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Pick up the phone for the foundation

If your phone rings Tuesday, Wednesday, April 24 or 29 — and you see a number that starts with 503-534 — take the call.

If it’s in the evening, it’s probably a volunteer for the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation asking for a donation during the annual phonathon, and the nonprofit’s executive director, Sara Patinkin, not only has a monetary goal for the current campaign but also a participation goal.

The hope is to bring 80 percent of families into the campaign to raise $2 million for the organization, which funds teachers’ salaries.

“I’m ecstatic when someone makes a $5 gift or a $5,000 gift — the thing is we get as many people participating in our district as possible,” Patinkin said.

Plus, phonathon volunteers pick people they know, so it never hurts to be friendly and chat for a second — and, if there’s no definitive answer, someone likely will try calling you again, hoping one more person will offer help.

Why should you help?

Well, there’s a whole host of reasons, such as how the schools are among the best in the state, and if you help keep them that way, it’ll keep property values from slumping.

Maybe you’re thinking: How do I know the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation isn’t taking my money to throw extravagant house parties?

That’s easy. Go on Guidestar.org, and look up the 990 tax forms. The latest available records on Guidestar are for the 2011-12 tax year, when the foundation had $1,750,056 in revenue and $1.63 million in grants, which were “used to hire additional classroom teachers to reduce LOSD schools’ student-teacher ratio.” The foundation raised about $1.7 million last fiscal year, Patinkin said.

On the 2011-12 tax form, the organization’s mission is “to sustain the tradition of outstanding schools in Lake Oswego, Ore.”

Feel better?

Say you’re staring at that buzzing phone and feel a wave of goodwill but don’t want to talk and would rather watch a rerun of “Criminal Minds?” Here’s the foundation’s website: losfoundation.org.

Loathe to spend one more second staring at a screen? The foundation folk will welcome you to their office at 2455 Country Club Road and drop off a check. They’re in the same building where the school board meetings are held, next to the pool on the Lake Oswego High campus. There are donation forms on the website that you can print if you feel like mailing something.

Patinkin wants you to call or email her: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 503-534-2106.

If you come from a family that isn’t rolling in cash, consider volunteering for the phonathon. They need people. Too shy to make calls? You could babysit someone’s kids, so some mom or dad can volunteer for the phonathon.

This month is your chance to support the foundation’s biggest fundraiser of the year. Take the call.




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