If you haven’t noticed, we’re a little obsessed with our community and giving back. And while we love supporting many inspiring nonprofit partners throughout the year, there is something about the holiday season that gets us extra excited.
With so many deserving organizations serving our community, it can be difficult to choose where to direct charitable giving. That’s why we asked the people we trust to help us decide. For our recent employee giving program, OnPoint employees helped us give $69,400 to nearly a dozen organizations, funding food and clothing relief efforts, mental health services, and emergency shelter and support services for domestic violence survivors in the regions we serve. We then decided to follow that up with a special online contest to invite our social media followers to be part of our giving effort.
From December 10 to 21, participants were encouraged to share their favorite nonprofit organizations. They could vote through our OnPoint social channels by commenting on our OnPoint Giving promotional posts. From the pool of finalists, the most nominated nonprofit was selected as the Grand Prize winner of a $2,500 donation, while the next five organizations each received $1,000. We had nearly 500 votes from our social media followers and their friends.
The winning nonprofit was the Boxes of Love Project, which provides local children being placed into foster care with a box of new clothing and other comfort items to call their own. The boxes help provide these children with a small sense of comfort, control, security and happiness during an incredibly scary and tumultuous time in their lives.
Below you can learn about how each of the five runner up charities who positively impact our communities.
The Homeless Youth Law Clinic (HYLC): The mission of HYLC is to provide legal services and advocacy to Portland area youth who are experiencing homelessness and/or the consequences of the juvenile justice system. The organization relies on a community lawyering model where clients are the experts. They go to where the clients are and build an advocacy strategy from their perspectives.
With Love: With Love is a non-profit organization that supports foster families by providing safe, clean and quality clothing and supplies for children ages zero to six. Many times, foster parents find out they are receiving a child mere hours before bringing them home. For that reason, they are often unprepared and overwhelmed. With Love strives to provide families with everything they may need, from clothes to car seats and toys to diapers, so they can focus on loving their little one.
Silverton Sheltering Services: Silverton Sheltering Services collaborates with neighbors and organizations to provide a framework that supports, services and advocates for vulnerable neighbors in the Silverton area to find security, stability and purpose. The organization’s services include a day shelter, warming shelter and transitional housing.
ROCKSOLID Teen Center: ROCKSOLID Community Teen Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing safe, fun and engaging after school activities for 5th through 12th grade students. The Center is open every day after school from 2:30 to 5:30 pm. They provide transportation from most schools in the Battle Ground and Hockinson School Districts to the Center. ROCKSOLID provides a variety of activities that are supervised by staff and caring adult mentors. These activities emphasize building healthy relationships in life skills, business skills, good homework habits, leadership skills, healthy eating, sports, the arts and community service.
Northwest Association for Blind Athletes (NWABA): The organization’s mission is to provide life-changing opportunities through sports and physical activity to individuals who are blind and visually impaired. NWABA serves individuals of all ages and abilities who are blind or visually impaired and their schools and families across Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. In 2018, more than 1,500 people were served through NWABA five life-changing programs. We are pleased to make a directed donation to their camp, Camp Abilities.
Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and helped us identify these six incredible organizations. And most importantly, thank you to these organizations for the work they do to make our communities stronger.