South Coast

Rolling Up Her Sleeves in the Community

When she’s not working at the family business, Brandy Peak Distillery, Georgia Nowlin of Brookings is rolling up her sleeves in the community.

A former Curry County commissioner, Nowlin has volunteered for everything from the Girl Scouts to the League of Women Voters to the Ford Institute Leadership Program.

“Curry County has its challenges,” she says. “And when you live in a rural community, not everyone knows what everyone else is up to; it’s hard to know how to help or how to get help.” 

That’s one of the reasons why she also volunteers on OCF’s South Coast Leadership Council. “I know that a lot of OCF’s work is quiet, but we need to shout out about all of the good things they’ve done for our region. The Ready to Smile program was exciting—I didn’t realize how much of an impact kids’ dental health has—and their Community 101 program in the schools was great. But they’ve also worked on less visible things; for example, they helped rebuild the dorms at the fairground, and their contribution opened doors to other foundation grants. They play such a great support role here,” she adds.

Nowlin also admires OCF’s commitment to collaboration and outreach. “Organizations in rural communities with limited infrastructure really struggle to find funding,” she says. “Through OCF, I’ve been helping reach out to small organizations and small communities and helping them apply for grants.” She pauses. “It’s not rocket science—we can do this.”

Nowlin is one of more than 1,600 local volunteers who provide OCF with personal, in-depth knowledge of community needs across the state. OCF volunteers serve on the board, advisory and leadership councils, and evaluate grant proposals and scholarship applications. Learn more about our volunteers.