Philanthropy – The Jill Heiman Vision Fund
This grant fund honors the memory of Jill Heiman, the Fair’s founding attorney. It supports tax-exempt organizations in Lane County involved in an annually selected focus area such as environmental protection or basic human needs. Donations are provided by Fair volunteers, artists, staff, performers and guests.
This year we will be accepting grant proposals for Basic Needs. See our Guidelines for application details.
Anyone coming to or participating in the Fair can donate to the Vision Fund during the event. Please visit our Information Booths scattered throughout the Fair site to drop off your donation.
Last year, donations amounted to a record $34,654. Thanks to generous donors, this fund has given more than $420,000 over the years. One dollar or food voucher at a time, our donations are making a difference! This year, your generosity will benefit the following organizations.
White Bird Clinic will purchase cold-weather gear for low- and noincome individuals, including socks, tarps, blankets, hats, and gloves to distribute to people in need. White Bird distributes the gear through its “Front Rooms” program that offers a place of brief respite for unhoused and underserved people and through its CAHOOTS program (Crisis Assistance Helping Out On The Streets) that provides mobile crisis assistance to people in need throughout the Eugene/Springfield metro areas.
Springfield Public Schools’ Brattain House teen drop-in program serves at–risk youth ages 14 to 21 in an informal, supportive environment to promote social, educational and job skills. The grant will purchase bus passes to give the students transportation access; school supplies, hygiene products, birth certificates, Oregon ID cards, and Food Handler Cards; and food for youth group meals that the teens prepare and share during Teen Group time.
The Relief Nursery — which focuses on early intervention to build successful and resilient families to prevent child neglect and abuse — will use the grant for emergency funds for families in distress. The funds will pay for transportation, utilities, food cards, moving costs, rent support, etc.
Florence Food Share will repair wooden boards on 32 garden beds in its 15,000-square-foot organic garden. These repairs will enable the organization to keep providing the healthiest food possible to food insecure clients on the coast. Last year, the garden produced nearly 9,000 pounds of organic produce free of charge, thanks to donations and volunteer labor.
First Place Kids Center offers a safe, developmentally appropriate place for young children experiencing homelessness to play and learn while their family uses services at the day center. Grant funds will equip a classroom especially designed for the youngest children (ages infant to 2 years) with furniture and toys to give them a safe, child-centered space to crawl, wiggle and play. Funds also will help supplement lunches with fresh fruit, vegetables and milk five days a week.
Jill Heiman, who died in 1991, was an early Fair attorney largely responsible for the Fair’s original land purchase. Vision Fund donations honor her commitment to community. Over the years, the Jill Heiman Vision Fund has donated more than $420,000. One dollar and one food voucher at a time, our wonderful donors help make a difference in our community. Thank you!
Philanthropy was the catalyst that began the Oregon Country Fair, has been essential to developing its long-lived success, and will provide opportunities that further its mission into the future.