FY2017 Annual Report

This annual report of CRPCA’s activities and membership covers the period from October 1, 2016 to September 30, 2017.

We increased our support for refugees.

  • We continued our sponsoring relationship with the Li family from China.
  • In May we began a sponsoring relationship with the Alyafi family from Syria.
  • In July our members moved furniture for a newly arrived refugee family.
  • Our members taught our sponsored refugee families English and advocated for our sponsored refugee families in schools and the community.
  • We launched a Refugee Support fund, with disbursements paying for driving lessons and school supplies.

Our grants spanned the globe.

  • $1,000 was awarded to Atakora Junior High School toward brush control technology for a school garden in Donkorkrom, Ghana.
  • $1,000 was awarded to Manyasa Friends Secondary School toward roofing material for two classrooms in Bungoma, Kenya.
  • $500 was awarded to Full Basket Belize toward scholarships for female high school students throughout Belize.
  • $500 was awarded to Kahle Kahle toward Sparkle & Shine house-cleaning training for young mothers in Manzini, Swaziland.
  • $500 was awarded to Neay Reay Secondary School toward a sports court in Chhouk, Cambodia.
  • $500 was awarded to The Land of Canaan Foundation toward a sheep pen and shelter in Zababdeh, Palestine.

We volunteered together frequently.

  • At our five service shifts at St André Bessette’s Evening Hospitality (December, April, May, July, and September), we served hearty meals to people surviving poverty and homelessness in downtown Portland.
  • At our three service shifts at the Oregon Food Bank (October, December, and April), we sorted, bagged, and boxed food to promote food security in Oregon and southwest Washington.
  • We had single service shifts with Clay Street Table (January), Dress for Success (March), Light of Hope (May), and Kateri House (June).

Our programs were varied and interesting.

  • November: Solving the Water Crisis in the World’s Most Forgotten Country: Water for Good’s Jay Hocking shared videos of difficult work bringing clean drinking water to remote parts of the Central African Republic.
  • December: Swaziland: The Hidden Kingdom: Swaziland PCV Jordan Ricketts (2014-2017) talked about current Peace Corps initiatives in Swaziland and what he’s learned in his first two years of Peace Corps service.
  • January: Refugee 101: Catholic Charities’ Hannah Macfarlane inspired our volunteers to sponsor a second refugee family.
  • February: Point West Credit Union: A Declaration of Service & Beliefs: Point West Credit Union CEO Amy Nelson spoke of PWCU’s dedication to Oregonians who historically lack access to banking services.
  • March: African Road: CRPCA’s Jennifer Hatton (Rwanda 2013-2015) described African Road’s work with a community impacted by HIV/AIDS in Rwanda and with victims of human trafficking in Tanzania.
  • May: Cycling the back roads of Cuba: Scenes from a friendly country: CRPCA’s Chris Dearth presented images of his 2,000 km bicycle voyage across Cuba.
  • June: World Affairs Council of Oregon: World Affairs Council of Oregon President Derrick Olsen led a discussion of ways they would like to partner with organizations like CRPCA.

We engaged our community.

  • Our Job Search Support Group gathered ten times (every month but December and August).
  • Our International Development Happy Hour happened in October, January, April, and July. Our partner organizations in IDHHs are IRCO, Jubilee Oregon, RESULTS Portland, and Women’s International Leadership and Learning.
  • In February we sponsored the Cascade Festival of African Films.
  • In September we co-hosted the first Mercy Corps – Peace Corps Networking Mixer.

We liked talking about our Peace Corps experiences.

  • Our Writers’ Workshop gathered ten times (every month but December and January) to enhance participants’ writing skills.
  • We assisted Peace Corps recruiters by providing speakers for Home for the Holidays (December), Peace Corps Week (March), Story Slam (March), Peace Corps Send-Off (May), and Pride Festival (June).
  • We received community speaker requests for World AIDS Day (December) and for Cascade Festival of African Films (February).

We read and discussed 3,668 pages.

  • October: The Drums of Africa (2007) by Tim Schell, RPCV Central African Republic (1988-1989). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • November: In Order to Live: A North Korean Girl’s Journey to Freedom (2015), by Yeonmi Park, with Maryanne Vollers.
  • December: I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood up for Education and Changed the World (2013) by 2014 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, with Christina Lamb.
  • January: Unbowed: A Memoir (2006) by 2004 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai.
  • February: Even Silence Has an End: My Six Years of Captivity in the Colombian Jungle (2010) by Ingrid Betancourt.
  • March: China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa (2014) by Howard French.
  • April: Phobos & Deimos: Two Moons, Two Worlds (2016) by John Moehl, RPCV Cameroon (1968-1973). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • May: Slithering South (2002) by Steve Van Beek, RPCV Nepal (1966-1969). The author participated in our discussion in person.
  • June: Midnight’s Children (1980), winner of the 1981 Man Booker Prize and the 2008 Best of the Bookers, by Salman Rushdie.
  • August: Homegoing (2016) by Yaa Gyasi.
  • September: In Europe’s Shadow: Two Cold Wars and a Thirty-Year Journey Through Romania and Beyond (2016) by Robert D. Kaplan.

We camped in the summer.

  • In June we held our 9th annual Family Campout at Pine Point Campground on Timothy Lake in Mt. Hood National Forest.
  • In July our members attended the 27th annual Northwest Regional Peace Corps Campout at South Beach State Park near Newport, Oregon, hosted by the West Cascade Peace Corps Association.

We found more excuses to gather.

  • Our Sí, se puede occurred once veces, todos los meses sin octubre.
  • Our Salon Francophone occurred diz fois, chaque mois sauf janvier et juillet.
  • We shared stories and drinks at eight Pub Nights, in the months without International Development Happy Hours.
  • We dined together at three Restaurant Gatherings, for Korean cuisine in October and for Ethiopian cuisine in November and September.
  • For the second year in a row, we offered an average of 8.5 events per month. May was our month with the most events (12). August was our month with the fewest events (6).

Our board was productive.

  • At our four Business Meetings (October, January, April, and September), we awarded grants, elected officers, and determined our budget and priorities for FY2018.
  • One decision we reached this year was fundraising for Refugee Support.
  • We also initiated dues amnesty. Henceforth, expired members can continue to receive communications from CRPCA until/unless they opt out. If expired members later renew their membership, they’ll have voting rights at business meetings and could serve on our board.

We communicated on multiple platforms.

  • We sent 40 e-updates to our current members, generally weekly in the weeks without newsletters.
  • We published 12 newsletters to our members and on our website.
  • We built a new Facebook page.
  • We surveyed our members about book club selections in November and about service activity preferences in April.
  • We migrated our WordPress-format website to a much faster ISP.

Folks kept joining and renewing.

  • CRPCA has 205 member households and 251 individual members.
  • 3% of our members are currently serving Peace Corps Volunteers.
  • 25% of our members are Returned Peace Corps Volunteers in their free first year of membership.
  • CRPCA’s members have served or are serving in 80 different countries. Among our members, 22 served in the Peace Corps twice, 7 served in the Peace Corps three times, and 1 served in the Peace Corps six times.
  • The most frequent countries of service among our members are Ghana (9 members), Ecuador and Malawi (8 members each), and Morocco, Nicaragua, Niger, Philippines, and Sierra Leone (7 members each).
  • 11 member households contributed our supporting membership dues.

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

  • 1960s: 21%
  • 1970s: 13%
  • 1980s: 18%
  • 1990s: 11%
  • 2000s: 14%
  • 2010s: 24%

We raised funds toward next year’s grants.

  • In the fall and winter we sold 2017 International Calendars.
  • In June we benefited from a Fundraising Pub Night at Migration Brewing.

We used our money wisely.

Income Expenses
Membership $2,400.00
Individual/corporate donations $1,336.00
Refugee support fund $655.00 $544.85
Events $1,434.00 $1,460.23
Grants Disbursed
Calendar & card sales $3,363.00 $1,750.00
Operating Expenses
Website, PO box, etc. $360.18
Fees (State of Oregon) $250.00
Operating Expense Subtotal $610.18
Miscellaneous revenue $22.67
Total $9,210.67 $8,865.26