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Our 12 Days of Community Giving 2023 Winners

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Our 2023 12 Days of Community Giving Winners.

Need a little good news? We can’t think of a better way to cap off the year than with the 2023 Maps Community Foundation’s 12 Days of Community Giving program. For the third year in a row, we celebrated the holiday season by giving back to organizations that give their all to serve our communities and help them grow. Each year, Maps Credit Union employees nominate their favorite local nonprofits to receive holiday donations that range from $100 to $1,2000—and 2023 was a huge success!

Congratulations to all our Community Giving Winners and thank you for all the work you do to make our region stronger, safer, and healthier. You are all shining examples of the power of generosity, and we are so pleased to be able to share a little love as we highlight all the good work that you do.

#12. Salem for Refugees

The first winner announced in our 12 Days of Community Giving campaign was Salem for Refugees, which is located by Broadway Commons, just down the street from our Professional Center. This organization touched our hearts because so many refugees are forced to flee their home nation due to persecution and/or violence. It is a major transition that often requires a lot of help. Salem for Refugees helps these displaced community members adjust and settle into the Salem area by providing much-needed resources—like cultural orientation, donations of furniture and home goods, case management, placement services, and advocacy. ($100 donation)

#11. Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary

At Maps Credit Union, we are big fans of animals—even if we can’t snuggle them or invite them into our homes. Case in point: Wildcat Ridge Sanctuary. Wildcat Ridge is a ‘last hope’ sanctuary located in Scotts Mills. Their mission is to provide a safe, natural lifetime home for captive-born wildcats in need and other animals that have been rescued from abuse, neglect, and exploitation. They are not open to the public and do not buy, sell, breed, or exhibit their animals, so we are happy to support their work with a small donation from this year’s campaign. ($200 donation)

#10. The Kindness Closet

The Kindness Closet is an all-volunteer organization that has three core values: 1) Be Kind; 2) Be Respectful; and 3) Do Good work. Those values align perfectly with the values of Maps Credit Union, so we were excited to see that they made the list for our 2023 Community Giving campaign. The Kindness Closet provides meals and necessary items (such as water, tents, tarps, clothing, etc.) to the unsheltered people in our community. They strive to facilitate relationships with people and let them know that they are seen and cared for. It is a small but mighty organization looking for ways to encourage and inspire change in our community and we are thrilled to help support their mission. ($300 donation)

#9. Project Pooch

According to Charles M. Shultz (the creator of Snoopy), “Happiness is a warm puppy”, so this year, we are delighted to give a little love to Project Pooch. The organization provides opportunities for teens and young adults in the corrections system to care for and train shelter dogs. Through the program, participants learn all aspects of taking care of the animals which depend on them. The relationship that develops not only teaches the participants responsibility, it also gives them a positive outlook on what it means to be trusted and relied upon—not to mention what unconditional love truly feels like. ($400 donation)

#8. Heart to Soles

What could be more exciting than a new pair of shoes? The folks at Heart to Soles know this and that’s why their mission is to provide underprivileged youth in our community with a better chance to grow their confidence and opportunities through a fresh pair of sneakers. Each year, Heart to Soles hosts an unboxing event where founders Bryan McMullin and Micah Sischo along with a team of volunteers (including some Maps employees) create a shopping experience for foster youth and other youth in need. Attendees get to pick out a new pair of shoes, of course, but they also get free haircuts, ice cream, and other fun activities. ($500 donation)

#7. Paralyzed Veterans of America

We were so glad to see Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America on the list of nominated nonprofits this year. They are making such a difference for veterans both in our community and across Oregon—and this is the first time Maps has supported them. Oregon Paralyzed Veterans of America serves the needs of its members, including military veterans with spinal cord injury or disease, by helping them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life. Volunteers and allied organizations work to provide leadership and advocacy in improving health care, research and education, and awareness of disability rights. ($600 donation)

#6. Salem Harvest

Volunteer shifts with Salem Harvest are a popular choice for Maps employees looking to make the most of their annual 26 paid volunteer hours. Our team has had a blast picking broccoli and blueberries together—not to mention sponsoring their “Race to Save the Harvest” run each summer. We love Salem Harvest because they feed hungry families by harvesting food that would otherwise go to waste. The idea of providing fresh fruits and veggies to families who might otherwise only get canned/boxed foods is a wonderful win-win for the community. Plus, this organization connects volunteers with farmers and then transports the harvested food to the food bank. ($700 donation)

#5. Salem Angels

The fifth nonprofit in the hearts of Maps employees is Salem Angels, a relatively new small nonprofit that is making a huge impact. Salem Angel’s mission is to walk alongside children, youth, and families in the foster care community by offering consistent support through intentional giving, relationship building and mentorship. They provide “love boxes” to foster care families to provide support and fun activities. ($800 donation)

#4. Oregon Humane Society

Take a walk through the halls of any Maps building or branch location and you are likely to hear Maps employees gushing over their beloved dogs, cats, birds, and other pets. So, it’s no wonder that the Oregon Humane Society (OHS) made the 2023 Community Giving list.  OHS is focused on creating a more humane society—for pets and humans alike. With campuses in both Portland and Salem, they offer a wide variety of services including pet adoption, pet training, humane law enforcement, veterinary care, and disaster response. ($900 donation)

#3. HOME Youth Services

Years ago, Maps helped HOME Youth Services (which is located just a few blocks away from our Professional Center) get started. The organization serves homeless and at-risk youth in the Salem area. They provide a drop-in day program that provides meals, laundry, showers, and personal care items, as well as case management services, internships, and community service opportunities. They also operate Taylor’s House which is an overnight shelter for homeless or at-risk youth. ($1,000 donation)

#2. Darian’s Gift

Our employees also overwhelmingly wanted to recognize Darian’s Gift. The goal of Darian’s Gift (which also topped the list in 2022) is to offer support and create moments of joy for families during pediatric cancer treatment. The organization provides financial assistance, help around the house, and emotional support as volunteers walk through the journey of pediatric cancer side by side with each family. During treatment, Darian’s Gift helps to fill the gaps for parents who are stretched thin with their child’s care. ($1,100 donation)

#1. Liberty House

Our #1 nominated nonprofit, Liberty House, was the #2 pick in 2022 and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have them top our 2023 list. Liberty House is a child abuse assessment center serving Marion and Polk counties. Liberty House offers a safe, comfortable, child-friendly environment for children and families facing concerns of abuse, neglect, trauma, or grief. ($1,200 donation)

While we are in the holiday spirit, we would also like to take a moment and celebrate our 2023 Teacher Grant Program. This year, we had 41 winners from local K-12 public and private schools who shared $35,000 in grants to help with classroom projects, supplies, and programs. It was such a joy to meet these teachers, hand them their checks, and thank them for all they do as educators.

If you missed out on the Teacher Grant Program but know an educator who could use some help with classroom supplies in 2024, nominate them for our 2024 Maps School Supply Drive (coming soon)! Maps members, teachers, or administrators can nominate any K-12 public or private school classroom teacher and we will select 40 winners to receive $500 in February of 2024.

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