This Giving Tuesday, Give to Our Partners
By Bobby Cochran
With all the silly and serious stuff going on in the world, I’m grateful for this wonderful time of year to be thankful and to focus on the things we love about Oregon, the West, and each other. This passion is ultimately what drives Willamette Partnership’s mission to increase the pace, scope, and effectiveness of conservation and restoration for people and nature.
That’s why this Giving Tuesday, we’re turning our focus to three organizations you might not know that have good people doing courageous work to make our world a better place. Each of these three partnerships embodies our work supporting community actions for workforce development, health improvements, and bettering the environment. Which is most important to you? Helping new moms in rural Wallowa County connect with hiking groups to get outside and meet people? Supporting a mentorship program for Black and Native American high school students to learn job skills for careers in sustainable building? Or, giving needed technical assistance to landowners who want to restore rare oak habitat and leave a legacy for future generations of Oregonians?
You don’t have to choose just one, of course. You can give to all three! We hope these partner highlights inspire you to make a direct difference in people’s lives by donating to the work that is meaningful to you on this global holiday, November 28.
Wallowa Resources—Building resilient communities in eastern Oregon
Wallowa Resources have long been a national leader innovating job creation and the sustainable use of natural resources for thriving rural communities. They’ve created markets that increase demand for forest restoration to reduce fire risk, and they’re working with Building Healthy Families to connect new moms to hiking groups and more time outdoors. If you wonder what it looks like when the environment has a seat at the community development table in a way that creates jobs and healthy people, hang out with the Wallowa Resources crew on any one of the great projects they work on!
Donate to Wallowa Resources to help them bring more new moms outdoors, create jobs, educate kids outside, and promote the sustainable use of natural resources.
Green Workforce Academy—A workforce for smarter infrastructure in Portland and beyond
This quickly emerging effort is really exciting for us! We know our country faces billions in backlogged infrastructure investment, but did you also know our water, transportation, and energy agencies are also trying to recruit a new generation of infrastructure innovators? The ReBuilding Center, The Blueprint Foundation, Ecotrust, and Second Chances for Everyone are creating a pathway for Black and Native American youth to enter and lead in a number of “green” fields. Willamette Partnership will be working with the Green Workforce Academy to understand how best to recruit, train, and retain the leaders that Oregon and Washington will need to shape smarter infrastructure. The program includes mentorship, leadership development, job experience, and support for employers. This Giving Tuesday, $500 goes a long way to prepare the ReBuilding Center’s ReFind Shop to train young trades professionals with the skills needed for deconstruction and reuse building.
Donate to Green Workforce Academy to help students learn green building job skills. (Donations processed through the ReBuilding Center.)
The ReBuilding Center offers affordable, used building and remodeling materials with a goal to build community through reuse—a nonprofit resource to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of the community. Over the past year, The ReBuilding Center has helped support and consult Green Workforce Development, a collaborative of numerous community agencies working together to create pathways to employment in the “green economy” for African American and Native American young adults.
Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District—Helping landowners build a legacy of conservation
Imagine trying to figure out how to grow grapes without pesticides? Restore an old pasture to prairie for butterflies? Or, wanting to leave a legacy of stewardship for your kids and community? Our friends at Yamhill SWCD have been providing technical assistance and conservation leadership in Yamhill County for decades. Yamhill SWCD is helping Willamette Partnership implement the Oak Accord—a landowner-led commitment to protecting rare oak habitat. We’re always impressed by Yamhill SWCD’s ability to articulate the big picture of conservation while sitting down at the dining room table with farmers.
Donate to help Yamhill SWCD give landowners the technical assistance they need to restore rare oak habitat. (Donations processed through Willamette Partnership; select “Oak Accord” as the designation in Step 2.)