FY2015 Annual Report

This annual report of CRPCA’s activities, membership, and finances covers the period from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2015.

Grants Awarded

We distributed grants totaling $4,000.

  • $1,000 was awarded to The Andando Foundation to support a poultry-raising facility for a women’s cooperative in Keur Soce, Senegal.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Behavioral Health Resources to support hot spot wireless technology allowing mobile access to electronic medical records in Olympia, Washington.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Friends of Liberia to support their chosen Ebola relief charities.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Raise International to support an environmental summer camp in Robins Bay, Jamaica.

Service Activities

We continued our service relationships with two community organizations.

  • At our six service shifts at the Oregon Food Bank (November, December, March, May, July, and September), we sorted, bagged, and boxed food to promote food security in Oregon and southwest Washington.
  • At our four service shifts at St André Bessette’s Evening Hospitality (November, March, May, and August), we served hearty meals to people surviving poverty and homelessness in downtown Portland.

Community Engagement

We continually strive to promote the Peace Corps’ third goal of bringing the world back home.

  • In February we sponsored the Cascade Festival of African Films.
  • Our Writers’ Workshop occurred eight times, in October, November, and then monthly April to September.

Fundraising Activities

100% of the funds we raise through our fundraising activities each fiscal year are available for grant awards in the next fiscal year.

  • In the fall and winter we sold 2015 International Calendars.
  • In March we organized a Kenyan Fundraising Dinner.

Post-Potluck Programs

CRPCA members offered presentations for the majority of our seven post-potluck programs.

  • November: Georgia and its cuisine: CRPCA members Mckinze Cook and Sean Fredericks spoke of their Peace Corps experience in Georgia and the Georgian cuisine they prepare at their Kargi Gogo food cart in downtown Portland.
  • January: Election monitoring in Ukraine: CRPCA member Chuck McConnell gave an entertaining talk about his experiences election monitoring in his country of service.
  • February: Understanding federal student loan repayment options: CRPCA member Bob Brown explained how federal student loans can be repaid today.
  • March: Experiences as a Peace Corps Director: CRPCA member Peggy McClure shared stories from serving Peace Corps Volunteers in Botswana and Morocco.
  • May: Passion, Risk, and Adventure in the 25 Years After 50: CRPCA members James and Maria Beebe spoke of their many avenues of involvement 50 years after their Peace Corps service in the Philippines.
  • June: Done Waiting: When African States Fail to Deliver, Afripolitans are Stepping In: Willamette University’s Amadou Fofana and Joyce Millen shared their research into Africans abroad who give back to Africa.
  • September: Intentional Travel: Beyond the Typical Vacation: Jamaica RPCVs Jedd and Michelle Chang offered travel tips for folks interested in living much of their lives abroad.

Book Discussions

Our Book Club discussed twelve books, and we had author participation in fully half of our gatherings.

  • October: Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti by Amy Wiletz (2013).
  • November: Emma’s War by Deborah Scroggins (2002). The author participated in our discussion via phone.
  • December: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (1958).
  • January: In Search of Decency: The Unexpected Power of Rich and Poor by Peru RPCV Michael Heyn (2013). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • February: Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity by Katherine Boo (2012).
  • March: Dancing with Gogos by South Africa RPCV Gary Cornelius (2014). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • April: Spirit Rising: My Life, My Music by Angelique Kidjo (2014).
  • May: The Springs of Namje: A Ten-year Journey From the Villages of Nepal to the Halls of Congress by Nepal RPCV Rajeev Goyal (2012). The author participated in our discussion via Skype.
  • June: When the World Calls: The Inside Story of the Peace Corps and Its First Fifty Years by Stanley Meisler (2011). The author participated in our discussion via Skype.
  • July: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett (2011).
  • August: Angry Wind: Through Muslim Black Africa by Truck, Bus, Boat, and Camel by Morocco RPCV Jeffrey Tayler (2005).
  • September: The Mountain School by Lesotho RPCV Greg Alder (2013). The author participated in our discussion in person.

Member Support

Our networking services consist of our Job Search Support Group and our participation in the national RPCV Mentoring Program.

  • Our Job Search Support Group gathered ten times, every month but July and August. The 20 participants had served in Ecuador, Guatemala, Guinea, Honduras, Jamaica, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Panama, Paraguay, Rwanda, Senegal, and Tanzania.
  • We made three mentor matches with seasoned RPCVs for mentees who recently arrived following Peace Corps service in Guinea, Honduras, and Niger.

Speaking Opportunities

Our members enjoy sharing Peace Corps experiences with our community.

  • We received community speaker requests from Cascade Festival of African Films, Glencoe High School, and Thirsters.
  • We assisted Peace Corps recruiters at the Center for Intercultural Organizing in October, a Careers Built Out of the Peace Corps Experience event in November, a Home for the Holidays event in December, a Host Country Heroes event in March, and a Peace Corps Send-Off Party in May.

Outdoor Activities

We visited stunning rock art, the site of Vortex I, and the largest monolith in the Columbia Gorge for our outdoor activities.

  • In May and July we organized group tours of Cascadia Cave, the most important indigenous site in western Oregon.
  • In June we held our 7th annual Local Campout at Milo McIver State Park.
  • In August we hosted the 25th annual Northwest Regional Peace Corps Campout at Beacon Rock State Park.

Social Activities

We offered many ways for Peace Corps folks/families/friends/partners in and around Portland to spend good times together.

  • We shared stories and drinks at eight Soirées and at four International Development Happy Hours. Our partner organizations in IDHHs are Jubilee Oregon, Portland Area Global AIDS Coalition, and RESULTS Portland.
  • We dined together at a Restaurant Gathering at Chaba Thai in September.
  • Gifts and laughs were exchanged at our 15th annual Post-Holiday White Elephant Party in January.
  • Our Salon Francophone occurred huit fois, in October, January, twice in February, twice in March, and in April and August. We timed one gathering in February and one in March to coincide with screenings in French at the Cascade Festival of African Films.
  • We offered a screening of episodes featuring two members who acted in Portlandia on April Fools Day.

Association Business

Association decisions are generally made our business meetings, in which all members are welcome to participate.

  • At our four Business Meetings (October, December, April, and September), we awarded grants, elected officers, and determined our budget and priorities for FY2016.
  • Our board members represented CRPCA at Northwest Peace Corps Group Leaders meetings in Seattle in March and at the Northwest Peace Corps Campout at Beacon Rock State Park in August.

Activity Level

Our diverse activities are so numerous that we remain one of America’s most active Peace Corps groups, even as our activity level dropped a hair from previous years.

  • Throughout the year, we offered an average of 7.0 event dates per month.
  • March was our month with the most events (9).
  • October, December, and July tied for the month with the fewest events (5).

Member Communications

Member communications continued to be exclusively electronic.

  • We sent 42 e-updates to our current members, generally weekly in the weeks without newsletters.
  • We published 12 newsletters to our members and on our website.
  • Our WordPress-format website underwent a slight improvement to make it more friendly to mobile devices.

Membership Information

As of October 1, 2015…

  • CRPCA has 202 member households and 229 individual members..
  • 51% of our members also belong to the National Peace Corps Association.
  • 5% of our members are currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers.
  • 38% of our members are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in their free first year of membership.
  • CRPCA’s members have served or are serving in 85 different countries. Among our members, 23 served in the Peace Corps twice, and 3 served in the Peace Corps three times.
  • The most frequent countries of service among our members are Thailand (11 members), Niger (9 members), Ghana and Sierra Leone (8 members each), and Belize, Jamaica, Peru and Philippines (7 members each).

Here is the breakdown of our PCV/RPCV members by first year of service:

  • 1960s: 40 members
  • 1970s: 33 members
  • 1980s: 35 members
  • 1990s: 31 members
  • 2000s: 32 members
  • 2010s: 69 members

Financial Report

Income Expenses
Membership $2,560.00
Events
Local Campout $281.00 $234.39
Regional Campout $708.00 $660.12
Other member events $404.40 $1,461.19
Events Subtotal $4,533.40 $2,355.70
Grants Disbursed
$4,500.00
Calendar Sale $4,176.00 $2,168.42
Newsletter, stamps, PO box, etc. $94.55
Fees (State of Oregon, NPCA) $90.00
Operating Expense Subtotal $184.55
Interest Earned $0.77
Individual/Corporate Donations $85.00
Total $8,795.17 $9,208.67