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Oregon Community Foundation awards record $4.3 million in grants, several in C.O.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Oregon Community Foundation announced Thursday it is awarding over $4.3 million in new community grants that prioritize support for communities most disproportionately impacted by the multiple crises in Oregon, including Black, Indigenous and Latina/o/x communities, people of color and rural communities.

The grants come from OCF’s long-standing Community Grant program, which the foundation uses to meet urgent needs throughout Oregon.

According to Niyati Desai, Director of Community Engagement for Oregon Community Foundation, the COVID-19 pandemic, economic disparity and disruption, and wildfires widened long-standing inequities faced by communities of color and under-resourced rural communities.  

“The breadth and depth of need required quick and significant adjustments, including intentionally prioritizing the distribution of resources to serve and uplift Oregonians disproportionately impacted by the crises,” Desai said.

Multiple Crises Produce Overwhelming, Unprecedented Need

OCF’s Community Grants program received an unprecedented 562 grant applications and $15.9 million in funding requests in early 2021, more than in any other previous year. OCF donors with advised funds helped meet requests with additional support of more than $700K. “Our spring 2021 grant cycle represents the largest funding request in the program’s history, after one of the toughest years on record for Oregon’s nonprofit organizations,” said Sonia Worcel, Chief Community Impact Officer. “OCF’s impact is possible thanks to a robust network of volunteers, donors and community leaders who help us rapidly respond to communities hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, wildfires and racial inequities.”

OCF Supports Community-Led Solutions Throughout Oregon

OCF’s Spring 2021 Community Grants reflect the exceptional work of nonprofits throughout the state,” said Penny Allen, OCF Board Member. “Funding went to 190 nonprofits that addressed a clear and compelling community need, showed strong community support, and created positive, substantive change.”

Central Oregon recipients included:

Central Oregon BIPOC (ScaleHouse)
for Central Oregon BIPOC to broaden community understanding of what it means to
live as a BIPOC member in Central OR, with OCF funds used to host a gallery show,
produce a 'zine, and offer 3 - 5 education programs and events in fall 2021
Bend $10,000

Columbia Gorge Health Council
to expand the well-established B2H program, serving people struggling to access
resources on their own, to better meet the needs of our diverse community by hiring a
Tribal CHW. This grant will support the CHW's work alongside already trusted
community partners to support Tribal client needs
The Dalles $25,000

Friends of the Fossil Library
for general support of operations, 2021-22 to keep the Fossil Public Library funded and
open for 1,600 residents of Wheeler County
Fossil $27,000

J Bar J Youth Services
to match 20 Latinx mentors with 20 Latinx youth and develop a Latino mentoring
program for children ages 8 and up; OCF Funds will be used to recruit and train new
volunteers, train BBBS staff in areas of cultural sensitivity and EDI, and add a staff
member who is a Spanish-speaking
Bend $15,000

Latino Community Association
to boost LCA's capacity to connect Latinx community members to an array of social
services, education programs and community resources by increasing the hours of an
administrative assistant and program support specialist
Bend $30,000

Oregon Arts Watch
to produce "Warm Springs: Then and Now," taking portraits that photojournalist Joe
Cantrell, Cherokee, aided by writer J.P. Patt, Warm Springs-Yakama-Colville, shot
nearly 30 years ago, and pairing them with new photos and stories of the same people
or their descendants
Portland $10,000

Prineville Kiwanis Foundation
for general support of operations for Kiwanis K-3 Summer School serving up to 130
students due to increased enrollment resulting from Covid
Prineville $10,000

Prineville Music Theater Camp (Our Savior's Lutheran Church-Prineville)
for Prineville Music Theater Camp general support of operations, 2021-22, for
elementary and middle school children who are underserved in the area of the arts,
music and drama
Prineville $4,000

Reach Out NP
to onboard a full-time Jesuit Volunteer to provide outreach and case management to
vulnerable homeless populations across Central Oregon
Bend $15,000

Restorative Justice Equity Group (Better Together Central Oregon)
for Restorative Justice & Equity Group to hire a part-time youth liaison to work with
the school district to institutionalize restorative practices into school culture, primarily
by supporting a cadre of trained individuals to work with local middle and high schools,
culminating in a town hall on racism for 120 BIPOC high school students facilitated by
25 adult leaders of color
Redmond $20,000

Shepherd's House
to strengthen services to individuals who are houseless and hungry in Central Oregon
through a direct engagement strategy on streets and in camps that works to build
relationships and trust and provides referrals to support services and housing
Bend $25,000

South Wasco Alliance
to secure a full-time Resource Assistance for Rural Environments (RARE) AmeriCorps
service member to help with programs and operations, all with the goal of helping low-income youth, families and small farmers grow food for themselves and sell surplus for
additional income through a small farmer collective and youth entrepreneur program
Tygh Valley $22,000

The Father's Group
to hire a part-time community liaison who will help launch a new after-school
leadership program to serve 75 Black/POC middle-school and high-school students and
support two other program initiatives (Law Enforcement Partnership and Small
Business Support)
Bend $20,000

Total for Central: 14 Grants $263,000

Here is a snapshot of some of the other 190 frontline organizations in Oregon receiving OCF support:

Oregon Alliance of Black School Educators  $35,000 OCF Community Grant

OABSE is a statewide organization that will provide professional development, curriculum support, advocacy and career support, leadership, affinity-based gatherings, and networking events for members, influencing policy and school curriculum as it relates to Black educators and students.

“We continue to see an alarming trend of Black teachers leaving Oregon and the education sector at a disproportionately higher rate than white teachers, and we also know Black students and students as a whole have better academic outcomes when given the opportunity to be taught by Black educators,” says Melissa Hansen, Senior Program Officer, Community Impact, Oregon Community Foundation. “OCF is proud to invest in the critical work of OABSE, whose focus is on Black educator retention in Oregon as well as increasing the number of Black educators through a variety of measures.”

Daisy C.H.A.I.N.  $40,000 OCF Community Grant

Daisy C.H.A.I.N. will train and certify Black, Indigenous, Southeast Asian, and Latina/o/x native Spanish-speaking lactation consultants and doulas in Lane County to provide culturally matched lactation and reproductive support, reducing economic and language barriers for 300+ families.

“Daisy C.H.A.I.N. is deeply grateful for the partnership with OCF in resourcing workforce development for peer led culturally-matched care to provide full spectrum reproductive cycle support without cost to clients,” said Jaclyn Mahoney, Co-Director, Daisy C.H.A.I.N. “This collaboration affirms that access to career paths is a vital component of cultivating our capacity to provide these services.”

Friends of the Fossil Library $27,000 OCF Community Grant

Friends of the Fossil Library will leverage the OCF Community Grant for general operational support to keep the Fossil Public Library funded and open for 1,600 residents of Wheeler County.

“OCF is so happy to support Friends of the Fossil Library in their pursuit to sustain the Fossil Library as an important community resource for Wheeler County,” said Cheryl Puddy, Program Officer, Community Impact, Oregon Community Foundation. “Libraries are a vital resource to rural communities, providing access to books, reading programs and valuable job support services via a stable Wi-Fi connection.”

Rogue Valley Mentoring $20,000 OCF Community Grant

Rogue Valley Mentoring will implement a mentoring program in Jackson County designed by and for the Latina/o/x community, training 10 Latina/o/x mentors to provide trauma-informed care to Latina/o/x youth and families.

“Rogue Valley Mentoring is honored and grateful to have the opportunity and faith of the community to design and implement specialized mentoring support services for the Latina/o/x community in Jackson County,” said Sarah Kreisman, Executive Director, Rogue Valley Mentoring.

Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society $35,000 OCF Community Grant

Located in Siletz, Oregon and serving coastal communities and visitors, Siletz Tribal Arts and Heritage Society (STAHS) will develop a virtual exhibit to educate the public about the cultural traditions of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians.

“We are thrilled Oregon Community Foundation supports our development of a 360 video exhibit on the Termination Era, one of the most important and untold chapters in the history of the relationship between the federal government and Tribal governments,” said Gloria Ingle, Chair, Board of Directors, STAHS. “Terminated in 1954 and not restored until 1977, a generation of cultural transmission was lost to the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. With OCF’s support, we will be able to preserve the memories of our elders of this important period in our history and share it with future generations of Siletz Tribal members and the public.”

Yamhill Community Action Partnership $30,000 OCF Community Grant

Serving Yamhill County, Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP) will hire staff who will distribute more than 400,000 pounds of fresh food directly to rural areas and low-income and farmworker housing complexes, serving over 3,000 individuals per week.

“YCAP is adapting how they operate the Harvest2Home program, that brings fresh food directly to people with low-incomes and little access,” said Carly Brown, Program Officer, Community Engagement, Oregon Community Foundation. “OCF funds allow YCAP to hire temporary workers to deliver food safely and reliably during shifting safety precautions that prevent their senior volunteer corps from being involved onsite. Through their efforts, fresh food donated from local farms will continue to get to the people who need it.”

Complete List OCF’s 2021 Spring Community Grant Recipients (190)

A complete list of all 190 of the 2021 Community Grant recipients, organized by region, can be found in OCF’s online Press Room.

While a broad range of nonprofits can apply for Community Grants, OCF is prioritizing requests that focus on populations who have been disproportionately impacted by inequities further compounded by racial and social injustice, the pandemic, and/or wildfires.

Applications to OCF’s Fall 2021 Community Grants cycle open June 1, 2021. Applications are due July 15, 2021, by 5 p.m., with decisions made by early November 2021.

About Oregon Community Foundation

In 2020, Oregon Community Foundation distributed more than $227 million to more than 3,000 nonprofit organizations around the state.  This reflects a combined effort from individuals, families, business, and public resources, including nine emergency funds administered by OCF.

Oregon Community Foundation puts donated money to work in Oregon – more than $100 million in grants and scholarships annually. Since 1973, OCF grantmaking, research, advocacy and community-advised solutions have helped individuals, families, businesses, and organizations create charitable funds to improve lives for all Oregonians. Impactful giving–time, talent, and resources from many generous Oregonians–creates measurable change.

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