Our Opinion: 'Give Local' in Washington County
Give Local is an effort by the News-Times and Pamplin Media Group to inspire our readers to give generously to support local nonprofit organizations that are making our communities stronger.
In partnership with the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Oregon and Southwest Washington and numerous local businesses, the News-Times is proud to help build awareness about numerous nonprofit organizations who do so many good things for the betterment of all.
Giving locally is obviously not a new concept for many of us. But as we approach the holidays, we want to make sure our readers don't forget about the many great organizations doing philanthropic work closer to home.
Philanthropy can be broadly defined as love for humankind. It is derived from the Greek words "philos," which means loving and "anthropos," which means humankind. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist. Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr., owner of the Pamplin Media Group, is one of Oregon's most prominent philanthropists.
Our hope is that by making more people aware of the efforts of our local nonprofits, that we will create an army of local philanthropists who are inspired to make a difference in their communities through the power of giving.
We have highlighted several nonprofits below that we feel are worthy of your support. Donations to any of these local nonprofit organizations are tax-deductible and will help people in need right here in western Washington County.
Of course, there our numerous nonprofits that are also doing equally great work in our communities as well. Our hope is that through the spirit of giving, you will find a nonprofit that personally resonates with you and make a donation today.
When we all step up to support our communities in this way, we all win.
You've probably never heard of Community Connection. But you might have heard about their work. Community Connection is the organization that raised more than $30,000 through a grassroots campaign to build an innovative shower trailer that has been making the news as it travels to shelters across Washington County.
Community Connection is a partnership of local nonprofit organizations serving low-income individuals and families in western Washington County. Its programs include wintertime emergency shelters, housing assistance, emergency food and warm clothing. Through its many partners, Community Connection assists with a wide range of needs beyond those, from energy assistance for struggling families to home repairs and weatherization for elderly and low-income homeowners.
Its nonprofit partners include organizations like West Tuality Habitat for Humanity, the Forest Grove and Cornelius Winter Shelter, Family Promise of Washington County, Meals on Wheels, the Elks Food Backpack Program, Community Action, Centro Cultural and the Virginia Garcia Wellness Center.
This season, as cold weather sets in, there is a critical need for funds to operate overnight emergency shelters in Forest Grove and Cornelius. Community Connection also depends on donations to provide emergency food to youth, families and the elderly through several food pantry programs in western Washington County, including a Free Food Market in Forest Grove and Meals on Wheels programs. And it is helping vulnerable families recover from homelessness through a program called Family Promise that provides home goods and furniture that make their new houses a real home.
To learn more about how you can help, or to make a donation, visit communityconnectionwest.org. Look for the "donate" button on the homepage.
HomePlate Youth Services
HomePlate Youth Services provides support and services to young people who are experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Washington County through community building, education, access to services and resources, and youth empowerment. HomePlate operates drop-in centers in Beaverton, Aloha and Hillsboro, where homeless youth can get a free meal and have access to coats and winter clothing, showers, job support, and other resources without having to leave their community. The program also provides outreach on the streets to provide youth with on-site resources and connect them to services in the community.
The need is acute. During the 2017-18 school year, there were 2,663 homeless students in grades K-12 in Washington County. Among these young people are teens who have been thrown out of their homes, run away from home or abandoned by adults in their lives. Others are living with family who struggle to provide a stable home due to foreclosure, job loss and other economic stressors. They sleep on couches, in cars and in shelters.
Last year, HomePlate served 524 at-risk youth with hot meals, hygiene supplies, personal items like backpacks, tent and warm clothing, as well as bus passes, job counseling and school support.
HomePlate has set an ambitious fundraising goal for "Giving Tuesday" on Dec. 3. The nonprofit hopes to raise $30,000 or more. There is also a Board & Friends Matching Challenge that will match all donations made by Dec. 3 up to $12,500.
To learn more about how you can help, or to make a donation, visit homeplateyouth.org. Look for the "donate" button on the homepage.
Meals on Wheels People
Meals on Wheels provides nutritious, hot meals and fellowship to seniors across western Washington County through its dining centers in Forest Grove, Orenco, Cornelius, Aloha and North Plains.
Dining rooms provide more than a meal — seniors share in fellowship and engage in a variety of activities like exercise programs, art classes and field trips that keep aging minds and bodies healthy, active and engaged in their community.
The program also reaches out to some of our community's most vulnerable seniors with its home delivery program.
Each week, volunteers deliver hundreds of meals to elderly who are frail or homebound and who might not otherwise get a hot meal. Volunteers are a friendly face and a lifeline that keeps social isolation at bay. Often, a Meals on Wheels volunteer is the only person a homebound senior will see or speak to during the day. The meals these volunteers deliver are hot and tasty, and packed full of nutritious goodness to keep seniors — who might not be able to cook for themselves or have the means to buy food — healthy and independent.
To learn more about Meals on Wheels People, or to make a donation, visit mowp.org. Look for the "donate" button on the homepage.
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