This year, we want to highlight a particularly important activity for our holiday season – how we can give back throughout the holidays. While we have special days to support our community businesses and other aspects of the city, there’s also plenty that Central Oregonians can do to help support nonprofits in their own way.
If you have recently moved or having been living in Bend for a little while, you can help by picking a local nonprofit working in Bend to support! Here are several of our favorites to help you get started.
1. Humane Society of Central Oregon
The Humane Society of Central Oregon is one of the most beloved nonprofit organizations in the region, applauded for its extensive work with animals, from a pet shelter and rescue operation to a variety of shops and medical services, even including end-of-life options for pet owners. Because of its widespread activities, there are often many options to volunteer with the HSCO (although this varies based on location, COVID conditions, etc.), and it should certainly be your first stop when looking for a new pet in Bend. From donating to the food bank to volunteering at the thrift stores, there are all kinds of ways to help, too!
2. Bethlehem Inn
Bethlehem Inn is a converted hotel complex in Bend that works to offer supportive services, food, and a safe place to sleep for people in Bend who are no longer able to find a place to live. The shelter focuses on helping people reach self-sufficiency, and on average cares for 110 adults and children. This is another great donation option, as they are frequently on the lookout for both money and food to support their services. The shelter is also expecting to have a particularly challenging upcoming winter and is looking for ways to expand.
REACH stands for Relationship, Empowerment, Action, Compassion, and Heart: This Central Oregon nonprofit provides a variety of services for the homeless in Central Oregon. These vital services include gathering and delivering mail, providing medical services, helping them with transportation, and providing important items such as sleeping bags and tents. REACH is a partnership of businesses and community volunteers throughout the area, so there are plenty of ways to help.
NeighborImpact is a broad-reaching nonprofit with centers across the nation, including an office in Bend. The organization is designed to help people who need temporary assistance to get over a variety of hurdles in life: That can range from buying a new home or managing debt to dealing with potential foreclosures or finding new ways to save money. They accept cash donations and a variety of other types of help. NeighborImpact is also involved in the work on a brand new permanent supportive housing project that has been funded in Bend and will be breaking ground before too long.
5. Bend Family Kitchen
This is a community meal program that serves meals throughout the week. This is an excellent option if you like to make, serve, or package food, while the program also accepts more traditional donations of money and food.
6. Oregon IDA Initiative
The IDA Initiative is designed to pair Individual Development Accounts with qualifying Oregonians who have lower incomes and are looking to save for education, a home, or other important goals. There are two important ways you can help. First, you can donate directly to the Initiative to help their project. Second, you can find local businesses that have used IDA accounts to start and support them while also helping industries in Central Oregon.
Looking to learn more? Moving to Bend offers relocation services in Central Oregon to help with a variety of important details. If you are looking for homes or jobs in Central Oregon or want to learn more about school and recreation opportunities, you’re in the right place!