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.
Fairgoers, fair volunteers, entertainers and booth participants in 2015 contributed a total of $11, 973. With the Fair organization’s matching grant of $20,000, we are able to provide $31,973 to support the following projects and programs providing basic need services:
• Sponsors, Inc. The Vision Fund grant will provide three years of funding to volunteer mentors to support indigent, homeless people with criminal histories who are re-entering the community after a period of incarceration. This grant will specifically support mentors financially by reimbursing volunteers for transportation costs when visiting their mentee while still incarcerated (proven by Oregon Department of Corrections to reduce recidivism by 50%).
•Womenspace will use its grant to repair and maintain its safehouse, the primary source of shelter for women and children escaping intimate partner violence in Lane County, offering a safe and confidential home for survivors as they transition toward self-sufficiency. This project will improve and repair the shelter facility so that survivors in immediate danger have a safe, comfortable, well-maintained, fully functioning place to stay in their time of crisis. Funds will pay for necessary maintenance of Womenspace’s eight-year-old van that is used for mergency travel for surviors, bus passes for survivors, replacement of old mattresses, purchase of childen’s equipment and replacement of their non-functional washing machine and six timeworn dressers.
• Assistance League of Eugene’s Food Pantry Program helps struggling families provide food for their children when they ae not in school. In Oregon over 20 per cent of the child population lives in food insecure households. During the school week, the Free Lunch program ensures that these children are getting at least some nutritious food to stave off hunger., but school officials have long known that many of these same children get little or no food during the weekends. Assistance League’s Weekend Food Pantry Program is designed to offer families basic food supplies.
•Florence Food Share will use its grant to maintain production of their 10,000 square foot organic garden. Food Share has successfully maintained their garden since 1993, and in 2014 they distributed over 9,000 pounds of produce to the food insecure population in Western Lane County. These low income individuals are unlikely to purchase the amount and array of vegetables that Food Share offers year round, because of the cost of organic produce.
•Looking Glass Youth and Family Services has been granted funds to support critically needed facility renovations to their New Roads access center, which serves runaway and homeless youth, ages 16-22, in Lane County. New Roads provides culturally-sensitive outreach, emergency intervention, basic needs, transitional living supports, as well as wraparound case management services for youth who wish to safely and successfully exit street life. Funding from the Vision Fund will be used to purchase a commecial washer and dryer for New Roads, which will provide runaway and homeless youth with access to the basic necessity of clean clothing and ensure comprehensive supports for runaway and homeless you in Lane County for years to come.
•The Trauma Healing Project will use its grant monies to support the Healing Arts Service Learning Program, a wellness and recovery program for survivors of trauma that also provides hands-on learning opportunities to practitioners of traditional and holistic healing arts. Specifically, this project will hep fund a new staff position, a .5 FTE HAP Coordinator to: meet the overwhelming and growing demand for HAP services; to recruit, support and train additional HAP practitioners; and to stabilize and ensure the sustainability of the program for the long-term.
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.