2021 Day of Caring Report

Saturday, April 17th turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, but that didn’t stop 146 volunteers from bringing their families, friends and coworkers to three Clatsop County sites to clean up, plant and rebuild at parks and nonprofits. 

The 2021 Day of Caring, hosted by United Way of Clatsop County was truly a community event. Supplies donated by the Home Depot Foundation in combination with funds from TLC/Fibre Federal Credit Union, Providence Seaside Hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital, NW Natural and Arbonne Independent Consultant Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick were used to pick up trash (11 large, 18 medium & 41 small bags donated by SOLVE Oregon), clear storm debris, clean cabins, power wash structures, weed, plant, rebuild garden beds & install ADA pavers at Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside, Camp Kiwanilong in Warrenton and Hilltop Apartments in Astoria.

Sites were chosen based on COVID-safe opportunities to improve outdoor areas. Volunteers stayed outside, wore masks and remained socially distant from other volunteers throughout the event.

They worked hard, but with refreshments provided by US Foods, snacks from Astoria Co+Op and Natural Grocers and sandwiches provided by Subway, volunteers were treated to warm weather, good food and a sense of community that has been hard to come by this last year. 

Site #1 benefited 22 residents of Hilltop Apartments, a low-income apartment complex owned by Clatsop Community Action. Residents, including two veterans, are now enjoying a beautiful outdoor space with English Lavender, bright yellow marigolds and white astilbe.

Project Site #2, Camp Kiwanilong, boasted the most unique clean up activity which included canoes on the Camp’s beloved Long Lake. Camp employees believe a beaver has been gnawing on the styrofoam dock floats causing debris to spread across the lake for a number of months. Water-loving volunteers skimmed the lake of trash while their land-loving counterparts cleaned up branches from the February ice storm, spring cleaned camp cabins and power washed outbuildings and docks. Registration is open for a DAY CAMP Summer Youth Program at campkiwanilong.org —happening this year despite COVID! Other groups also use this beautiful, rustic space for conventions and meetings including civic and veteran groups. 

The largest project at site #3, Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside was moving 40 yards of hog fuel donated by Nygaard Logging. Volunteers shoveled, dug, carted, dumped and raked the material into pathways between garden beds. The material–somewhat like bark dust, will act as a weed control and also add cushion for gardeners on their knees. ADA pavers were also installed for a more equitable gardening opportunity and new hoses were attached to water pumps for site gardeners.

The 53-plot gardens are run by Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District (SEPRD), and are still taking applications for gardeners. Approximately 10% of garden bed renters are veterans, an underserved demographic in Clatsop County.

Each Day of Caring volunteer site produced a significant amount of debris being collected by Recology, administrative costs were covered by Georgia Pacific/Wauna Mill, and the altruism keeps going as community members also donated over 16 large boxes of “essential items” for nonprofit clients– including food, baby supplies, personal care items and new clothing collected at volunteer sites as well as the Barbey Center at Columbia River Maritime Museum.

The 2021 Day of Caring turned out to be truly that…a day where the compassion we have for our community was able to shine. Thank you to everyone involved!

 

Astoria Co-Op
 
Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick
Independent Arbonne Consultant

 A special thank you to Arthur Koustik at Home Depot, Viviana Matthews and Megan McCall at CCA, Robyn Koustik at K&M Yard Maintenance, Skyler Archibald and Levi Conner at Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District, Amy Koch at Camp Kiwanilong and Day of Caring Committee Members Katrina Gasser, Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick and Kelsey Hix. None of this would have happened without you!

Relating to the Needs of Others

UWCC received a donation from an east coast Rabbi and his wife last week. When I called to thank them, a beautiful story unfolded. 

For the last year, the two of them have been traveling to broaden their awareness of need in communities around the US. Along the way they worked towards their goal of giving to every United Way in America. He talked about the concept of Tzedakah, and he explained it like this:


When it comes to dealing with the poor, we get it wrong so often.

Even the wording we use is misleading. We use words like, “giving,” “charity” and “philanthropy”. They imply that relating to the needs of others involves generosity or caring, and is somewhat optional.

Charity comes from “caritas” which has to do with the heart and from which we get the word caring.

Philanthropy means a love of people.

Even the words, “giving” and “donation” imply that we own the things we are giving away.

Tzedakah is the Hebrew word we inherited for relating to the needs of others.  Though it is translated as “charity” that distracts from the main point.  It is better understood as citizen’s obligation, responsibility or righteousness.  Its shades of meaning don’t revolve around feelings, they overlap with justice.  We don’t do tzedakah because we are so moved or because it feels good.  Those are nice side effects that are often present.  We do tzedakah because we must.


This conversation reminded me of one of the fundamental reasons we do this. We help because it’s a part of the definition of community.  Because the world we want to live in can only exist if we share, when we can, with the vulnerable. If we behave like family.

Rabbi Jeff Glickman and his wife Mindy-Lu have a website and podcast about their tour if you’d like to find out more about them.

UWCC Board Membership Info Session 3/22/21 12:15pm

It feels good to give back. To family, to friends, to community.  A variety of ways exist to do it, one of the most prominent in Clatsop County is board membership.

You’ve met the people who are veterans of the trade. They’re attending events and fundraisers as if it’s their favorite hobby, talking to fellow charitable humans, excited to introduce others to the importance of their cause.

But is that the only way to be a good board member?

Nope.

A solid board will attract a diverse set of skills, accompanied by a diverse set of perspectives and personalities. A balance needs to exist between the members excited to advocate, and the  members who support the cause a little more “behind the scenes”.

The people who make up a board matter, and a good fit is so important to progressing the mission.

To learn more about the UWCC board, how it functions, expectations of board members and how to apply to become one, an informational session is being held 12:15-1pm on Monday, March 22nd. Come with questions prepared or just to listen.

Contact Kassia for more information and a link to the session.

2021 Day of Caring

United Way of Clatsop County is hosting a Volunteer Day of Caring from 9am – 1pm on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 – come join the fun!

Drop off essential items (see below) for local nonprofits and/or join other socially distant volunteers to landscape Astoria’s Hilltop Apartments, skim styrofoam off of Long Lake @ Camp Kiwanilong or tidy up Seaside Community Gardens.

Snacks will be provided at this family-friendly event. It’s going to be a lot of fun so sign up here!

Please note, all volunteers are requested to bring and appropriately wear PPE:)

Volunteer Event Locations

  • Hilltop Apartments (blueberry colored duplexes) – On Niagara Ave. between 11th & 12th,  Astoria, OR
  • Camp Kiwanilong – 595 SW Ridge Road,  Warrenton, OR
  • Seaside Community Gardens – 1001 – 1099 S. Irvine Pl., Seaside, OR (south of KFC off hwy 101)

Essential Item Drop Off

Packing food donationsCan’t volunteer your time but still want to help?  Drive through essential item drop offs will also be located at Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside, Camp Kiwanilong in Warrenton and the  Barbey Center at the Maritime Museum in Astoria from 9am-1pm  accepting any of the following:

  • Food – Non perishable food items, breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks
  • Dental Care – Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Personal Care Items – Soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper
  • Safety Items – PPE, face masks (medical or cloth), medical gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes
  • Kids Comfort – Blankets, plush toys, books and games (all items must be new)
  • Baby Care – Diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food, baby clothes (must be new)
  • Pet Care – Pet food, treats and toys
  • Financial Stability – Gas cards, bus passes, grocery store gift cards, pre-paid phone cards
  • Inspirational Cards – Handwritten words of encouragement for students and educators

Collected items will be distributed to local nonprofits for their clients in need.

Essential Item Drop Off  Locations

  • Barbey Maritime Center* – 1792 Marine Dr. Astoria, OR
  • Camp Kiwanilong – 595 SW Ridge Road,  Warrenton, OR
  • Seaside Community Gardens – 1001 – 1099 S. Irvine Pl., Seaside, OR (south of KFC off hwy 101)

* Donation Items may also be dropped off at the Maritime Museum admissions desk Thursday, April 15th and Friday April 16th from 9:30am – 5pm!

Find out More

Don’t hesitate to contact UWCC with any questions!

 

Sign Up

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Astoria Co-Op
 
Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick
Independent Arbonne Consultant

Throw Back Prom

Join us for a night of fun at the Astoria Armory Community Center! Saturday Night, April 14th from 8-11 pm.  Relive prom in Astoria, maybe you missed your first chance to go, come dance the night away to the sounds of the 60’s, 70′, 80’s, 90’s and beyond. A prom king and queen from each decade will be award the ultimate crowns of royalty. Proceeds benefit United Way of Clatsop County and the Astoria Armory Community Center. Tickets are available at the door, just $15 each.

 

FamilyWise Partnership

For the last 10 years, United Way and FamilyWize Community Service Partnership have collaborated to bring greater stability to communities nationwide. We know from experience that families living on the edge never struggle with just one issue; it’s the combination of several problems piling up that prevents families from finding stability and truly thriving. At United Way of Clatsop County, we partner with FamilyWize to increase the Health and Financial Stability of families in our communities. Through their prescription savings card, FamilyWize works to make prescription medications more affordable for all families, so that no one ever has to make the hard choice between the meds they need, and other basics like food or rent. In 2016 United Way of Clatsop County helped 606 people save $92,141!!

 

2014 Annual Campaign Kick-Off!

It’s almost time for our annual Campaign Kick-Off. Once again, this event will be held at the beautiful Lum’s Auto Center, and will feature tables and short presentations from all of the wonderful, essential local organizations that we support. All are welcome to join us, have some food and wine, and find out just who we are and where your donations go.

The 2014 Annual Campaign Kick-Off will be held on September 9 from 5:00 to 6:30pm at Lum’s Auto Center in Warrenton. See you there!

Meet Our New Leaders!

Meet Our New Leaders!

The United Way of Clatsop County welcomes a new Executive Director, Stacey Brown and a newly elected board president, Charlene Larsen!

…And Saying “So Long”

After many years of devoted service to our organization, our Executive Director, Darlene Felkins has retired. Executive Assistant, Deanna Heacock has also left us. We thank both of them for their tireless work for our community over the years, and wish them the best in the next chapters of their lives.

We held a retirement get-together for Darlene on May 28, 2014 at 5:30pm at the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria. This was a also a great opportunity to say “farewell” to our outgoing President, Dick Easton.

2013-2014 Fundraising Campaign

2013-14 Fundraising Campaign

The United Way of Clatsop County is nearing the end of its annual campaign to raise raise money for the dozen essential community organizations it serves. And US Bank’s generous annual contribution has pushed us to over 76% of our $275,000.00 goal.

In an effort to encourage the rest of the community who have not yet given, US Bank and other major donors braved the pouring rain and high winds to gather at our “Giving Thermometer” next to Dugger’s Restaurant in Warrenton.

Here are the major donors and the amounts they’ve contributed to the 2013-2014 Campaign:

US Bank with check for $10,800.00 contribution, Tongue Point Job Corps $11,501.00 contribution, Columbia Memorial Hospital’s contribution of $9,207.00, NW Natural $1,528, GP Wauna Mill (Company & Foundation, Employees, WSU Local 1097) $64764.00, Pacific Power $1,521.00, Events Iron Chef & Lite Bite Chaired: Jennifer Holen of Baked Alaska  $45,246.00, Advanced Giving Division  Chaired:Anne Barbey & Edith Hennigsgaard Miller $29,964

The United Way of Clatsop County annual campaign ends January 31, and will be taking donations for the 2013-2014 campaign for the rest of this month.