News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Roundhouse Foundation supports local community projects

The Roundhouse Foundation, a Sisters-based philanthropy organization that supports innovative programs in Oregon’s rural communities, has announced final selections in its spring grant cycle. Supported programs and projects fall into the organization’s four focus areas, which are fundamental in building thriving rural areas: arts and culture; environmental stewardship; social services; and education. A total of $1.4 million was awarded to 75 organizations working across Oregon to support rural and tribal communities.

“We are honored for the opportunity to help support the very important work being done throughout rural Oregon,” said Erin Borla, executive director and trustee of The Roundhouse Foundation. “While Roundhouse Foundation has four key focus areas, these programs showcase the magic that happens at the intersections of those areas. We can’t wait to see how these programs will positively impact rural communities throughout our state.”

Locally, funding was provided for STARS, an Age Friendly Sisters Country (AFSC) Action Team that provides free transportation to nonemergency medical appointments for Sisters Country residents unable to drive themselves. AFSC/STARS sought Roundhouse Foundation assistance to meet support operations, volunteer incentives, service expansion, and capacity-building.

Friends of the Metolius will receive funds for The Suttle Lake Community Kitchen Shelter Restoration Project, an effort by the Deschutes National Forest and the Friends of the Metolius to restore the historic community kitchen at Suttle Lake built in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Community Kitchen Shelter is in serious disrepair creating barriers to access and intended use.

Other nonprofits and service organizations serving Sisters received funds:

• The Restorative Justice and Equity Group (RJE) for the Community Cadre Project comprised of 20 dedicated volunteers, vetted by the local school district and trained in restorative practices. These individuals support school DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) clubs and teachers in implementing Restorative Practice Circles, which empower students of color to find their voice, gain a sense of belonging, and which provide necessary opportunities for marginalized students to establish caring peer connections that foster inclusiveness.

• Friends of the Children Central Oregon will host a four-week summer camp series that will engage 53 program youth and their siblings (up to 150 youth in total) in enrichment activities in STEM, arts, and environmental education.

• Heart of Oregon Corps offers job skills training, education, and leadership development to over 300 local young people who face major barriers to success.

• Hospice of Redmond — Camp Sunrise: a camp for children ages 7 to 14 in Central Oregon who have experienced the recent death of a loved one. The camp is open to 40 children each year who reside in Deschutes, Jefferson and Crook Counties, free of charge.

• J Bar J Youth Services Vocational Education Program (VOC), providing career exploration and skills development services that will lead to sustainable living work opportunities for students. The program offers historically marginalized young men (13 to 21) from throughout the State of Oregon, opportunities they would not otherwise have.

• Kids Intervention and Diagnostic Service Center. KIDS Center’s 2022 priority is to provide comprehensive child abuse evaluations, advocacy, and therapy to 400 children and their families, 86 percent of whom live below the poverty line. Funds will help increase medical examination capacity to provide services at no cost and without barriers to all children in need. Medical staff will educate rural agencies and community partners working with children on recognizing forms of child abuse, interviewing youth in the field, and making an appropriate referral when child abuse is suspected.

• Central Oregon Council on Aging: to support a bilingual case manager position that focuses on services for the senior LatinX population, including a culturally appropriate nutrition, respite care, and home safety program.

For a complete list of programs and projects supported in this grant cycle, visit The Roundhouse Foundation’s next grant cycle will open in the fall.


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