In a recent op-ed published in the Corvallis Gazette-Times, Benton Community Foundation president and CEO Chris Quaka stated that he felt encouraged by “the many examples of how our community has responded to this pandemic.”

Many nonprofits are navigating how best to serve the community while keeping staff and clients safe. Others are balancing limited resources with increased demand for their services. Quaka, who previously served as a federal disaster coordinator for the Corporation for National and Community Service, commends the outpouring of support given by organizations and community members in this time.

Headshot of Chris Quaka, CEO of Benton Community Foundation

Chris Quaka, CEO and President of the Benton Community Foundation

Writes Quaka:

It is because of dedicated volunteers, nonprofit leaders and public servants working behind the scenes that our community’s challenges are not even greater in this moment. Caring for each other in this unpredictable time means opening our hearts to the people working on the front lines as well as to the people they serve.

For years, the Benton Commmunity Foundation has supported local nonprofits. The Foundation will provide emergency funding for nonprofits in a joint COVID-19 response fund with United Way.

Quaka encourages those who are able to donate to a local nonprofit or to contribute to the joint COVID-19 response fund. In the meantime, he remains hopeful for the community remaining strong in this time.

Every disaster is different — but engaging in thoughtful direct action as early as possible always improves long-term outcomes. Now is the time to share your hope for the future by doing something to inspire your friends and neighbors. Before we know it, we’ll be joining hands together once again. When that day comes, let’s look back knowing we did everything we could to keep our community strong.

You can read Chris Quaka’s op-ed here.