Back to School Grantmaking in Action

It’s a back-to-school season like no other. With many schools planning remote learning for the foreseeable future and childcare centers closed or operating at limited capacity, vital childcare-focused nonprofits are strained and looking for solutions.  

Research and experience demonstrate that children from low-income families, communities of color and individuals in rural areas are more likely to lack opportunities to advance, even in normal times. Today amidst the pandemic, Oregon’s most vulnerable young people come from populations who are also most adversely impacted by the spread of COVID-19. With support from donors, Oregon Community Recovery Fund (OCRF) grants provide much-needed funding to continue serving youth across the state. 

Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties provides youth with programs to foster development of positive self-image and a sense of self-reliance. The Club meets essential needs by providing nutrition, health, dental and vision care, a safe place and supportive relationships while impacting youth through three areas: academic success; character and citizenship; and healthy lifestyles. The Club has moved all programming online, providing virtual activities for youth and teens; and delivering Chromebooks from the Salem-Keizer School District to families. Due to social distancing orders, two of the Club’s main fundraising events were postponed; an OCRF grant helps replace this lost revenue.  

Connected Lane County strives to create pathways to success for students from pre-kindergarten through high school graduationand beyond. The organization works with all 16 school districts in Lane County, 13 of which are rural. An OCRF grant provides internet service and hot spots to students who cannot currently access learning platforms while school is remote.  This is particularly important to help address the inequities immigrants and refugees, communities of color, low income, LGBTQ+, individuals with disabilities and geographically isolated individuals face. 

Free Geek (Metro Portland) provides digital access to some of our communities' most vulnerable populations—many of whom are most adversely impacted by COVID-19. This includes K-12 students, many of whom do not have the technology they need to fully engage in school under normal circumstances. Since the announcement of school closures, Free Geek has received an overwhelming number of requests for technology from students and parents. An OCRF grant will help produce and distribute computers to students in need of digital access.  

Kids Unlimited in Medford is a youth development organization in Southern Oregon serving over 80% Latinx families, many of which don't have connections with the school district or public schools. Kids Unlimited has transformed services help provide thousands of freshly prepared meals each day for any child up to age 18. They also support a robust home-delivery service and learning supports such as computers and internet service. An OCRF grant supports programmatic transformation to help the organization continue to reach vulnerable children.  

REACH Redmond provides youth in Redmond with fun things to do during non-school hours that support education and build social skills. During COVID, REACH Redmond continues to provide services, such as home activity kits, a YouTube instructional channel and a social-distanced in-person summer “space camp.” An OCRF grant helps REACH continue to offer services to youth at no cost. Read related story. 

Tillamook Early Learning Center offers quality, safe and reliable care and education for children from 18 months to entry into kindergarten. Activities are suited for each child’s developmental stage, with emphasis on academic learning and social and emotional development. On June 8 the center reopened in a limited capacity, providing emergency child care for essential workers. An OCRF grant helps the Center continue to provide care and education.  

Treasure Valley Children's Relief Nursery in Ontario provides a critical support system to low-income, at-risk families helping to reduce child abuse. Using evidence-based curriculum, the organization operates a therapeutic classroom focused on social-emotional skills and serves 90 children each year.  They also conduct home visits with about 70 families. The nursery saw an uptick in requests for support and supplies as a result of COVID.  An OCRF grant helps the nursery maintain staffing and purchase supplies for families.

The following list represents many of the grants made to COVID-19 impacted childhood and education-oriented nonprofits. This list may not reflect all grantmaking to date. The geographic regions noted correspond to OCF’s regions which can be found on our website.  

  • Active Children Portland, Metro Portland ($35,000) 
  • After School Activities Program (Immanuel Lutheran Church), Northern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Albina Head Start, Metro Portland ($65,400) 
  • Alumni Association of the University of Oregon, Metro Portland ($30,000) 
  • Ashland Family YMCA, Southern Oregon ($20,000) 
  • Beaverton Black Parent Union, Metro Portland ($15,000) 
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters Columbia Northwest, Metro Portland ($25,000) 
  • Black Parent Initiative, Metro Portland ($50,000) 
  • Blue Mountain Community College, Eastern Oregon ($20,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Albany, Southern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Corvallis, Southern Willamette Valley ($71,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Salem, Marion & Polk Counties, Northern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of Southwestern Oregon, South Coast ($20,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Western Treasure Valley, Eastern Oregon ($60,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland, Metro Portland ($55,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Central Oregon ($34,500) 
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Greater Santiam, Southern Willamette Valley ($50,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley, Southern Oregon ($20,000) 
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Lane County, Southern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Butte Falls Community School Partnership, Southern ($16,000) 
  • Camp Fire Columbia, Metro Portland ($40,000) 
  • Camp Fire USA, Central Oregon Council, Central Oregon ($15,000) 
  • Camp Tamarack, Central Oregon ($15,000) 
  • Center for African Immigrants and Refugees of Oregon (CAIRO), Metro Portland ($20,500) 
  • Chess For Success, Metro Portland ($20,000) 
  • Children's Book Bank, Metro Portland ($20,000) 
  • College Possible, Metro Portland ($15,000) 
  • Connected Lane County (Lane Education Service District), Southern Willamette Valley ($25,000) 
  • Crook County Kids, Inc., Central Oregon ($15,000) 
  • De La Salle North Catholic High School, Metro Portland ($50,000) 
  • Douglas Education Service District, Southern Willamette Valley ($20,000) 
  • Elevate Oregon, Metro Portland ($50,000) 
  • Elite Sports Academy, Metro Portland ($5,000) 
  • FACES of America, Northern Willamette Valley ($50,000) 
  • Family Building Blocks, Northern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Family Development Center, Southern Willamette Valley ($43,000) 
  • Family Relief Nursery - South Lane, Southern Willamette Valley ($25,000) 
  • Free Geek, Metro Portland ($50,500) 
  • Friends of Saturday Academy, Metro Portland ($15,000) 
  • Friends of the Children - Klamath Basin, Southern ($50,000) 
  • Friends of the Children - Portland, Metro Portland ($59,750) 
  • Gorge Ecology Outdoors, Metro Portland ($6,500) 
  • Greater Than, Metro Portland ($45,000) 
  • HOLLA Mentors, Metro Portland ($50,000) 
  • Inner City Basketball, Metro Portland ($5,000) 
  • Jordan Valley School District, Eastern ($9,920) 
  • KairosPDX, Metro Portland ($40,000) 
  • Kenton Action Plan, Metro Portland ($4,000) 
  • Kids Club of Harney County, Eastern Oregon ($10,000) 
  • Kids Club of Jefferson County, Central Oregon ($23,600) 
  • Kids Unlimited, Southern Oregon ($150,000) 
  • Klamath Kid Center, Southern ($5,000) 
  • Made to Thrive, Eastern Oregon ($10,000) 
  • Marion & Polk Early Learning Hub, Inc., Northern Willamette Valley ($50,000) 
  • Marist High School, Southern Willamette Valley ($10,000) 
  • Muslim Educational Trust, Metro Portland ($50,000) 
  • Neighbors for Kids, North Coast ($68,000) 
  • Old Mill Center for Children & Families, Southern Willamette Valley ($21,000) 
  • Open School, Metro Portland ($12,000) 
  • Ophelia's Place, Southern Willamette Valley ($7,000) 
  • Parenting Now!, Southern Willamette Valley ($22,000) 
  • Pathfinders of Oregon, Metro Portland ($38,750) 
  • Pioneer Relief Nursery, Eastern Oregon ($20,000) 
  • Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center, Metro Portland ($61,000) 
  • REACH Redmond, Central Oregon ($80,000) 
  • REAP, Metro Portland ($40,000) 
  • Relief Nursery, Inc., Southern Willamette Valley ($67,000) 
  • Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality, Northern Willamette Valley ($25,000) 
  • Self Enhancement, Inc., Metro Portland ($67,500) 
  • SMART Reading, Statewide ($43,750) 
  • South Lane School District, Southern Willamette Valley ($15,000) 
  • Southern Oregon University Foundation, Southern Oregon ($105,000) 
  • St. Andrew Nativity School, Metro Portland ($25,000) 
  • The Black United Fund of Oregon, Inc., Metro Portland ($37,000) 
  • The Gilbert House Children's Museum, Inc., Northern Willamette Valley ($2,000) 
  • Tillamook Early Learning Center, North Coast ($7,500) 
  • Todos Juntos, Metro Portland ($55,000) 
  • Treasure Valley Children's Relief Nursery, Eastern ($10,000) 
  • Tucker Maxon School, Metro Portland ($20,000) 
  • Urban Nature Partners PDX, Metro Portland ($7,000) 
  • Western Oregon University Foundation, Northern Willamette Valley ($76,500)