Community Bank. PO Box 90, Darrington, WA 98241.
  • The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is accepting donations for Oso Landslide relief. Take or send a donation to Union Bank, PO Box 278 Arlington or drop by any Union Bank in Smokey Point, Arlington, Marysville, Lake Stevens, Snohomish, Monroe, Everett and Standwood.
  • Students and staff at Twin City Elementary are collecting coins for a penny drive and hosting a Non-Perishable and Canned Food Drive. The public is invited to drop off donations until 12 p.m. on April 4. 26211 72nd Ave. NW, Stanwood.

Businesses pitching in

  • Cabela’s is hosting a barbecue fundraiser at its Tulalip store on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. The store is at 9810 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip. All proceeds will go to the American Red Cross.
  • The Pazzaz Hair Design salon on N. Olympic Avenue downtown is giving money from each haircut to victims. 360-435-2975.
  • Pilchuck Espresso in Granite Falls will donate all of its sales on Monday, March 31 to North County Family Services to distribute to mudslide victims. The donation will be made through Coastal Community Bank in Darrington. The coffee stand is scheduled to be open 4 a.m.-6 p.m. that day. 19027 Highway 92, Granite Falls, WA 98252.
  • Diamond Knot will donate 50 percent of sales at all locations on March 31. It will also host a Mystery Auction with completely random items found at Diamond Knot. The auctions at the Brewery & Alehouse in Mukilteo and the new Brewpub in Mountlake Terrace will begin at 6 p.m.
  • On April 1, Tuscano’s Italian Kitchen in Monroe will be having a disaster relief fundraiser. The waitstaff will beb donating all of their tips and Tuscano’s will be contributing the night’s profits to several local charities. 5-9 p.m. 14919 North Kelsey St., Monroe, WA.
  • On April 2, Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. will be donating all of their proceeds from pints sales to the Oso community and the Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund. They will have happy hour prices all day and will accept donations. 1205 craftsman way #101, Everett, WA 98201.
  • Fred Meyer and QFC locations in Snohomish County have changed their checkstand coin boxes to benefit the American Red Cross for the next two weeks. QFC customers can also donate through checkstand scan cards.
  • Lowe’s has activated its American Red Cross customer donation program in all Washington stores to provide a convenient place for customers to make financial donations. The program will be in effect until April 27.
  • Arlington Acupuncture is providing free treatments to all rescue and recovery workers involved in the Oso slide. All other new incoming patients will receive an initial evaluation and treatment for just $19. Promotion ends April 30. Suite A, 20218 77th Ave NE.
  • There is an ongoing fundraiser at the Stump Bar & Grill, 19711 Smokey Point Blvd., Arlington, WA 98223. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 100 percent of food sales go to Oso.
  • Haggen will be collecting donations for the Red Cross at its stores all month.
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Several of you have inquired regarding how to offer support to the families of the mudslide. Assistance locations have been set up in the Darrington and Oso areas with volunteers providing food, shelter and counseling assistance. One of the immediate needs at this time is for funds to maintain the supply of food and sheltering provisions.

Barbara Tolbert, mayor of Arlington, released information that will enable citizens to make contributions to the local agencies that are directly involved in the ongoing process of helping families and neighbors. This information is listed as follows:

The Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation is accepting donations for Oso Landslide Relief. All donations are tax deductible, and 100% of the money will go to the Oso fund with no overhead costs. To give:

  • Access
  • Take or send your donation to:
    Union Bank, ATTN: Tina Davis
    525 N. Olympic Avenue
    Arlington, WA 98223
  • Take or send your donation to:
    Cascade Valley Hospital Foundation
    330 S. Stillaguamish Ave.
    Arlington, WA 98223

The Snohomish County Chapter of the American Red Cross has been working day and night providing services for the families and neighbors of this tragedy. Making donations to them will go directly to the local chapter for their continued assistance.

Again, keep the families and response workers in your prayers.

I will try to keep you as updated as possible as I get the information.


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Tragedy strikes near Oso

March 24, 2014


My thoughts and prayers are with those affected by the terrible tragedy that struck the area near Oso (which is some 10 miles east of Arlington).  In case you haven’t heard yet, I’m referring to a massive mudslide that occurred Saturday morning that is about a mile wide and potentially up to 40 feet deep in some areas.

I had planned to send out a newsletter update this week about the recently ended legislative session, but given the circumstances of the disaster that has occurred I feel it’s more appropriate to take this opportunity to ask everyone to join me with prayers for those who are yet unaccounted for and in offering our condolences for those who have been lost.

Below is an aerial view of the mudslide area:

Image Source: Washington State Department of Transportation

At current count, 8 people have been confirmed dead and 108 are reported missing or unaccounted.  I am monitoring the situation closely and my thoughts and prayers are with the families affected.  I stand ready to do anything that needs to be done personally or as a state legislator to assist in the recovery efforts.

Although the mudslide was not quite in the 10th District, many of the people who are affected work and live in areas close to us.  This hits close to home for all of us–and maybe this is home for some of you.

The response to this disaster has been very commendable.  Snohomish County, local communities, and the state and federal government have been providing every assistance possible to help find people who may still be alive as soon as humanly possible.  Everyone involved has been working around the clock to do all that they can to locate survivors and reunite families.

Times like these can be overwhelming, but my prayer is that we will have much good news in the coming hours and days!



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End of session update

March 9, 2014

The 2014 legislative session is coming to an end this week. Although last Friday was the cutoff for hearing bills on the floor, a few items still remain that will be addressed before session ends. They are:

  1. The supplemental budget was tweaked and amended. Both sides of the aisle are working over the weekend to come to agreement on those adjustments. I expect the final vote to be taken on Monday or Tuesday.
  2. Certain bills that support the final supplemental agreement must be approved.
  3. There is still hope that SB5318 will be brought to the House floor and passed. This is the bill that addresses veterans, and provides them with in-state college tuition rates immediately after their service commitment without having to wait a year, as is the current law. This bill has been in the House all session without being addressed or brought to the floor for a vote.

Tomorrow, Monday, March 10th, we will have a special ‘Navy Day’ resolution presented in the Senate honoring our U.S. Navy personnel. You should be able to view the ceremony at 1pm on the TVW network.

Join my Telephone Town Hall!

Wednesday, March 12th, at 7pm will be a great opportunity for you to ask questions or just listen in as we talk with people from around the district. Your input is extremely important to me, so please consider joining us!

To do so, call in on the night of the event at the following number: 1-877-229-8493 (toll free) and enter the PIN 15431.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks for all your support. We will have a post-session newsletter shortly following the end of this session.


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Session Update

February 6, 2014


On Friday the State Senate voted to pass two bills as part of a package relating to higher education:Senate Bills 6523 and 5318, which together form the “Real Hope Act”.  There has been a lot of talk about what happened in the few days since then.  Today I want to address you directly and honestly about these bills so you can have the facts as you form your own opinions.  So please, read on and then share your thoughts with me.

A Little Background on the “DREAM Act”

You may remember that last year a number of legislators pushed to pass what was called the DREAM Act–a piece of legislation designed to give children of undocumented immigrants the ability to apply for State Need Grants to assist them with college tuition.

My feeling has always been (and I know a great number of you agree) that, while most or all of these students are not responsible for their parents’ decision to break the law, it wouldn’t be fair to implement this policy since so many students are already unable to receive this financial aid because there isn’t enough money to go around.   More than anything, my opposition to the DREAM Act has been that it isn’t fiscally prudent or fair.  Here’s something I wrote in an e-newsletter last year after I decided to not support the DREAM Act:

While I always keep an open mind to legislation as it changes during legislative session…I decided it was my duty to make the decision I have made. In the coming weeks I will continue to work to make sure that we put more funding into higher education, which I believe will later on afford us the ability to revisit discussions like this one.

This year the same legislation was being pushed again.  The bill that House Democrats were pushing stayed the same, which meant I had the same objections as before.  But some factors changed this year, which is why I and the Majority Coalition Caucus Leadership proposed and passed the “Real Hope Act”.

The Real Hope Act

What the Real Hope Act does is as follows:

  • Expands opportunities for ALL students by adding $5 million to the State Need Grant program
  • Allows children of undocumented immigrants the right to apply for State Need Grants
  • Lowers the waiting time for veterans and active military to receive in-state tuition

The Senate vote was strongly bipartisan: 35 Yes, 10 No, 4 Absent.

What changed?  First, last year the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus put an additional $140 million into higher education.  This was just a start, but it was the beginning of meeting a high priority of mine: making sure adequate funding is in the system, which then in turns allows us to expand opportunities.

Second, it had become clear to me during this session that there were enough votes to pass the DREAM Act, but it was also clear that it was potentially a false promise: a bill technically allowing more money to be distributed without allocating the additional funds for that to happen.  The Real Hope Act takes a step in the right direction by adding $5 million to the State Need Grant program.

Third, it was evident from the start that passage of the Dream Act was not intended for the benefit of all students. In fact, it was intended to be a wedge that would divide the Senate and render it less effective in other areas of legislation. I could not allow that to happen. It would be much better to “own” the bill and guide the direction it could go than to sit back and accept the outcomes of the Dream Act as it was written. The Real Hope Act made those changes, and in the process enabled all our students to have a fair shot at affordable college education.

It also was clear to me that we first needed to take care of our active and retired military personnel who needed legislative help to get lower tuition costs, but House Democrats were unwilling to pass that bill without passing the DREAM Act.

Because of these reasons and others I made my decision to take leadership on this issue and forge a better solution.  Under the Real Hope Act all students will benefit. 

No, this solution isn’t perfect.  The federal government is refusing to resolve ongoing immigration policy failures and enforce the law, which makes the position of states like ours awkward at best.  We should help people who have lived in Washington most or all of their lives and want to contribute to our society but can’t because of the choices of others.  At the same time, we can’t promise to give away more money when there just isn’t any, and when students who are legal residents don’t have the opportunity to receive the financial assistance they need.

The Real Hope Act is a step in the right direction.  It is my best attempt at taking legislation that was going to become law eventually and turning it into a policy that is realistic and helps everyone.

Thank you for reading.  I know this is a hot button topic so I would really appreciate hearing your views.  Feel free to send me an email at or fill out the contact form here.

All my best,

Barbara's signature

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