“People who need stuff seem to fall in my path,” says Magnolia Rainbow, known to her friends as a champion of the underdog, who takes care of wayward teenagers and animals. “And I find a way to help them.” Her small house in Springfield currently shelters 11 people, including her sons Tanner and Mac, ages 21 and 15, and three dogs, including Paddy and Bernie, on the porch in the photo. “My parents were hippies,” says Rainbow, who was born in a school bus and spent her elementary and middle school years in Ashland. Then her mother died, and Rainbow moved to Eugene with her father and sister. She started high school at South Eugene, but later transferred to the Opportunity Center, an alternative school. Strung out on meth and cocaine, she was kicked out by her dad and took refuge with a friend in Santa Cruz for two years, then returned and found work in the woods. “I loved fighting fires,” she says. “It cured me of being a junkie.” A car wreck in 1998 led her to study auto body repair at Lane Community College and to finish a GED, but it also led to seven operations on a herniated disk and, eventually, a disability pension. She gave up drinking six years ago at the insistence of her son Mac and has since started a career as a jewelry artist. “I donate 20 percent to Clean Slate Canine Rescue and Rehabilitation,” she notes. See her jewelry at Mona Beads, 1712 Willamette Street or on Facebook, Magnolia Rainbow’s Handmade Jewelry to Help Homeless Hounds. Also online, her friends have established a GoFundMe.com campaign called “Save Maggie’s Home!” to help her pay off a debt to her sister and give her clear title to her Springfield sanctuary.
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