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.
For 2019, donations amounted to a record $59,353! We met our goal to reach $50,000 for our 50th Anniversary—and more! Thanks to generous donors, to date this fund has given more than $525,000 over the years. One dollar or food voucher at a time, our donations are making a difference. This year, your generosity benefited the following organizations:
Assistance League used its grant to purchase healthy, nutritious foods — including fresh produce — for the Weekend Food Pantry and Backpack Programs. The two programs coordinate with 4J and Bethel school districts to reduce child hunger by improving access to healthy foods for families in need.
Carry It Forward will applied the funds to constructing a laundry and cleaning station facility to serve homeless campers. The grant will pur-chase shelving tables, storage cubbies, and supplies, plus training on cleanup safety. Carry It Forward offers humane camp cleanup by bagging items at abandoned campsites that can be cleaned and reused — such as warm clothing, tents, blankets and sleeping bags — while safely disposing garbage. The group launders the retrieved items and cycles them back, either to the original owner or to someone else in need.
Catholic Community Services will put the grant toward basic needs support for Lane County participants in the Refugees and Asylum-Seekers Assistance program. Advocates are matched with asylum-seekers and refugees to help them find housing, access health care, learn language skills, get transportation, and search for a job.
Planned Parenthood purchased a new auto-clave, which sterilizes medical instruments used in the clinic.
St. Vincent de Paul used its grant to help buy a 15-passenger van that will transport families enrolled in the First Place Night Shelter program and the St. Vincent de Paul Youth House for homeless teens. The van will transport up to 20 families a day, and shuttle youths to school and extra-curricular activities.
Donations to the Jill Heiman Vision Fund can be mailed to the Oregon Country Fair, 442 Lawrence St., Eugene, OR 97401. Donation boxes also will be located at Information Booths at the Fair. Food vouchers, cash or checks may be donated. Checks and cash donations are tax-deductible; include address for mailed receipt. The OCF Board will match donation with $2 to every $1 given, up to a total of $25,000, tripling the power of the gift.
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.