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. Here are guidelines for the 2018 cycle. Deadline for proposals is Friday March 30, 2018 at 5pm.
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.
For 2018, donations amounted to a record $45,726. Thanks to generous donors, this fund has given more than $465,000 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.
Five nonprofit organizations that help meet people’s basic needs have been selected to receive donations given during 2018 to the Jill Heiman Vision Fund at Oregon Country Fair.
Bags of Love will use the funds to provide basic necessities and comfort items to children who are struggling with the damaging effects of abuse, neglected, poverty and homelessness. Provided at no cost, each “bag of love” is filled with age-appropriate essentials including a new outfit, socks and underwear, pajamas, outerwear, toiletries, school supplies, books, toys and a handmade quilt or fleece blanket. While community individuals and businesses donate most of the items in the bag, the money from JHVF will help purchases items to “Fill the Gaps” in the donations.
HIV Alliance will provide basic assistance to people at risk of homelessness who also have a diagnosis of HIV and/or Hepatitis C. Your JHVF donations will help purchase housing assistance as well as sleeping bags, food, tents, socks and flashlights. Care Coordinators, who connect the clients to medical appointments and other relevant community resources, will distribute the items based on need.
MidLane Cares will stock its Love Project Emergency Food Pantry and offer Emergency Assistance to rural residents in the Fern Ridge area. The Emergency Assistance Program helps people facing utility shut-off keep the lights on and the water running during difficult times. With bill-pay assistance, families can stay safely in their homes. Volunteers work directly with the utility companies to arrange payments on accounts. The Love Project operates as a shopping-style program where clients choose from shelves stocked with nutritious food and basic hygiene supplies.
Occupy Medical will get funding for two visits from the Mobile Dental Program plus a year’s worth of basic hygiene supplies for homeless people. Occupy Medical has become a reliable source in Lane County of free medical care and supplies for impoverished and homeless people who can’t afford even a low-cost clinic. The Mobile Dental Program features a van staffed by volunteer dentists and hygienists. Donations go toward supplies.
ShelterCare will provide emergency housing at two units dedicated to the CAHOOTS program run by White Bird Clinic. CAHOOTS (Crisis Assistance Helping Out on the Streets) provides 24/7 mobile crisis intervention in the Eugene-Springfield metro area. The Eugene police-fire-ambulance communications center dispatches CAHOOTS, which responds to people in crisis, provides immediate stabilization, and transports them to the next step in treatment. Sometimes the “next step” is emergency housing for the night. The city of Eugene’s budget for the housing units ran out in mid-May in 2017 and the same is expected this year. Your donations will help underwrite the cost of the two units for the rest of the year.
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.