The Community Grant Program of the Sunriver Women’s Club funds projects being implemented by local nonprofit agencies that are designed to break the cycle of generational poverty in south Deschutes County. To learn more about generational poverty, click Understanding Poverty in our Community.pdf.
In 2021 the SRWC funded five grants focused on reducing hunger in our community. Whether providing nutritious meals and food boxes for under-resourced families, weekend food for children reliant on the school meals programs, or meals delivered to the doorsteps of our senior citizens, our grant funds are working to support food insecure individuals.
The grant to the Council on Aging Central Oregon supported the Community Dining program served at the La Pine Senior Activity Center. What was formerly a sit-down meal among friends and community members was transformed into a drive-through “grab-and-go” meal to keep our seniors safe. More than 100 seniors living at or below the poverty level continued to receive no-cost, fresh and well-balanced meals throughout the pandemic with more than 1,200 meals served each month.
The community grant to the La Pine Community Kitchen provided hot meals, bagged meals, and grocery boxes for families in our community. The LPCK also provides additional services by using their site as a hub for services like a clothing closet, a shower truck and medical/ dental support thus maximizing their impact.
The community grant to The Giving Plate provided backpacks of food for children in need at the three elementary schools in south Deschutes County. The backpacks are delivered to the schools on Friday with food for the child to last for several days. Many children are dependent on school meals as their main source of nourishment and this program is making sure that the children do not go hungry over the weekend.
Providing a healthy and nurturing environment free from abuse and neglect is the goal of the four grants awarded in this focus area. Our grant awards are working to prevent child abuse and neglect, intervening on behalf of children who have been abused and providing ongoing support so these children can not only survive but thrive.
The community grant to CASA of Central Oregon supported recruitment, training and ongoing support for community volunteers who advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected foster children in south Deschutes County. The CASA volunteer is often the only consistent adult in a child’s life during their time in foster care. Children with a CASA do better in school and find a permanent home sooner than those without a CASA.
Friends of the Children Central Oregon used their community grant to impact generational change by empowering youth who are facing the greatest obstacles. Mentors are trained to stay in contact with an identified kindergartener in south Deschutes County for 12 years, helping the most under-resourced children develop the relationships, goals, and skills necessary to break generational cycles of poverty, abuse, and violence.
MountainStar Family Relief Nursery used their community grant to expand benefits in the La Pine community. SRWC funds provide support for parental counseling, child abuse prevention and supplies for children’s healthcare not always readily available in the south Deschutes area.
In 2021, SRWC awarded four grants that were targeted at ensuring that all children have the support they need to succeed in school. From providing early education opportunities for low-income families, to ensuring that children are reading by third grade, providing the mental health supports needed to return from the pandemic or keeping high school kids engaged in school, our grant dollars are having a positive impact on kids in our community.
La Pine Park & Recreation Foundation used their community grant funds to hire a part time student advocate that would undergo extensive training and act as a part of the team to reach students with the goal of reducing youth Marijuana usage. This is an evidence-based community driven project that focuses on youth engagement as a path to positive youth development.
The community grant to the Rising Stars Preschool supported our community’s youngest learners with partial scholarships to support early educational experiences. A part of their grant also supported operational expenses during the COVID lockdown. Research shows that high-quality preschool experiences have a direct impact on high school graduation rates.
SMART Reading used their community grant to purchase and deliver fourteen books in a year for every Kindergartener in Three Rivers School, Rosland Elementary and La Pine Elementary. Research shows that access to books in the home will support those children in meeting the third-grade reading benchmarks in Oregon.
Three Rivers Elementary PTA used their community grant to support a program with tools for their students designed to reduce stress and anxiety as children return to school after almost a year away from the classroom. This program supported all of the students by providing the most disruptive students with a plan to support their mental health, away from their main classroom.
Through our three grant awards in this category, the SRWC is working to ensure that families can stay in their home. Whether its rent assistance, health and safety repairs or providing survivor housing for victims of abuse, investing in secure housing helps stabilize families and children by providing security and personal safety.
The community grant to Habitat for Humanity of La Pine Sunriver Critical Home Repairs Program provided key health and safety repairs for families who could not otherwise afford to accomplish these tasks. These repairs ensure that south county households living below the poverty level can make needed repairs to improve accessibility and safety so they can remain in the home they already own.
The NeighborImpact Barrier Busters program used their community grant to keep families in their homes by helping to clear their credit report, and to educate these families in managing their money and budgeting. Keeping families from losing shelter is a huge impact that you have supported by preventing homelessness.
The community grant funds awarded to Saving Grace of Central Oregon were used for “The Survivor Housing Program” which serves survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, predominantly women and their children. These survivors often struggle to leave an abusive relationship because of difficulties in accessing a new place to live. From the foundation of a safe home, survivors are given the support they need to rebuild their lives, heal from trauma, and create a future for themselves and their children.
Thanks to all who support the SRWC Community Grant Program through volunteering at SRWC fundraising events, event sponsorship and direct donations.
Together, we are building a stronger community!