We’re hosting a unique event, a street party, & a kickoff celebration – all in September!

Community members will rappel of the roof of the Oxford Hotel!

On Saturday, September 7, those who visit the intersection of NW Lava Road and NW Minnesota Avenue between 11 am and 3 pm will see quite a sight! Community members will be rappelling off the roof the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend as a result of having raised funds to for United Way of Deschutes County’s community work. At 7 stories and 70 feet, the Oxford Hotel is Central Oregon’s tallest building.

The event is called OVER THE EDGE and it’s the first event of its kind in our region. To celebrate, we will also be hosting a Ground Party – closing streets off to traffic and opening them up to pedestrians from 11 am – 3 pm on Saturday, September 7th. The party will host a beer garden, food carts, music by local DJs, and activities for kids and grown-ups in booths held by local nonprofit partners and sponsors. The event is free and open to the public. All are invited show up and join the festivities.

We are hosting OVER THE EDGE particularly because it is scary. For our community’s most vulnerable – those who wake up in the morning not knowing where they will sleep that night, if they will eat that day, or when they will next be assaulted or abused – every day is scary. By rappelling off of the roof of the Oxford, participants will face their own fears to raise funds for our fight for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of every person in our Central Oregon community.

Not everyone is dealt the same hand in life – from income to health to education to trauma to resilience. Sixty four percent of adults faced at least 1 traumatic experience as a child. Ten percent confronted 5 or more. In Central Oregon, 40% of households struggle every day to make ends meet – without enough money for housing, food, child care, health care, transportation, and a cell phone.  On a single night, nearly 900 people experience homelessness in Central Oregon – 12% more than last year.

We are focused on fixing these imbalances for today’s kids so that when they are tomorrow’s adults, they can thrive. Together with their 26 nonprofit partners, 100 corporate partners, and nearly 2,500 donors, our local United Way helps 27% of Central Oregonians.

We are a local fundraiser and a local funder. The money they raise here, stays here and serves this community. Every year, our we launch a community campaign to raise funds used to address the most pertinent, unmet needs of individuals and families in our Central Oregon community. The campaign includes not only corporate leaders, but also employees from businesses and nonprofits all over our region, as well as individual community members. Funds are also raised for other local, regional, and national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations based on donor wishes.

Two days before OVER THE EDGE, we are hosting our Campaign Kickoff Celebration, also at the Oxford Hotel. On Thursday, September 5th from 6 pm – 8 pm, community members are invited to a reception to learn more about the nonprofit’s work. To learn more or to come to the Kickoff, call 541-389-6507 or email kati@deschutesunitedway.org.

We are a convener. We bring he nonprofit brings together community leaders, local governments, other funders, nonprofits, and stakeholders to collaborate and coordinate our efforts in addressing our most complicated issues. We continue to address challenges facing our community right now. And we are also moving upstream to address the root cause of challenges that are immediate today, so that they don’t exist tomorrow.

We just awarded $310,000 to 26 local nonprofits to help build resilience in Central Oregon!

Twenty-six Central Oregon nonprofits have been collectively awarded $310,000 from United Way of Deschutes County as part of the organization’s annual grantmaking process. Every year, our local United Way launches a community campaign to raise funds that are used to address the most pertinent, unmet needs of individuals and families in our community. Funds raised through this process stay local to help our friends and neighbors and to address some of the biggest issues affecting our region, improving lives and creating lasting change.

United Way supports local, direct-service nonprofits that focus on a wide range of human health and welfare issues, from basic needs to empowerment, through grantmaking that provides direct financial aid to these programs and services. Nonprofit organizations that receive grants from United Way through this process are called Community Impact Partners.

Grant recipients include organizations or programs that are focused on building resilience in Central Oregon. One such program is Central Oregon 2-1-1 Info. Similar to the 9-1-1 emergency phone number, 2-1-1 is a one-stop connection to local services, from utility assistance, food, housing, child care, after school programs, elder care, crisis intervention, and more. When someone dials 2-1-1 from anywhere in Central Oregon, they are connected with a highly-trained call specialist who is skilled in needs assessment and can provide referrals to resources. Every day, call specialists help callers find assistance for complex issues such as financial problems, substance abuse, and suicide prevention, as well as for simpler issues such as finding volunteer opportunities and donation options.

Council on Aging of Central Oregon’s Meals on Wheels program is another United Way grantee. Meals on Wheels enhances the quality of life of homebound individuals by providing home-delivered nutritious meals, personal contact, and related services. Many of those served by the program are seniors and many live in rural areas. In recent months, the importance of resources for seniors facing depression has come into the spotlight. For years, the Council on Aging of Central Oregon has provided this vital service to so many members of our community.

Other grant recipients include: Back Door Café, Bethlehem Inn, Boys & Girls Clubs of Bend, Camp Fire of Central Oregon, CASA, Cash Oregon, Central Oregon Veterans Ranch, Council on Aging Central Oregon, Family Resource Center of Central Oregon, Friends of the Children, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Healthy Beginnings, Heart of Oregon Corps, J Bar J (Big Brothers Big Sisters), J Bar J (Cascade Youth & Family Center), J Bar J (Grandma’s House), KIDS Center, LaPine Community Kitchen, Latino Community Association, MountainStar Family Relief Nursery, NeighborImpact Food, NeighborImpact Housing, Saving Grace, Oregon Children’s Foundation – SMART, Thrive Central Oregon, and Central Oregon 211 Info.

United Way board member Melanie Grandjacques chaired the Community Impact Committee, which was made up of 29 local community member volunteers who reviewed the grant proposals and made funding award decisions. She said: “It was heartening to read proposals from so many wonderful community organizations that devote all their waking hours to improving the lives of members of our community. At the same time, it was disheartening to have insufficient resources to fully fund every worthy request. We focused the resources we had on programs that address the impacts of childhood trauma and focus on developing resilience.”

United Way of Deschutes County is leading a community-wide social movement to build resilience in individuals, families, and our community, and to increase awareness and decrease impacts of childhood trauma. For 67 years, the organization has focused on health, education, and financial stability as the foundation of wellbeing and opportunity, along with basic needs like food, shelter, and health care. As the nonprofit continues to focus on these causes, it is also working upstream to tackle childhood trauma: the root cause of many problems currently faced by so many in our community.

Community Impact nonprofit grant applications!

At United Way of Deschutes County, we support local, direct-service nonprofits and programs that focus on a wide range of human health and wellness issues in Central Oregon. Each year we award grants to vetted local nonprofits and programs that focus on health, education, prevention and development, financial stability, basic needs, childhood trauma, community transformation, and building resilience.

We are excited to announce our 2019 grant cycle with a Request for Proposals for applications for Community Impact grants. Find more info on the grant application and how to apply here.

Awarded grants will be directed towards building resilience and creating lasting change and measurable impact in Deschutes County.

Grant applications will be due to United Way of Deschutes County no later than 2 pm on Thursday May 16th. Nonprofits applying for a Community Impact grant must attend an information session, during which proposal criteria will be reviewed, questions will be answered, and application assistance options will be identified. The first session will be held from 9 am – 10:30 am on Monday April 15th at the Deschutes County DeArmond Room (Deschutes County Services Building at 1300 NW Wall Street in Bend). And, the second session will be held from 3:30 pm – 5 pm on Wednesday April 24th in the United Way Community Board Room (Mike Maier Building at 1130 NW Harriman Street in Bend).

In 2018, we awarded $309,000 to 21 local nonprofits and programs. These funded organizations are called Community Impact Partners. Through Community Impact grants, 31% of Central Oregonians are impacted by a United Way funded program or service.

We fight for the health, education, financial stability, and resilience of every person in our Central Oregon community. As we continue to focus on health, education, and financial stability, we are also working upstream to tackle childhood trauma – the root cause of many challenges currently faced by so many in our community – and to build resilience in individuals, families, and communities.

We are serving as the collective impact backbone for the TRACEs movement. TRACEs (Trauma, Resilience, and Adverse Childhood Experiences) represents United Way’s move upstream to tackle the root cause of challenges faced by many in our community with a goal of dramatically improving the health and well-being of our community by addressing childhood trauma as a having a foundational impact on regional health.

For 66 years, we have improved lives and fostered a healthier Central Oregon. Over the past 15 years,we have raised and allocated over $15 million for effective and efficient local social service programs.

Go OVER THE EDGE for our community!

FACE YOUR FEARS.

So our community’s most vulnerable don’t have to.

On September 7th, 2019, a number of brave Edgers will have the opportunity to rappel down the Oxford Hotel in downtown Bend, Oregon in exchange for donations to United Way of Deschutes County.

How to participate?

Experience the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to rappel down the Oxford Hotel!

About United Way of Deschutes County

At United Way of Deschutes County, we fight for the HEALTH, EDUCATION, FINANCIAL STABILITY, and RESILIENCE of EVERY person in our Central Oregon community.

We’re more than fundraisers. We’re changemakers.

Since 1953, United Way of Deschutes County has been strengthening communities in Crook, Deschutes, and Jefferson Counties and investing locally in our community’s most needed programs and services while simultaneously strengthening our community.

For 66 years, we’ve focused on HEALTH, EDUCATION, AND FINANCIAL STABILITY as the foundation of well-being and opportunity, along with basic needs like food, safety, and shelter.

As we continue to focus on these causes, we are also working upstream to tackle CHILDHOOD TRAUMA: the root cause of many challenges currently faced by so many in our community.

And, we’ve taken on RESILIENCE – the ability to manage hardship, cope with stress, and bounce back from trauma. Resilience is like an inoculation against the impacts of trauma. We work to improve lives and foster a healthier Central Oregon in 4 main ways.

  • We serve as an INCUBATOR for community movements, initiatives, and programs that need to exist in Central Oregon and fill those gaps by making them happen.
  • Through GRANTMAKING, we support local, direct-service nonprofits and programs that focus on a wide range of human health and wellness issues in our region.
  • We conduct NEEDS ASSESSMENT throughout our community. We gather data on poverty, financial hardship, basic needs gaps, resilience and more.
  • We offer PHILANTHROPIC opportunities. From individual community members to businesses and employers, everyone can give back to our community by giving to or through United Way.

We are investing in future solutions to the challenges that we have historically addressed through funding, such as basic needs, safety net, and prevention. While we will continue to address issues that are happening right now, we are simultaneously moving upstream to address the root causes of issues that are immediate today, so that they don’t exist tomorrow. Funding the immediate is necessary, but not sufficient.

Building on tradition and assuming a strong role in convening and collaborating with our Central Oregon community allows us to address these root causes of critical issues affecting our community. We remain focused on our community’s human and social service needs to improve lives and create measurable, sustained change in our community.

United Way of Deschutes County belongs to OUR Central Oregon community.

Sign up now, or make a donation to support an Edger!

Radiothon a Success!

We raised $11,635 at our Selco – United Way Radiothon on February 22! And, we had 3 people sign up for OVER THE EDGE!

DJs from Horizon Broadcasting Group radio stations KQAK 105.7 and The Peak 104.1 were broadcasting live from M. Jacobs Fine Furniture all day on 2/22. The fundraiser, presented by Selco Community Credit Union, helped us fight for the health, education, financial stability and resilience of every person in our Central Oregon community. The Radiothon was also sponsored by Edward Jones Investments Financial Advisor Kate Gaughan and Central Electric Cooperative.

Programming over the day focused on our work on local challenges such as access to basic needs (like food, shelter, and healthcare), safety, childhood development, childhood trauma, homelessness, food security, housing, child care, health services, mentoring, and foster care. Programming also focused on our inaugural OVER THE EDGE fundraiser, which will offer participants the opportunity to raise funds for United Way in order to rappel off of the roof of the Oxford Hotel – Bend’s tallest building.

Funds raised during the Radiothon support our focus on reducing childhood trauma and building resilient individuals, families, and community.

Since 1953, we have focused on health, education, and financial stability as the foundation of well-being and opportunity, along with basic needs. As we continue to focus on these causes, we are also working upstream to tackle childhood trauma and to build resilience. Resilience refers to the combination of individual skills and perspectives, social connectedness, and community resources that define the ability to manage stress, bounce back from hardship, and thrive in the face of adversity. Traumatic experiences early in life disrupt development and can lead to behavioral, mental, and health challenges later in life, contributing to decreased academic attainment, lost productivity, and negative health outcomes, like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, obesity, asthma, and more.

Our work focuses on childhood trauma as a root cause of many issues faced by members of our community, and cultivating and building resilience, which has been proven to offset the negative effects of childhood trauma through TRACEs (Trauma, Resilience, and Adverse Childhood Experiences) – a community-wide movement made up of 80 entities, with a goal of dramatically improving the health and well-being of our community by addressing childhood trauma as a root cause of regional health issues. TRACEs has 2 target populations: children and youth experiencing foster care, and the child care availability and affordability crisis.

Learn more about TRACEs.