Through our annual Community Impact Award program, we honor organizations and individuals that significantly help low-income residents and families meet their basic needs and improve their life circumstances. We are extremely fortunate as a county to have several businesses, nonprofits and individuals who perform such noble work.
There are six Community Impact Award categories. These include:
- non-profit organizations
- promising start-ups
- distinguished service award
The award nomination process typically starts in March.
All nominees must meet certain requirements to be eligible. These include:
- Individual nominees must live in Clackamas County, or work for an organization located in and benefitting Clackamas County residents, and not be either a county employee nor serve on the Community Action Board (see below).
- Organizational nominees (businesses, nonprofits or other) must operate in some capacity within Clackamas County.
- Programs must serve low income county residents and have been operational for at least 12 months at the time of nomination. Exceptions: Nominees for both the Promising Startup Award and the Youth Award are not subject to the one year minimum of operation.
- For the Distinguished Services Award only, nominees must have provided at least five years of service to the community.
Awardees are alerted about their honor during early May of each year, which is followed later that month by an award dinner where all recipients are recognized.
Clackamas County operates many Advisory Boards and Commissions, or ABCs, which offer citizens the opportunity to become involved in specific activities and goals of their County. The Board of County Commissioners appoints hundreds of citizens to serve on these committees every year. We welcome you to learn more about all of our ABCs and be alerted of ABC openings by signing up for county email alerts (select "Volunteering" after entering your email). Updates about the awards and winners are also shared on the county’s Facebook and Twitter presences.
One ABC, the Community Action Board, advises the county Social Services Division on its Community Action Agency (CAA) programs for low-income persons. Board members advocate both locally and at the state level on issues related to low-income individuals and households. The Community Action Board sponsors the Community Impact Awards, manages nominations, and makes recommendations to County Commissioners about awardees.
For more information on the Community Impact Award program, please contact Clackamas County Social Services' Valerie Skinner by email or at 503-650-5643.
2016 Community Impact Award winners
Distinguished Services Awardee
Lake Oswego Transitional Shelter Ministries began as an all-volunteer interfaith network that provides two rent-free, fully furnished homes to those experiencing homelessness. The network provides financial support for the transitional shelters. Volunteers may assist the families with housing searches, moving costs, interview clothes, diapers, and furniture. If a family has a larger need such as car repairs, a larger car seat for a rapidly growing infant, or orthodontia for an older child the volunteers reach out to their communities to meet those needs.
Distinguished Individual Awardee
Dr. Michael Norris volunteers as the Medical Director for Clackamas County Volunteers in Medicine. In 2009, Dr. Norris partnered with other medical professionals to advocate for a free clinic in Clackamas County. He led weekly meetings for three years to enlist community input and support. As a recent retiree, Dr. Norris’ attention turned to those who needed care the most: the poor, vulnerable, disenfranchised and all who did not have health insurance, resources, or access to health care. This vision became a reality in 2012 with the opening of the Clackamas Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM) clinic, which provides free medical services for County adult residents who lack health insurance, access to health care, resources to support the care needed for chronic conditions, and are below certain poverty measures.
New Seasons Market at Mountain Park has a significant meaningful relationship with the Lake Oswego Adult Community Center’s Meals on Wheels program. One of four program recipients cannot afford to donate toward the cost of their meal. New Seasons Market donations are vital in the effort to serve more than 18,000 healthy meals each year. The market also hosts one of the Lake Oswego Meals on Wheels largest fundraisers.
FoodWaves is putting the power of food production in the hands of many low-income and homeless county families through the establishing of demonstration gardens at local Head Start centers, elementary schools, and other organizations supporting vulnerable families. FoodWaves manages programs that develop on-site educational gardens providing hands-on learning experiences about how to raise food, and that promote food security for low-income families by providing start-up materials and training to grow their own food.
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