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How can 26 women have a significant impact on the lives of thousands of people in Clackamas County?


“That’s what we do,” said Jerri Adams, vice president of the Oregon City Woman’s Club.

And when these ladies do something, they do it well. Last week at the Museum of the Oregon Territory, they handed out more than $6,000 in donations ranging from $200 to $650 to 15 nonprofit organizations in the Oregon City area.

PHOTO BY NICK ROSENBERGER - Pictured in the front row, left to right, are OCWC members Patty Brown, Mariann Buell, Joan Jones, Lynn Banta, Alice Hayden and Jerri Adams. In the back row are representatives from many of the organizations that received grants from the club.“Many of these organizations don’t get a lot of assistance” or name recognition, said Patty Brown, the financial secretary for OCWC.

“With us helping them out, they are able to spend more time working on whatever they do,” added Alice Hayden, past president of the OCWC.

“The Woman’s Club is an international club that started in 1899, and we have tons of acknowledgements that we are extremely proud of. Oregon City’s chapter started in 1903, and one of the first things the club did was build a library and raise the money to help move the McLoughlin House up Singer Hill to save and preserve it,” Adams said.

On Monday, Feb. 15, representatives from the organizations supported by the OCWC discussed their goals, and what the money from the OCWC means to their groups. One thing that unites all of the organizations supported by the OCWC is each representative’s passion for what the nonprofits do.

Angels in the Outfield

“We are an all-volunteer board, so all the money we receive goes directly to funding our goal, to reach 1,000 children and families,” said Shannon Kmetic, the founder and president of Angels in the Outfield.

This nonprofit, founded in 2009, receives referrals from teachers, counselors and caseworkers to help children impacted by crime, abuse and neglect. In 2015, the group worked with 800 children, giving out $108,000 to provide the children with school clothes, shoes and anything else the caseworkers and counselors recommend is needed, Kmetic said.

“If [the need] fits within our mission, we don’t turn anyone away,” she added.

Website: theangelsintheoutfield.org.

OC Backpack Buddies, Start Right School Supplies

Cathy Warner represents both of these groups, which are active primarily in Oregon City and Clackamas County.

The Oregon City Backpack Buddies program was started in 2008, with the goal of providing free food to children and their families over the weekend. The students are referred by teachers and counselors, and Backpack Buddies volunteers gather nutritious food and deliver it to the schools. Teachers then fill the students’ backpacks with nonperishable food items.

“We have handed out 30,000 bags of food, and [last year] fed 240 kids; every dollar we receive goes to food,” Warner said, adding that in addition to giving Backpack Buddies money, OCWC members pack bags of food the fourth Thursday of every month.

The mission of Start Right School Supplies is to supply children with backpacks full of school supplies every August, so those children can begin the school year with everything they need, Warner said. The Department of Human Services refers children to the group and monetary donations allow the group to help more kids.

Chelsea Hicks Foundation

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kids at the Doernbecher children's hospital show off their costumes from the Chelsea Hicks Foundation.Desperately ill children in the oncology ward need a reason to get out of bed, and the Chelsea Hicks Foundation provides that in the form of “dress-up costumes, silly crafts, snacks and parades,” at Doernbecher and Randall children’s hospitals, said Alison Hicks, CEO and co-founder of the organization.

“Chelsea was my youngest daughter; she battled cancer and passed away in 2009, when she was 5,” Hicks said, adding that the foundation was inspired by the joy her daughter experienced through dress up and play.

“We are 98 percent volunteer run, and any money goes straight to the program,” Hicks said.

CHF provides new costumes and accessories for seriously ill boys and girls from birth to teens, goody-bag items, like cosmetics, and craft supplies. Volunteers and donations are always needed.

Learn more at: chelseahicksfoundation.org.

Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation

The Clackamas Emergency Services Foundation was formed in 1998 to provide funds to help people in need within the community. Along with the Clackamas Fire District, the foundation consists of other emergency service agencies — the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Boring Fire District, Milwaukie Police Department, and Oregon City Police Department. When any of these agencies responds to a call and a need is determined, foundation funds are used to help those citizens.

“The funds [from the OCWC] will be used generally to support programs like emergency assistance for those who have suffered a tragic or traumatic event, purchasing bike helmets and smoke alarms to be distributed to those in need, supporting local food programs, supporting the purchase of automatic external defibrillators,” and more, said Fred Charlton, fire chief at the Clackamas Fire District.

Website: clackamasfire.com/foundation.html.

Clackamas County Historical Society

The Clackamas County Historical Society operates two museums in Oregon City, the Museum of the Oregon Territory and the Stevens-Crawford Heritage House.

“History is fun and exciting,” said Claire Blaylock, executive director of CCHS, and the money from the woman’s club “will enable us to expand our educational programming. This summer, for the second year, we will have free family fun days, starting in May.”

Families can attend these events “to learn about history in a hands-on fashion,” she said, adding that a popular activity last year was when families helped build little log cabins, to show what homesteads were like in the Oregon Territory.

Donations allow the historical society to “expand programs and plan for our growth. We are a community museum with a regionally significant story, and we operate thanks to dedicated volunteers who enable us to do a lot as a nonprofit,” Blaylock added.

Find out more at clackamashistory.org.

DHS Shoes for Foster Kids

Sometimes, when tragedy strikes, children are removed from that situation with barely more than what is on their backs at the time. When they are placed in foster care, they often desperately need the basics, like shoes, said Maurita Johnson, District 15 manager, Child Welfare and Self Sufficiency Programs, Oregon Department of Human Services.

“This is a unique need for children. We work with 309 children in foster care and 1,100 families who are on public assistance,” Johnson said.

The money from the OCWC will go to the purchase of new footwear, like athletic, dress and school shoes, she said.

“The shoe project is a collaboration we have with the Oregon City Women’s Club and is run by our volunteer coordinator, Jessica Amaya, whom I supervise. It is a wonderful gift for our children in foster care,” Johnson said.

Anyone interested in helping with this project should contact Jessica Amaya at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

FIDO

Friends Involved in Dog Outreach is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to helping people and their pet companions stay together. Every dollar donated goes to purchase pet food, said Mariann Buell, director, who volunteers in outreach for FIDO.

In 2004, FIDO was founded, along with its AniMeals program, in partnership with Clackamas County Social Services and Senior Meals programs.

The AniMeals program delivers pet food along with the Meals-on-Wheels program every other week to recipients who often are at risk of sacrificing their own nutrition to feed their animals.

“We have also opened a cat and dog foodbank, that hands out free pet food to over 100 people once a month. We are feeding more than 300 pets, with both AniMeals and the foodbank,” Buell said.

Since 2004, FIDO has provided more than 704,823 pounds of food.

Learn more about FIDO at: google.com/site/fidoanimeals/home.

H.O.P.E.

H.O.P.E., which stands for Helping Other People Eat, is a nonprofit network of five food pantries located in Oregon City.

The pantries are distribution sites for USDA and Oregon Food Bank food, where perishable and nonperishable food is available on most days to those in need in the 97004, 97013, 97027, 97045, 97068 and 97267 ZIP codes. Income guidelines will apply to each recipient.

Alice Hayden, an OCWC member and H.O.P.E. volunteer, said the organization was founded in 1985 and now serves 200 households a week.

“We are an entirely volunteer organization, and every dollar donated goes to food,” Hayden said.

Website: hopeoregoncity.org.

Love INC and Pathways to Hope

Love INC’s mission is to help people by mobilizing local churches to transform lives and communities in the name of Christ. The Pathways to Hope classes are offered to build friendships and support families within the context of fellowship around a meal. This weekly class and mentoring program is open to qualifying families. Tutoring and child care is provided.

Find out more clackamasloveinc.org or call 503-655-4223, ext. 3.

Meals on Wheels

The Pioneer Center in Oregon City provides home-delivered meals to homebound seniors in Oregon City, West Linn, Beavercreek and Redland areas.

For people over the age of 60 or those under 60 referred by Medicaid, meals are provided five days per week at the noon hour.

The Meals on Wheels program can connect seniors with other programs and services that are available in Clackamas County and through local organizations.

For more information call 503-722-5979, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Neurotherapeutic Pediatric Therapies Inc.

This organization, founded in Oregon City in 1985, provides family-centered occupational and physical therapy for children and young adults, age 6 months to 20 years.

“We restructured to become a fee-for-service nonprofit, because of insurance changes and cuts,” said Melissa Youd, marketing director.

The money from the OCWC will go to the company’s scholarship fund, to provide free and reduced-fee therapy services, she said, adding that the organization works with nearly 290 families.

“This year we are branching out to include mental health support services. It is extremely challenging to raise a special-needs child,” Youd said.

She added, “We are the only company doing therapy that works with the Oregon Health Plan. We don’t turn any child away.”

For more information call 503-657-8903.

OCPD Summer Camp

The Oregon City Police Department will host Summer Camp 2016, for incoming third-, fourth- and fifth-graders who attend school in Oregon City.

Camp applications are distributed to the grade schools, and with the assistance of the school counselors, the majority of the campers are chosen.

The Oregon City Police Department Summer Camp is a weeklong day camp that will be held this year at Gaffney Lane Elementary School during July.

“We normally have 32 to 38 campers. Counselors are students at Oregon City High School and are recommended by their teachers. The majority of the campers are children who would not have an opportunity to attend a summer camp,” said Chris Wadsworth, community outreach OCPD.

Wadsworth added: “The largest expenses for running the weeklong camp are the bus transportation and food. Children are picked up and dropped off at their home by bus if they do not have transportation to the camp. We also use the bus for transportation to our field trips. OCPD also has the meals catered to make sure these children are receiving a well-balanced meal and snacks while they are attending our camp.”

For more information, contact Chris Wadsworth, community outreach, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Pioneer Pantry

This program started last year at Oregon City High School to provide food for weekends and breaks from school for homeless and food-insecure students, said Rachel Thompson, operations coordinator. The program now has expanded to include the Oregon City Service Learning Academy and the Clackamas Academy of Industrial Sciences.

There are around 750 food-insecure students at OCHS alone and around 150 students who are homeless or are in transition, Thompson said.

Students do not need to be referred to the program, and in fact, students who are in the program bring in other students, creating their own community, Thompson said.

All monetary donations go to purchase food for students.

Learn more at: ochspioneers.org/pioneer-pantry or call Thompson at 503-849-5551.

Schoolyard Farms

PHOTO COURTESY: SCHOOLYARD FARMS - Pictured working at last weekend's groundbreaking of a new educational farm in Oak Grove are Daniale Lynch (New Urban High School teacher), Courtney Leeds (Schoolyard Farms co-founder and executive director), Terry Gibson (Schoolyard Farms board president) and Noah Hurd (New Urban principal).Schoolyard Farms is a local nonprofit whose mission is to increase the health of the community by teaching kids how to grow nutritious food that goes from their schoolyard farm to their plate.

PHOTO COURTESY: SCHOOLYARD FARMS - Brooke Hieserich (Schoolyard Farms education coordinator) and Annika La Fave (Schoolyard Farms farm manager).“We do this by building mini-farms on schoolyards that serve as outdoor classrooms and sources of fresh produce for the community. Our pilot farm is located at Candy Lane Elementary, and we are breaking ground at our second farm at New Urban High School, [in Oak Grove],” said Courtney Leeds, co-founder and director of Schoolyard Farms.

She added that any donations made to the New Urban Schoolyard Farm between now and March 31 will be doubled.

“The money [from OCWC] will be used to purchase materials for the hoop houses for the new farm at New Urban High School, allowing us to extend our growing season,” Leeds said.

Make a donation by visiting growschoolyardfarms.causevox.com.

Help the Woman’s Club help others

For more information about the OCWC, send an email to Lynn Banta, chairman of the civic improvements committee, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or to Jerri Adams, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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