The rain was here for a few days, but rest assured it will be back! It can be tedious having to clean up mud, dry wet clothes, and hustle through cold raindrops, but the rain is our friend. It cleanses smokey dust from the air, waters the thirsty ground—and isn’t it cozy reading a book or playing a boardgame on a cool autumn day, as showers patter outside?

As it is with many of you, the arrival of this calming season reflects how we are catching our breath after a busy summer. Below are some highlights. As always, we are deeply grateful for all of you (board directors, program managers, volunteers, donors, supporters, members, shoppers, gardeners, staff, contractors…) our entire community of People Helping People!

Welcome, Sharon!

We are thrilled to announce our new Executive Director, Sharon Thornberry. Sharon is our second-ever full-time Executive Director and brings an unprecedented level of experience to Philomath Community Services staff. Among many other things, Sharon has established farmers’ markets, advanced healthy food legislation, and even served as the PCS Board President three decades ago.

For more, please read this article on Sharon by our local Philomath News and check out this introductory video of Sharon in her new role as PCS Executive Director.

Heartfelt Testimonial

One of our newer Gleaner members recently wrote:

When I found the gleaners, I had been on disability leave from my job for 7 months. After the short-term disability ran out my employer promised long term disability to retrain me out of manufacturing. The insurance company denied my benefits and I was without any income for 3 months. The gleaners welcomed me with open arms, no judgment or condemnation. I got to shop for fresh produce, baked goods, and so much more. I cried because I had been struggling to get groceries and had just applied for food stamps… Our first meal was a fruit salad, casserole made from meat, canned soup, and pasta then gluten free muffins for desert. It was so delicious, and my daughter loved it!

I love the gleaners because I get to volunteer as a way to have dignity for help. I don’t like asking for help, it’s really difficult for me personally, so the gleaners are a perfect fit! Our family is still struggling because of my disability; however, with the gleaners I know we will have delicious food. Also, the friendships at the gleaners are real because no one judges or attempts to be something they’re not! It’s truly a family! 💕

“This is a story I hear when people sign up,” mentioned Program Manager Patty Nobles as she submitted this testimonial for the PCS newsletter, “many come to us when they are at their lowest point.”

Thanks to the generosity of community members like Patty, the Philomath Community Gleaners and all other offerings of Philomath Community Services give our neighbors a true safety net and hand up.

Celebrating Community

We had a successful first-annual Community Celebration! About 200 community members stopped by for information, a raffle, craft vendors, food, and fun. Additionally, about 40 children sharpened their navigation skills through our scavenger hunt, answering questions about Philomath. Special thanks to all the excellent volunteers and crafters who made it happen, and big thanks to Mud Oven for the delicious pizza!

This was also an opportunity to hear from our Board President, David M. Low, and Executive Director, Sharon Thornberry, as well Past President Jean Goul and Program Managers Patty Nobles, Sandy Heath, and Lindy Young. Here is a video of their addresses.

A Season of Workshops

YouTube video

Our Education, Training, and Wellness informal program has had a successful string of workshops this past summer, from food preservation to gardening techniques. Click or tap the thumbnail to the right for a workshop sample! This snippet is from our composting workshop, where a volunteer shows us how to make a low-cost worm bin for valuable compost.

Servin’ Community ‘till the cows come home!

Thanks to all for coming out to the Philomath Frolic & Rodeo Grand Parade! Our volunteers got creative, decorating the PCS van with cow “bling” for this special hometown tradition.

Have you met Oscar yet?

Get to know our Health Navigator, Oscar, as he walks us through his work, both in English and Español:

YouTube video
YouTube video

Holiday Cheer Applications Due Soon!

October 31, 2023 is the deadline for Holiday Cheer applications. More info on this wonderful gift distribution program here, including sponsor signup forms and applications in both English and Español.🎄

A Season of Beauty

What a productive year so far! Pictured here, our talented volunteers work busily in the garden. Want to get involved? Check out the PCS website for hours, and remember that you are always welcome. 💚

Modernizing Processes

We have a new “kiosk” in our front lobby, where community members may sign up for select Philomath Community Services offerings, where applicable. This new computer station is on the lefthand side of the main lobby as you enter the PCS building.

Recognizing a Local Hero

We are so grateful for Tim Worl of the Philomath Community Gleaners, who was recently awarded the Unsung Hero award from the Corvallis Odd Fellows. Tim is a hard- working, friendly, goofy leader who never ceases looking out for his community. Congratulations and thank you, Tim!

New Pallet Stacker!

As we equip ourselves for a future of services, here is a message from our dedicated and resourceful Gleaners:

Thank you to Weyerhaeuser and the Philomath Community for the support of Philomath Community Services and Philomath Community Gleaners. We were awarded a $3,000 grant from Weyerhaeuser to help fund our new pallet stacker. With Gleaner donations, fundraisers and the Philomath Community Services board, we were able to fund the remaining need over the $3,000.00 grant. This much needed item will help us to unload product that is donated to the program.

Thank you, 2023 Donors!

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PCS Online

PCS may be found online at Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Nextdoor. What is your preferred online platform? You are invited to contact us and let us know where we can reach you online.

Concluding Thought

As we all face challenges at different levels, please know that we are here for you, because you are here for us. Our moto is People Helping People. That is exactly what we are: with support from generous community members like you, we can in turn support those in our shared community who need help.

Thank you for reading!

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YouTube video