It is the giving season again; Thanks-giving, charitable giving, gift giving, giving hugs, giving someone a break. We are ready to do what we can do for others. Yet, who? How?
Oftentimes, the larger, better-known charities get the bulk of our year-end financial support because they are better able to market themselves, and as a result we see and hear their names more regularly. However, many nonprofits are providing much-needed assistance outside of the limelight. We’d like to call your attention to a few.
These local nonprofits could use your time and funding in their efforts to help our neighbors in need. Perhaps one of their missions resonates with your hopes for a brighter tomorrow for someone struggling.
St. Vincent de Paul
Assistance for low/no income individuals and families.
While many people assume “St. Vinnies” has a thrift store (which they do not), the truth is that they provide many different services to clients. For a sampler, they operate 14 affordable housing units and are looking to develop other ways to help with the current housing shortage. They also provide utility assistance and help with propane costs during the winter months, assistance to people looking for work by funding ID’s and offering clothing vouchers, and they help people who are unable to pay for their prescriptions. On-site, their food bank provides a five-day food box once per month.
Volunteers to help with food stocking and distribution and office tasks.
Funding for assistance programs.
Blankets, gloves, and sleeping bags.
Food donations: primarily unexpired/unopened food, fresh produce, canned fruits and vegetables, soup, cereal.
Toilet paper, dog food, and cat food.
J Bar J Youth Services/ Cascade Youth and Family Center
Services for at-risk youth.
1-in-8 youth will leave home and become homeless in need of services. The goal at J Bar J Youth Services is to see youth succeed as happy, healthy adults who contribute to their families and their community.
Big Brothers Big Sisters is their prevention program. The mentor relationship prevents high school dropout, early pregnancy and makes a lasting difference in the lives of kids—as well as the adults.
The LOFT is their shelter and drop-in center for homeless teens between 16 and 20 years of age. They provide street outreach, food, clothing, sleeping bags, transportation and needed personal items.
Tax deductible donations.
Grandma’s House provides housing and support for young moms and babies. Donations run operations of the house and provide supplies. They are the only home east of the Cascades serving the shelter needs of this vulnerable population.
Tax deductible donations.
Council on Aging of Central Oregon
Support for senior citizens.
This organization seeks to meet immediate needs of seniors in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties while encouraging a maximum amount of self-help and independence.
- Case Management staff help seniors make appropriate and cost-effective decisions regarding their care needs.
- Senior Nutrition promotes better health and well-being among senior citizens through good nutrition. This includes Meals on Wheels and meal site support.
- Family Caregiver Support will provide respite service, assistance finding services, supplemental services, and caregiver training.
- Health Promotion / Disease Prevention includes Living Well, Diabetes Prevention, Walk with Ease, and a Matter of Balance.
- Information and Resource Specialist provides information and assistance, and connects clients with the agencies and resources they need.
- Legal Assistance provides free legal counsel quarterly to seniors, on an appointment basis.
- Oregon Project Independence (OPI) serves Oregonians age 60 and older who are not eligible for most Medicaid services.
- Senior Health Insurance Benefits Assistance (SHIBA) is a free program using trained volunteers to help seniors make health insurance (Medicare) decisions.
Central Oregon Locavore
Local farmer support and healthy, environmentally-conscious shopping.
While Central Oregon Locavore (COL) is a storefront—selling classic “farmers market” items such as locally grown vegetables, fruits, and meats—they also carry an extensive list of bulk items, locally roasted coffees, locally grown and wildcrafted herbs, packaged goods, dairy, bath and body items, and more.
COL’s education, outreach, and gatherings serve to support sustainable food systems within Central Oregon while simultaneously contributing to the local economy, public health, an educated public, and a brighter future for the local citizens. They also offer programs that support and promote local farmers, such as a free-admission Tax and Finance class for small farmers and pop-up farmer’s market events.
Glass front freezers.
Glass front refrigerators.
Smartphones (for playing music and running Square). CentralOregonLocavore.org
Kôr Community Land Trust
Affordable housing consortium.
Some of Bend’s most valuable citizens—teachers, builders, servers, maintenance workers, public servants, and more—don’t earn enough to keep up with Central Oregon’s rising median home cost. These are people who contribute to a thriving economy and provide services that everyone needs. Without help, these people cannot afford to own homes and provide safe, stable places for their families. That is where Kôr comes in.
Kôr operates under the Community Land Trust (CLT) model—active in many states, cities and towns across the United States. Community Land Trusts are nationally recognized, community-based nonprofit organizations that work to provide perpetually affordable home ownership opportunities. A CLT develops and stewards affordable housing and other community assets on behalf of a community.
Volunteers to help with fundraising, outreach, event tabling, administrative support, help with mailings, and other tasks.
Base Camp Studio
Art studio for all.
The mission of Base Camp Studio is to provide a sustainable and supportive space that builds a healthy community by cultivating creativity, self-awareness, personal growth, and interpersonal understanding through the arts.
Early Childhood programs:
Creativity Labs – Art-making activities.
Makers + Movers – Mindfulness, yoga, story and creative expression.
Teen programs – Art classes, workshops and art therapy.
Community Partnerships – Bend La Pine Schools, Campfire, Destination Rehab, Juntos, and New Vision Wilderness to provide art programming to children, teens and adults.
Family Open Studio (new this Fall) – Connect with the people you love doing something you love—or something you want to learn and explore.
Financial support to underwrite the costs of providing programs to populations who would not otherwise have access to art.
Volunteers to support community events and programs.