Community Action Newsletter
December 2016

Community Action
A Message from Executive Director Renée Bruce
Each day I try to make time to reflect, give thanks and be grateful for the important things in my life.  My reflections always seem to take on greater importance at this time of year.  One thing that I am especially grateful for is to be part of this amazing family at Community Action.  The people who work here are truly committed to helping those we serve with empathy, compassion and respect.
 
As a supporter of Community Action, I want you to know that you are considered part of this family too, and I am grateful for the trust you have in our ability to provide hope, help and change to friends and neighbors who need it most. Chances are that we share many of the same values. We believe that people who are working should be able to afford their family's basic needs. We believe that every child deserves the opportunity to have a high-quality education. And we believe that everyone deserves to have a safe and stable place to call home.
 
We don't know the story of every person when they walk through our doors, but we do know that they are seeking to change how poverty is impacting their life and I know our dedicated staff is ready to help. As a supporter of Community Action, you can help too. Please consider making a gift to Community Action today. Your gift will help us deliver hope, help and change this holiday season.
 
 
Warm wishes,
Renée Bruce
Executive Director

 

 
Transforming a Life


     

When Caroline found her way to Community Action, she wanted to take control of her life. The climb was going to be tough for her though. As a single mom with two kids - one of whom was a newborn - Caroline had some significant barriers to overcome: a recent eviction, overcoming addiction, and a criminal record in her distant past.  Fortunately she had the will and the support to transform her life.
 
Caroline got connected to vital resources such as short-term rent assistance that supported her as she worked to create stability in her life. "Community Action taught me about ownership, personal responsibility, and helped me not feel ashamed about a bad situation," says Caroline. "Community Action is not here to judge, they are here to help."  First Caroline was able to land a job. Then she started learning how to budget and save, opening a bank account for the first time in years. Most importantly, she found housing. As an added bonus, her home is near a high performing school that her teenage son tested into. Supporting him to attain his educational goals is a high priority for her.
 
For the first time in her adult life, Caroline feels independent and proud knowing that she can provide for her family. As she looks to her future, she is setting positive goals and believes that they are reachable.  It's a perspective she credits to the team at Community Action. "They are awesome and patient - they didn't give up on me. If you're willing to do the work, they'll hold your hand."

Head Start Playgrounds Slated for Major Upgrade

Play is critically important to the learning and healthy growth of children.  It is where they learn to solve problems, get along with others, and develop their fine and gross motor skills. Equally as important to a child's development is their relationship to nature and the outdoors.
 
Earlier this year, in partnership with our Head Start parents, we began a process of re-imagining the playgrounds at three of our Head Start program sites in Hillsboro, Beaverton and at Coffee Creek. In 2017, all three playgrounds are scheduled to be transformed and incorporate the elements of nature like boulders, slopes, sand and water. This new environment will foster imaginative play, empowering children to develop creativity, resourcefulness and independence. Research shows that natural playgrounds improve mental health, strengthen attention levels, increase self discipline and fortify a sense of identity.
 
Thanks to one-time funding from the Oregon Department of Education we are able to begin this work and will complete the core elements of this project on time. Even with this tremendous support, there are elements - not currently funded - that we hope to include with help from our friends in the community. To learn more about this exciting transformation, and to see how you can get involved,please visit our website.



Faces of Community Action

Zoi Coppiano works as a Housing Specialist for the Housing and Homeless Services program. In her role Zoi helps clients achieve and maintain housing stability. Additionally, she is a Rent Well instructor educating participants on tenant rights, how to be a responsible tenant, how to overcome barriers in the rental process, and how to better communicate with landlords.
 
"Right now in our county there is a great need for affordable units for low income families," says Zoi, "rent increases are putting our clients at risk of homelessness."  Community Action's Housing and Homeless Services team advocates, provides outreach, explores options, and provides clients with rental assistance to help them reach the important goal of having a stable home.  For Zoi, reaching this goal of, "a place to call home" is what inspires her every day.
 
"Receiving a 'thank you' note from a client is the greatest reward."



Kaleidoscope will show how even a small change can create an inspiring transformation in the lives of those we serve.  You'll enjoy dinner, dancing, exciting auction packages and special surprises.  Mark your calendar and save the date now!

For Sponsorships contact Gini Petersen at 503.693.3230 or gpetersen@caowash.org or click the link below to get your tickets.



 
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