When you work at a nonprofit in the middle of the valley, the math can be straightforward. And formidable.
Take the Boys & Girls Club at Albany for example.
The club has summer programs for kids that charge $ 75 per week. The service costs $ 45 per day to operate for teachers, supervisors, food, materials, food trips and more. To keep the doors open and continue to serve the community, nonprofits such as the Albany Club need help. A lot.
The Oregon Community Foundation stepped in to lend a hand this summer with $ 41.2 million in grants to groups in Oregon’s 36 counties. The money is designed to specifically target summer learning and enrichment offerings, particularly for families who need financial assistance to participate.
“In light of the crises of the past year, this summer has been a critical time for raising and nurturing the children of our state,” said Max Williams, president and CEO of the Oregon Community Foundation. “OCF is proud to have provided much needed support to disproportionately affected families and communities across Oregon. “
The Boys & Girls Club of Albany received $ 75,000 from the foundation, a small but vital boon to the organization, said executive director John Andersen.
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“This money will support our summer programs, address the gaps in the pandemic and ensure children have a place to go,” said Andersen.
Due to COVID-related childcare issues in the community, the Albany club has extended its hours of operation. Also due to the pandemic, it has increased its paid staff, as volunteers have proven more difficult to recruit. And COVID itself has entered the club world with its own set of codes and regulations.
“Funds like this will definitely help us reduce our deficits,” said Andersen. “It would have been difficult for the club to extend their hours without him. “
The Albany club program, which Andersen says couldn’t exist without a strong partnership with the Greater Albany Public Schools, is a mix of schoolwork and fun.
Kids study in the morning and have fun in the afternoon, with activities such as swimming, hiking, and weekly school trips.
Another key feature of the Albany club’s summer offerings is “Teens for Tomorrow,” which takes teens through a 10-week program of vocational training and college explorations. The teens come out with a food handler card, CPR training, and earn a $ 500 stipend for giving back by supervising the younger club members.
“That’s what’s great about this grant,” said Andersen. “Even though expenses have increased, we don’t want to have to charge families more. We have managed to keep our prices low.
“We are fortunate to keep our doors open,” said Anderson, whose club has operated continuously since June 2020, despite the pandemic. “Sometimes it might not look like a boys and girls club with classes and daycare, but we take pride in the role we play and appreciate the support of the community.
“The kids just need a place to go.”
Here’s a look at how Oregon Community Foundation grants will help other Middle Valley nonprofits.
Lebanon / Sweet Home
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Santiam received $ 200,000.
Kris Latimer, executive director of the club, said: “OCF funds have been used 100% for scholarships for children participating in the programs this summer and will continue through the fall.”
Latimer added that 100% of the children who attend the club receive some level of scholarship and 65% of the children the club serves live in households that are 185% poverty-stricken and below.
“The funds have allowed us to continue programming at low or virtually no cost for hundreds of families,” she said, “as our ability to raise funds has been completely halted or greatly curtailed due to the pandemic. “
The foundation received two grants totaling $ 223,605.
One grant, $ 25,000, said Molly Brown, assistant vice president of marketing and communications, pays for the OSU-Cascades Summer Academy program, which gives students in grades 9 through 12 access to camps pre-college immersion day in central Oregon.
“Students gain hands-on experience in two undergraduate programs available at OSU-Cascades, as well as some outdoor recreation adventures,” said Brown. “The grants help pay for tuition assistance for students from under-represented populations.”
The second grant ($ 198,605) is for OSU Extension’s Pathways to OSU (P2OSU) summer project, which caters to audiences across the state and is located at the 4-H Center in Salem.
“The project is a comprehensive adolescent leadership program,” said Brown, “designed to mentor 120 high school youth from an underserved audience to deliver a summer enrichment program to 750 youth from Kindergarten to Kindergarten. Grade 8. Grant funds support camp staff, bus transportation, scholarships and meals.
Community Services Consortium
The group, which received $ 120,000 from the OCF, has served as a state-designated community action agency for the past 40 years. The agency provides programs and services primarily in Linn, Benton and Lincoln counties. CSC’s mission is to overcome poverty in the region by connecting people with the tools and resources they need to build a better future.
The new funds “will have a variety of uses,” said Pegge McGuire, executive director. “We will spend the funds to support many of our programs for youth and families in the three counties. We do not have a detailed breakdown by county at this time.
The types of programs that will receive assistance include:
• Family community engagement activities to support family bonds, mental health and well-being (eg OMSI field trips for families, entrance fees to community venues such as fairs, etc.)
• Equipment purchases for the youth program.
• Enrichment summer activities for young people, such as the Marine Science Center programs.
• Family stability supports for intergenerational family programs.
Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis
Helen Higgins, CEO of the club, who received $ 100,000, said that “the grant will support summer enrichment in grades 1 through 12, with an emphasis on SEL (social and emotional learning), catching up with children from losing COVID learning and preparing them for the upcoming school year after more than a year without in-person classes. “
OCF funds will also support reduced rates and scholarships for low income families.
“We have noticed a delay with children who have not participated in any program in the past year and above compared to children who have participated in our program,” said Higgins. “It changed the nature of our work towards more basic things like keeping our hands on ourselves, dealing with emotions and impulses and making friends. “
Oregon Ag in class
The foundation, based at Oregon State University’s Strand Agriculture Hall, received $ 120,000 from the OCF. The foundation offers a free curriculum, resources and training for K-12 educators and encourages the use of agriculture to teach science, math, history, nutrition and other subjects in the existing curriculum.
“This summer,” said Executive Director Jessica Jansen, “we partnered with Oregon State University’s pre-college programs to host an iINVENT camp for college kids.
“In these camps, students are guided by OSU student mentors to help create an invention that solves the challenges of farming. This summer, we took a specific look at dairy farms in Oregon and partnered with Oregon Dairy Ambassadors (also students at Linn Benton / OSU) to learn more about dairy farming and craft an invention that helps dairy farmers.
Camps are available at no cost to participants. Camps have been held so far on the OSU campus, in Albany, Sweet Home, Harrisburg and in Lebanon. Philomath, McMinnville and Yachats are also on the program, Jansen said.
“Additionally,” Jansen said, “we plan to expand some of the resources to school and after-school programs this fall.”