West Cascade Peace Corps Association
About Us

Annual Report - January 14, 2006


West Cascade Peace Corps Association

Regional Meeting of the National Peace Corps Association
January 14, 2006.
Eugene Water & Electric Board
Eugene, Oregon

West Cascade Peace Corps Association has had an eventful and successful season, but not without problems.

Monthly potlucks with a speaker were the the focus of the group. Attendance at the gatherings run from 20 to over 40. Speakers include one who told of returning to his country after 30 years, and returning PCVs telling of their experience. One meeting centered on touring Aprovecho (make the best use of), a center for encouraging eco-centered lifestyles. Apravecho also created a smoke-free cook stove that is being introduced in South and Central America. We had a program about HIV-AIDs and heard from an activist in Latin American organization.

The West Cascade yearly clean-up duties at the Hult Center for the Performing following the gala fundraiser for Food for Lane County had an enthusiastic RPCV team.

Our group helped the local Peace Corps recruiter with the NOM party and was able to recruit the mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy, (an RPCV) as the speaker. We have assisted the recruiter on various speaking venues and sitting at table advertising the Peace Corps.

We were an entry in the October Eugene Celebration Parade and carried flags of our country of service. The parade observers seemed to be quite enthusiastic toward us as we marched by, leading the International Taxi made of wood and carrying sayings from our country. We also had a booth where we sold calendars and T-shirts and sought to find other RPCVs not on our list.

Since the membership was very low, a decision was made to take an aggressive approach to improve the numbers. A year ago, we had 43 joint members of with the NPCA and West Cascade PCA. Of those, many were out of the area (like Ashland and Corvallis and previous members who had moved.) Some were first-year free members who had recently COS'd. It came down to about 25 local/Eugene area members. In our hey-day (15 years ago), we had a membership of over 150.

We tried something new. We compiled all the addresses in our data base, the old directory and any other source we could find. A letter was sent out to all the known addresses offering a free local membership if the dues were collected by our group for the NPCA. Another incentive was to offer a free T-shirt with joint membership, or several other items. Our membership more than doubled as a result of the effort. A vast majority took the free local membership choice. One could conclude that lowering the cost of the membership could result in many more members.

With the advent of the computer age to inform the constituency, the monthly or quarterly newsletter has taken on less of an important role, lessening the need for operating costs of the local group. Notices have been given via email about upcoming events. We have, however, produced seven newsletter in 2005, but may not be able to keep it up.

A goal of West Cascade is to produce a directory of RPCVs in the area. A postcard to sent out to all good address on our data base asking permission to be listed and to complete missing information. The response was generally positive with maybe one or two negative responses. Updating our web site has hit some snags. One big goal is to find out the problem in accessing the web site and updating the information. We would like to market our T-shirts and put the newsletter on it as well.

Our bank account has about $6000, in addition, we have invested $2000 in the Calvert Fund associated with the National Peace Corps Association.

West Cascade hosted the January, 2006 regional meeting of the NPCA. Group leaders came from Seattle, Olympia, Portland, and Idaho.

Respectfully Submitted by Beryl Brinkman
West Cascade Peace Corps Association President

Calvert Foundation


4550 Montgomery Avenue
Bethesda, MD 20814-9814

August 22,2005

Dear West Cascade Peace Corps Association and B. Brinkman:

Thank you so much for your investment of $2,000.00 in the NPCA Microenterprise Program. You are truly a leader in the community investment movement--teaching the world that our dollars can be tools of change in the hands of the poor. Please help us continue to power this movement.

Many people can be discouraged over situations of extreme poverty. Conventional wisdom is that there is really nothing we can do about it ...Traditional financial institutions don't always have all of the answers. But through community investing, you and I are supporting real and lasting solutions. Community Investment uses traditional tools in a new way to create economic results that are at least as powerful as pure profit.

Thriving community centers in once-blighted urban neighborhoods, Affordable childcare in rural communities, Family incomes high enough to feed, clothe and educate children, Ecologically sound businesses gaining market share, Rent-to-own housing programs for homeless families!

This is very exciting work and we are proud of the results we have experienced over the years. We have not had one default from our loan fund borrowers; hundreds of thousands of people have been helped through this program; and literally millions of poverty-ending dollars have been leveraged by our investments.

The impact of community investment right now is only limited by the amount of capital available. Please help us locate people like you who might be excited by this program. If you know anyone you think would be interested in receiving information about NPCA Microenterprise Program, please let us know. We'll send them a free investment kit.

In addition, I have enclosed three deposit slips to use when you want to add to your investment. You may have some overlooked income, a gift, or an extra large dividend that you would like to invest to help those who almost never have anything extra. The minimum deposit is $250, and the maximum is whatever fits into your priorities. Your participation is what gives this fund power and momentum.

We look for and welcome your input, suggestions and questions. Please feel free to contact us at (800) 248-0337. Again, thank you for your investment and I look forward to our work together.

Best Regards,
Shari Berenbach
Executive Director

P .S. Would you like to subscribe to our Community Investment News Wire? Our News Wire will keep you informed about the impact of your investment. To subscribe, send an email to foundation@calvert.com with "Subscribe Me to the Community Investment News Wire" in the subject line.