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Volunteers help people replace lost birth certificates, driver's licenses and other important documents.

GRAPHIC ILLUSTRATION - Volunteers can help file paperwork to replace lost documents.Imagine -- a house fire that destroys everything, including important documents such as birth certificates and driver's licenses; a move that resulted in misplaced papers; a theft of personal items, including your ID; a disgruntled spouse (or parent or child) who takes your ID documents out of spite.

People who have experienced at least one of these events have come in to the ID Project for help. In addition, some have lost their documents or the documents have expired, or in the case of small children, may never have had them.

These are just some of the reasons that people come to Madras United Methodist Church to get help replacing (or getting) IDs. Occasionally, volunteers have had to suggest they see an attorney (a man asked for help in getting a divorce) or they may not be able to help at all.

During 2016, the project helped more than 60 people, who have come in to get birth certificates, Oregon ID, or simply get answers to questions. Volunteers helped secure birth certificates for 20 people — eight from Oregon, eight from California and one each from Arizona, New York, Colorado, and Montana. They also helped 12 get Oregon ID.

Each client pays a portion of the cost, usually between 30-50 percent, and the church pays the balance.

As a result of the financial help the program has been able to provide, it is nearly out of funds. If you would like to contribute, make a check out to the Madras United Methodist Church and indicate "ID Project" on the memo line.

If you have any questions, talk to Kathy Hamlet, coordinator of the project, on any Tuesday, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., at the Madras United Methodist Church, 541-475-2150.

In many instances, the help the program provides in securing birth certificates and Oregon ID allows people to become employed. It's a way to assist people in poverty in finding a way to become self-sufficient.

Starting this month, the program will begin providing information and assistance in applying for U.S. citizenship.

Volunteers are available to assist people needing birth certificates, Oregon IDs or other official documents every Tuesday, between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m., at the Madras United Methodist Church, 49 NE 12 St.

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