A Scarlett Red Recipe for Change

Red velvet beet cake, hibiscus lemonade, strawberry cornbread cobbler. These culinary delights are associated with Juneteenth due to their auspicious vibrancy.

Juneteenth is a holiday new to many white Americans, and one deserving of pensive commemoration.

Also referred to as Freedom Day, Juneteenth has been a holiday celebrated by many Black Americans on June 19th to commemorate the emancipation of all enslaved people in the United States. The holiday was first celebrated in Texas, where on that date in 1865, after the Civil War ended, slaves were declared free.

Many forget that, although we celebrate July 4th as our American Independence Day, many black people remained enslaved long after 1776. It wasn’t until 90 years later, when the Emancipation Proclamation was signed in January of 1863, that slavery was ended by law – and another two years for that law to be communicated to (with purposeful enforcement) in the Confederate states further south.

There are numerous ways to pay homage to this remarkable event in American history.  My own ritual induction has seen a series of fits and starts. After conducting historical research and a number of nerdy focus group dialogues among obliging friends, I decided upon an event that invokes the traditional Texan one.  It will feature a modest gathering and a tasting of wondrous red fare!  We shall dazzle our loved ones with a flight of my wife’s homemade summer berry wines.  We will muddle our way through a reading of the emancipation proclamation.  With chagrin, we will lament Astoria’s rather memorable tango with the KKK in the 1920s and marvel over what it must have been like to see the cross burning on Coxcomb hill. We will marinate over what a historical ‘civil rights walking tour’ of our city might look like in anticipation of future Juneteenth gatherings.

But all of these intellectual exchanges must be paired with a purposeful offering too – one of action, one of service.

In honor of Juneteenth, I donate my time to an agency that shares my values. United Way of Clatsop County is my chosen beneficiary – it’s where I concentrate my local attention to help understand and correct inequities that lead to racial injustice, oppression and violence against people of color in my community.

Locally, nationally and world-wide United Ways are taking steps to forge more equitable communities.  We affirm that power lies within individuals. Individuals must act in order for structures to change, and once structures change, culture may begin to recognize every human for exactly that: their humanity.

Wondering how to learn more about Juneteenth? Democracy advocacy group NextGen America has an excellent short video, “History of Juneteenth,” available free online that can start you on your journey and bring modern relevance to your engagement with equity. Another brief video, Vox’s “Why all Americans Should Celebrate Juneteenth” is similarly edifying.

Gov. Kat Brown signed a bill into law this month making Juneteenth a state holiday.

This year, armed with both curiosity and humility, join me in founding your own Juneteenth ritual. For buried in these rituals, these offerings is a scarlet red recipe for change.

–Jen Munson, United Way of Clatsop County board member, Disability Rights advocate and Social Worker

 

If you would like to thank Congress for recognizing Juneteenth as a federal holiday and encourage further action, click here.

Finding Family – UWCC Partner Agency Connects Foster Care Teen with Grandma

What would it be like to grow up without a biological family? To not have albums filled with generational portraits of similar-featured faces, no Grandma with stories of “your mom when she was in high school”, no favorite Aunt with tales of your dad blowing up frogs as a boy.

For many children in the foster system, this is reality. They don’t have the connection to their genealogical pasts, they don’t have stories of family members with the same outlook on life, they don’t have pictures of siblings with similar features.

Now imagine if, as a teenager, a blood relative was found who wanted to know you, share stories with you and show you pictures of your family. This was the case for Calvin*, who grew up in foster care.  Click here to find out how the Hope House’s Family Find program helped connect Calvin to his past…and also his future.

Hope House is a United Way of Clatsop County Partner Agency. Their counselors offer services  on a sliding scale for behavioral health, family and community support, refugee and immigrant services, child welfare, aging and independent living and crime victim services.

 

Shipwrecked Music Festival


August 21, 2021
Doors open 11am,  Music 12 – 8pm

Bring your picnic blankets and sun hats for Shipwreck Music Festival’s inaugural performances. Great music, food, beverages at a family-friendly venue – celebrate summer!

Buy Tickets Here*
*2 free drinks with ticket purchase 

Volunteer Sign Up Here

The Lineup:


Holiday Friends


Public Nuisance


The Hackles


Shannon Curtis


Bart Budwig


Mike Izon

The Drinks:

 Buoy Beer

Pilot House Distilling

Buddha Kat Winery

Lost Lizard Roasting

The Food:

Sasquatch Sandwich Shop

It’s All Greek to Me

Monte Alban Oaxacan Style 

Kim’s Dough2Go

The Venue:

Amphitheater @ Clatsop County Fair & Expo

Additional Details:

Join us for some fun in the sun, with all proceeds benefiting equity initiatives through United Way of Clatsop County.

Prize drawings between each performance. Must be present to win!

Event Guidelines:

Attendees of the Shipwrecked Music Festival agree to the following guidelines:

    1. Please bring and present valid ID for alcoholic beverages.
    2. No outside alcohol.
    3. Respect for the health, safety, personal space of other attendees.
    4. Only registered service pets please.
    5. No firearms.

Buy Tickets Here

Thank you Shipwrecked Music Festival sponsors!

Presenting Sponsors:

Captain’s Seat Sponsors:

First Mate Sponsors:

Crow’s Nest Sponsors:

Seaside Outlets KMUN 91.9 Coast Community Radio 94.9 The Bridge
Recology Riverview Bookkeeping & Virtual CFO Hits 94.3 KRKZ
Van Dusen Beverages
The Bridge Tender Pizza a’fetta
Clatsop County Sheriffs Clatsop County Fair & Expo

 

Prize Give-a-Ways donated by:

Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa

Human Bean, Warrenton

Lucy’s Books

Watershed Wellness

The Healing Circle

Clatsop County has one of the highest child sexual abuse rates in the state. The abusive cycle is often generational, and many survivors feel too much shame to come forward for help and support.

The Healing Circle – Victory Over Child Abuse (VOCA) has been breaking that cycle since 1988. Below is a story of why:

My name is Jeannie and this will be my 22nd year with The Healing Circle.

My life didn’t start out real great; both my biological parents were unable to be the parents that I needed. I went into the foster care system at the age of one, believing I was lucky to be placed with a  family that adopted me.

Things were going ok until my adopted dad began sexually abusing me. As you can imagine, this caused a great deal of hardship in my family. My mom fell into depression and acquired other health issues. I was left to become the adult. I was 9 years old. I took care of my mom more than I was taking care of myself. I was really struggling, feeling I had ‘ruined’ our family.  I had suicidal thoughts and felt so alone.

Then I was referred to VOCA camp. Victory Over Child Abuse. From the moment I got on the bus I felt like a rock star: this group of adults welcomed me and loved me and let me be the kid that I needed to be. They  made me feel safe.

I went back year after year. These adults became my family. As I grew up I transition into an adult volunteer and eventually asked to join the governing board, which I accepted.

I graduated Job Corp, then college, and have became a mom myself. I know wouldn’t be the person I am today without the love and support I felt from VOCA.  I feel empowered and safe and free to be me and have come to love myself through this program.

United Way is proud to partner with The Healing Circle – Victory Over Child Abuse, where children are taught that they have intrinsic value, no matter what.

2020 Impact Report

UWCC held its Annual Celebration, and it was indeed a celebration this year! 

Despite a worldwide pandemic, despite technological disparities among marginalized populations, despite racial, socio-economic and gender inequity, UWCC Partner Agencies improved lives in Clatsop County in 2020. 

  • 18 families received emotional education and support to guide them through grief, loss, abuse and transition. 

  • 90 children were taken from neglectful or abusive situations and placed in more stable, supportive homes with advocates who fought for their best interest. 
  • 86 survivors of domestic violence were given resources to keep themselves safe and sheltered through their transition to a secure living situation. 
  • 355 individuals were welcomed off the streets, fed and educated on how to live healthy, independent lives.
  • 450 school-aged children created communities in which they could explore, learn and play.
  • 130 adults returned to school with support that allowed them to graduate, become independent and financially secure in their jobs.
  • 2,800 rural students were given access to educational materials to foster a love of learning at home.
  • 156 struggling readers were matched with mentors who inspired learning through the love of literature.
  • 8,100 meals for struggling senior citizens.
  • 31 child survivors of sexual abuse were brought into a safe, understanding community whose mission is for them to understand their innate value as human beings. 

This is what LIVING UNITED looks like. Community coming together for the benefit of individuals, which of course, benefits us all.

 

2021 Day of Caring Report

Saturday, April 17th turned out to be the hottest day of the year so far, but that didn’t stop 146 volunteers from bringing their families, friends and coworkers to three Clatsop County sites to clean up, plant and rebuild at parks and nonprofits. 

The 2021 Day of Caring, hosted by United Way of Clatsop County was truly a community event. Supplies donated by the Home Depot Foundation in combination with funds from TLC/Fibre Federal Credit Union, Providence Seaside Hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital, NW Natural and Arbonne Independent Consultant Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick were used to pick up trash (11 large, 18 medium & 41 small bags donated by SOLVE Oregon), clear storm debris, clean cabins, power wash structures, weed, plant, rebuild garden beds & install ADA pavers at Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside, Camp Kiwanilong in Warrenton and Hilltop Apartments in Astoria.

Sites were chosen based on COVID-safe opportunities to improve outdoor areas. Volunteers stayed outside, wore masks and remained socially distant from other volunteers throughout the event.

They worked hard, but with refreshments provided by US Foods, snacks from Astoria Co+Op and Natural Grocers and sandwiches provided by Subway, volunteers were treated to warm weather, good food and a sense of community that has been hard to come by this last year. 

Site #1 benefited 22 residents of Hilltop Apartments, a low-income apartment complex owned by Clatsop Community Action. Residents, including two veterans, are now enjoying a beautiful outdoor space with English Lavender, bright yellow marigolds and white astilbe.

Project Site #2, Camp Kiwanilong, boasted the most unique clean up activity which included canoes on the Camp’s beloved Long Lake. Camp employees believe a beaver has been gnawing on the styrofoam dock floats causing debris to spread across the lake for a number of months. Water-loving volunteers skimmed the lake of trash while their land-loving counterparts cleaned up branches from the February ice storm, spring cleaned camp cabins and power washed outbuildings and docks. Registration is open for a DAY CAMP Summer Youth Program at campkiwanilong.org —happening this year despite COVID! Other groups also use this beautiful, rustic space for conventions and meetings including civic and veteran groups. 

The largest project at site #3, Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside was moving 40 yards of hog fuel donated by Nygaard Logging. Volunteers shoveled, dug, carted, dumped and raked the material into pathways between garden beds. The material–somewhat like bark dust, will act as a weed control and also add cushion for gardeners on their knees. ADA pavers were also installed for a more equitable gardening opportunity and new hoses were attached to water pumps for site gardeners.

The 53-plot gardens are run by Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District (SEPRD), and are still taking applications for gardeners. Approximately 10% of garden bed renters are veterans, an underserved demographic in Clatsop County.

Each Day of Caring volunteer site produced a significant amount of debris being collected by Recology, administrative costs were covered by Georgia Pacific/Wauna Mill, and the altruism keeps going as community members also donated over 16 large boxes of “essential items” for nonprofit clients– including food, baby supplies, personal care items and new clothing collected at volunteer sites as well as the Barbey Center at Columbia River Maritime Museum.

The 2021 Day of Caring turned out to be truly that…a day where the compassion we have for our community was able to shine. Thank you to everyone involved!

 

Astoria Co-Op
 
Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick
Independent Arbonne Consultant

 A special thank you to Arthur Koustik at Home Depot, Viviana Matthews and Megan McCall at CCA, Robyn Koustik at K&M Yard Maintenance, Skyler Archibald and Levi Conner at Sunset Empire Parks and Recreation District, Amy Koch at Camp Kiwanilong and Day of Caring Committee Members Katrina Gasser, Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick and Kelsey Hix. None of this would have happened without you!

Relating to the Needs of Others

UWCC received a donation from an east coast Rabbi and his wife last week. When I called to thank them, a beautiful story unfolded. 

For the last year, the two of them have been traveling to broaden their awareness of need in communities around the US. Along the way they worked towards their goal of giving to every United Way in America. He talked about the concept of Tzedakah, and he explained it like this:


When it comes to dealing with the poor, we get it wrong so often.

Even the wording we use is misleading. We use words like, “giving,” “charity” and “philanthropy”. They imply that relating to the needs of others involves generosity or caring, and is somewhat optional.

Charity comes from “caritas” which has to do with the heart and from which we get the word caring.

Philanthropy means a love of people.

Even the words, “giving” and “donation” imply that we own the things we are giving away.

Tzedakah is the Hebrew word we inherited for relating to the needs of others.  Though it is translated as “charity” that distracts from the main point.  It is better understood as citizen’s obligation, responsibility or righteousness.  Its shades of meaning don’t revolve around feelings, they overlap with justice.  We don’t do tzedakah because we are so moved or because it feels good.  Those are nice side effects that are often present.  We do tzedakah because we must.


This conversation reminded me of one of the fundamental reasons we do this. We help because it’s a part of the definition of community.  Because the world we want to live in can only exist if we share, when we can, with the vulnerable. If we behave like family.

Rabbi Jeff Glickman and his wife Mindy-Lu have a website and podcast about their tour if you’d like to find out more about them.

UWCC Board Membership Info Session 3/22/21 12:15pm

It feels good to give back. To family, to friends, to community.  A variety of ways exist to do it, one of the most prominent in Clatsop County is board membership.

You’ve met the people who are veterans of the trade. They’re attending events and fundraisers as if it’s their favorite hobby, talking to fellow charitable humans, excited to introduce others to the importance of their cause.

But is that the only way to be a good board member?

Nope.

A solid board will attract a diverse set of skills, accompanied by a diverse set of perspectives and personalities. A balance needs to exist between the members excited to advocate, and the  members who support the cause a little more “behind the scenes”.

The people who make up a board matter, and a good fit is so important to progressing the mission.

To learn more about the UWCC board, how it functions, expectations of board members and how to apply to become one, an informational session is being held 12:15-1pm on Monday, March 22nd. Come with questions prepared or just to listen.

Contact Kassia for more information and a link to the session.

2021 Day of Caring

United Way of Clatsop County is hosting a Volunteer Day of Caring from 9am – 1pm on Saturday, April 17th, 2021 – come join the fun!

Drop off essential items (see below) for local nonprofits and/or join other socially distant volunteers to landscape Astoria’s Hilltop Apartments, skim styrofoam off of Long Lake @ Camp Kiwanilong or tidy up Seaside Community Gardens.

Snacks will be provided at this family-friendly event. It’s going to be a lot of fun so sign up here!

Please note, all volunteers are requested to bring and appropriately wear PPE:)

Volunteer Event Locations

  • Hilltop Apartments (blueberry colored duplexes) – On Niagara Ave. between 11th & 12th,  Astoria, OR
  • Camp Kiwanilong – 595 SW Ridge Road,  Warrenton, OR
  • Seaside Community Gardens – 1001 – 1099 S. Irvine Pl., Seaside, OR (south of KFC off hwy 101)

Essential Item Drop Off

Packing food donationsCan’t volunteer your time but still want to help?  Drive through essential item drop offs will also be located at Railroad Community Gardens in Seaside, Camp Kiwanilong in Warrenton and the  Barbey Center at the Maritime Museum in Astoria from 9am-1pm  accepting any of the following:

  • Food – Non perishable food items, breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks
  • Dental Care – Toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss
  • Personal Care Items – Soap, shampoo, deodorant, feminine hygiene products, toilet paper
  • Safety Items – PPE, face masks (medical or cloth), medical gloves, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes
  • Kids Comfort – Blankets, plush toys, books and games (all items must be new)
  • Baby Care – Diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby food, baby clothes (must be new)
  • Pet Care – Pet food, treats and toys
  • Financial Stability – Gas cards, bus passes, grocery store gift cards, pre-paid phone cards
  • Inspirational Cards – Handwritten words of encouragement for students and educators

Collected items will be distributed to local nonprofits for their clients in need.

Essential Item Drop Off  Locations

  • Barbey Maritime Center* – 1792 Marine Dr. Astoria, OR
  • Camp Kiwanilong – 595 SW Ridge Road,  Warrenton, OR
  • Seaside Community Gardens – 1001 – 1099 S. Irvine Pl., Seaside, OR (south of KFC off hwy 101)

* Donation Items may also be dropped off at the Maritime Museum admissions desk Thursday, April 15th and Friday April 16th from 9:30am – 5pm!

Find out More

Don’t hesitate to contact UWCC with any questions!

 

Sign Up

Thank you to our Sponsors!

Astoria Co-Op
 
Cathy Jo Kirkpatrick
Independent Arbonne Consultant