By: Halle On: December 24, 2018
Spare change really adds up! Our new Positive Change program launches January 1st, and is designed to raise money for local non-profit organizations working to better our community. We believe in the power of change and the power of community – Positive Change combines these two beliefs into one powerful program. The Positive Change program is one of the many ways MFC fulfills the seventh cooperative principle: Concern for Community.
Positive Change raises funds from community members who choose to round-up the total of any MFC or Café purchase to the nearest dollar. Each month, a selected non-profit organization receives 100% of the funds collected during the month. This program allows everyone to participate in creating positive change in our community.
To get the program started in 2019, the Outreach Committee, composed of MFC staff members, carefully selected 12 local non-profit organizations based on our previous outreach efforts. The Outreach Committee gives priority to organizations promoting local, organic food, food related issues, or community health concerns. We look forward to offering community support to the following organizations in 2019:
January: Community Works
Community Works is a non-profit agency serving children, adolescents, young adults, women and families who are working to overcome a severe life crisis or trauma. Community Works strengthens lives and our community through prevention, support services, and advocacy for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and at-risk youth and their families. Community Works is the recipient of the 2019 Chamber Leadership Class project. The Leadership Class Project will be providing security fencing and an onsite laundry facility for the residents of the Community Works Transitional Living House located in Medford. All funds raised in January will be donated toward the completion of this important project. Learn more about Community Works at: http://www.community-works.org/
February: Medford Food Project
The Medford Food Project was started in 2011 by a small group of residents from Medford, Jacksonville and Central Point who wanted to make it easy for people to donate food to local food banks. They realized that many of their neighbors wanted to help fight hunger in their community, but for one reason or another, never get around to it. So they adopted a simple, door-to-door food collection system to enable people to pitch in. They have three goals: To provide a regular supply of food to hungry neighbors, to create new neighborhood connections and strengthen the community, and to serve as a model for other communities. Learn more about Medford Food Project at: http://medfordfoodproject.com/
March: Pollinator Project Rogue Valley
Pollinator Project Rogue Valley is an all-volunteer Oregon state-registered nonprofit. They envision safe, healthy, and thriving pollinator habitat for every community. And they inspire and empower people through education, advocacy, and action, bringing communities together to create safe pollinator habitats. Learn more about Pollinator Project Rogue Valley at: https://www.pollinatorprojectroguevalley.org/
April: Children’s Miracle Network
Since 1988, Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center has served as the Children's Miracle Network hospital for Southern Oregon and Northern California. As one of only 170 Children’s Miracle Network hospitals in the United States, Asante Rogue Regional goes beyond the basic requirements, providing: the only Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) between Redding and Eugene; the only pediatric oncologist between Sacramento and Eugene; the only dedicated Pediatrics department with staff specially trained to care for our young patients; the only Maternal Fetal Clinic in our region. Learn more about the Children’s Miracle Network at Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center: https://asanterogue.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/
May: Maslow Project
Maslow Project’s mission is to offer every homeless child and youth the probability of success and the opportunity for a better life. They do this by providing resources for basic needs, removing barriers to education and employment, and fostering self-sufficiency in a collaborative and empowering environment. Learn more about Maslow Project at: https://www.maslowproject.com/
June: Sanctuary One
At Sanctuary One, people of all ages have the opportunity to volunteer on a real working farm and experience nature’s healing power firsthand. They offer educational tours that open people’s hearts and minds. They invite groups from schools and youth-serving nonprofit organizations to visit the farm for fresh air, exercise and hands-on service-learning. They help teens who are in legal trouble learn how to make better choices. They mentor interns who dream of becoming the next generation of care farmers. They promote the ethics of mindful, sustainable living. And they provide a safe, loving home to rescued farm animals and pets. It’s all part of a practice called care farming. Learn more about Sanctuary One at: https://sanctuaryone.org/
July: CASA of Jackson County
Court Appointed Special Advocates, or CASA, provides a powerful voice for abused and neglected children. In 2015, there were 840 founded cases of abuse and neglect in Jackson County. In an overburdened system, these children risk slipping through the cracks and suffering from further abuse. CASA volunteers have the power to prevent this tragic reality. These dedicated, highly-trained community members serve as fact finders for the judge by researching the background of each assigned case. They speak for the child in the courtroom, representing the child’s best interests, and work to move the child as quickly and effectively as possible through the system and into a safe, permanent home. Learn more about CASA at: http://www.jacksoncountycasa.org/
August: Southern Oregon Land Conservancy
Founded in 1978, Southern Oregon Land Conservancy was created to ensure the natural wealth of the wild and working lands of the Rogue River region endure forever. As the state’s first regional, nonprofit land trust, they began working with local landowners to create conservation easements— a conservation approach to safeguard their lands in perpetuity. What began small has grown into 10,000 acres of protected lands across the Rogue River region. Learn more about Southern Oregon Land Conservancy at: https://www.landconserve.org/
September: Rogue Valley Farm to School
Rogue Valley Farm to School educates children about our food system through hands-on farm and garden programs, and by increasing local foods in school meals. They inspire an appreciation of local agriculture that improves the economy and environment of our community and the health of its members. Learn more about Rogue Valley Farm to School at: http://www.rvfarm2school.org/
October: Rogue Farm Corps
Rogue Farm Corps trains and equips the next generation of farmers and ranchers through hands-on educational programs and the preservation of farmland. They support our agricultural economy and serve as a model for other communities. Learn more about Rogue Farm Corps at: https://www.roguefarmcorps.org/
November: ACCESS Nutrition Programs
ACCESS builds community by helping neighbors with food, warmth and shelter. ACCESS moves over 4 million pounds of food through their warehouse in a single year, distributing food to more than 24 area pantries. In addition to providing food, ACCESS offers cooking demos and classes to help folks learn how to eat healthier. Learn more about ACCESS Nutrition Programs at: https://www.accesshelps.org/welcome-to-access/services/food-assistance/
December: Family Nurturing Center
The Family Nurturing Center (FNC) is a family support agency working with families with children ages birth through age five who are facing challenges in keeping their children safe. Families may struggle with addiction, homelessness, poverty, inter-generational abuse and other significant challenges resulting in family instability, making it difficult to raise healthy children. FNC provides families with intensive, individualized support to help stabilize and strengthen families with intensive support to keep children safe in their parents' care. Learn more about the Family Nurturing Center at: https://familynurturingcenter.org/
The Outreach Committee, with the assistance of both the front end and Café counter staff, are currently narrowing down a list of potential 2020 recipients. Once the organizations have been vetted by staff, we will ask MFC’s ownership to choose the 2020 Positive Change recipients when they cast their ballots in the annual Board of Director’s election in May. We hope these first two years of the program are a great success!
For the third year of the program, we will begin asking interested organizations to apply to be considered for the Positive Change program. All Positive Change applications will be vetted by MFC’s Outreach Committee and front end staff, and selected recipients will be democratically chosen by MFC’s owners in the annual election. At MFC’s discretion, the recipient calendar may be preempted to raise emergency or disaster relief funds.
When considering recipient organizations, we will give priority to organizations that:
- Are registered 501(c)3 non-profit organizations
- Use funding for work related to food, food related issues, or community health concerns
- Are based in the communities served by Medford Food Co-op
- Reflect the cultural and racial diversity of our communities
- Are nonpartisan and do not advocate a particular religion
- Use funding for a specific project (instead of general operation costs)
We look forward to growing community and growing support for important projects that have the power to transform our community for the better. Thank you in advance for your help creating Positive Change in the Rogue Valley!