Give Guide

Give until it feels good. Then give some more.

 “No one has ever become poor from giving.” — Anne Frank

Every year, EW writers ask the community, “What groups should people donate to?” And we focus our annual Give Guide on local nonprofits that need your support, be it through a tax-deductible monetary donation or through volunteering your time.

Every year we bemoan the fact that we don’t have enough pages to include every single deserving group. You know you live in a caring community when you have an abundance of groups helping their fellow humans, animals and world around us.

And so now, as we’ve done for at least a decade, we ask you to read, donate and write us letters to tell us who you think your community should give to. Send your thoughts to for your community members to read. — Camilla Mortensen


A prevention-based nonprofit dedicated to helping girls make smart life choices through empowerment, education and support, Ophelia’s Place recognizes that all girls face challenges growing up.

From learning how to build relationships, to maintaining self-esteem or dealing with issues like body positivity and making healthy lifestyle choices, Ophelia’s Place offers 10 to 18 year olds — who identify as women or girls — a safe, comfortable afterschool hang-out space, along with workshops, access to therapy and additional supports.

They offer programming in Eugene-area schools through peer groups, classroom presentations and parent support — in topics from smart digital decisions, to healthy relationships, or bullying. In 2018, Ophelia’s Place will expand its programming into Junction City and Albany.

Their upcoming calendar for girls and parents includes workshops like Computer Aided 3D Design, a Parent-Daughter Circle therapy group and a musical jam session with Grrlz Rock.

Ophelia’s Place’s “Dear 13-Year-Old Self” Winter Giving Campaign encourages donors to make their end-of-year gifts to support its programming. Those who give — and share advice they would tell their 13-year-old selves about growing up — will be entered into a drawing at the end of December to win a gift basket. Donations can be made at — Rachael Carnes


Parenting Now!’s Incredible Infants

photo courtesy Incredible Infants Group

Parenting Now! helps ensure that children are raised by skilled, nurturing parents. For 39 years, Parenting Now! — formerly Birth to Three — has offered a variety of parenting groups, including Incredible INFANTs, Wonderful ONEs, Terrific TWOs, Thrilling THREEs, Parents Again, Make Parenting a Pleasure, Crecer for Spanish-speaking families and Young Parents Program.

Through these groups parents learn self-care, stress and anger management, communication skills, child development and more.

Parenting Now!’s Make Parenting a Pleasure curriculum has been used in over 1,000 sites, 46 states, and 17 other countries. Nearly 93,000 local parents and their children have benefited from the organization’s programs and services.

“Some people are afraid to take parenting classes, and as far as I’m concerned everyone can benefit from parenting education,” says Parenting Now!’s Anita Quincy-Huffman. “I’ve been parenting for 38 years and I’m always learning something new.”

In 2018, Parenting Now! will celebrate its 40th year with an anniversary gala.

They offer events throughout the year, including a Mother’s Day 5k. They also have many volunteer opportunities. More info at — Rachael Carnes

When Eugene’s Civic Stadium burned, the Eugene Civic Alliance ( turned its ashes into hope. The nonprofit had raised $41.1 million to buy the property. It is now raising money to build a new sports and recreation complex called Civic Park that aims to boost kids’ health, develop the local economy and build community.

“The new Civic Park will honor our history while providing 21st-century solutions to the consequences of inactive lifestyles,” ECA board president Jon Anderson says.

In addition to helping kids be more active, Civic Park will be home to Lane United Football Club as well as other sports competitions.

Former Oregon Ducks basketball coach Bev Smith adds, “The plans we have for Civic aren’t about something that would be ‘nice to have.’”

Smith is now executive director of Kidsports, which will have a fieldhouse on the property.

“This is fundamental to our ability to raise healthy kids and have them grow into active adults,” she says. “I’m not talking about training elite athletes. We’re talking about basic physical skills and habits everyone should learn by the time they are 11 or 12. Today, without enough functional, available space to play, most kids miss out on what is truly the most cost effective and practical form of health care. We can’t fail them.”

Eugene Weekly co-owner Art Johnson is on the ECA board of directors. — Camilla Mortensen

Bags of Love, a Eugene-based nonprofit founded in 2008, provides necessities and comfort items to children who are in crisis due to abuse, neglect, homelessness or poverty.

The bags are hand-sewn by volunteers and filled with a range of constant necessities — toiletries, clothing, pajamas and school supplies — and items for enjoyment, including age-appropriate toys and books.

According to Bags of Love’s website, each bag contains a handcrafted quilt or fleece blanket, made to help “soothe and comfort children experiencing scary and uncertain times, as well as address the immediate needs of these children during transition.”

Bags of Love says it partners with more than 50 community agencies, including American Red Cross, CAHOOTS, Hosea Youth Services and more, that help in the distribution of more than 1,500 bags annually.

“We rely on our volunteers and community support to meet this production goal,” the nonprofit says.

Bags of Love is always in need of monetary donations and supplies, welcoming donations including clothing for children of all ages, disposable diapers, toiletries, toys and material for blankets and quilts. The group also welcomes volunteers of all ages to help at the facility or help make blankets and bags.

Bags of Love has seven donation drop-off locations around Eugene. For more information on where to donate items, how to volunteer or find information about upcoming events, visit — Dave Fried 


Many veterans returning home from combat are not able to make the tough transition back to civilian life. These former soldiers often self-medicate instead of seeking professional help, leading to drug addiction, deeper depression, domestic problems and homelessness.

Veterans Legacy, a nonprofit organization in Springfield, proposes a novel and active solution to this issue.

Over the course of the past year, Veterans Legacy has been restoring the former Lane County Sheriff’s Office Inmate Forest Work Camp in Alma. The group’s eventual goal is to house 40 to 55 veterans suffering from PTSD, drug addiction and other adjustment disorders in the rural setting. These individuals will have access to psychological care as well as engage in agricultural therapy. The vision for Veterans Legacy is that this supportive community will provide the forum for the veterans to heal and restore the self-sufficient drive that residents feel like they lost after leaving the military.

After 10 years of disuse, the former work camp in Alma was in a state of disrepair. Since February, Veterans Legacy has restored some order with the help of community partners. John LeBow, president of the board of directors for the nonprofit, says, “The Sutherland Woodshop donated their time to laser cut our sign, then Gene Stringfield Building Materials donated the timber for the signage and finally the Lane Electric Co-op brought out augurs to dig holes in order to mount the posts. This story is a great metaphor for our organization.”

Lane Electric, Comfort Flow HVAC and the Willamette Valley Rebel Rally are just a few of the businesses donating time and materials to Veterans Legacy. Like most nonprofits, however, this one still grapples with the financial reality of relying on the goodwill of donors in order to have operating revenue.

“There is tremendous enthusiasm for this idea,” LeBow says. “But that hasn’t translated into a lot of people writing a check.”

The goal is to have Veterans Legacy up and running this summer, beginning with one to five residents. There are over 28,000 veterans living in Lane County, the highest per capita population in Oregon.

To learn more about the nonprofit, to donate or for a drone tour of the developing work camp in Alma, visit the group’s homepage at

Housing our Veterans is another nonprofit group seeking to help homeless veterans in Lane County who are often suffering from drug addiction and PTSD. Visit or contact Lorie Perkins at 541-606-9220 or about giving a hand to the group.

Reining Spirit is a horse rescue that works with dads of divorce and veterans that also buys horses headed for slaughter and rehabilitates them. Find them at

Eugene PeaceWorks is a nonprofit that seeks to bring the reality of war and what it is like to be a soldier to the general public. Their website is — Matthew Denis

The season of giving is upon us, a cherished time to give to those near and dear to our hearts. As you ponder meaningful ways to give, think about supporting groups that seek to improve the lives of those in our community who need it most — the homeless.

The St. Vincent de Paul Service Station ( is a safe haven for homeless adults in the city. Located on Highway 99, the Station welcomes the homeless into a place of warmth and shelter daily from 8 am to 5 pm, providing food, the opportunity to shower and do laundry, as well as offering resources, supplies and assistance for personal crises.

The Station opened with the assumption that 50 or so people might pass through on an average day. Instead, according to manager Carmen Peer, more than 200 homeless come in daily, while others visit as they are passing through town.

“Everyone deserves basic necessities: a place to go to the bathroom, food, shelter,” Peer says. “This is the place to come for those things for so many people.”

The Station has indoor and outdoor elements, both featuring picnic or round tables for people to sit, chat with one another and “enjoy the family-style environment,” Peer says. It has cubbies for people to check in personal belongings, movies always playing on large TVs and a free pet clinic twice a month thanks to Pro-Bone-O (

Breakfast and lunch are prepared and served from the full-service kitchen, and a variety of snacks along with bottled water are offered generously until closing time. “We make sure to let everyone load up on snacks before they go, because a lot of them won’t have anything to eat or any place to be until we open again tomorrow,” Peer says.

With winter approaching, the Station will see more individuals on a daily basis. “Imagine being outside all day and all night, with no place to go,” Peer says. “It’s a privilege to be able to welcome so many people here.”

The Station is always in need of support. You can volunteer to help prepare, serve or clean up breakfast and lunch any day of the week; you can donate items including sleeping bags, backpacks, personal hygiene supplies, socks, shoes and coats; and, of course, you can give money to help support the operations.

“On the very rare occasions that we have to close for a day, we have so many people ask, ‘Why can’t we go home?’” Peer says. “This place is a home.”

Occupy Medical is another volunteer-run group that faithfully serves the homeless, offering free medical care out of a mobile clinic every Sunday to those who otherwise can’t afford services.

The group is in need of toiletries, first-aid supplies, nutritional supplements, winter shoes, boots and socks. Items can be delivered to Unitarian Universalist Church, or checks made payable to “Occupy Medical” and sent to PO Box 50354, Eugene, OR 97405. Visit for more information.

Another group that would benefit from support this season is White Bird Clinic, which “provides a range of safety net services for people who are unserved, underinsured, disabled and homeless,” says operations coordinator Heather Sielicki.

“We see ourselves as operating below the safety net because we try and catch the people who fall through the holes,” she adds.

White Bird Clinic prioritizes serving the homeless, offering a medical clinic, drug and alcohol treatment program, homeless case management, mental health services, 24/7 intervention services and more. The group is in need of money, winter supplies and volunteers for specific projects.

To find out how you can help, visit, find the group on Facebook or call 541-342-8255.

Carry It Forward is a small organization that delivers donations directly to unhoused individuals as well as to the organizations that serve them, including Occupy Medical, Egan Warming Centers, Community Supported Shelters and others. The group also provides emergency survival items and laundry assistance to individuals in acute need.

This winter Carry It Forward is launching a project to employ several homeless individuals to provide laundry services to the five sanctioned camps in Eugene. Donations of used warm clothing, coats, socks, winter shoes, camping gear such as backpacks, tents, tarps and blankets or sleeping bags go directly to those in need, and monetary donations are used to fund laundry and emergency needs. For more information, please visit

A Community Together, ACT, is an independent nonprofit community resource aiming to improve the quality of life for those in Lane County and beyond. ACT’s projects center on civic engagement, civic journalism, financial services and community organizing, and the group focuses primarily on those in poverty and the homeless.

Monetary donations are the greatest need and can be sent to P.O. Box 1214, Eugene, OR 97440. Please reach director Majeska Seese-Green at, or call 541-337-1643 for more information on how to help.

Remember those who have very little — or sometimes nothing at all — and consider supporting these organizations that help provide resources, refuge and care.  — Morgan Theophil

Two Eugene nonprofits that support survivors of sexual assault and intimate partner violence are in need of monetary donations and new items this holiday season. Sexual Assault Support Services (SASS) and Womenspace assist thousands of people, and both organizations have been operating in Eugene for decades.

SASS runs a crisis line for survivors of sexual assault and people close to survivors. The group performs hospital runs and brings new clothing like sweats, T-shirts and underwear to survivors who give up their clothes during sexual assault nurse examinations. A SASS staffer, or a Sassie — a term staffers at the nonprofit use — says new, gender-neutral clothing like sweats, boxers, underwear and women’s underwear are always needed at the organization, as well as new sports bras and flip-flop sandals.

Items like protein bars are also needed — the nonprofit gives them to survivors when they go on hospital runs. Office supplies like tissues are also needed.

People can donate to SASS directly through their website. In the wake of the #MeToo hashtag, SASS says more people are seeking help.

During the holidays both SASS and Womenspace say there is an increase in the number of survivors reaching out for services.

Womenspace, a shelter and crisis support line, celebrated its 40th anniversary this year. It handles around 3,000 calls for help each year. For the holidays, it is accepting a number of items like new toys, clothing and shoes that will be used for packages given to kids and their parents who are in need.

In some situations, Womenspace says people who are leaving dangerous situations come to the shelter in only the clothes they are wearing and nothing else. Gift cards, new winter clothing like jackets, scarves and hats and monetary donations that can be used to purchase whatever items survivors may need are welcomed. Toiletry items are also needed because many times parents who access the shelter with their children will request items for their children and not for themselves.

Both SASS and Womenspace accept monetary donations. Find them at and — Corinne Boyer


Rev. Doug Hale runs The Student Food Pantry

photo by Trask Bedortha

The stereotype of college students eating ramen isn’t just a joke — 48 percent of students in a survey had experienced food insecurity in the past 30 days, according to a study by the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness.

But one group is fighting to help local college students eat healthy and find stability in the struggle to fill their stomachs while paying for increased tuition. The Student Food Pantry is operated out of a small, one-car garage, but every week it manages to give 150 students enough food to last them a few days.

Run by the Episcopal Campus Ministry (ECM,, the humble pantry is located on 19th Avenue between Onyx and Emerald, just a few blocks from the University of Oregon campus.

Reverend Doug Hale runs the program. “We did an expansion. We went from being open once a week to being open twice a week,” Hale says.

The pantry is open from 4 to 6 pm on Wednesday and Thursday.

Being open two days a week led to a 50-percent increase in students using the service and shortened the significant lines that appear on that sidewalk every week.

Hale says the Student Food Pantry opened because a student at the ministry was worried about a friend who wasn’t eating enough. That led to conversations about how to help, which led to action, he says. “We try to have healthy food as much as possible — [we’re] trying to stay away from empty calories.”

Students who visit the pantry get to pick one thing from a number of categories, including canned produce, canned protein sources, grains, fresh or frozen produce, frozen or refrigerated protein sources, and something from a miscellaneous section. Hale says it adds up to about a grocery sack, or four or five days worth of food.

Hale says students are an overlooked population when it comes to food insecurity.

“There’s been a framing for quite a while of ‘oh you’re a college student, you live on ramen,’” he says. “The reality is that that’s one of the places where students can cut their expenses, is food. There’s other things that if they’re in school they can’t cut, like tuition and books.”

“There’s a real concern that tuition rising really rapidly has really had an impact on what students are able to do,” Hale adds.

The Student Food Pantry serves all college students in the area, though it’s closest to UO. FOOD for Lane County ( helps provide some of the food for the pantry, but they also accept donations in a bin on the front porch of the ECM student house next door to the pantry.

Hale says he’d love to expand the pantry with the help of the UO administration. Most weeks the pantry gets a number of volunteers from the Holden Center, but Hale hopes for more. “It would be really good if they could find us some space. Right now it’s in such a small space that we can’t expand in some of the ways we want to.”

Hale says he’d like students to be able to wait indoors for access to the pantry, and he may like to have a grad student help run operations. The biggest issue is limited space, especially in the refrigerators and freezers.

Those interested in helping the pantry can volunteer, bring monetary donations  or drop off unopened, shelf-stable food donations at the ECM house, 1329 E. 19th Avenue. For more information, go to — Kelly Kenoyer


While holiday television ads implore you to show you care by buying diamonds or gas-guzzling SUVs, we at Eugene Weekly invite you to thumb your nose at the binge consumerism of December and support our local environmental nonprofits. Give the gift that shows you care more about our future than a truck or a trinket by showing some love to these local green groups.

Bring Recycling is a cause you can support through donations or by visiting their store and shopping for used goods this holiday season. Bring offers tips for a low-waste holiday giving season on their website’s blog and has created a list of local businesses it consults on reducing waste.

Though Bring is known by many as a go-to source for reused building supplies, their lesser-known outreach work supports a variety of reuse and sustainability education initiatives, including a newly launched construction material reuse program and educational outreach to nearly 5,000 local youth.

Executive director Carolyn Stein says Bring’s work is about supporting not only a sustainable environment but also a sustainable economy that serves people in need. Stein says that, as a women-led organization, Bring cultivates a nurturing relationship with the community. “We are only as good as our weakest link and want to show support to people who are struggling,” she says.

Donations to Bring help support their educational programs as well as initiatives that provide materials for projects that build houses for the unhoused and provide job opportunities for people with barriers to employment.

You can visit Bring’s reuse store at 4446 Franklin Boulevard, donate and browse for sustainable gift ideas on their website, or reach them by phone at 541-746-3023.

For the better part of two decades Beyond Toxics has been organizing around environmental justice issues that affect Oregon’s most vulnerable populations. Executive director Lisa Arkin points to their hiring of environmental justice organizers, along with work for farmworkers and communities affected by aerial pesticide sprays, as a few important campaigns.

Because the organization is run and mostly staffed by women, Arkin says they have a better chance at connecting with women on the frontlines of environmental health issues.

“It’s critical to relate to the tribulations of other women,” Arkin says. “They are the linchpin to environmental justice education.”

Women play a vital role in recognizing the harms posed by toxic chemicals to their family and teaching those around them about how to avoid or prevent pesticides from contaminating their homes, she points out.

While women play an essential role in the organizations boots on the ground work, Arkin says they still face challenges in Salem due to a double standard in treatment from some in the capital. Arkin says that she feels as though she and other female advocacy organizers are often talked over or  turned a deaf ear. But, she says, “I keep telling myself if you don’t stand up and show up then you’re not contributing.”

You can make your contribution by calling 541-465-8860 or visiting — Carl Segerstrom


Trash picked up by Volunteers of Willamette Riverkeeper

photo courtesy riverkeeper

Since 2015, Willamette Riverkeeper’s River Guardians program has engaged hundreds of volunteers in cleanup and monitoring efforts along the main stem of the Willamette in Eugene-Springfield, removing tens of thousands of pounds of trash from the confluence of the Coast and Middle forks to the Beltline bridge.

Willamette Riverkeeper is a nonprofit dedicated to the protection and restoration of the Willamette River. The group advocates for water quality, abundant natural habitat and maintaining a river safe for fishing and recreation.

“Trash and debris forms along the banks and on islands of the Willamette River due to a combination of recreational users, abandoned camps and illegal dumping,” says Michelle Emmons, South Valley Advocate. “Participating in River Guardians offers volunteers a different perspective on the river. People experience wildlife in ways they wouldn’t otherwise, and the dynamic of the river itself as a living, breathing organism, always changing.”

Water is life. If you care about healthy food systems, not to mention good beer and coffee, become an active member of Willamette Riverkeeper by volunteering with River Guardians every second “Trashy Tuesday” of the month for a river cleanup. You can also adopt a stretch of urban waterfront to monitor by foot, bike or boat, or learn how to spot and report invasive aquatic weeds.

Short on time? Donations make a difference. Give back to your river today — after all, everyone lives downstream somewhere. To give or volunteer, go to

Another water-loving nonprofit to add to your list is McKenzie River Trust at — Carrie Mizejewski

There might be a Christmas tree shortage this year, but that’s something we can recover from — the trees grow a foot a year, so we’ll soon have our Yuletide cheer.

Our ancient forests, however, take centuries to grow, and we love the groups who fight to keep them standing.

The folks at Cascadia Wildlands ( or 541-434-1463) are striving to keep big trees upright and wolves howling across Oregon.

Executive director Josh Laughlin tells us: “Our beautiful Cascadia bioregion and the planet as we know it hangs in balance with all that Trump and his Big Industry cronies throw at us. Cascadia Wildlands has doubled down on our efforts to beat back the barrage, and strength in numbers will win the day. Together, we are a force to be reckoned with!”

Also on the forest frontlines when it comes to saving big trees is Oregon Wild ( or 541-344-0675).

Don’t have money to donate? You can volunteer to plant trees with Friends of Trees ( Their trees planted around town combat climate change. Call 541-632-3683 for more info.

Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide ( or 541 687-8454) fights to save the planet by providing boots on the ground as well as legal and technical support for people countries around the world. Their reach is worldwide, but their U.S. office is here in Eugene. — Camilla Mortensen


Some of Oregon Horse Rescue’s Equines

photo by Bob Keefer


David and Jane Kelly, founders of the nonprofit Oregon Horse Rescue, announced this month they plan to close down the five-year-old organization in March if they can’t raise more money in donations — and find more people to adopt horses.

OHR’s 70-acre facility west of Eugene currently provides a home for about 40 horses, some of which are elderly or blind or have medical conditions that require ongoing care.

In the facility’s best year, David Kelly says, donations have covered only 10 percent of the facility’s operating cost, which totals about $133,000 each year. “We can no longer continue to run the horse rescue without dramatically increased public donations,” he says.

For more information about donating or adopting, see — Bob Keefer

Eugene is littered (haha, get it?) with dog rescues, which says a lot about this area’s commitment to caring for animals. Rescues such as Northwest Dog Project ( and Luvable Dog Rescue ( are great places to find an adoptable dog to love.

Not just a dog lover? Consider a donation to Greenhill Humane Society ( or 541-689-1503) and 1st Avenue Shelter (541-844-1777), both of which serve the Lane County community. Donations go to helping care for all sorts of adoptable critters, from dogs and kitty cats to guinea pigs and rabbits.

Cats in particular find succor with Cat Rescue and Adoption Network (CRAN), formerly West Coast Dog and Cat, ( If birds are your thing, then some of your avian friends get support and rehabilitation at Cascades Raptor Center ( or 541-485-1320). And horses find refuge at Strawberry Mountain Mustangs Rescue and Rehab ( or 541-784-5522) in Douglas County, giving rescue horses a second chance at a happy life.

And fewer puppies and kitties will need homes if we spay and neuter them! Willamette Animal Guild ( or 541-345-3566) provides with high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter services, and Stop Pet Over Population Today, aka SPOT ( or 541-607-4900), helps folks out with financial assistance. — Camilla Mortensen


The very best way to support the arts here or anywhere is to show up.

Get yourself tickets to a concert — and take some friends who’ve never gone. Buy a painting at a local gallery. Go hear a rock band you’ve never listened to. Do your holiday shopping at a local art or craft fair. Take part!

That said, some arts institutions are never going to break even, no matter what. We don’t mean the symphony and opera and ballet, even though they all rely heavily on donations to pay for their productions. We’re talking about arts organizations that exist to serve the unserved, from the homeless to the alter-abled.

This year we’d like to focus attention on one group in particular: The Oregon Supported Learning Program’s Arts & Culture Program, which teaches year-round art classes for people of all abilities and then exhibits their work alongside that of community artists at its Lincoln Gallery, 309 W. 4th Avenue, suite 100.

The program serves about 500 clients a year, says Jamie Walsh, its director for the past four years. The program’s $150,000 annual budget comes almost entirely from grants and donations, though it makes some money — in the form of a traditional 50-percent commission — when the public buys art exhibited in its gallery.

“Any money that comes in goes toward buying supplies for the artists, paying for instructors and covering the costs of exhibitions,” she says.

Walsh was drawn to this work because she loves the art made by the program’s clients. “The kind of art I like is just a little not traditional,” she says.

More info at — Bob Keefer

Video may have killed the radio star, but community radio isn’t dead. Local radio station KEPW 97.3 FM needs your help.

Jana Thrift, volunteer station manager for KEPW, says the project started four years ago when Eugene PeaceWorks took advantage of permits released to nonprofits to make low power FM stations. “Eugene PeaceWorks has been seriously involved in making an impact through media for years,” Thrift says. “They felt like they were not successfully getting heard.”

As of February 2017, anyone within a 20-mile radius of Eugene can hear what KEPW is doing. With an eye, an ear and a mission on emphasizing community radio, KEPW brings in local musicians and hosts nine local programs with 24 more local shows on the table being preparing to go on air in the future, Thrift says.

“Community radio has been used as a tool for networking and creating community for a long period of time,” she says. “Before the internet was around and with all the crazy things going on with the internet it may be a crucial piece of our future to be able to have that resource.”

Basic operating costs for the station are a minimum of $1,100 a month. KEPW is trying to raise $14,000 to cover base operating costs for 2018 with some change to spare. If you are interested in making a one-time donation or subscribing you can visit

Really love public radio? Don’t forget about local NPR affiliate KLCC 89.7 at — Max Thornberry

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