Clackamas County Community Action Board presents…
The Community Impact Award
2014 Community Action Impact Award Winners
Since the 1960’s, Community Action Agencies(CAA) have been fighting America's war on poverty by helping low income individuals and families overcome barriers and build upon their natural strengths and abilities. Clackamas County Social Services is the designated CAA for Clackamas County, providing support, resources, and referral to low-income residents.
No one agency can successfully fight the war on poverty alone. Clackamas County is fortunate to have many businesses, organizations and individuals who work tirelessly to help people who are struggling to meet their basic needs and improve their life circumstances.
The Community Action Board is charged with advising the CAA on issues related to poverty and services for low income people, and advocates on behalf of poverty related issues at the local and state level. Clackamas County Community Action Board is pleased to present the Inaugural Community Action Impact Awards.
Distinguished Services Awardees
Robin Grimm, a past Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council member, founded Clackamas County Meals On Wheels (CCMOW) to raise funds on a county-wide level to help support ten Clackamas County Senior Center’s nutrition programs. Robin became aware that fundraising being done in Clackamas County was not supporting the Clackamas County Meals On Wheels programs, and in response developed CCMOW. The funds raised by CCMOW help senior centers continue to serve meals to low income and home-bound seniors without waiting lists. Meals On Wheels is one of the reasons an older or disabled adult can continue to live independently, with dignity, and at home. Receiving these meals also helps provide much needed nutritional support.
Teri Gant started The Father’s Heart Street Ministry more than 15 years ago in her garage. Teri witnessed a growing need throughout Clackamas County for basic necessities and basic human kindness for people living on the streets or within the margins of society. The Father’s Heart Street Ministry assists individuals who may have barriers through other resources, serving individuals with a philosophy of dignity and respect. Teri Gant is the heart and soul of The Father’s Heart Ministry. Hear her story.
Distinguished Individual Awardees
Lynn Stevens has volunteered as an AARP Tax Aid for several years helping individuals and seniors with low income prepare their taxes, helping them receive the deductions and credits they deserve. A single parent of two, Lynn is dedicated and passionate about showing people how to help themselves by facilitating opportunities to learn about the financial choices they make and how those choices impact their future. This service is critical in helping individuals with lower income take advantage of the tax credits they are entitled to.
Andy Catts has been the executive director of the Clackamas Service Center for the past six years. He works with neighbors to ameliorate the negative consequences of some of their clients. He has also developed a good relationship with the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Department to effectively deal with issues as they arise. Andy works tirelessly, ensuring the warming shelter is open when it’s needed the most, no matter the time of year. Andy’s ability to streamline the center will help with its upcoming expansion.
Promising Startup Awardees
Hope Now Ministries was founded by John and Patti Bentley on June 6, 2012, to help others achieve their dreams by filling in the gaps other organizations couldn’t. Other local churches—Nazarene Church, Two River's Church, The Lord’s Harvest, Teen Challenge, and Father's Heart—have partnered with Hope Now Ministries to help take care of the day-to-day crisis survival needs facing some Clackamas County residents. The board of directors of Hope Now Ministries redirected their efforts in 2014 to launch a new program called A Life Skill Center, which provides treatment and education with a focus on transitional housing projects. The Bentley’s future goals will concentrate on planning for more permanent housing options in Clackamas County.
The Gladstone Ministerial Association has teamed up with the Gladstone School District to create the Gladstone Community Clothes Closet located at Gladstone High School. The project provides free clothing, new socks and underwear, shoes, and jackets to youth of all ages. School district staff promotes the project through family referrals, networking and planning. The program helps families keep kids warm, ensuring children are dressed appropriately for varying weather conditions. In addition, the clothing gives students a sense of belonging, raising their self-esteem and increasing the odds of academic success and school completion. Partners include: St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church; Gladstone First Baptist Church; Gladstone Christian Church; Gladstone Nazarene Church; the Gospel Fellowship Community Church; and Gladstone Schools. Hear their story.
Milwaukie High School 10th to 12th grade Honor Students have demonstrated an amazing amount of leadership, commitment, and empathy through their work with the Annie Ross House. The Milwaukie High School Honor Society has had a working relationship with Northwest Housing Alternatives for a number of years. The students have supported Clackamas County’s only family shelter, the Annie Ross House, through their participation in direct mail appeals, advocacy for the organization, and assisting with the annual holiday party for the shelter. Volunteers contributed hundreds of hours to Annie Ross’s largest fund raiser, the Annie Ross House Plant Sale.
Clackamas County Children’s Commission (CCCC) Head Start has served low income children for more than 40 years and is a strong partner with the Gladstone Center for Children & Families (GCCF). The commission prepares children to enter school, improves health and safety, and increases children’s opportunities for success through a quality preschool education. CCCC Head Start has been a leading partner in the success of the GCCF. Staff management and expertise facilitate the GCCF to be more effective, diverse, and professional in its approach with families and young children. Staff members model how to support children and families holistically with attachment, care, and guidance. Head Start staff members serve on the “Transitions to Kindergarten” committee that has designed and implemented several tools for partners and professionals to better prepare children for today’s kindergarten. These models are being used in several Oregon communities. CCCF Family Advocates share expertise and service connections with pre-school, pediatric, and special education providers, and supports necessary for the stability and self-sufficiency of families all across Clackamas County. Hear the Head Start story.
Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart is an all-volunteer organization that began in 1997. Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart provides 500 Christmas stockings, as well as food baskets provided by Willamette Falls Hospital. They now gift 2,500 to 3,000 stockings each year to over 20 agencies. Volunteers work year-round with the community to brighten the holiday season by fundraising, sewing, and filling the stockings with personal necessities and age-appropriate gifts.
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