Many local nonprofits are struggling to find ways to operate safely under recent state social distancing guidelines. Some have announced new efforts to support people in need and workers on the front lines, while others have had to shut their doors. Here’s a quick take on how nonprofits in Benton County are responding to the COVID-19 crisis:

Benton Community Foundation and United Way announce COVID-19 response funds: The Benton Community Foundation has partnered with the United Way of Linn, Benton & Lincoln Counties to raise funds that will support local 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations. The first $50,000 in donations will be matched 1-to-1.

Benton Habitat for Humanity: Benton Habitat for Humanity has suspended volunteer activity and temporarily closed their ReStore and current construction sites. While current partner families and clients are still being served by their homeowner services team, Benton Habitat for Humanity is not currently accepting critical repair applications. They hope to re-open applications soon.

Boys & Girls Club offers low-cost childcare for first responders: Boys & Girls Club Corvallis announced that the organization will soon be able to provide low-cost childcare for first responders  from April 1 to 28. Priority will be given to Samaritan Health and Corvallis Clinic employees.

CASA Latinos Unidos: CASA Latinos Unidos will continue to serve the public despite the recent temporary closure of the Corvallis School District and the office’s physical closure. All staff are working remotely until further notice. People in need of services are asked to call or email the organization.

CASA Voices for Children: The CASA Voices for Children office is closed, with staff having the option to work remotely if desired. Home visits and April events have been suspended until further notice. Upcoming advocate hearings will be covered by staff but advocates who would still like to attend may call in on a conference line.

Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence: CARDV will be postponing upcoming events, including advocacy training. However, support for survivors and those experiencing domestic violence will still be available through the center’s 24-hour crisis line. Emergency shelter services are still available. In-kind donations will not be accepted for the next few weeks. Donors should consider monetary, online donations instead.

Chintimini Wildlife Center: Chintimini Wildlife Center is suspending all upcoming public events through mid-April, including all tours, programs, public events and fundraisers. This will not impact their wildlife rehabilitation clinic or phone services. Their wildlife hotline is still running and intakes for injured and orphaned wildlife will continue.

Community Outreach Inc.: The Community Outreach building is now closed to the public and some services, including childcare and communal showers, are currently suspended. However, counseling services will continue to be provided online. Current residents will still have housing provided.

Community Services Consortium: Community Services Consortium will be offering many of their services online, including upcoming meetings. People in need are encouraged to call their local food pantry, Linn-Benton Food Share, to request same-day food box pick-ups. The consortium is asking for monetary donations to meet increasing demand for services, including for food and housing.

Corvallis Arts Center: The Corvallis Arts Center will be closed until further notice. The Center will be sharing a Howland Community OPEN Featured Artist every day on their Facebook page. Community members are also invited to share art projects they are creating during quarantine through the Center’s new online Virtual Arts+Virus Gallery group.

Corvallis-Benton County Public Library closes doors: All branches of the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library will be closed to the public until further notice. Patrons will not be charged for overdue materials during this time. The library has also cancelled its popular Bookmobile program for the time being.

Corvallis Environmental Center: In-person events previously planned for March and April by the Corvallis Environmental Center have been cancelled, with some events to move to online distance learning. The organization’s downtown office has also been closed to the public, with staff working at home. Dates for Corvallis Environmental Center’s Summer Camps are to be determined.

Corvallis Men’s Shelter: Corvallis Men’s Shelter has shifted focus and has, for the foreseeable future, discontinued overnight service. Instead, the shelter will operate as a health and hygiene station for people experiencing homelessness. People who need assistance may visit the shelter to access showers, laundry facilities and light refreshments.

Corvallis Public Schools Foundation will raise funds to support students and families: To support students and their families during the state’s mandatory school cancellation period, the Corvallis Public Schools Foundation is raising funds to provide food and hygiene supplies. The foundation also hosted meal pick-up sites through March.

FEMA to offer federal emergency aid for non-profits and state, local and tribal agencies: To aid recovery efforts throughout the state, FEMA has made federal funding available to qualifying organizations, including state, local and tribal agencies and non-profit organizations throughout Oregon that are offering emergency protective services.

Heartland Humane Society temporarily closes its shelter to the public: While Heartland Humane Society will be suspending open public hours through April 28th, adoption appointments, intakes and stray animal pick-ups or drop-offs are still available by appointment. Community members may schedule appointments by email or by phone. The Heartland Humane Thrift Shop, which funds up to 30% of the shelter’s annual budget, has also been closed but maintains an online store through eBay.

Jackson Street Youth Services continues to serve homeless and at-risk youth: Jackson Street Youth Services will continue to offer food and supplies to homeless and at-risk youth throughout Benton County. Their emergency shelter program will remain open but service will be prioritized to homeless youth and those who are in immediate risk of abuse and/or homelessness.

Lumina Hospice and Palliative Care will continue to provide free grief support and counseling to anyone in the community impacted by a death. They offer phone calls, video support groups, and educational resources and activities. Learn more.

Old Mill Center for Children and Families: While the Old Mill Center’s facility is now closed to the public, staff are continuing to support children and their families through phone and internet video meetings. Staff members are also working remotely for the time being.

Philomath Community Services: Philomath Community Services is limiting access to their facilities. Clients in need may receive pre-packaged boxes of food from the Philomath Food Bank or from the Philomath Community Gleaners. Other services, including the Kids Kloset, will be closed temporarily. Volunteers at different facilities will be limited to maintain social distancing guidelines.

Stone Soup continues to feed the community: Stone Soup Corvallis is keeping its doors open for the foreseeable future. Community members in need will be able to pick up a free meal to-go. The organization recently advised volunteers over 60 to opt out of on-site duties and are seeking younger volunteers to fill schedule gaps.

South Corvallis Food Bank: The South Corvallis Food Bank will remain open for the foreseeable future. Clients will be asked to wait outside and will have prepackaged boxes brought out to them. The organization is in need of young volunteers to meet a high demand for services.

United Way of Linn, Benton, & Lincoln Counties: United Way will be supporting the ongoing needs of nonprofits through a joint community fund with the Benton Community Foundation. The foundation has secured $140,000 in matching grants from sponsors and foundations. Grants will be awarded every two weeks. Individuals may contribute here. United Way is maintaining an ongoing list of volunteer needs and services throughout Benton, Linn and Lincoln Counties, that will provide further information on available resources and opportunities for community members to support local nonprofits.

Vina Moses Center: The Vina Moses Center will be closed on a temporary basis to protect clients, volunteers and staff. Openings are to be determined.

We Care Corvallis: We Care Corvallis will continue to support the community with emergency financial aid. People in need may submit their completed applications via postal mail or through a drop box at their main office.

The official Benton County COVID response website is at http://bentoncounty.recovers.org.

If your non-profit organization is not listed here and you would like to be included, please send us an update on your current situation and services you are offering related to the COVID-19 crisis, along with a link to your website. Thank you.

###