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The Canby Center has created the new position and hired Steve Nelson to help with growth

COURTESY PHOTO - Steve NelsonThe Canby Center has hired Steve Nelson as development manager. This is a new position for The Canby Center and comes with the support of a Murdock Foundation grant.

Nelson comes to The Canby Center after more than 25 years in various management positions in the inventory services business sector. His experience includes operations management and business development responsibilities throughout the United States.

His addition will help The Canby Center with the growth happening all around it, according to Executive Director Ray Keen.

"In our service to more than 2,100 people so far in 2018, we notice that the needs of our neighbors are growing in scope and complexity.  While the world accelerates at break-neck speed, not everyone is keeping pace," Keen said. "Many people face health, housing, spiritual, relational, and employment challenges that are more intertwined than ever before.

People need help in ways that leave them stronger emotionally, healthier mentally, and more connected in community with others.

"Steve will be instrumental in helping the Canby Center to grow our capacity to serve youth and families in ways that strengthen human dignity.  For example, In 2016, we began a new program called Reading Mentors which pairs up volunteers with emerging young readers," Keen added. "The program will expand this year to serve all six Canby Elementary Schools.  Every child in the program receives a book to build their home library each month through the school year. Steve will be instrumental in building financial support and strengthening partnerships to grow this program to serve all the children who can benefit from it."

Nelson has an undergraduate degree in music from Biola University in La Mirada, Calif. and an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

"I'm excited to be a part of such a great organization. Not only is The Canby Center committed to helping our community, it is actively working to bring hope in practical ways that have a lasting impact on individuals in our community," said Nelson. "It's a privilege to be part of the team, and I look forward to the continued growth opportunities ahead for The Canby Center."

The Canby Center is growing. New programs introduced this year include Thriving Together, a program of partnership where families receive help in goal setting and finance training while committing to volunteer one hour per month to The Canby Center.

The Canby Center has expanded its Reading Mentors program to include all elementary schools in the Canby school district for the 2018-19 school year. Other successful programs include Life skills classes, tutoring, Backpack buddies, Medical/Dental assistance and Employment assistance. The recently expanded kitchen has resulted in greatly increased capacity to serve the needs of youth and families.

"After nearly two years of development, we launched our Thriving Together program this summer -- 267 families have signed up for the program since June in which families are able to access food, clothing, life skills education, and goal support in exchange for 1 hour of volunteerism a month, and attendance at a personal finance class," said Keen. "In 2019, we plan to add a component of the program focused on academically challenged youth primarily from within these families.  Steve Nelson's experience in developing partnerships and engaging key stakeholders will be instrumental to the long-term success of the Thriving Together program.  I am so excited to see the creativity and enthusiasm that Steve will help to spark in a generous community like Canby."

The Canby Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to renew dignity and inspire learning for youth and families through God's love.

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