Kids Create Change

 Article Donna Burklo | Photography Cheryl Parton  Empowering kids to be agents of positive change for neighbors in need helps them to know their value in the world at an early age. Children and youth can not only make a significant difference in the health and well-being of others, they can also inspire people of all ages to do the…

Portrait Connections

“It’s a brain tumor.” These are words no one wants to hear. Yet they’re words that forever circle back unsummoned for Bend sculptor Kelly Thiel, and Rachell and Kevin Cook.

The Homeless Leadership Coalition

You may know First Fridays as the downtown Bend block party to end all block parties. Omnipresent art, free-flowing libations and snacks, and a who’s who of neighbor sightings at each stop highlight each event. 

Mission: Spread Joy

If you shopped or dined in Bend last winter, chances are you saw and felt the effects of the Bend JOY Project. The bright orange banners, set against the record-shattering piles of snow, and the preponderance of kind actions were dead giveaways. 
Noelle Fredland, Marketing Director for the Old Mill District in Bend, was the bold visionary and Bill Smith,…

Coffee 4 Adults – A Future 4 Kids

If you’re going to spend any time with Sean McDonell, founder and CEO of Bend-based Coffee4Kids, take a deep breath, do some stretches, and be prepared to take off running. McDonell is as high-energy as a person can get. And, it’s not the caffeine; it’s the mission. Mix one part pure energy, one part pure heart, and one part extraordinary…

Turning Good Thoughts into Good Actions

Patty Knowles and Wendi Holman—both of Central Oregon—used to watch as promising students of the Sortor Bushido Kai Karate studio switch to team sports because of the higher likelihood of getting college scholarships. Frustrated, the pair decided to do something to support future education and instruction for individual sport athletes. Enter the Good Thoughts Good Actions Foundation (GTGA), created to…

Seed To Table

Sprawling across two acres on the outskirts of Sisters, the nonprofit organic farm Seed to Table is about to be in full bloom. Once vegetables and fruits are ready to be picked, the farm will be responsible for distributing several tons of produce to families in Sisters and beyond. Audrey Tehan, Director of the Seed to Table program, returned to…

Plan a Wedding that Gives Back

The love of our Central Oregon lifestyle and beauty of our natural surroundings is contagious. As is the love you feel for your fiancée and those who celebrate with you. If you’re interested in creating lasting memories and a positive impact on our community at your wedding, consider planning one that gives back.

Freedom from 

Retired fourth grade teacher Judi Van Houweling always incorporated the arts into her lesson plans. For 26 years, her classroom at Tumalo Community School was one where acting, painting, drawing and crafting were central to learning. One day, Debra Mae Fisher—an artist-in-residence at the school—encouraged Van Houweling to bring her love of the arts and teaching into her plans after…

‘Tis the Charitable Season

It’s no secret that the bulk of donor activity happens during the holidays. Some nonprofits receive almost 33% of each year’s donations in November and December. So, if you’re just now starting to consider where to focus your charitable efforts, you’re not alone!

Cascade Youth and Family Center

Seventeen-year-old Quinn tightly wraps her sweater around her shoulders as we talk. Clearly wary of a stranger’s round of questioning, she speaks softly as she tells her story. She’s been living at the LOFT (Living Options for Teens) in Bend for five months now. “I’ve been in and out of homeless shelters my whole life,” Quinn says, noting that she…

Get Kids in the Game – For Good

The local non-profit’s “Pass Program” provides up to $50 in registration fees, up to four times each year, to any Central Oregon child 18 and under. The only criteria are that the funded activity be one in which there will be regular, supervised movement and the student must get a letter of recommendation from a non-relative.

The ‘Can Do’ Attitude of Oregon Adaptive Sports

Once warm weather forces the chill from the air, Central Oregon athletes trade in their skis and snowboards for bicycles and kayaks. For most, the change requires a simple garage rearrangement, a fresh coat of sunscreen and a trail map. But locals with disabilities look to non-profit Oregon Adaptive Sports (OAS) to help provide "life-changing outdoor recreation experiences at a…

A Sister from Another Mother . . . Land

Sister city relationships are very much like the sibling relationship for which they’re named. They consist of a healthy dose of sibling rivalry paired with a constant undercurrent of support. Each of Bend’s three sister cities boasts similar physical features in mountains, rivers, and quaint downtown gathering spaces. They also each serve as the regional hub for governance, medical services,…

Save a Child

It is unimaginable to consider that anyone would intentionally harm a child. And yet people do harm children. It happens right here in our town, and in 90% of the local reports it is someone that the child knew, likely someone that other adults in their lives seem to trust. The victim must feel so confused. To whom should they…

Chasing Normal

Global Health Innovation’s Mission of Caring for Moms and Babies with HIV Article Lisa Allen | Photos Provided I could pack this article with statistics: approximately 23 million people live with HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. Nearly 16 million children under the age of 18 have been orphaned by AIDS in Africa alone. Each day, 6,000 … Continued

Through the Red Door at Family Kitchen

Through Family Kitchen’s red door entrance, a noticeable hum alerts visitors to a well-oiled machine in operation. Every month, over 250 volunteers enter and immediately insert themselves as one of the essential gears in the process of preparing approximately 5,000 meals for those in need in our community. Except this hum isn’t mechanical at all. It’s a din of loud…