In the midst of our current challenges, there are also unprecedented opportunities! People in our community are finding creative ways to support each other. Here are some steps that our partner organizations are taking to develop community resilience:
Working together around the clock in a joint Emergency Operations Center, employees from a cross-section of city and county departments have supported our community in a variety of ways.
The County’s contractor, Dial-a-Bus, has helped agencies and their clients by providing rides for vulnerable populations, delivering food, and picking up supplies for all who can benefit.
Local author Gregg Kleiner has written a thought-provoking poem about the connection between COVID-19 and our impact on the earth called Hey, Humanity, This Is Mother Nature. It was published in Grand Magazine’s spring 2020 issue.
The farmers’ market in Downtown Corvallis was thriving during its regular season from mid-April through mid-November of 2020. CAFM staff worked hard to “Keep markets safe for everyone“. In addition to explaining what customers could expect at the market and what was expected of customers, their website included a list of online, delivery, and pickup options to obtain local foods.
Our local Economic Development Office is spearheading efforts to support Corvallis and Benton County businesses during the pandemic and as we prepare for the recovery phase. Stay up-to-date with those resources.
The CBC is selling used bikes online, and they have a stand and tools outside their shop on 11th Street and at both Co-op locations. (Please remember to sanitize your hands before and after using an outdoor stand.)
The Foundry Collective initiated “Let’s Keep Connected” crowdcasts for small business owners, entrepreneurs, service providers, mentors, subject matter experts, or people who just want to connect and help. During the first several months of the pandemic, they provided special presentations multiple times a week.
The Foundation’s special fundraising efforts during the pandemic enabled the delivery of supplemental food and hygiene bags for families in need, as well as fresh produce from local farms. Funds have also provided rental and utilities assistance for families at risk of homelessness.
The CSD’s lunch program is currently serving over 1000 students each day.
DevNW (formerly Willamette Neighborhood Housing Services) has worked with the CSD to implement a ‘knock and drop’ program to deliver school lunches to families in need in the Lancaster Bridge neighborhood.
Our only community-owned grocery store has been working diligently since the beginning of the pandemic to provide the safest shopping experience for their customers. They’re also taking steps to protect the health and economic security of their employees. Read about their efforts. The Co-op also offers pick-up and delivery services, requesting that delivery service be reserved for seniors, those who are immune-compromised, or otherwise vulnerable shoppers.
In response to the emergency needs of our houseless community, G. Christianson Construction moved their scheduled work out one week to dedicate all staff to building FIVE new Micro Shelters. Four of these are now located at the First Methodist Church and one is at the Corvallis Evangelical Church. Watch the delivery of the Micro Shelters.
Grass Roots is offering free direct to home shipping on all orders, as well as curbside pickup for in-stock items. Their entire inventory is available via their website, making online shopping easy.
The League’s VOTE411 website has made it easy for citizens to register to vote, check their registration status, and find out what’s on their ballot. It also includes the latest state-by-state election changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in both English and Spanish.
Food boxes for families are being assembled at Food Share’s central facility, then delivered to local food pantries for distribution. Their goal is to provide ~2500 meals/week for our community.
OSU’s Advantage Accelerator supports regional innovation and entrepreneurship. During the COVID-19 crisis, they are still available to provide advice and counsel to startup businesses, and their website lists state and local resources to help small businesses.
We are so lucky to have a robust local food system! The OSU Extension Small Farms Team has collected COVID-related resources and disseminated those most useful to both farmers and eaters. They put together an FAQ page that’s being updated regularly.
During the first 6 weeks of the pandemic, Republic Services purchased meals from local businesses for their frontline employees (one meal at work and one family meal to take home), totaling 231 employees and over $50,000 in the Corvallis/Albany/Salem area. Each frontline employee also received a $100 gift card and received one every other week for 8 weeks, with encouragement to spend this money ($92,400 total) at local businesses.
Working diligently to prepare for and care for coronavirus patients in our community, Samaritan has also reduced the spread of COVID-19 by implementing visitor restrictions at all five Samaritan hospitals in Corvallis, Albany, Lebanon, Lincoln City and Newport. Telehealth and other care options have been expanded to help meet patients’ health care needs during this time. Learn more at Sam Health.
The elves in the Softstar Shoes workshop were among the first in our community to produce medical masks to donate to local health care workers. They quickly produced a video to show others how to make masks, too!
Staff and volunteers at the food bank are continuing to meet the emergency food needs of many people in our community during the pandemic.