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Community Action Connect
                                                A publication of
                                                Oregon Coast Community Action

Hunger is Never ‘Bear’-Able
Share Bear Snack Pack Program
   “At mealtimes, I see a kind of panic in      Highland Elementary in Reedsport, with
some children that I didn’t see before. On      each school site
Fridays especially, children are not only       receiving food for
eating all the food on their own tray, but      50 children each
they are asking all the other students around   week. Many
for their spare food,” said Mary Schoen-        children on
Clark, CEO of Oregon Coast Community            the       South
Action. “They are rushing back in line for      Coast need the
seconds, and have to wait there – impa-         food the Share
tiently – while all the other students get a    Bear Snack Pack
first chance to eat, even though these kids     program provides,
are still hungry. Then they smuggle their       and Oregon Coast Community Action is
grilled cheese sandwiches into their coat       currently seeking funds to expand the pro-
pockets, in case they’re hungry later.”         gram and will be serving new schools in
   A groundbreaking food relief program         Coos and Curry counties in 2009.
for children in need, the Share Bear Snack         Oregon Coast Community Action pro-
Pack program, a part of Oregon Coast            vides the regional food bank for Coos
Community Action, is designed to meet the       and Curry counties, South Coast Food
needs of hungry children at times when          Share – which contributes food and
other food is not available, such as week-      administration for the Share Bear Snack
ends and school vacations. At schools           Pack program. All food programs at
served by the Snack Pack program, chil-         Oregon Coast Community Action are
dren’s backpacks are filled with child-         supported only by regional, state and
friendly, nonperishable food each week for      local donations and funding.
                                                                                                and Umpqua Bank, in addition to the mem-        help each other,” said Community Action
children to take home.                             The Snack Pack program has been sup-
                                                                                                bers of many local clubs and groups, have       CEO, Mary Schoen-Clark. “From
   Thee first program of its kind in Oregon,    ported through grants and donations from:
                                                                                                provided volunteer support to this program,     Reedsport to Brookings we’re helping fam-
Snack Pack has provided food to 150 chil-       Mr. MHS – Marshfield High School, Bay
                                                                                                in addition to many community volunteers.       ilies every day to live in a better world, and
dren in need in three school sites since it     Area Sunrise Rotary Club – Coos
                                                                                                As Oregon Coast Community Action                to create a brighter future.”
began two years ago. Due to the success of      Bay/North Bend, The Zonta Club of the
                                                                                                expands the Snack Pack program, more
the Share Bear Snack Pack program on the        Coos Bay Area, Bay Area Rotary Club, the
                                                                                                volunteers will be needed to help pack, sort    Oregon Coast Community Action
South Coast, other backpack food relief pro-    Coos Bay Elks – Lodge No. 1160, and the
                                                                                                and deliver the food to the schools.
grams have been developed throughout            Coos Bay-North Bend Rotary Club, in                                                             2110 Newmark Center
                                                                                                   “At a time like this, when we’re seeing
Oregon, to provide food for hungry children.    addition to many community donations.                                                           Coos Bay, OR 97420
                                                                                                more layoffs and greater need for help with
   “Watching local children fight the           Major funding has been provided through                                                         888-1574
                                                                                                food, energy or housing costs and much
hunger that came with them to school, and       the Oregon Community Foundation, the                                                            www.orcca.us
                                                                                                more, it’s important we do all that we can to
struggle with going back to a home that         National Elks Foundation, Umpqua Bank,
might not have food, is a terrible thing,”      Wal-Mart, Bay Area Hospital, Fred Meyer,
Schoen-Clark said. “Making sure children        and Northwest Community Credit Union,
have the food they need is not an optional      in addition to the great support of many pri-
thing – it is vital.”                           vate donors.
   Three local schools support Oregon              Volunteers have been a vital part of the
Coast Community Action’s Share Bear             Snack Pack program over the last two years
Snack Pack program. Participating schools       – and will continue to be a critical element
include Hillcrest Elementary in North           in the effort to provide more food to hungry                                                    www.theworldlink.com
Bend, Madison Elementary in Coos Bay,           children on the South Coast. The employ-
and the Great Afternoons Program at             ees of Northwest Community Credit Union
                                                                                                                    Advertising Supplement to The World, December 2008
From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 2

                                               Something Bigger Than Myself                                                                                                                                                                   From Wishing to Winning
                                                 Recently I had the                          SHAMA House; Coos County Foster                     dollars in construction funds into our                                                       ORCCA programs:
                                               opportunity to spend                             Parents Association; Coos Crisis                 region, and employ dozens of community                                                       Community Action Connect ................page 3
                                               time with volun-                                    Resolution Center; Salvation Army;            members in support of our mission.                                                           Energy Services Division ..................page 3,4
                                               teers from the                                       T.H.E. House; Oasis Shelter; Star of           In these difficult economic times, where                                                   CASA ................................................page 4
                                               Walter Graham                                         Hope; Bandon Good Neighbors;                many people are coming to Oregon Coast                                                       VISTA ................................................page 5
                                               Myrtle       Point                                    North       Bend       Presbyterian;        Community Action for help for the first                                                      Great Afternoons ..............................page 5
                                               Food       Pantry.                                    Ecumenical Emergency Food                   time, helping our programs and partners in                                                   Head Start ........................................page 6
                                               During our time                                       Cupboard in Coos Bay; Seventh               the community to help those in need is a                                                     Housing Services ............................page 6,7
                                               together one of                                      Day Adventist food pantries in Coos          vital way to support this community.                                                         South Coast Food Share ....................page 7
                                               the volunteers said                                Bay, Coquille and Gold Beach;                  Consider how you can help ORCCA, our
                                               to me, ”Every Sunday                            Confederated Tribes; South Coast                  local partners and pantries by volunteer-                                                    Non-ORCCA programs:
                                               after church we go to                         Garden Association; Brookings-Harbor                ing, donating or finding out more. Go to                                                     Each of these organizations operates
                                               Figaro’s and get the latest newspaper, and    Community Helpers; Charleston Food                  www.orcca.us to find more information or                                                     independently. The funding for each
                                               there is almost always a story about what     Bank; Gold Beach Christian Help;                    call (541) 888-1574.                                                                         of these programs is created by
                                               Oregon Coast Community Action                 Langlois Community Church; Walter                     Thank you for helping us to make a big                                                     donations. Donations may be made
                                               (ORCCA) is doing to help out the com-         Graham Food Pantry in Myrtle Point; The             difference in the lives of those in need. We                                                 directly to each of the organizations.
                                               munity. It feels good to be a part of         Common Good in Port Orford; The Joseph              wish you a happy holiday season and hope                                                     S.H.A.M.A. House ..............................page 8
                                               ORCCA... to be a part of something big-       Project in Powers; AARP Pantry in                   you and your family, stay warm, well-fed                                                     Coos County Foster Parents Association ....page 9
                                               ger than ourselves.”                          Reedsport and others.                               and safe this winter.                                                                        Bay Area First Step ..........................page 10
                                                 That’s what is so special about               Oregon Coast Community Action has                                                                                                              Womens Safety & Resource Center ..page 11
                                               Community Action Connect... it’s about        been a part of the fabric of the South Coast        Sincerely,
                                               being a part of something bigger then our-    community since 1965 – working to help              Mary Schoen-Clark,                                                                           Please visit individual pages for information
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              on how you can make a contribution.
                                               selves. It’s a way to support our neighbors   local families thrive, and live with dignity,       CEO of Oregon Coast Community Action
                                               and to widen our circle of compassion. It’s   security and hope. ORCCA is not only
                                               a way of knowing that your efforts, even if   serving the region through vital programs,
                                               they do not benefit your family or busi-      but expanding. Last year ORCCA added                                                                        Community Action Connect
                                               ness, can help someone else. It’s just like   22 jobs to the community, and in 2009                                                  Oregon Coast Community Action’s new grassroots initiative, Community Action
                                                                                                                                                                                        Connect, is helping more local families in need through a partnership with
                                               reaching out and helping someone to stand     construction on the Community Campus                                                  community leaders, local businesses and organizations. This initiative will provide a
                                               up on their own two feet.                     will begin, with the Head Start Classroom                                             way for families on crisis to get specific items or services they need, such as a haircut,
                                                                                                                                                                                         new clothes for an interview, a bicycle for transportation or a warm meal.
                                                 Community Action Connect is a new           Building and the South Coast Food Share
                                               grassroots initiative of Oregon Coast         Central Food Warehouse going up.                             Oregon Coast Community Action would like to thank the
                                                                                                                                                             founding members of Community Action Connect:
                                               Community Action that works to help           ORCCA also will be working in partner-
                                                                                                                                                    • B ay A r e a C h a m b e r o f C o m m e r c e                  • Books by the Bay                                    • Department of Human
                                               more local families in need through a part-   ship with the Walter Graham Food Pantry                • K-DOCK radio                                                    • Shaklee                                               Services Clothing Closet and
                                               nership with many local businesses organ-     and the Myrtle Point Ministerial                       • Senator Joanne Verger                                           • Awesome Cuts                                          Community Outreach
                                                                                                                                                    • Rep. Arnie Roblan                                               • Roger’s Zoo                                         • Salvation Army
                                               izations and individuals.                     Association, to remodel and expand its                 • Coos Bay Mayor Jeff McKeown                                                                                           • Epiphany and Co.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Whoozit’s Whatzit’s Gadgets
                                                 As a part of our Community Action           current building into a small warehouse,               • Yellow Cab                                                      • Bi-Mart stores                                      • My Yarn Shop
                                               Connect initiative, we’re proud to intro-     which will be a part of South Coast Food               • Colette’s: Good Food + Hungry Minds                             • McKay’s Fresh Mart                                  • Knutson Towboat Company
                                                                                                                                                    • Goodwill Industries                                             • Bay Area Enterprise Appliance                       • Benetti’s Italian Restaurant
                                               duce the first annual Oregon Coast            Share’s distribution network and provide               • Curl Up N Dye                                                     Center                                              • Smith Barney
                                               Community Action holiday publication:         food to Coos County pantries in Myrtle                   P l e a s e s u p p o r t b u s i n e s s e s , o r g a n i z a t i o n s & i n d iv i d u a l s t h a t a r e t a k i n g a c t i o n t o h e l p t h o s e i n n e e d !
                                               Community Action Connect – From               Point, Coquille, Powers and Bandon.                    Get Connected! Help support your neighbors during these tough economic times, and know you’re making a big
                                               Wishing To Winning. This publication is       These projects will release several million                 d i ff e r e n c e f o r t h o s e i n n e e d . To j o i n C o m m u n i t y A c t i o n C o n n e c t c a l l 8 8 8 - 7 1 7 1 o r g o t o w w w. o r c c a . u s .
                                               part of our effort to help the South Coast
                                               come together in support of local families
                                               and organizations that make a huge dif-
                                               ference in our communities, at a time
                                               when those in need in our region need
                                                                                                    Name________________________________________                                                                Community Action Connect
                                                                                                    Mailing Address________________________________
                                               help the most.                                                                                                                                                     From Wishing to Winning
                                                 It is our long support of organizations            Billing Address________________________________
                                                                                                                                                                                                              Make checks payable to:
                                               and groups that work to help families in
                                               our region that prompted us to include               City____________________________Zip____________                                                           Oregon Coast Community Action
                                               four of our partners in this Community               Daytime Phone ________________________________                                                            Credit card or debit card contributions
                                               Action Connect publication, so the com-                                                                                                                        may be made by visiting www.orcca.us
                                               munity could have another opportunity to             The money collected through Community Action Connect: From Wishing                                        Please include this coupon and indicate which of the
                                               see how vital these local organizations are          to Winning, will be used to fulfill the needs of the organizations and pro-                               following “From Wishing to Winning” ORCCA
                                               to those in our region. Although Oregon              grams showcased in this publication. All contributions to Oregon Coast                                    programs you would like your contributions to support.
                                               Coast Community Action does not                      Community Action programs, or its community partners - Women's Safety &
                                               administer these agencies, we provide                Resource Center, Bay Area First Step, SHAMA House and Coos County
                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Community Action Connect                                                CASA
                                                                                                    Foster Parents Association - will make significant contributions on behalf of
                                               some financial support to their mission to           those in need in our community.                                                                                Energy Housing & Weatherization                                         Head Start
                                               help our neighbors create a brighter future                                                                                                                         Great Afternoons                                                        Food Share
                                               on the South Coast.                                              Donations to Oregon Coast Community Action are tax                                                                                                                         Other
                                                 We help support the work of several                             deductible to the extent allowed by law. Your personal
                                               local organizations and food pantries in                             information WILL NOT be released to any other                                           Mail your contribution to:
                                               our region, including: Women’s Safety &                              organizations without your prior written permission.                                    Oregon Coast Community Action
                                               Resource Center; Bay Area First Step;                              Tax ID # 93-0547036                                                                       2110 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420

Connecting to Those In Need                                                                   point in her life came in connecting with
                                                                                              her husband, Jerry. In their partnership,
                                                                                              the two found a new way of life, and dis-
                                                                                                                                             Bay Area to become a supporter of
                                                                                                                                             Community Action Connect. Jessica pro-
                                                                                                                                             vided several certificates for soup, bread
Community Action Connect                                                                      covered a shared desire to help those liv-
                                                                                              ing in poverty in our community.
                                                                                                                                             and a beverage to ORCCA for families in
                                              sacrifices she deemed necessary to take            “When we were setting up our busi-            Jessica believes it speaks well of our
                                              good care of her daughter.                      ness – Colette’s: Good Food + Hungry           community that people recognize the
                                                 “I can’t imagine what it must be like        Minds, we visualized what we wanted,”          needs of others and their own responsi-
                                              living in poverty with more than one            Jessica said. “We knew we wanted to            bility to meet those needs.
                                              child,” Jessica said. “I grew up the oldest     support community, and decided on                “If everyone does the little bit they
                                              of nine kids and I knew we were living          some specific aspects: those suffering         can, it all matters and it all helps,” she
                                              under the poverty line, but we lived on a       abuse, homelessness and hunger were at         said. “We’re all in this together.”
                                              farm, raising our own meat, milk cows           top of list.”
                                              and vegetables. I never felt poverty until         That’s when Colette’s began working
                                              I left home at fourteen.”                       with local organizations that fight pover-
                                                 Due to her uneasiness with navigating        ty – including Oregon Coast Community
                                              the state assistance programs, such as          Action. Hosting food drives and
                                              welfare or Food Stamps, Jessica largely
                                              did without the sort of programs that
                                                                                              fundraisers to provide more resources for
                                                                                              local organizations was one way to help,
                                                                                                                                               Wish List
                                              might have helped her and her daughter          but Jessica wasn’t satisfied she and Jerry
                                                                                                                                               • Gift certificates for thrift stores,
                                              when they were living in poverty. Even          were making a big enough impact on
Jessica and Jerry support Community Action                                                                                                     restaurants, taxi rides, bus
                                              though she was a single mother, Jessica         those in need in our community.
Support.                                                                                                                                       passes, gas vouchers, hygiene
                                                     never applied for welfare – but she         That changed when Oregon Coast
  Jessica Lloyd-Rogers knows how                                                                                                               items, and more.
                                                           did receive Food Stamps            Community Action began its new grass-
to feed a family of two on $30 a                              twice – for six months          roots initiative to help local families –
month – which means no condi-                                                                                                                  • Or become a member making
                                                               each time.                     Community Action Connect. An effort to
ments, no frivolities, living on                                                                                                               a cash donation. Information
                                                                   But admitting she          work with local businesses and organiza-
beans and rice, and $3.99                                                                                                                      about membership can be found
                                                                 needed help also meant       tions to provide items and services to
boxes of chicken thighs.                                                                                                                       at www.orcca.us
                                                                 sacrificing the one          those in need in our region, Community
Cheese was a luxury, but                                        thing Jessica always had      Action Connect offers our everyone in
Jessica made sure her family                                   no matter how desperate        the community a way to provide those in
always had milk, even if it was                              things would get – her           need a hand-up – not a hand out. The
powdered milk.                                                                                                                               Community Action Connect
                                                          pride. Accepting Food Stamps        program relies on gift certificates from          Community Action Connect is a new grass-
  Although Jessica hasn’t lived in pover-     was a blow to her pride, but Jessica said       local businesses, or donations, which can
ty for many years, her struggle to make                                                                                                      roots initiative of Oregon Coast Community
                                              she wouldn’t have sought the help to pay        help Community Action provide items or         Action that works to help more local families
ends meet is an experience she won’t          for food if she hadn’t been desperate.          services to local families that other pro-     in need through a partnership with many local
soon forget.                                     “When I went on food stamps, I got the       grams can’t – such as a new suit for a job     business, government and individuals. This ini-
  “I was temporarily hungry. I was hun-       help because I was caring for my daugh-         interview, a warm meal, or a bicycle to        tiative will provide a way for families in crisis
gry for hours at a time or for a couple of    ter and I didn’t want to worry about her        get to work.                                   to get items or services they need, such as a
days, but never for days and days, and I      going hungry. It’s hard to watch your               “We might not see some of these small      haircut, new clothes for an interview, or a warm
felt lucky that I could make it work. I       children go hungry,” Jessica said. “I got       offerings as important, but they can real-     meal. Sponsors and members of Community
would work for room and board, or in a        off of the food stamps as quickly as I          ly make a difference in someone’s life,”       Action Connect are helping Oregon Coast
grocery store,” said Jessica.                 could,” she said.                               said Jessica. “Having money, comfort,          Community Action to provide a hand up, not a
  Living in poverty leaves many people           Things began to change when Jessica’s        warmth or shelter doesn’t make us              hand out. With this program, the community
unable to think beyond the next pay-          daughter moved out and began to live on         morally superior, it obligates us. We need     can help us create a brighter future for all of the
check, the next bill that will go unpaid,     her own. Jessica was able to make some          to be compassionate with those who are         South Coast. For more information, those
or the empty shelves. Struggling through      different choices, and took a job as a          struggling to make ends meet.”                 interested can go to www.orcca.us or to
that time in her life, Jessica made the       live-in caregiver. The biggest turning             Colette’s was the first business in the     become a member call (541) 888-7171.

Staying Safe and Warm                                                                         Oregon Coast Community Action’s Energy
                                                                                              Services Division and asked the
                                                                                              Weatherization staff to review Helen’s situ-
                                                                                                                                                Through the Weatherization program
                                                                                                                                              Oregon Coast Community Action was
                                                                                                                                              able to provide Helen with a new furnace,
Oregon Coast Community Action’s Energy Services Division                                      ation and see if there was any way to help.     insulate her floor and attic, replace several
   After 62 years in her family home,         furnace, as a retired widow she was living         “When we heard from Rick and he told         windows and installed a CO detector to
Helen McGraw’s furnace was breaking           on a fixed income. Trying to repair her         us about Helen’s situation, we knew             help keep her safe.
down. The machine was spilling soot out       longtime Coos Bay home or face the con-         immediately that we could probably help           “Because of the work Community
of the registers and leaking poisonous        sequences was very upsetting to Helen.          her – but we just weren’t sure how much         Action did I was able to fix my roof. I
gases – and producing little heat.              “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I      help we could offer. After we completed         could never have afforded any of the
   A great-grandmother of 33 and a great-     didn’t have the money to get every thing        her energy audit it was clear to us she was     repairs on my own,” Helen said. “The
great-grandmother three times over, Helen     done that needed to be done. I needed a         in a really bad situation,” said Shawna         neighborhood children got together and
called All Weather Heating for help – but     new window for the front of my house, it        Souza, Energy Auditor for Oregon Coast          saw all the work being done on my house,
once the repairman arrived it was clear the   was falling out, I needed a heater, and I       Community Action.                               and I guess they thought I was short on
situation wasn’t good. A cracked heat         needed to have a new roof put on,” Helen           Community Action’s Weatherization            money because they brought me $2.23 in
exchanger on the furnace was making the       said. “I didn’t know what I was going to        staff performed an energy audit on Helen’s      pennies, nickels and dimes to help out.
appliance dangerous to use and could          do to stay warm. I just didn’t know what I      house and determined she was not only           They said it was money they didn’t need. I
potentially fill the house with poisonous     was going to do.”                               living in a poorly weatherized house that       keep it right here by my chair to remind
gas fumes.                                      But Rick at All Weather Heating wasn’t        was leaking valuable heat and energy, but       me of what great kids we have in this
   Helen was facing going without heat        willing to let Helen face her troubles alone.   also that Helen qualified for assistance to     neighborhood.”
because she couldn’t afford to repair the     He returned to his office and contacted         weatherize her home.                                                       continued page 4
                                                  continued from page 3
From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 4

                                                  Having Community Action services
                                               available on the South Coast means many
                                               families receive the help they need to get
                                                                                             Finding Happy Endings                                                                            family members, encouraged to meet
                                                                                                                                                                                              friends, neighbors or clergy members.
                                                                                                                                                                                              CASA's contact nearly everyone in the
                                               through tough times. The Energy Services                                 Dee Stull has        County, and work to make sure each child         children's lives in order to advocate for
                                                                                                                      touched the lives      is placed in a safe, caring and permanent        their best interests.
                                               Division at Oregon Coast Community
                                                                                                                      of many people         home. Prospective CASAs are asked to                Helping families come back together, or
                                               Action provides a variety of services to
                                                                                                                      over the last 10       complete 30 hours of initial training            seeing a child adopted by a new family, is
                                               the South Coast community, including the
                                                                                                                      years. A great-        before taking on a case. These dedicated         the best outcome for CASA children. Dee
                                               Low Income Energy Assistance Program
                                                                                                                      grandmother of         volunteers make a significant difference         has seen six of her CASA children adopted
                                               (LIEAP) for help to pay utility bills, free
                                                                                                                      eight, Dee has         in the decisions made on behalf of chil-         by foster parents over the last 10 years,
                                               education and tips on saving money on
                                                                                                                      helped many chil-      dren by the Coos County Juvenile Court.          and two more are in the process of being
                                               electricity or heating bills, as well as
                                                                                                                      dren in her life -        After retiring from her career as a book-     adopted.
                                               assistance in weatherizing homes to save
                                                                                                                      but one of the         keeper, Dee said she became a CASA in               In order to help more children in need in
                                               energy and help families save even more                                                                                                        our community, Dee encourages communi-
                                                                                                                      biggest impacts        order to help the most needy children in
                                               in energy costs. All Energy Services pro-                                                                                                      ty members to become a CASA volunteer
                                                                                                                      has been as a          our community. A warm, caring woman,
                                               grams assist local families that meet state   Court Appointed Special Advocate in             Dee has helped not only individual chil-         or help support the CASA program.
                                               or federal income qualifications.             Coos County.                                    dren find a safe, caring permanent home –           “Every kid needs somebody, and every
                                                  “Making a big difference in the lives of      Working to improve the lives of abused       but is also helping some children for the        vulnerable child needs a CASA,” Dee
                                               people in need in our community makes         and neglected children and represent their      second time. Although she is always glad         said. “There are lots of retired people in
                                               me feel inspired,” Shawna said. “It’s so      best interests in court, CASA volunteers        to see the children she helped, seeing           this community who have the experience
                                               rewarding to work with people like Helen,     have the ability to keep children from          them back in the system isn't the outcome        that could help lots of children. If we only
                                               who just need a little help to make it        falling through the cracks of the foster care   she hopes for as a CASA. But at least now        had 50 more CASAs, we could help all the
                                               through. Seeing the way our help can          system. Dee has been a CASA since 1999,         she knows the children will have someone         needy children in Coos County – and
                                               make a big difference in someone’s life,      not long after the program began serving        on their side once more, someone to stand        make sure our local kids have a much
                                               and give them hope, is amazing.”              Coos County children in 1993.                   up for their best interests – which they         brighter future.”
                                                  Knowing there’s help for those in need        “There was only 20 or 25 volunteers          will need now more than ever.                       The preliminary 30-hour training to
                                               lightens Helen’s heart. Although she had      when I started, and now there are about            “These kids live every day waiting.           become a CASA volunteer is offered
                                               never used Community Action programs          50 of us,” Dee said with a smile. “There        They live with the constant disappoint-          twice a year, and there is on going in-serv-
                                               before, she said receiving help from          are many people in our community help-          ment of inconsistency – inconsistent par-        ice training. While the tasks ahead of a
                                               ORCCA’s programs was a wonderful              ing children.”                                  ents, inconsistent schools, and inconsis-        CASA can seem a little daunting, Dee
                                               experience. Knowing there are organiza-          CASA of Coos County is a program of          tent lives. All a CASA can do is try to          said she received excellent training and
                                               tions in our region that are focused on       Oregon Coast Community Action and               make sure that medical appointments are          staff members at the CASA program are
                                               helping those in need and making things       financially supported by the Coos County        kept, that the child is kept in school, as       very supportive.
                                               possible for everyone – no matter where       Commission on Children and Families.            well as keeping sure that they are in a lov-        “You just have to remind yourself when
                                               they live or how they live – makes us all     The program provides training and sup-          ing safe environment,” Dee said. “There          things get tough, it's all about the children
                                               really blessed, Helen said.                   port to about 50 local CASA volunteers,         are lots of ups and downs, but you're just       - and what is best for them,” Dee said
                                                  “It makes me think we live in a won-       who advocate for children in the foster         there to try to help the kids.”                  with a smile. “CASAs help children find
                                               derful place, it makes me ask what I did to   care system. Volunteers represent the best         CASA volunteers are privy to medical          a happier ending, and there's no better
                                               deserve all this help. I can’t think of       interests of vulnerable children in Coos        records, school records, meetings with           feeling that that.”
                                               enough words to say
                                               ‘thank you’,” she said. “It
                                               has also shown me that
                                               there is still some good in
                                                                                                                                              • Become a CASA volunteer
                                                                                                                                              • Help raise funds for CASA as a member of the
                                                                                                                                                Friends of CASA
                                                                                                                                                                                                          Wish List
                                               the world. The help we
                                                                                                                                              • Volunteer in the CASA office
                                               can get from Community                                                                         • Promote CASA at your social events and clubs
                                               Action can really make                                                                         • Purchase CASA jewelry and wear it proudly
                                               the difference between                                                                         • Shop at Albertsons with your Community Partner Card –
                                               losing someone’s home,                                                                           and a percentage of the purchases will go to support CASA!
                                               and finding new hope for
                                               the future.”                                                                                   *Find out more on how to support CASA,
                                                                                                                                              the Community Partner Card program and
                                                  Instead of worrying
                                                                                                                                              where to purchase CASA items, at www.orcca.us
                                               about staying warm and
                                               safe in her home, which
                                               was built by her family                                                                       Energy Services
                                               more than 60 years ago,                                                                         Oregon Coast Community Action’s Energy Services provides support to help households deal
                                               Helen has been able to use                                                                    with increasing energy costs both in payments and methods to lower energy usage, including the
                                               the services offered at                                                                       weatherization of over 100 homes a year. Energy Services offers the Low Income Energy
                                               Oregon Coast Community                                                                        Assistance Program (LIEAP), which provides a one-time utility payment to families in need;
                                               Action to repair, weather-                                                                    other services include crisis utility payments, free energy education workshops that can save
                                               ize and improve the use of                                                                    households as much as $200 a year on electric bills, free energy saving products (for those that
                                               her home – where                                                                              qualify), low-income weatherization services and more. For more information, those interested
                                               she will continue                                                                             can go to www.orcca.us or call (541) 888-1574.
                                               to do the things
                                                                                                                                                                         • Volunteer to assist with office work, reception
                                               she loves in
                                               the home she
                                                                                                                                              Wish List                    and data entry
                                                                                                                                                                         • Firewood for clients dependent on wood-heat
                                               loves, with her
                                               cherished cat                                                                                                             • Subscriptions to parents’ and children’s magazines
                                               Misty for many                                                                                                              (Parenting, My Big Back Yard, Ranger Rick, Highlights, etc.)
                                               years to come.                                                                                                            • Gift certificates for food at WalMart or Burger King

Growing a Healthy Community
   While many organizations and communi-
ty efforts focus on helping low-income
families or vulnerable children in a variety
                                                  school, a place to learn, a place to volun-
                                                  teer, a place to help others or just find
                                                  some homework help.
                                                                                                Great Afternoons
                                                                                                   Great Afternoons is a program of Oregon       Childcare, for ages 3-12, Great Times after
of ways, only one national organization has          By working in partnership with the
                                                                                                Coast Community Action that provides an          school and summer school activities for
been dedicated to “Fighting Poverty with          AmeriCorps VISTA program, Great
                                                                                                array of services on a sliding scale to chil-    grades K-6 as well as family night events,
Passion,” for more than 40 years. The             Afternoons Director Chris Marsh and the
                                                                                                dren ages 6 weeks to 12 years and their fam-     Great Opportunities- parenting classes,
Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA)          Great Afternoons staff have worked to cre-
                                                                                                ilies in Reedsport, Winchester Bay, Gardiner     exercise, credit retrieval for high school stu-
program has worked to relieve poverty             ate some exciting changes in the Reedsport
                                                                                                and the surrounding area. Great Afternoons       dents and the Great Garden, a community
around the world, empowering volunteers           community. The Great Garden, and other
                                                                                                is an essential component of the Reedsport       garden project that provided nutrition edu-
of all ages to step up and make a difference      VISTA projects are just some of the ways
                                                                                                Community, providing safe and affordable         cation, food security and multigenerational
for those in need. Now a part of                  that dedicated volunteers helped to bring
                                                                                                childcare and educational experiences for        activities. In this small rural community the
AmeriCorps, VISTA members work for the            about great change – and watched it grow.
                                                                                                children, the majority of whom come from         link between this program and the school
best of communities all over the nation.             “The most inspiring thing about work-
                                                                                                low-income households. The programs              district as well as the hospital and local
   On the South Coast, VISTA and                  ing with VISTA members have been their
                                                                                                serve over 100 children and include Great        agencies is a strong one. Together we work
AmeriCorps volunteers have helped                 self-motivation and their deep convic-
                                                                                                Beginnings, infant and toddler care for birth    to provide a good positive environment for
schools, organizations and local churches         tions,” said Chris Marsh. “Each of the
                                                                                                to three, Great Afternoons Pre-school and        our children.
to provide new services for families in           VISTA members who helped to create the
need. Through the efforts of VISTA work-          garden has really inspired this community.
ers, Oregon Coast Community Action has            They all brought back idealism to our area    AmeriCorps & VISTA
been able to reach out into the community         in a positive way – to the community, to         AmeriCorps volunteers and Volunteer In
and change hundreds of lives.                     the Great Afternoons students, to our staff   Service To America members (VISTA), repre-
   Great Afternoons has made a direct             and to me personally. And that is a gift.”    sent the national service program designed
impact on the entire community of                    The Great Garden has grown hundreds        specifically to fight poverty. VISTA members
Reedsport through its VISTA service proj-         of pounds of vegetables for the benefit of    commit to serve full-time for a year at a non-
ect – the Great Garden. This effort was           low-income families, and a sense of com-      profit organization or local government
                                                                                                agency, working to fight illiteracy, improve
focused not only on helping to teach local        munity spirit has taken seed in the garden
                                                                                                health services, create businesses, strengthen
children about food sources, science, and         and bring many different people together.
                                                                                                community groups, and much more. For more
provide hands-on-learning opportunities,          Volunteers not only plant or weed the gar-
                                                                                                information, those interested can go to
but also to grow fruits and vegetables for        den, but also teach Great Afternoon stu-
Reedsport food pantries.                          dents and encourage others to try new
   “Fighting hunger and offering children         foods. The garden also unites the
new opportunities is one of the most              Reedsport community, providing a com-
important goals of the Great Garden,” said        munal space for people of all backgrounds
Community Garden Coordinator VISTA                to come together in the name of service
Sarah Turner. “Without VISTA, it would            and commitment.
have been almost impossible to get the               Although in January Sarah Turner will
Great Garden started.”                            leave Reedsport and branch out into the
   Many families in the Reedsport area live       world, the Great Garden and its communi-
below the poverty level and rely on the           ty spirit will continue. Garden volunteers
food provided through local food pantries.        will carry-on the teaching, planting and
Offering more fresh produce for local fam-        growing, continuing to unite the commu-
ilies in need ensures more children and           nity in the great hope of eternal spring.
families can benefit from good nutrition,
and children in Reedsport have a chance to
see how food is grown first hand.
   Dedicating a year to VISTA is a big com-
mitment, but Sarah said she wanted to make
                                                     Wish List
                                                     • Two large 4-seat
a meaningful difference in the world.
                                                                                                               “F R E E Cruise”
   “I was eager to help educate youth, indi-         • New board games,                           We have       FREE
                                                                                                                F                           Checking accounts for anyone over 50!
viduals, and families about the importance             watercolors, paints
of nutrition and healthy eating,” she said.            and assorted arts
                                                       and craft supplies.
“But the real surprise, the real joy is in see-
                                                     • Two large compost bins
ing the community adopt the garden as                  for the Great Garden.
their own – seeing volunteers of all ages            • Volunteers to rock and feed
working together and coming together in                babies in the daycare
the garden.”                                           program.
                                                     • Volunteers to read and
   Great Afternoons, an Oregon Coast                   play with preschool age
Community Action program in the                        children.
Reedsport area, provides a sliding-scale             • Volunteers to provide
daycare and after-school services. The                 homework help to children                                               IT’S NOT WHAT YOU EXPECT!
                                                       of all ages.
safe, caring and educational environment             • Volunteers for weeding, planting,
of the Great Afternoons program means                  building beds, harvesting and more.
                                                                                                   700 S. Broadway, Coos Bay, OR                 2330 Broadway, North Bend, OR
students have somewhere to go after                                                                        (541) 267-6611                                (541) 756-2011

                                               Getting a Head Start on Health
From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 6

                                                South Coast Head Start is a preschool program for low-income children, ages three to                  their community,
                                                five, provided by Oregon Coast Community Action. Head Start offers activities for children            which include
                                                that help them grow mentally, socially, emotionally and physically, and provides a safe               vulnerable fami-
                                                environment for children of low-income families.                                                      lies, in addition to
                                                South Coast Head Start also provides comprehensive social service for the families of their           their own employees,
                                                students, providing support in emergencies and assisting parents in securing resources to             friends and families –
                                                benefit their family as a whole. The Head Start program encourages growth and devel-                  has been the crucial support needed to make
                                                opment of children and families through classroom experiences and home visits.                        sure several Community Action programs
                                                                                                                                                                                                         Umpqua Bank volunteers help children through
                                                                                                                                                      were able to make a difference in the lives of     Health in Action Initiative.
                                                  Even for children in rural communities,        has been an avid supporter of the Health in          those in need.
                                               playing outside or around the neighbor-           Action program.                                         “We believe Umpqua's volunteer program          cation while also receiving services they
                                               hood is becoming a thing of the past. Often,         “We got involved in Oregon Coast                  could be a catalyst in stimulating other busi-     need, such as food.”
                                               keeping children safe may mean restricting        Community Action’s children programs by              nesses to think about how they can interact           Head Start realizes the value of educating
                                               them indoors, and less physical play has          helping out with the Share Bear Snack Pack           with their communities,” Yarbrough said.           their students and families, and the value of
                                               become one of the reasons behind the              program, which touched our hearts,” said             “We couldn’t think of anything more impor-         community support in creating change. In
                                               growing epidemic of childhood obesity and         Sherry Yarbrough, Vice-President at Umpqua           tant in our community than working to keep         partnership with Umpqua Bank, and through
                                               poor nutrition.                                   Bank. “Knowing the big difference we were            children healthy. We hope others will join us      the Health in Action program, Head Start is
                                                  But South Coast Head Start, a program of       helping to make in the difference of the lives       in working to protect our most valuable            actively helping local students incorporate
                                               Oregon Coast Community Action, is giving          of local children really motivated our employ-       resource – our children.”                          healthy foods and physical activities into their
                                               young children and their families a head start    ees to volunteer for the Health and Action pro-         The associates at Umpqua Bank believe it        lives, and hopes to increase the number of
                                               on developing healthy habits.                     gram as well.”                                       is vitally important to educate today’s youth      happy, healthy families on the South Coast.
                                                  “Every Head Start program in the nation           Involvement in the communities served by          in the areas of nutrition and physical activi-
                                               has seen more children in our age group,          Umpqua Bank branches is an important tradi-          ty, which can help young people to live a
                                               from three to five years old, suffering from
                                               childhood obesity or at risk for health prob-
                                                                                                 tion for the company, said Yarbrough.
                                                                                                 Currently, Umpqua Bank provides its
                                                                                                                                                      healthy lifestyle.
                                                                                                                                                         “Our community is greatly affected by the          Wish List
                                               lems,” said Dale Helland, Director of South       employees with 40 hours of paid volunteer            current economy. There are many families             • Funding for Family Food Boxes for
                                               Coast Head Start. “We’re very concerned that      time every year to devote to youth focused           that do not have the option to eat a healthy           Head Start programs ($6 a box)
                                               without taking the initiative to help our local   organizations, schools, and community                meal, simply because they lack the knowledge         • Children's reading books for ages
                                               families understand healthy eating and activ-     development programs.                                or funds for healthier foods,” Yarbrough said.         3-4 (especially Dr. Suess!)
                                                                                                                                                                                                           • Learning toys for ages 3-4, such as
                                               ity, even our young students will be facing a        The community focus of Umpqua Bank has            “Health in Action is an excellent step to help
                                                                                                                                                                                                             wooden puzzles (10-15 pieces),
                                               health crisis.”                                   helped many Community Action programs to             our local families develop the skills they need        crayons, balls and more.
                                                  Creating a safe and healthy environment        assist more families in need, and help create a      to be healthy and raise healthy children, and        • Donations of time from local dentists &
                                               for children is part of the mission of South      brighter future on the South Coast. Umpqua           Head Start’s holistic family approach means            doctors for children's checkups
                                               Coast Head Start, and promoting healthy eat-      Bank’s dedication to helping local families in       more families will receive this important edu-
                                               ing, physical play and family fun is the latest
                                               way Head Start is looking out for children
                                               and creating a brighter future for families in
                                               our region. South Coast Head Start and Head
                                               Start programs throughout Oregon have taken
                                                                                                 The Road Out Of Poverty                                                                                 hard to imagine a different way of life.
                                                                                                                                                                                                            “I was amazed to find out that Community
                                                                                                    For some families, it seems no matter how         had become a part of their daily lives.            Action is there to help, not to make you feel
                                               action to address some of the root causes of      hard they work things only get worse. Bills             “When I was young, my dad told me ‘No           bad – there really are people who want to
                                               childhood obesity through the new Health in       continue to pile up, money never seems to            one helps someone else for free.’ So, I felt       help you make it through a hard time. The
                                               Action initiative.                                stretch far enough – and trying to choose            like I couldn’t reach out for help even when       people at Community Action treated me like
                                                  Focusing on the entire family, Health in       between heat and electricity and food to             I really needed it,” Margaret said. “Plus, I       a friend, like I was a human being, not like
                                               Action promotes healthy eating, physical                         feed their family is a common         thought if I did, people would think that I        they were better than I was,” Margaret said.
                                               play and family fun, by providing free activi-                       decision.                         wasn’t trying hard enough. But in the end, I       “They really helped me get back on my feet
                                               ty kits for Head Start families, featuring                                Even though she was          just couldn’t let my kids go hungry any-           and accomplish something to put my family
                                               active toys, games for the whole family and                             working three jobs,            more…”                                             in a better place. It was an amazing thing, to
                                               information on good nutrition.                                           when “Margaret” came             That’s what drew Margaret to seek help          get help that made such a big difference in
                                                  “The games and information in the                                     to      Oregon       Coast    from Oregon Coast Community Action. She            my life, and the lives of my children.”
                                               Health in Action kits are designed to get                               Community Action for           came in to the Energy Services Division for           The Energy Services Division completed a
                                               children moving, and provide the family                               help she was facing a huge       help with a shut-off notice for her utilities in   Weatherization and Dwelling Assessment of
                                               with something to do together,” said Helland.                      electric bill and caring for her    her hand – and found a lot more help than          Margaret’s home, discovering a leaking
                                               “The kits come in a series of five, with each     disabled father in addition to three children.       she expected. Caseworkers for ORCCA’s              water pipe and several other areas in the
                                               one providing a lesson on nutrition that chil-    Her family had been living without necessi-          Energy Services programs enrolled                  house that were leaking energy – including
                                               dren can really enjoy, such as step one, which    ties in order to pay for their utilities, but even   Margaret’s family in Energy Education and          poor insulation and in-efficient energy use –
                                               is called Jump into Dairy and Moo’ve into         with the sacrifices they were already making         made an immediate crisis payment on their          which had resulted in high utility costs.
                                               Milk! We believe the family focus of the free     – it just wasn’t enough.                             utility bill.                                      Community Action negotiated with
                                               kits will allow us to help families form             “I was trying to pay my medical bills, care          Margaret also was enrolled in Community         Margaret’s landlord, who agreed to pay half
                                               healthy eating and activity habits, and keep      for my family and then my ex-husband up              Action’s Home Based Tenant Assistance              of the water bill due to the leaking pipe.
                                               our local kids healthy and happy.”                and left me with a $900 electric bill,”              program, which lowered her housing costs              Community Action also helped Margaret
                                                  Health in Action was developed by the          Margaret said. “I paid and I paid, but just          and allowed Margaret to work on paying off         get emergency food box assistance from
                                               Child Development Center at Oregon State          couldn’t catch up. No matter what I did, it          her medical bills. The tenant assistance pro-      local pantries that work with South Coast
                                               University and is supported in Coos and           just kept getting worse.”                            gram provided Margaret with the chance             Food Share, an Oregon Coast Community
                                               Curry counties by donations from Wal-Mart            In trying to pay their bills, Margaret and        she’d been looking for – to get ahead and          Action program. The emergency food helped
                                               and Coquille Valley Fitness Center.               her family tried to make do without any help.        make enough money to care for her family.          keep Margaret’s family from going hungry
                                               Volunteers are a crucial part of the success      They went cold without their heat and quick-         This change was a huge shift for the family,       and improved the quality of their nutrition
                                               of the Health in Action program within            ly learned food was a luxury – going hungry          which had lived in crisis for so long it was       and diet.
                                               South Coast Head Start, and Umpqua Bank                                                                                                                                                         continued
   “I was really surprised to learn there are a         Community Action, Margaret has a financial        received, my family’s future will be filled with   * This is a real story. Names in this story have been
lot of people in town that are willing to help –        plan and a job that she really enjoys. Margaret   success – not hunger and fear,” Margaret said.     changed for privacy reasons.
a lot more than I realized. There are food              also has continued to use the local food          “I’ve traded fear for the hope I always wanted,
pantries, the libraries, the Salvation Army,            pantries as necessary and her family no longer    and I know there’s only more good to come.”
even the Fire Departments,” Margaret said.              goes hungry, and her family now has plenty of
   To help Margaret improve her job skills, Oregon      affordable heat. Margaret also recently           Housing
Coast Community Action caseworkers helped               received the good news that her daughter has         The Emergency Services division of Oregon Coast Community Action aims to provide emer-
Margaret enroll in continuing education courses at      been awarded a scholarship to Southwestern        gency rental assistance, affordable housing units (located in Coos Bay), listings of available
Southwestern Oregon Community College. She              Oregon Community College.                         rentals, housing counseling and more services. The Oregon Department of Oregon Housing &
now attends a monthly focus group at Community             With ORCCA’s help, Margaret and her            Community Services funds many of ORCCA’s housing assistance services. Emergency Services
Action, where she is learning budgeting, life skills,   family have come a long way from the time         include, the Rental Assistance Program, Home Tenant Based Assistance, and Coos Oregon
home safety, and how to develop her goals and           when they were afraid of the cold and facing      Leasing + Services, the Family Transitions Program, Transitional Housing, Salmon Industry
dreams into a brighter future for her family.           a daily struggle.                                 Assistance, the Northwest Dental Van, the 10-Year-Plan-To-End-Homelessness and more. For
   Through her work with her caseworker at                 “I’m hopeful that with all the help I’ve       more information, those interested can go to www.orcca.us or call (541) 888-1574

Giving and Receiving                                                                                her family with the last $600 available for cri-
                                                                                                    sis utility payments.”
                                                                                                                                                                The Energy Services Division and South
                                                                                                                                                             Coast Food Share programs of Oregon Coast
                                                                                                       While Gerri was going through her finan-              Community Action are just two ways the
South Coast Food Share                                                                              cial documents with Community Action                     organization works to help families on the
                                                                                   illness     that Energy Services, the volunteers at the Walter            South Coast.
                                                                                 required $4,800 Graham Food Pantry, which is part of Oregon                    Making sure the Canaday family will be
                                                                                in     medication Coast Community Action’s South Coast Food                  able to face other challenges is just one
                                                                                   every month – Share program, filled Gerri’s truck with food               more way Community Action has made a
                                                                                    adding fuel to for her family. And before she could leave,               big difference in the lives of those who need
                                                                                        the fire of the Myrtle Point Ministerial Association –               it the most.
                                                                                        the fami- that works closely with the Food Pantry, pro-                  “Community Action has always been there
                                                                                                                      vided the Canaday family               for me and having that helping hand when it
                                                                                                                      with a $300 check to help              really counts is really important. Not just for
                                                                                                                      pay additional bills.                  us, but for everyone – at times like we’re in
                                                                                                                         The outpouring of sup-              now, being able to count on one another could
                                                                                                                      port from her community                be the only thing that gets us all through,” she
                                                                                                                      made a big impression on               said. “I may need assistance again, and know-
                                                                                                                      Gerri, who hadn’t expected             ing that there is help out there makes it easier
                                                                                                                      to receive such generous               not to sweat the small stuff. It makes it easier
                                                                                                                      help from her friends,                 to just be here for my family, while I can.”
                                                                                                                      neighbors and others at
                                                                                                                      Oregon Coast Community
                                                                                                                      Action, Walter Graham                   South Coast Food Share
                                                                                                                      Food Pantry and the Myrtle                 South Coast Food Share is a member of
   For many families in need,                                                                                         Point             Ministerial           Oregon Food Bank and the regional food bank
giving back to their community                                                                                        Association.                            for Coos and Curry counties. It is a network of
and the organizations that                                                                                               “I was just so grateful for          more than 30 local food pantries and meal sites
helped them pay their electric                                                                                        the help, and I had been                committed to the belief that no one should be
bills, educate their children,                                                                                        worried about asking for
                                                                                                                                                              hungry. As a program of Oregon Coast
feed their family or stay in                                                                                           help. But the very gener-
                                                                                                                                                              Community Action, South Coast Food Share
their home is just one way they Gerri Canady and her family benefits from emergency food from the Walter               ous support made such a
make sure that help is there for Graham Food Pantry in Myrtle Point, which is a member of South Coast Food             great difference for my
                                                                                                                                                              has focused on meeting the needs of hungry
                                       Share network.                                                                                                         families in our area and utilizes multiple food
others in need.                                                                                                        family,”Gerri said. “As
   That’s always been Geraldine Canaday’s ly’s difficult financial situation.                                                                                 donors in order to help local families fight
                                                                                                    soon as I left there, the sickness in my gut
philosophy. Although Gerri’s family has been           “We were buying the medicine only a little from the power shut-off was gone. The ener-                 hunger. For more information, those interested
in dire straits before, there’s never been a time at a time, we couldn’t afford the $4,800,” she gy assistance help was so surprising and so                  can go to www.orcca.us or call (541) 888-1574.
the Canaday’s were unwilling to share what said. “But the money we spent on medicine important, because if I didn’t have power I
they had. No matter how much there was to had to come from somewhere, and it meant wouldn’t have my kids, and without my kids
share, the Canaday’s were generous foster we were even further behind on our bills.”
parents, who donated and worked on behalf              Before long, Gerri and her family were fac-
                                                                                                    I wouldn’t have a reason.”
                                                                                                       While the struggles the Canaday family has               Wish List
of their church, and volunteered for programs ing shut-off notices for almost everything – faced over the last six years are a testament to
                                                                                                                                                                • Protein rich food donations
such as South Coast Head Start, which edu- including their utilities. Despite that, Gerri their strength, drive and great belief in hope,                       (tuna, beans, peanut butter,
cate and serve nearly 400 children and fami- wasn’t ready to ask for help until one of her Gerri believes everyone in our community                             tofu, etc).
lies in Coos and Curry counties.                    friends encouraged her to speak with Oregon needs a little help sometimes. The same con-                    • Refrigerators or freezers in
   “Since we moved to Myrtle Point from Coast Community Action staff at the outreach tributions, volunteer hours and donations the                              good working order
Florida, we’ve been a big part of this commu- office in the Walter Graham Food Pantry in Canaday family has made to others over their                           • Computers or office equip-
nity,” Gerri said. “We’re always willing to Myrtle Point.                                                                                                       ment in good working order for
                                                                                                    lives have come back to help them through
                                                                                                                                                                SCFS's 32 local pantries
lend a helping hand to others. In times like           “The Canaday family had given up any- their current struggles, as others help make a                     • Volunteers to work in the
these, with the economy the way it is, we all thing they could to afford all their necessities, difference in their lives and make sure they                    SCFS warehouse to load,
have to be willing to help out those in need.” they’d even given up their house – but they stay safe, warm, and fed.                                            unload and prepare food to
   But a few years after the move, the family were still struggling to make ends meet,” said           “Not everyone has a big family they can                  go out to local pantries
was struggling to make ends meet, and sud- John Misterly, an Energy Services casework- turn to, some people are all alone, and no                               • Volunteers to help with SCFS
denly needed the support of their community. er at Community Action. “It was toward the matter what went wrong or when, knowing                                 projects, such as making calls,
Gerri became seriously ill following a car end of our Energy Services funding for the Community Action might have a solution                                    writing letters, sorting food and
accident. She later developed a rare, terminal year, but we were able to provide Gerri and really makes me feel grateful,” Gerri said.
From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 8

                                               SHAMA House                                                                                                         Art created by Dee Strader
                                                                                                                                                                              (colored pencil)    Wish List
                                               S.H.A.M.A. Equals Success!
                                                                                                                                                                                                  Donations are greatly
                                               Self Help And Mutual Aid                                                                                                                           appreciated.
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Firewood
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Gently used bicycles
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Fresh vegetables
                                                                                                                                                                                                    and high protein foods
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Art supplies
                                                                                                                                                                            role in the organ-      Give back to the SHAMA House
                                                                                                                                                                          izing, operation        by becoming a volunteer – and
                                                                                                                                                                      and governance of the       know your service is making a
                                                                                                                                                                      Clubhouse.                  big difference in the lives of
                                                                                                                                                                 The Clubhouse has enjoyed        those in need in our community!
                                                                                                                                                          artwork from the “Fun Raisin’”          •   Driver or Cook
                                                                                                                                                         class, such as affirmation banners       •   Office assistant
                                                                                                                                                and greeting cards, and recently the group        •   Companion
                                                                                                                                                helped design a bulletin board for the Coos       •   Motivational speaker or
                                                                                                                                                County Mental Health lobby that pro-                  classroom facilitator
                                                                                                                                                motes SHAMA’s two powerful programs:                 Find ways to benefit your business or
                                                                                                                                                Peer      Counseling       and     Supported      organization through SHAMA House’s
                                                                                                                                                Employment. In addition, Dee helps to             Supported Employment program. Our job
                                                                                                                                                lead “Takin’ Charge,” an orientation              seekers are skilled in assembly, cleaning,
                                                                                                                                                                                                  cooking, customer service, computer use,
                                                                                                                                                offered at Coos County Mental Health,
                                                                                                                                                                                                  office work, delivery, care giving, cash han-
                                                                                                                                                which is designed to help community               dling, teaching, maintenance, sales, and
                                                                                                                                                members understand their treatment plan.          other specialty tasks.
                                                                                                                                                   “It’s amazing to look back on my life
                                                                                                                                                and see how far I’ve come,” Dee said. “To
                                               Dee Strader (center) and other SHAMA House members and staff who work to help                    be able to work with others in need in our
                                               those in our community with mental illness challenges.                                           community is a gift – and I am so glad              The Mission of SHAMA (Self Help and
                                                                                                                                                SHAMA House is here for those that need          Mutual Aid) House is to assist each
                                                  Dee Strader left a world of fear, judg-       illness are able to take an active role in      a little shelter from the world.”
                                               ment and blame behind when she became            their own recovery. Offering an atmos-                                                           other in promoting mental health by
                                                                                                                                                   Dee plans to develop a class in
                                               a member of SHAMA House. The Self                phere that encourages members to                                                                 encouragement, empowerment, edu-
                                                                                                                                                American Sign Language to boost com-
                                               Help and Mutual Aid House offers a shel-         embrace their creativity and find a way to                                                       cation and support to maintain well-
                                                                                                                                                munication with members who have hear-
                                               ter in the storm of life, helping those in our   express their needs to others through a         ing and or speech disabilities. This is just     ness and make healthy decisions and
                                               community with mental health issues and          variety of services, SHAMA House is a           one more way Dee plans to continue help-         choices regarding our lives.
                                               working to provide a warm, encouraging           big part of our community.                      ing her peers in our community, creating a          The Mental Health Association of SW
                                               and creative atmosphere.                            “Imagine a community setting where all       brighter future for the disadvantaged.           Oregon offers two powerful programs.
                                                  “Due to uncontrollable events during          contributions are valued equally. In this          “It is through Dee’s generosity and           Supported Employment is a program
                                               my childhood I felt like I had more              environment, people come together to            compassion that she has made such a sig-         that helps individuals find jobs that cap-
                                               knowledge than most people my age. But           regain self-confidence, relationships and       nificant contribution to our SHAMA               italize on their personal strengths and
                                               I was unable to communicate. I never felt        productivity,” said Cathy Pennington,           House members,” Cathy said. “I admire            motivation. The SHAMA House is a self-
                                               comfortable with anyone and never fit in         Executive Director of SHAMA House.              her greatly for the way she has inspired         directed drop-in program, designed
                                               anywhere. It was like being an alien,”           “This is a place where people recovering        her peers, and has never shied away from         after the clubhouse model, to increase
                                               Dee said.                                        from mental health issues can truly find        meeting challenges head on. She advo-            socialization and hone skills. SHAMA
                                                  But when she first began to attend            themselves.”                                    cates for individuality and the importance       members take an active role in the
                                               group activities and classes at SHAMA               Through the supportive and encourag-         of being oneself, and ways in which our          organizing, operation and governance
                                               House, things began to change. There, Dee        ing atmosphere at SHAMA House, Dee              members can use that strength to work            of the project.
                                               found the companionship of others with           was able to take courses and graduate with      through their challenges.”                          To learn more about SHAMA House,
                                               similar challenges to her own, and enjoyed       a certificate in Peer Counseling. Dee went         SHAMA House helps local individuals           its programs and how community
                                               the relaxed and supportive atmosphere at         on to complete a 24-week course through         navigate their way through mental health         members can get involved and help
                                               SHAMA House that encouraged her to               classes at the SHAMA House and became           challenges and rejoin their community.
                                               find her own voice.                              a Direct Service Provider for the program.                                                       “turn on the life,” go to www.shama-
                                                                                                                                                Continuing dedication and support pro-           house.org or call Cathy Pennington at
                                                  “Through my experiences at SHAMA              Using her sharpened communication               vides a safe, encouraging place for the
                                               House, I’ve been able to help others. I’ve       skills, Dee helps her peers to talk out prob-                                                    756-2057.
                                                                                                                                                empowerment of adults living with men-
                                               been able to help with the SHAMA mis-            lems and improve their self-esteem.             tal illness.
                                               sion to assist each other in promoting              Dee Strader is now the class facilitator        “If there wasn’t a SHAMA House in
                                               mental health by encouragement, empow-           of “Movin’ on Through Depression,” a                                                             SHAMA House
                                                                                                                                                our community, there would be no where
                                               erment and education, and to assist each         support group for adults living with            for many people to find hope, inspiration        780 California Ave.
                                               other in maintaining wellness and making         depression. A very talented artist, Dee also    and encouragement that their lives can           North Bend, OR 97459
                                               healthy decisions and choices regarding          enjoys leading members in “Fun Raisin,”         be different, that they can change,” Dee
                                               our lives,” Dee said.                            an expressions class that encourages                                                             756-2057
                                                                                                                                                said. “Working together as a group, as
                                                  In partnership with Coos County Mental        SHAMA House members to explore cre-             an organization, as a community, I know
                                               Health, SHAMA House provides a profes-           ativity in simple ways that can help them                                                        www.shamahouse.org
                                                                                                                                                we can be the change
                                               sional self-help program that operates           relax and develop deeper friendships.           we want to see –
                                               through the combined efforts of men and          Much of the class artwork is shared with        thanks to our home at
                                               women recovering from mental illness and         other SHAMA House members through               SHAMA House.”
                                               trained, dedicated staff. SHAMA House            the Clubhouse, a self-directed program
                                               demonstrates that individuals with mental        that relies on members taking an active

A Safe and Caring Home                                                                           Association
Coos County Foster Parents Association
                                                                                                Devoted to
                                              ing family, and for this I am so thankful,”
                                                                                               Helping Families
                                              Cory said.                                       The Coos County Foster, Adopt, and
                                                Seeing the difference that could be         Relative Care Association works to sup-
                                              made in the lives of children in our com-     port foster parents and families through-
                                              munity after her best friend began to take    out Coos County by providing daycare,
                                              in foster children, Becky Banks opened        training, a monthly food bank, access to
                                              her home to those in need over a decade       the Federal warehouse, a support group,
                                              ago. Becky aimed to create a loving and       low-cost products, an annual Christmas
                                              nurturing atmosphere that would impact
                                                                                            Party, a clothing closet, a harvest party, a
                                              the lives of children who were in the sys-
                                                                                            Spaghetti Feed, and assorted other
                                              tem and make sure they had a little shelter
                                                                                            events each year. Many local organiza-
                                              from the storm in their lives. Because of
                                                                                            tions and entities support the Coos
                                              their willingness and good heart, the
                                                                                            County Foster, Adopt, and Relative Care
                                              Banks have fostered many children who
                                                                                            Association, including Blossom Gulch
                                              were lonely and without hope.
                                                                                            Elementary School, Pony Village Mall,
                                                “Without families willing to take in
                                                                                            local churches and congregations, the
                                              children who need a little help, a little
                                                                                            Green Acres Grange, HGE, Safeway,
                                              hope – so many children would grow up
                                                                                            Albertsons, McKay’s Fresh Mart, and
                                              without any love or encouragement,”
                                                                                            many more. For more information on the
                                              Becky said. “Not everyone can take in
                                              children, but there’s other ways to give      association, those interested can go to
                                                                                                                                           Coos County Foster Parents
                                              back to children in need in Coos County       www.coosfpa.com.
                                                                                                                                           PO Box 335,
   Fourteen years ago Cory was homeless.      through donating or volunteering.”                                                           Coos Bay, OR 97420
Abandoned and on his own, he was placed         Foster parents have the opportunity to
in the state foster system. Eventually Cory   change someone’s life, to take them out of                                                   756-5500
was put in the care of Becky and Jesse        a heart-breaking situation and help chil-
Banks. There, he unexpectedly found the       dren find hope. Through the support and                                                      http://www.coosfpa.com
home he’d been wishing for.                   encouragement of the Coos County Foster
   When Cory entered the Banks’ lives, he     Parents Association, foster parents have
was a broken child void of all joy and        the tools to give unfortunate children a
laughter. Cory also had suffered from Post
Traumatic Stress Disorder. With lots of
                                              chance to be successful in life. The asso-
                                              ciation supported the Banks family
                                                                                                                                           Wish List
love and determination Becky and Jesse        throughout their work with foster chil-                                                       • New car seats
started changing the life of Cory and his     dren, offering tips, help navigating state
                                                                                                                                            • New cribs and linens
younger brother.                              services for children and much more.
   It wasn’t always easy, but eventually a      Fostering a child isn’t the only way to                                                     • Gift cards to
loving, compassionate, smart little boy       make a difference in their lives. Everyone                                                      Fred Meyers or WalMart
emerged. With six adopted children and        in our community has the opportunity to
                                                                                                                                            • Strollers
many foster children in the Banks’ home,      help a foster child to find a safe, caring
Cory had many opportunities to be a sup-      home. Donations to the association are                                                        • New shoes of all sizes
portive and encouraging brother. Now, 10      used to help foster parents in Coos
                                              County meet the needs of the children                                                         • Gift certificates for haircuts
years later Cory has grown from a trou-
bled child into a capable and passionate      they foster. Volunteering to work with
young man, through the love and support       children, host events or fundraisers, or
of the Banks family.                          gather items or donations for children also
   “I am very grateful for the Banks. They    will make a big difference in the lives of
have sacrificed so much for me,” Cory         local foster children.
said. “The Banks have given me love and         This year Cory graduated from high
established stability in my life. They also   school and he has dreams of becoming a
made sure to build up my self-confidence,     chef. With culinary school costing
something I was lacking before I came to      $20,000 per year, Cory is spending his
live with them.”                              time cooking pizza in a pizza parlor. He is
   Cory realizes first-hand how important     hoping to eventually start working as an
foster parents are. He is well aware that     apprentice. Most of all Cory is looking
there are a lot of children from broken       forward to the day when he can begin
homes who need a parent, someone to           culinary school to fulfill his dream.
care for them.                                Thanks to the Banks, Cory is seeking his
   “If it weren’t for my foster parents I     dreams and pursuing higher education.
would have grown up neglected and             He’s finding a new way of life, one that
abused. Instead I have grown up in a lov-     will bring him a brighter future.
From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 10

                                                                                                                                            Taking The First Step
                                                Bay Area First Step                                                                            My name is Samuel Benson, I started              Not only did this program show me what
                                                                                                                                            my addiction in 1972, and I was in and out       I needed to do to become a person, a real
                                                About Bay Area First Step                        Alcohol & Drug Free Housing +              of correctional facilities all my life. I grew   human being, it also encouraged me to
                                                   BAFS’s transitional housing facility       Supportive Services = Success                 up in the streets. My addiction lasted for       seek to better myself in other ways. I start-
                                                has capacity for 16 residents at any given       Providing clients with safe, alcohol and   32 years.                                        ed school at the young age of 44. Man was
                                                time. Recovering residents appreciate         drug free housing while they are working         In 2004 I started on this road to recovery;   I scared of that. With continued encourage-
                                                the facility because it is a safe place to    toward recovery significantly increases the   my first step was to get into Bay Area First     ment and years of support from Bay Area
                                                live while they attend outpatient treat-      chances for a successful outcome. In addi-    Step program. Once there, I continued with       First Step I have graduated from college. I
                                                ment and work toward recovery. Since          tion to providing housing, we assist resi-    who I thought I was, showing my bad              also received an award for being an out-
                                                opening, more than 550 clients and their      dents with a variety of supportive services   behaviors, continuing with the old think-        standing human service graduate. My life
                                                families have been served.                    including case management, peer support,      ing. This program confronted me in ways I        is what I used to envy from others. I have a
                                                   In addition to the transitional housing,   food shopping, transportation, laundry        never have been confronted before, not           wonderful wife and two beautiful children.
                                                BAFS provides 12 multi-person apart-          facilities, personal hygiene items, cloth-    only did they confront me; they made it          I owe it all to the Bay Area First Step pro-
                                                ment units for recovering addicts and         ing, and employment assistance.               clear that if I wanted my life to change I       gram. I know that without this great oppor-
                                                their families, with approximately 36         Residents must be actively involved in a      needed to do something about me. They            tunity in our community I would be in
                                                individuals living in the two-bedroom         program of recovery and remain drug and       also made it clear that I had to do the work.    prison, or dead.
                                                apartments. The peer-to-peer support          alcohol free.                                 Believe me this was the hardest thing I             I now work here. I have committed my
                                                from other residents provides momentum                                                      have ever done. I was one nasty human            life to passing on what has been given to
                                                for recovery. Some of these individuals       Our Challenge                                 being, with a mountain of issues.                me. To me this is a life-saving program. It
                                                serve as mentors or volunteers.                 Most BAFS clients are homeless and             After a few months of having my dys-          is one of the greatest blessings in our
                                                   Bay Area First Step provides a safe,       nearly all have no income when they           function, thinking, attitude, manipulations,     community.
                                                supportive alcohol and drug free environ-     arrive. While BAFS is grateful for the        and aggressive behaviors pointed out to
                                                ment, assisting those we serve to affect      continuing financial support of several       me, I was able through this program to
                                                                                                                                            make changes in my views of myself, my            Bay Area 1st Step
                                                their own recovery.                           local agencies and churches, residents
                                                                                                                                            attitude, my behavior, and how I treated          1741 Newmark Ave.,
                                                   Bay Area First Step, Inc. a nonprofit      must still be responsible for their rent.
                                                                                                                                            others. I was able to remake me. It gave me       Coos Bay, OR 97420
                                                organization organized in 1995, operates        Your Support Can Help
                                                                                                Your donation is tax-deductible. You        real self esteem, real self worth, it opened
                                                an alcohol and drug free community-                                                                                                           (541) 888-3111
                                                                                              can make a difference!                        my eyes to what being a man is all about. It
                                                based transitional facility and apart-
                                                                                                                                            wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t fun. But for me it
                                                ments. The clients live in the facility and                                                                                                   http://www.bayareafirststep.org/
                                                                                                                                            was life saving.
                                                attend outpatient treatment with
                                                providers in the area.

                                                 Wish List
                                                  • Cash or items to help furnish and remodel our new facility.

                                                  • Donations to our scholarship fund that provides the 1st month
                                                    rent and food for new residents.

                                                  • Donations of bedding, towels, and hygiene items.

                                                  • Volunteers to provide transportation to and from appointments.

                                                  • A utility trailer to assist residents moving into permanent housing.

                                                  To find out more about how you can help support Bay Area First Step
                                                  go to http://www.bayareafirststep.org/
                                                                                                                                         In the late 1970s a group of Coos
Women’s Safety & Resource Center                                                                                                      County women gathered to form a
                                                                                                                                      nonprofit group focusing on women’s
                                                                                                                                      issues. The organization was named
   There are many reasons people come      of WSRC is to provide an environment of      a new life is part of the mission of          Women Center. Seeing a need for
to the Women’s Safety & Resource           safety, shelter, education and empower-      Women’s Safety & Resource Center.             services for battered women, a new
Center (WSRC) in Coos Bay. Some call       ment for women in abusive situations.        They are the only organization in Coos        nonprofit was birthed from Women
to get information about sexual assault    Additionally they work to educate the        County that is dedicated to providing         Center, and named Coos County
or/and domestic violence. Some come to     community about domestic violence and        services to victims of domestic and sexu-     Women’s Crisis Service. Through vol-
the center because they are fleeing an     “life-enriching alternatives” to abuse.      al violence.                                  unteer recruitment, the agency was
abusive partner and need immediate            Trying to navigate through a dangerous       The Women’s Safety & Resource Center       able to establish a 24 hour crisis line,
emergency shelter. Some call because       time, in a community with very few           offers shelter through Cloe and Jane’s        a network of safe home providers,
they have left abusive situation and are   resources can be one of the most difficult   House, which provide a refuge for women       and crisis intervention counseling.
trying to rebuild their lives, but need    challenges for those leaving a domestic      who are fleeing abusive relationships.        Over the years this agency has
some emotional support. Others just call   violence situation, said Karen, an advo-        “We have to be prepared to help these      expanded their services to include
WSRC for information.                      cate at WSRC. Many women have left           families become safe, help them identify      two emergency shelters, an afford-
   Angie’s reasons for seeking help were   everything behind in order to come to the    their needs, and help them with access to     able housing complex and a crisis
not unlike a lot of the women living at    Women’s Safety & Resource Center –           community resources,” Karen said. “We         response team that can respond at a
Coddington Place, and during her time      and many hesitate seeking help because       also try to have some basic things avail-     moments notice to support victims.
working with the Women’s Safety &          they are afraid to leave without children    able for them, such as food, clothes, toys    In 2002 the agency changed its
Resource Center, Angie has found a com-    or even animals they care about.             and many other things on hand for those       name to “Women’s Safety and
pletely new life.                             “Before coming to Coddington I was        who come to our shelter because they          Resource Center” which better
   The Women’s Safety and Resource         living with a friend, I didn’t have any      may have left behind all those things that    reflects our mission and the services
Center (WSRC) is committed to promot-      transportation and I did not have my chil-   give them comfort.”                           we provide.
ing a violence-free community. The goal    dren living with me,” Angie said. “I had        While women who find shelter at               “The Women’s Safety and Resource
                                           low self esteem and it really looked like    WSRC may go in many different direc-          Center exists to contribute to a vio-
                                           there was no end to my worries.”             tions once they leave Coddington Place        lence-free community by creating a
                                              Angie now has a two-bedroom apart-        or one of the emergency shelters, all of      safe haven and life-building
                                           ment at Coddington Place and her four        them began their new life in the same         empowerment for abused women
                                           children are living with her again. In the   place. They found new strength together       and children and inspiring the com-
                                           beginning, she began attending weekly        and discovered new hope for their future,     munity to new levels of cooperation,
                                           support group meetings at WSRC and           with the help of volunteers, case workers     thoughtful effort and action”.
                                           slowly Angie began to see the world in a     and advocates at the Women Safety &
                                           different way, finding more confidence and   Resource Center.
                                           seeing herself as a valuable person again.       “I’m not saying that I don’t still face
                                              “With the help of my Case Manager,
                                           Karen, I’ve been able to accomplish
                                                                                        some difficult moments from time to
                                                                                        time, but at least now I have the tools to
                                                                                                                                          Wish List
                                                                                                                                      • Bathroom towels and toiletries
                                           many things over the past year. I’ve been    handle it better,” Angie said with a smile.   • Baby Items
                                           able to work on my relationship with my      “There really are no words that can           • Clothing
                                                                                                                                      • Bedding: sheets
                                           children, increase my self-esteem and        express how much gratitude I have for
                                                                                                                                        (New or “gently used” please)
                                           communicate my family needs,” Angie          the advocates here at Coddington Place.       • Tables, lamps rugs
                                           said. “I now have a positive support sys-    These advocates believed in me when I         • Phone cards, stationary & planners
                                           tem, my own transportation, and I’m          couldn’t believe in myself. And I know        • Grocery store gift cards
                                                                                                                                        (for perishable food items)
                                           going to go back to college in January.”     that I don’t have to do it alone; there is
                                              Helping a family to find their way into   always someone there willing to help.”        Donations can be dropped off at:
                                                                                                                                      Women’s Safety & Resource Center
                                                                                                                                      Main Office
                                                                                                                                      1681 Newmark Avenue
                                                                                                                                      Coos Bay, OR 97420

                                                                                                                                      Women’s Safety & Resource Center
                                                                                                                                      Main Office
                                                                                                                                      1681 Newmark Avenue
                                                                                                                                      Coos Bay, OR 97420


From Wishing to Winning 2008 • The World • 12

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