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Exhibit delves into poverty problem

Washington County Museum highlights 50 years of Community Action

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE PHOTO: JOHN SCHRAG - Twenty years ago, a 12-year-old boy whose family had received assistance from Community Action wrote a poem which he read at the dedication of the nonprofit groups new Hillsboro offices. Last week, as Community Action celebrated 50 years of Helping People. Changing Lives, Angel Gonzalez, now a teacher at W.L. Henry Elementary School, read the poem again at Hillsboros downtown plaza. He received an enthusiastic response from the crowd and a hug from Community Action director Jerralynn Ness. Angel Gonzalez stood last week as a story of hope and success as the Washington County Museum kicked off its newest exhibit, “The Changing Faces of Poverty.”

The exhibit sheds light on Community Action and its 50 years in the Washington County community creating opportunities for those in need.

Gonzalez read a poem he wrote in 1995 when he was 12 years old, and his family had been helped by Community Action:

We were hungry, you fed us

We were cold, you gave us warmth

We were lonely, you gave us friendship

Many times you have been our hands,

our eyes, and our feet

Today let me give you my heart,

My appreciation, and my gratitude

Thank you members of

Community Action, for being a light

That gives us hope in our community.

Today, Gonzalez is a fourth-grade teacher at W.L. Henry Elementary School in Hillsboro, paying it forward to his community.

“While some might see an exhibit about poverty as a negative, we believe the opposite,” Jim McCreight, the museum’s board chairman. “It sheds light on the multitude of challenges faced by people who are our friends, neighbors and even family members.” COURTESY PHOTO - Angel Gonzalez at age 12.

The exhibit continues through Nov. 21 at the Washington County Museum, 120 E. Main St., second floor of the Hillsboro Civic Center.

The museum is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday.