(Photo above: Teens in Action camp attendees | Courtesy of campfireco.org)
The Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is celebrating a milestone of one billion dollars in grants and scholarships awarded to nonprofits and communities in everyregion of Oregon since its founding in 1974.Helping OCF reach this important milestone are 36 Central Oregon agencies that received a total of $380,000 in awards this week.
“We’re proud that these exceptional Central Oregon agencies have helped push OCF to the $1 billion milestone,” said Cheryl Puddy, associate program officer for OCF in Central & Eastern Oregon, which serves the counties of Crook, Deschutes, Jefferson, Sherman, Wasco and Wheeler and the Warm Springs Reservation through the Foundation’s Bend office.
A few highlights from the 2015 spring grant awards in Central Oregon include:
• Campfire USA, Central Oregon Council (Bend) – a first time grant of $20,000 for year one of three years’ potential support to expand the Teens in Action program designed to improve student success using the shared outcomes identified by program partner, Better Together.
• Redemption House (Crook County) – a $21,000grant for year one of two years’ potential support to expand emergency and transition shelter services for women and children experiencing homelessness in Crook County.
• Prineville Kiwanis Foundation Ready to Read (Crook County) – a $10,000 grant for year one of three years’ potential support to provide summer school for K-3 students underperforming in reading and math.
• Jefferson County LibraryDistrict (Madras) – a $10,000 grant to purchase audiovisual equipment for the Jefferson County Library Film Center, to be used by the community for films, lectures and cultural events.
• St. Vincent DePaul of Crook County (Crook County) – an $11,000 grant for replacement of a refrigerated truck used for transportation of food for emergency programs.
“The true impact of the one billion dollar milestone can be measured by the nonprofits and individuals who have received these grants and scholarships,” said OCF Board Chair Tim Mabry. “And OCF’s success in working with donors to create and sustain charitable funds that have the greatest possible impact in our communities has allowed the organization to reach this milestone.
Each one of those financial awards speaks to the commitment to improve lives for all in our state.”
The Power of Endowment
OCF’s success is a result of the generosity of its many donors. One example of the power of endowment is the Hugh G. Starkweather fund. One of OCF’s oldest funds, the Starkweather Fund was created in 1976 through a bequest from Hugh G. Starkweather who wanted to offer aid and comfort to older residents in his County. The fund was set up with a gift of $130,000, and since 1976 has distributed more than $400,000. Today, the Starkweather Fund has a value of $420,000.
The Power of Scholarships
OCF donors have also enabled OCF to create one of the largest scholarship programs of its kind in the nation. Over the past year, scholarships were awarded to 3,200 Oregon students– studying everything from hi-tech to health care. One such scholarship that has changedhundreds of students’ lives in the past 41 years is the Howard Vollum Scholarship, a scholarship awarded to Native American high school graduates who are interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) subjects. One of the many success stories is Theresa Monteverdi, a member of the Confederated Tribe of Siletz Indians, who received the scholarship in the early ‘90sand used it to complete college and earn her medical degree from OHSU.As of April 2015, the Howard Vollum Scholarship Fund has awarded 372 scholarships to Native American students, totaling more than $990,000.
“I am continuously grateful for the thousands ofOCF donors and their engagement in the communities in which they live,” said Max Williams, president and CEO. “It’s this engagement and commitment to Oregon that has allowed us to make such significant impacts in communities of all sizes and in all areas of the state and what will continue to drive OCF for the next 40 years.”
For more information about OCF’s history, and current and future initiatives, please visit http://www.oregoncf.org/.