Gorge Foundation boosts nonprofits

News staff writer

June 7, 2006

The Gorge Community Foundation has made more than $9,000 in grants this spring, and anticipates making another $5,000 in grants over the next couple of months.

The awards include grants to eight different local organizations and two scholarships from seven different endowment funds.

Organizations receiving grants were:

* Hood River Commission on Children and Families

* Hood River County 4-H Leaders Association

* Columbia Gorge Ecology Institute

* Mt. Hood Towne Hall

* Hood River Valley Residents Committee

* Georgiana Smith Park at the Hood River County Library

* Columbia River Waterfront Park Committee

* Hospice of the Gorge

* Soroptimist International of Hood River

The Gorge Community Foundation was established in 2001 as a way to address the problem of sustainable funding for local nonprofit organizations.

Community foundations are public charities that build and manage permanent endowment funds which provide grants to local nonprofit organizations and projects.

The first grants from the Gorge Community Foundation were made in 2003, and annual grant totals have tripled since then. The foundation contains 34 separate funds and has assets totaling more than $600,000.

The Gorge Community Foundation contains different types of funds: donor-advised funds, where the original donors who established the fund are involved in the granting process; community funds, where grants are made for general charitable purposes; field of interest funds, where grants are made in a specific area chosen by the donor; and designated funds, where grants are made to a specific agency.

According to Lynn Everroad, foundation executive director, the foundation currently has the potential to grant more than $40,000 a year, but many of the endowments are in growth mode and organizations or donor-advisors are choosing to decline grants in the interest of increasing the size of their funds to meet future needs.

There is no minimum amount necessary to start a fund, but a commitment must be made to bring the fund to $5,000 within five years. Funds must reach $10,000 to be eligible for granting status.

For more information about the Gorge Community Foundation, go to www.gorgecf.org

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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