Since 1966, Outdoor School has been supplementing Oregon’s public-education system with lessons on the environment, ecology, natural resources, and flora and fauna held in a camp setting. Friends of Outdoor School was recently founded to preserve this experience for youth and to make it available to all students regardless of their socio-economic statuses.
During day-camp courses, student leaders from local high schools work with middle-school students to explore the wonders of science through hands-on outdoor activities and traditional camp experiences. Students remain active from sun up to sun down, conducting field studies, engaging in recreational activities, preparing meals, and building campfires. The student leaders emerge from the experience with greater leadership abilities and both sets of students can bring their newfound knowledge to their science and math classes.
After their daughter, Hayden, was stillborn at 32 weeks of gestation in 2010, Rebekka and Randy Hauskin's hospital bills served as a painful reminder of their loss. As a result, they decided that they wanted to help other families dealing with this type of tragedy, and in memory of their daughter, created the Oregon-based nonprofit Hayden's Helping Hands. The foundation helps Oregonians after the birth of a stillborn baby by paying for a portion or all of their hospital delivery expenses, so they can focus on healing rather than financial burdens. The amount of financial assistance is determined by the foundation on a case-by-case basis, and all payments are made directly to the medical facility.
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Powerhouse Mentors provide a stable relationship in the midst of an often-chaotic experience, where teens may shift regularly between different foster homes and schools, and may be forced to achieve independence by their 18th birthdays. During the course of one year in the Powerhouse Mentoring Program, mentors and youths meet 10 hours per month. The program trains volunteer mentors in an intensive one-day workshop to facilitate the development of strong, lasting relationships with foster youths. Experts speak to future mentors about some of the traumas that appear frequently in the foster system, including attachment disorder and fetal-alcohol syndrome. Powerhouse still needs additional funding to cover the cost of its next workshop in order to pay for the speaker's fee and meals for 15–25 mentor trainees.
Since 1983, the nonprofit Northwest Family Services has helped youth, couples, and families make healthy life decisions. Youth programs provide safe harbor for children and teens after school, and match up kids in peer-to-peer leadership programs. Summer sessions encourage kids to make new memories by playing with words and pictures in PhotoVoice camp, during heart-pounding adventure camps, or out of Popsicle sticks. For adults, the organization’s job-help programs guide applicants through resumé writing and interviewing skills. Laying out a roadmap for happy new families, marriage-prep counseling gives couples and singles tips for navigating healthy relationships.
Raphael House often uses a minivan to transport family members experiencing domestic violence from their homes to the confidential shelter, as well as to make trips to check on families in their homes. The organization's current minivan requires constant repairs due to age and past damage, inflicting both a financial drain on the organization and a safety risk for families requiring transport. Raphael House needs help funding a maintenance tune-up and brake repair for its new minivan, with an ultimate goal of funding the entire $3,500 necessary to acquire a new or gently used minivan.
Fences For Fido aims to facilitate change in the lives of pets and their human family members by unchaining dogs and allowing them to run free. In order to accomplish this, volunteers build custom fences and insulated doghouses for local families. They also provide shelter and veterinary care when necessary, and educate families on taking care of their dogs during extreme summer and winter temperatures. Since its inception, Fences For Fido has unchained more than 360 dogs.
Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) operates a catch-and-release program to help prevent the overpopulation of feral cats. Its caregivers trap homeless cats and bring them into a freestanding clinic or 24-foot mobile hospital, where FCCO spays or neuters them and provides basic medical services as necessary. The organization has the capacity to treat many cats in a short period of time, as three veterinarians can work in the mobile hospital at one time, and four in the clinic. The vets also tip the cats' ears to identify them as having been spayed or neutered. Once the cats recover, they are sent back to where they were trapped to continue their lives outdoors.