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 2019 cycle. Deadline for proposals is Friday March 29, 2019 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 $45,723. 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.
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.
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.
Last year Jill Heiman Vision Fund gave a record $34,654 to selected agencies meeting basic needs in our community. The fund has donated more than $455,000 to nonprofit agencies since it began 22 years ago.
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.