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Leaders learn to roll up sleeves

The Ford Foundation is supporting a project that will benefit the areas low-income


How does anyone learn leadership? Well, the Ford Foundation has an answer to that question.

Roll up your sleeves, and learn by doing.

At least two dozen area residents intend to have a noticeable impact in the area from Government Camp to Boring, when they conduct a community service project.

They’ve dubbed themselves the “Highway to Hood” leadership cohort, and have chosen to collaborate on a project that would enhance the lives of low-income residents.

They’re going to remodel, repair and repaint the Sandy Community Action Center so the hundreds of people it serves would have better access to the facility and everything it offers.

During the yearlong project, the volunteer leaders will benefit from 1-1/2 days of training each month. Their training includes leadership, communication, conflict management and project management. They’ve also been through a standardized personality test to help them understand relationships.

Among the upgrades planned at the Action Center are new racks and shelving to hold thrift store merchandise and clothing, a new front counter in a new location and new paint throughout the interior.

The leadership group also is planning some methods of outreach, Loomis said, to make the center's services better known and accessible.

“We’re going to make it safer and more presentable for the people going in there for the services,” said project volunteer Dawn Loomis. “Since a lot of what they do is funded through their thrift store, (this project) will make it better for people shopping there — and that benefits the food bank.”

The Sandy Community Action Center is the only Sandy-area food bank sanctioned by the Oregon Food Bank, providing food to hundreds of area families year-round.

The basic project is expected to cost about $12,000, but if enough funds are raised, the group likely will be able to make improvements in the center’s kitchen.

In addition to providing guidance and instruction, the Ford Foundation will match funds raised, up to $5,000. In the group’s creative approach to its project, there have been some in-kind donations.

Fund-raising, Loomis said, is happening through the website of a fund-raising assistance group called indiegogo.

But there is a time limit on the donation process, partly because the group needs the money to buy materials and begin work and partly because the website imposes a time limit.

All donation pledges received by one minute before midnight Saturday, May 11, will count toward the $4,300 needed. By Monday night, the group’s donations totaled only $835.

To donate, visit the site sndy.us/1a.

For information, call 503-668-9580 and leave a callback number.