Metro Portland

Fighting the Good Fight: Pia Wilson-Body and the Elevate Us Fund

Pia Wilson-Body established the Elevate Us Fund of Oregon Community Foundation in 2019. With over 20 years of leadership experience, Pia is professionally and personally committed to encouraging shared philanthropic support of communities who have been historically or who are currently underserved.

OCF: Who taught you about the power of giving or philanthropy? 

If I had to point to one individual who was influential in teaching me about the power of giving back to community it is Mrs. Lula Moore. Mrs. Moore was a Director at Girl Scouts of America Corporation in Dayton, Ohio. Growing up, I had a close relationship with Mrs. Moore and her daughter, Tonya. I remember Mrs. Moore took us to neighborhood gatherings, Girl Scouts volunteer programs, and church community service events. I witnessed Mrs. Moore's commitment to supporting young girls and community members first-hand. She was adamant about reaching people from all socio-economic pockets to take part in supporting the Girl Scouts; and was clear with staff of her expectations of inclusion. I was in awe of her leadership, desire to give back, and dedication to supporting women and girls. Seeing Mrs. Moore’s compassion and involvement in the community ignited my commitment to philanthropy—ultimately encouraging the social impact work I lead today.

OCF: What has been the best gift you have made/received? 

The best gift to receive is that of gratitude. Recently, an old coworker reached out to me. I forgot that I provided guidance to him regarding a situation he was experiencing years ago. He told me that my input stuck with him for all those years, inspired him to build his own non-profit, and address some work-related challenges head on. In reflection on this encounter, I strongly believe there is nothing that equates to the gift of gratitude. One of my favorite quotes from Brené Brown says, “Practicing gratitude is how we acknowledge that there’s enough and that we’re enough.” My heart is always overwhelmed with gratitude and joy when I have the chance to help make a difference in someone’s life for the better.

OCF: What do you aim to accomplish with the Elevate Us Fund of Oregon Community Foundation? 

Now more than ever we need to use our collective skills and resources to create opportunities and elevate the livelihood of women and girls on a local and national scale. Elevate Us was created to lift efforts that provide sustainable training, advocacy, development and economic support to women and girls — reducing barriers in the communities where they live and work in Oregon. The nonprofits we aim to support are aligned with the Elevate Us mission and know our local community needs. The funding we provide will help fuel those organizations aligned with the mission of Elevate Us to keep fighting the good fight through the implementation of sustainable outreach and programs.

To support the Elevate Us Fund of Oregon Community Foundation, click here.