This annual report of CRPCA’s activities covers the period from October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014.
The Columbia River Peace Corps Association (CRPCA) had another successful year. CRPCA continued its grants program, provided educational, service, social, and outdoor events for its members, and conducted regular business meetings. Please see below for more details on CRPCA’s membership, grants program, and events.
Grants Program and Fundraising
In FY2014, CRPCA moved to a new system for awarding grants. A committee of four (including our Grants Coordinator) was formed to review grant applications, provide feedback and guidance to applicants when necessary, and present funding recommendations to the general membership. This committee was instated in April 2014 with the intent of creating a more consistent evaluation system for grants.
Our grants program is funded through a variety of fundraising events, as well as any surplus from membership fees. Our primary fundraisers in FY2014 were sales of the 2014 International Calendar and a fundraising event in November.
Grants Awarded in FY2014:
- $2,200 to Schools for Salone toward solar power for a school in Sembehun, Sierra Leone
- $1,100 toward field trips for students in the Somali Bantu Citizens Group’s afterschool program in Beaverton, Oregon
- $1,000 to PCVs of Kosrae toward Camp GLOW for girls in Kosrae, Micronesia
- $500 to WAVES for Development toward soft-top surfboards to support a locally-operated surf school in Lobitos, Peru
CRPCA hosted one service event per month in FY2014.
- At our five service shifts at the Oregon Food Bank (October, January, March, May, and June), we sorted, bagged, and boxed food to promote food security in Oregon and southwest Washington.
- At our five service shifts at St André Bessette’s Evening Hospitality (November, December, February, April, and July), we served hearty meals to people surviving poverty and homelessness in downtown Portland.
- At our single service day with Habitat for Humanity (August), we prepared affordable homes for families in our community.
- At our single service shift with Oregon Public Broadcasting (September), we answered phones for their TV fundraising drive.
Throughout the year, CRPCA continued to provide opportunities for its members to interact in a social setting and meet new people. Regular social events included monthly potluck dinners and monthly happy hours. Special annual events included our post-holiday White Elephant Party in January. CRPCA also facilitated semi-regular outings to Portland Timbers, Portland Thorns, and Portland Trail Blazers games.
CRPCA offered over 30 engaging educational events to its members in FY2014. These events were wide-ranging and included our Book Club, Writers’ Workshop, Job Search Support Group, Salon Francophone, and regular educational presentations at monthly potlucks.
Our book club read and discussed 12 books, including five by RPCVs. Authors Barbara Scot (November) and Eve Brown-Waite (June) participated in our discussions of their books in person. Author George LeBard (August) participated in our discussion of his book via phone.
Educational presentations on a variety of topics were given at our potlucks:
- What You Need to Know about Obamacare with Joana Ramos (November)
- Meet Foreign Students from Peace Corps Countries with Ayeenah from the Philippines, Boyrun from Korea, Hang Yok from Thailand, Maryna from Ukraine, and Mervernur from Turkey (December)
- Monitoring Elections around the world with Phyllis Shelton, Jackie Van Anda, and Mike Waite (March)
- Storytelling about service work and travel in Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysian Borneo with Miriam Feder (April)
- Research into agricultural practices in Niger with Jocelyn Grupp Müller and Amy Wilson (May)
In the summer of 2014, CRPCA hosted a local campout at Cascadia State Park (June 20-22). Many members also attended the Northwest Regional Peace Corps Campout in Mt. Rainier National Park (August 14-17).
Special Community Events
CRPCA partnered with other organizations in our community on three events in 2014. In February and March, CRPCA was again a sponsor of the Cascade Festival of African Films. On April 28th, we helped Peace Corps with their send-off party for new volunteers. On June 7th, we again marched in Grand Floral Parade, carrying the flags of nearly 100 Peace Corps countries.
CRPCA hosted 6 business meetings to conduct association business, including the election of new officers at our April meeting, a meeting of the finance committee to determine our budget for the upcoming fiscal year in September, and our annual business meeting, also in September.