Tag Archives: Vernonia Cares

The Value of Volunteers

VHS wrestlers and cheerleaders left to right:     Damian Young, Meagan Schirmeister, Jake Harbour,  Nichole Gardner and Justin Fletcher.

VHS wrestlers and cheerleaders left to right:
Damian Young, Meagan Schirmeister, Jake Harbour,
Nichole Gardner and Justin Fletcher.

Most organizations utilize volunteers. Vernonia Cares Food Bank (VCFB), located within the American Legion Building at 627 Adams Avenue, relies upon volunteers for many aspects of its service functions. Operating a food bank compares closely to running a grocery store; food must be ordered, delivered, unloaded, stocked and then made available. The difference is that all of these activities are usually performed by volunteers.

In the month of July 2014, VCFB was staffed by 33 volunteers who donated 440 hours. Through the efforts of these volunteer, emergency food was available to 466 Vernonians. This represents a significant percentage of our local population. Considering that 49% of those people who were assisted are children or senior citizens, this is a vital service to our community.

Who helps and what do volunteers do? Jay Nesmith of Vernonia Hardware comes once a month with his forklift to move the 7,000-10,000 pounds of food off the freight truck so other volunteers can hand truck the food into the food bank. In July and August local helpers, the Vernonia High School wrestling team, the Vernonia Cheerleaders, and the young men from NW Vapors store helped unload freight. Other volunteers placed the frozen food into freezers. Since the food bank is open Tuesday and Thursday, from 10-2, volunteers keep the shelves stocked, assist clients with shopping and keep the facility clean. Weekly, two gentleman travel to Forest Grove and Beaverton to bring day old bread products to VCFB. Many volunteers have helped for years; others are newer. However, volunteerism is what keeps the food bank operational.  Read More

Vernonians Care

 Isabel and Jim Klipfeld received their turkey for their holiday food box from Cares volunteer Tobie Finzel.

Isabel and Jim Klipfeld received their turkey for their holiday food box from Cares volunteer Tobie Finzel.

Vernonians – individuals, businesses and civic groups – once again showed their concern for others during this holiday season by generously donating to the annual Vernonia Cares Holiday Food Box drive.  Cares continued its tradition of providing clients with the ingredients for a complete holiday meal.   On December 19  fifteen volunteers assembled the two hundred boxes;  Vernonia Cares Food Bank gave 180 holiday food boxes to the community on December 20. Those boxes provided over 600 people with the groceries for their Christmas meal, all thanks to Vernonia’s community support of this special project.

This year’s campaign was augmented by a competition between local businesses and school groups. Pam Weller, Cares board member and manager of the Vernonia and Clatskanie branches of Wauna Federal Credit Union, started the special drive to gather components of the holiday box by challenging her staff and credit union members to donate mandarin oranges and hot cocoa packets.  The Vernonia Post Office responded by collecting cranberry sauce; True Value Hardware gathered gelatin and US Bank’s Vernonia Branch sought boxed stuffing and coffee.  Vernonia Middle School collected pudding mix and the Leadership Class red gelatin. In addition Grace Family Fellowship, the Groshong Family, Lynn Shaw’s second grade class, Boy Scout Troops 201 and 860, Vernonia Community Preschool and Tobie Finzel also helped gather donations.  All the extra donations reduced Vernonia Cares’ need to purchase these items.

Scouts from Troop 201 (above)  and Troop 860 (below) gathered and delivered food to Vernonia Cares.

Scouts from Troop 201 (above) and Troop 860 (below) gathered and delivered food to Vernonia Cares.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VernoniaCaresScouts2-web

 

 

 

 

 

The campaign garnered an unexpected bounty of food box items:

Stuffing – 88 boxes

Cocoa mix – 61 boxes containing nearly 600 individual servings

Cranberries – 53 cans

Mandarin oranges – 122 cans

Pudding – 170 boxes

Gelatin  – 204 boxes

Coffee – enough to provide 1 cup of ground coffee for each holiday box

Vernonia Cares Director Sandy Welch receives a $500 donation from Toni Barton, representing the Bridge Street Mini Mart

Vernonia Cares Director Sandy Welch receives a $500 donation from Toni Barton, representing the Bridge Street Mini Mart

Amalgamated Sugar of Portland once again donated a sufficient quantity of five pound bags of white sugar and two pound packages of brown sugar to sweeten each holiday box.  Cash donations from individuals, and groups and businesses enabled the purchase of turkeys and other canned goods.  Holiday Sponsors this year were:  Sentry (check stand giving), Vernonia Lions Club, Natal Grange, Jake Wolfe and Trucking, Banks Pharmacy, Vernonia Muzzle Loaders, Vernonia Realty, Vernonia American Legion Post 119, R & R Motors, Bridge Street Mini Mart, Vernonia Ridge Riders, Holce Logging, Vernonia PEO, Fall Creek Woodworking, Hancock Forest Management, Vernonia Volunteer Fire Association, and  Meyer Auto Body.

A special thanks goes out to Casey and Josette Mitchell and family for driving to  Portland to pick up the sugar and to Winco to pick up the turkeys.

Vernonia Cares is deeply grateful to all who contributed to this community endeavor.

Registration Deadline Nears for Holiday Grocery Boxes at Vernonia Cares

Vernonia Cares Food Bank (VCFB) is offering Christmas holiday grocery boxes to low income households within the Vernonia community. Registration opened November 12 and will close Thursday, December 12, 2013. The boxes will be available for pick up Dec. 20 to pre-registered households. They are projected to contain the basic groceries for a Christmas meal. “Our target recipients are households which fall within the USDA eligibility guidelines, said Vernonia Cares Director Sandy Welch. “That is $1,771 gross income per month for single person households, plus $620 per month for each additional person in the households. However, anyone who is a Vernonia resident and does not have the groceries for a Christmas meal is eligible to apply for this special food box.”

Applications may be obtained from Vernonia Cares Food Bank, which is open Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  VCFB is located within the American Legion Hall at 627 Adams Avenue.  If recipients are unable to come by the food bank, a form may be requested by calling the food bank at 503-429-1414 and leave clear mailing information. All applications must be received by December 12. Again, only pre-registered households will be eligible. Read More

Garden Will Support Food Bank

GardenDirtyHandsGreenThumbsLogoChristie Brown Davis has a plan.

Davis, along with  her husband Ben,  intends to start a large garden this year that will provide fresh fruits and vegetables for clients of the Vernonia Cares Food Bank.

“The St. Helens Food Bank has a garden that helps supply it,” says Davis.  “I believe Scappoose has one and so does Hillsboro.  The Oregon Food Bank has one.  But Vernonia doesn’t have one that is dedicated to supporting the local food bank.”

Davis has made a good start towards organizing the garden she intends to have in the ground and growing next spring.  She already has a large plot of land (6,000 square feet) that has been made available to her for use as garden space.  She has already received a donation of all the seeds she needs from Home Depot.  She has large ten foot wide farm gates to install at the garden. She even has a great name for her project, “Dirty Hands, Green Thumbs,” and a logo she designed herself, using her young son Ben’s painted hands.   Still on her check list of needs: fencing and posts to keep out the deer, gardening tools, and help with labor. Read More

Rose Avenue Project Gains Momentum

The Vernonia City Council held a workshop on Friday February 1, 2013 to discuss the proposed Rose Avenue Project, which would help relocate three social service facilities within the Vernonia community.

The Council met with representatives from the Vernonia Health Board, the Vernonia Senior Center, and the Vernonia Cares Food Bank.  All three organizations suffered damage in the 2007 flood and are interested in moving their facilities out of the flood  zone.

The City of Vernonia controls a piece of property between Rose and Weed Avenues at Cougar Street, next to the new West Oregon Electric Cooperative headquarters that is large enough to house all three facilities that are considering relocating. Read More