A Vital Community Resource
Founded in 1999 as an after-school program for the coastal community of Depoe Bay, Neighbors for Kids has developed into a Lincoln County institution that also offers year-round preschool, a 10-week summer day camp, full-day camps during the school year, and activities like surfing, horseback riding
and whale watching.
“Summer 2022 was a record year for field trips; we had 47 trips over 10 weeks,” says Toby Winn, executive director of development. “Kids need healthy things to do outside of school. Otherwise, they’re likely to find the opposite.”
One of only two licensed child care facilities in Lincoln County, Neighbors For Kids champions equity and inclusion. “We’ve always had a sliding scale and scholarships,” Toby explains. “We don’t want to exclude any child who needs our services.”
OCF has helped this vital nonprofit sustain and expand its programs since 2009. Initial grant funding went toward a new 7,600-square-foot facility in Depoe Bay. Since then, OCF has provided almost $800,000 through community grants, donor advised funds, the GO Kids program and the donor-designated Neighbors For Kids Fund of OCF: “We were honored when a longtime private donor started this fund years back, and we receive an annual distribution each July.”
“We’re really focused on meeting the needs of local families — especially from underserved populations — as we transition out of the pandemic. We’re looking at child care, early learning, after-school. We’re addressing issues like food insecurity, poverty and social-emotional needs. And we’re providing a safe, nurturing place where youth can be with peers and caring adult mentors.”
Toby J. Winn, Executive Director of Development, Neighbors for Kids
Among other services, Neighbors for Kids promotes childhood nutrition. “We literally cook every meal, every day, from scratch,” Toby says. During a brief pandemic closure, staff prepared and distributed over 20,000 free
meals to families in need.
Toby believes COVID-19 has reaffirmed the importance of child care and education: “We’ve seen more support than ever during the pandemic. We’ve seen that the world does care and people do respect our efforts.”
“I’m feeling optimistic about things,” he concludes, “and I want to use that positive momentum. We have a lot of important work to do.”