END, Ore. - Each morning, local youth load up work tools into a fleet of passenger vans, trucks, and trailers and travel to work sites up to 50 miles away in Central Oregon.
Young people work on Heart of Oregon Corps projects ranging from building affordable homes for low-income families, to maintaining beloved recreational trails, to forest thinning projects that protect surrounding areas from wildfire. As they gain skills, they also gain confidence in themselves and motivation to pursue their goals.
With the support of the community, Heart of Oregon Corps has reached a capital campaign milestone to raise over a half million dollars for a new fleet of vehicles! The new fleet will help Heart of Oregon Corps sustain programs, which helps to improve economic and social vitality in Central Oregon, while increasing pathways out of poverty for young adults.
Corporate partnerships played an integral role in this campaign, especially Aperion Management Group, Robberson Ford, Mt. Bachelor, and Deschutes Brewery. The 100+ Women Who Care Central Oregon group helped purchase the industrial wood chipper in the spring of 2016.
Private foundations including the MCM Fund, MJ Murdock Charitable Trust, The Ford Family Foundation, The Collins Foundation, The Eddie Williamson Foundation, and several donor advised funds at the Oregon Community Foundation also greatly contributed to the campaign’s success.
HOC’s Board of Directors, individual community members, and local business owners also showed their strong support of HOC's mission by providing donations and addition in-kind assistance.
“Transforming tomorrow’s workforce today” is the tagline at Heart of Oregon Corps, the local non-profit that employs over 325 of young adults each year. Heart of Oregon Corps’ mission is to inspire and empower positive change in the lives of young people through jobs, education, and stewardship.
“We are astounded by the community support we’ve received to modernize the vehicles and equipment that are quite literally the wheels of our organization,” comments Laura Handy, Executive Director. “The $550,000 invested ensures our new fleet and fleet maintenance program and reserve fund will continue to safely transport over 300 youth per year to job training project sites, college tours and community service events into the future.”
Heart of Oregon Corps continues to empower long-term positive change during the most critical times of a young person’s life. Take it from Erik Monia, of Bend, a 21-year-old alumni of Heart of Oregon Corps. Erik gained vocational experience that was integral in his transition to his new job with Bend Park and Recreation District.
“The training provided me with great skills that I use every day in my new job,” said Erik. “I gained a strong work ethic and the experience changed my life completely.” For 17 years, Heart to Oregon Corps has provided alternative options for youth through job skills training, education, and service to the community.
The Campaign Appreciation Party is on Wednesday at Deschutes Brewery Lower Warehouse across for the Les Schwab Amphitheater. The 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM event has a short formal program at 5:30 PM.