Some of us donate tangibly. We give food, clothing, warm socks. The evidence of this has been in the EW front office the last couple weeks as community members have dropped off donations of jackets, sweaters, blankets and more for the White Bird Clinic. We’ve already taken several truckloads of donations over to the clinic.
Some of us donate time. Nonprofits such as FOOD for Lane County (foodforlanecounty.org) or Occupy Medical are propelled by hundreds and often thousands of hours logged by volunteers.
And some of us at the end of the year donate our hard-earned cash. Not only do the groups around Lane County desperately need the money to keep fighting their good fights, donating also gives you a tax write-off. Win-win. Every year we provide a list of organizations we’ve noticed doing good work in the community — or around the world — for you to give to. Feel free to suggest more! — EW Staff
Pets and Animals
If you’ve ever been to Greenhill Humane Society’s annual Bark in the Park 5K, you know just how important Greenhill (green-hill.org or 689-1503) and 1st Avenue Shelter (844-1777) are to the Lane County community. Donations go to help care for adoptable critters, from dogs and kitty cats to guinea pigs and rabbits.
SevaDog (sevadog.org), Northwest Dog Project (northwestdogproject.org), Wiggly Tails Dog Rescue (wigglytailsdogrescue.org) and the ever-lovable Luvable Dog Rescue (luvabledogrescue.org) all pitch in to help out Lane County’s adoptable doggies, while kitties benefit from the attention of West Coast Dog and Cat Rescue (westcoastdogandcat.org). Avian animals find support and rehabilitation at Cascades Raptor Center (eraptors.org or 485-1320), where birds of prey with nowhere else to go get TLC from staff and volunteers trained to work with falcons, owls and more.
If bunnies are your favorite, consider helping out Red Barn Rabbit Rescue (redbarnrabbitrescue.org), a local nonprofit that rehomes adoptable bundles of fuzzy cuteness. And horses find refuge at Strawberry Mountain Mustangs Rescue and Rehab (strawberrymountainmustangs.com or 784-5522) in Douglas County, giving rescue horses a second chance at a happy life.
We will have fewer puppies and kitties in need of homes if we spay and neuter them! Willamette Animal Guild (wagwag.org or 345-3566) provides the community with high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter services. SPOT (Stop Pet Over Population Today, (spotspayneuter.org or 607-4900) helps out with financial assistance.
HELP FOR THE PUPS
It's been a busy year for Northwest Dog Project (northwestdogproject.org), says Emma Scott, co-founder and director of the rescue. In 2015, Scott says, "we rescued and re-homed nearly 100 last-chance dogs who likely wouldn't have made it out of high-kill shelters otherwise."
This year, Northwest Dog Project helped out adorable Lilou, a bulldog who suffered from mange but has now grown her fur back under Northwest Dog Project's care.
Donations are integral to Northwest Dog Project's work, Scott says. "We have big plans for 2016 and can only accomplish those goals with future funding through donations."
Donate or find out more information on volunteering by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
|Donations to Whole Earth Nature School get kids into the wild|
Education and Kids
When public education is underfunded, nonprofits can provide services that might otherwise be unavailable. In Lane County, we’re lucky to have places like Whole Earth Nature School (wholeearthnatureschool.com), a nonprofit offering camps for kids focused on immersing children in nature and helping them learn wilderness skills. Nearby Nature (nearbynature.org) also connects kids with the wild with guided nature walks and hands-on activities.
Kids and science go hand in hand, and at The Science Factory (sciencefactory.org) children can explore exhibits and learn more about the world around them. The Science Program to Inspire Creativity and Excellence, or SPICE (346-4313), offers chances for girls to develop their skills in chemistry, physics, biology and computer science.
Kidsports (kidsports.org or 683-2374) emphasizes the importance of physical exercise to a young brain, providing youth sports programs that include soccer, football, basketball, rugby and more.
And at Ophelia’s Place (opheliasplace.net), girls get to know themselves and gain confidence through workshops, skill building and interactive classes.
SKILL-BUILDING FOR KINDERGARTEN
Working with developmentally delayed children is challenging but rewarding, says Georgia Layton, director of the Early Education Program in Eugene. “A huge part of our curriculum is noticing feelings and being empathetic about what might have caused a child to feel a certain way,” she says. “It’s important to give them room to feel, and also help them learn how to come down from that.”
The Early Education Program serves about 165 preschool kids with disabilities in Lane County, mixed with around 25 typically developing children. The program uses tools like Boardmaker, a software program that provides a library of printable images, to help children communicate visually if they have trouble connecting verbally. As a subcontractor of Early Childhood CARES, the Early Education Program seeks to both nurture and educate kids as they prepare for kindergarten.
“We start where kids are at and then build the skills that the child will need,” Layton says.
Donate at earlyeducationprogram.org or visit the website to learn more about volunteering.
Beyond Toxics (beyondtoxics.org or 465-8860) fights air polluters, honeybee killers, chemical sprayers and more, and also seeks to protect low-income and minority residents from disproportionate exposure to pollution.
Also on the pesticide beat is NCAP, the Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides (pesticide.org or 344-5044), working to protect birds, bees, salmon and people alike from toxics.
One way to combat pollution and fight climate change is by planting trees with Friends of Trees (friendsoftrees.org). You can donate to this nonprofit or show up and help plant some trees. Call 632-3683 for more info.
The folks at Cascadia Wildlands (cascwild.org or 434-1463) are striving to keep big trees standing and wolves howling across Oregon. In addition to that, CW is battling a liquefied natural gas export facility in Coos Bay.
Also on the forest frontlines is Oregon Wild (oregonwild.org or 344-0675), fighting to save Oregon’s old-growth forests since 1979.
McKenzie River Trust (mckenzieriver.org 345-2799) protects and restores the rivers and lands through which they flow. A donation to MRT is a donation to clean water, healthy salmon, wetlands and “deep, complex relationships between rivers and communities.”
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (elaw.org or 687-8454) is boots on the ground as well as legal and technical support for countries around the world fighting to protect that planet. ELAW was just deemed one of 10 charities worth watching and given a four-star rating by Charity Navigator.
BRING Recycling focuses on one of the best ways to fight climate change — reusing and recycling instead of consuming new products. Check BRING out at bringrecycling.org or 746-3023.
Eugene and Lane County: The arts need your help. After the closing of several galleries in 2015 and the relocation of DIVA (Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts) to Drain, Oregon, the local art scene is in dire need of assistance, whether that comes in volunteer time, dollars or writing a letter.
Making donations to the few remaining dedicated visual art galleries in town could go a long way: The Karin Clarke Gallery (karinclarkegallery.com or 684-7963) the White Lotus Gallery (wlotus.com or 345-3276) and the volunteer-run nonprofit New Zone Gallery (newzonegallery.org or 935-4308) are a few options.
Or perhaps write to the Eugene City Council and City Manager Jon Ruiz. If you care about local arts, let your officials know! Should the Jacobs Gallery stay open? Should the city support a city art center, like Roseburg or Brownsville has done? Writing to your local representative about what you want for your city can go further than dollars.
Be a patron! Find a local artist you like — the Whit especially is brimming with artists and their studios —and collect their work or volunteer for them.
Eugene also has some art nonprofit stalwarts to donate to or volunteer at, such as Maude Kerns Art Center (mkartcenter.org or 345-1571), which has been putting on vibrant shows and offering art classes for six-plus decades. There’s also MECCA, or the Materials Exchange Center for the Community Arts (materials-exchange.org or 302-1810), who is tirelessly dedicated to pulling art materials out of the waste stream and hosting its own shows, as well as providing studio space to the community. And don’t forget Lane Arts Council (lanearts.org or 349-2493) which, among its myriad efforts, hosts the monthly First Friday ArtWalk downtown and is helping bring arts education back to the schools (see EW’s “The Creative Class: ArtCore brings the arts back to five Lane County middle schools,” 10/1).
Denise Thomas-Morrow works out with kids through Healthy Moves.
Photo courtesy of Denise Thomas-Morrow.
Ballet Fantastique (balletfantastique.org or 342-4611) has been putting contemporary flourishes on classical ballet (e.g., Cinderella: A Rock Opera) as well as premiering new ballets (Zorro) since 2000, while the Eugene Ballet Company (eugeneballet.org or 485-3992) has been raising the barre, attracting world-class dancers and presenting more than 100 ballets for the local dance community since 1978. The Oregon Ballet Academy (oregonballetacademy.com or 338-7800) has been a springboard for aspiring artists, also offering the popular Boys Program — tuition-free weekly dance classes that offer “a place for boys to feel encouraged to pursue the art of dance.”
The Eugene Opera (eugeneopera.com or 912-5267) brings to town inspiring works like Sweeney Todd; Oregon Contemporary Theatre (octheatre.org or 684-6988) continues to push quality and contemporary drama (Stupid F@#*ing Bird; Rapture, Blister, Burn) to the next level while smaller outfits in the area — Actors Cabaret of Eugene (actorscabaret.org or 683-4368), Very Little Theatre (thevlt.com or 344-7751), Cottage Theatre (cottagetheatre.org or 942-8001) and Rose Children’s Theatre (therct.com or 431-0444) — keep audiences buzzing.
If it’s the sound of music that you fancy, The Jazz Station (thejazzstation.org), Eugene Symphony (eugenesymphony.org or 687-9487), Oregon Mozart Players (oregonmozartplayers.org or 345-6648), The Boreal (theboreal.com), Grrrlz Rock (grrrlzrock.com or 968-6438) and the Soromundi Lesbian Chorus of Eugene (soromundi.wix.com or 342-0535) keep Eugene jumping, jiving and wailing throughout the year, while The Shedd Community Music School (theshedd.org/dive/musicschool or 434-7015) helps fill a much-needed gap in local music education.
This is by no means an exhaustive list; to find more Lane County arts nonprofits, visit culturaltrust.org.
Exercise is an essential part of being a kid, says Denise Thomas-Morrow, founder of Healthy Moves, a nonprofit dedicated to bringing physical activity opportunities to school-age kids. “It’s motivation and confidence, and the really significant part is cognitive stimulation,” Thomas-Morrow says. “It’s getting the blood flowing and having kids move around so that when they go back to the classroom, they pay better attention.”
The state of Oregon does not require elementary schools to hire full-time PE teachers, so Healthy Moves goes into Lane County classrooms and picks up the slack by helping kids and teachers learn fun fitness routines. Healthy Moves is part of the Active Youth Consortium, a Lane County coalition that includes the Oregon Research Institute, Kidsports, the YMCA and other prominent local organizations.
Thomas-Morrow says it’s rewarding to see kids make progress in her classes. She adds, “There’s nothing better than having a kid tell you, ‘I did 10 push-ups in pre-assessment, and now I’m doing 30 push-ups!’”
Donate to Healthy Moves at hm4kids.org.
The Unhoused and In Need
The Egan Warming Center (eganwarmingcenter.com or 689-6747) couldn’t open for a freezing night earlier this year and in response, hundreds of people showed up to volunteer. If you can’t support the center with your time, support it with your dollars. Egan, which is administered by St. Vincent de Paul, offers homeless people in Lane County a warm and safe place to sleep when temperatures drop below 30 degrees between Nov. 15 and March 31.
Community Supported Shelters (communitysupportedshelters.org 683-0836) provides rest stops and villages that give the unhoused the dignity of a home and access to toilets and showers. CSS has provided Conestoga huts at Opportunity Village (opportunityvillageeugene.org or 606-4455) and around town such as at the Eugene Safe Spots it manages, including one for veterans.
Occupy Medical (occupy-medical.org or 316-5743) and its all-volunteer crew gently and cheerfully care for those in need, offering everything from haircuts to lifesaving medical care. OM is truly universal health care, turning no one away, whether they are insured or not, every Sunday at the downtown Eugene Park Blocks (8th and Oak) between noon and 4 pm.
White Bird Clinic (whitebirdclinic.org or 342-8255) is a sort of crisis catch-all, providing dental and medical care, drug and alcohol treatment, crisis intervention services (largely through its roving CAHOOTS vans, 342-7987), mental health services and legal assistance and case management for low and no-income individuals.
There are more valuable services in this community than we can name, and all are deserving of your support. Check out the UO Department of Philosophy’s list here: goo.gl/eeAXgh.
Rights and Support
The Civil Liberties Defense Center (cldc.org or 687-9180) gives support to activists, protesters and ordinary citizens who know their rights have been trampled but may not be able to afford an attorney.
SASS (Sexual Assault Support Services sass-lane.org or 484-9791) has been Lane County’s primary sexual assault responder since 1991 and is focused on providing services to survivors of sexual violence.
Womenspace (womenspaceinc.org or 485-8232) has a mission to prevent violence in intimate partner relationships in Lane County and support survivors in claiming personal power.
Breaking down barriers to the arts
The OSLP Arts & Culture Program and its Lincoln Gallery, located in the cool old brick building at 4th and Lincoln, is a workhorse for the local arts. The program helps people of all abilities engage with the arts. This program and gallery participates in pretty much every First Friday ArtWalk, keeping fresh work from people with fresh perspectives rotating on the regular.
OSLP describes what they do best: “We nurture authentic expression and improving physical, mental and spiritual well-being through the universal language of art in a safe and accessible environment. All projects in our program are designed to be accessible to people with or without disabilities so everyone can participate equally and learn from each other’s unique perspectives. We offer workshops with professional instructors in a wide variety of arts and cultural activities like visual art, music, dance, cooking, gardening and more.”
Some of the best local art we’ve seen has come out of this program (See the EW story on one of the program’s artists: “Shining Like the Sun: A photographic memory infuses the brilliant art of Perry Johnson,” 10/1). To volunteer or donate, visit artsandcultureeugene.org or call 636-3119.