West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Email Newsletter for February 2010

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

Upcoming Events In The Next Month

  • February 5 - 6: Western Regional RPCV Group Leaders' Meeting in Portland. While it says "Group Leaders", all RPCVs are welcome.

  • February 17: Board meeting from 7-9pm, to be held at Jack Meacham's house.

  • February 20 - 21: Oregon Asian Celebration at the Lane Events Center at the fairgrounds. This isn't a West Cascade event, but it looks like an event that RPCVs would enjoy.

  • February 28: The next potluck will be held at the home of Dorothy Soper, 4430 Pinecrest Drive, Eugene. Dr. Nicole Brulé, WCPCA member and practicing psychologist, will talk about the readjustment issues faced by RPCVs, how the Peace Corps responds, and her suggestions of ways that family members, friends, and professionals may best offer support.

From the Board

  • Directory Update:
    Once again, it is time for a new membership directory. Normally, members only need to update their contact information with the WCPCA if they have moved, changed phone numbers or email addresses, or would like to change how they are listed in the directory. However, this year, we are adding a new field to the directory - a short bio for networking. You can put in the web address of your business, a request for a fishing partner or whatever you like, so long as it fits into the 245 character limit (including spaces). If you'd like to have your bio included in the next directory, please fill out our contact information update form.

    Of course, only members are in the membership directory. So, if you'd like to get in on it, please join, renew or get your updates in by February 15.
    Felicia Kenney, Communications Coordinator

  • Fundraising Committee:
    It isn't too early to think about the Peace Corps turning 50 on March 1, 2011. The WCPCA has asked Wayne Thompson to chair a committee to begin plans for a Peace Corps celebration and a fundraiser in the spring of 2011 with the proceeds from the benefit fundraiser going to Peace Corps Partnerships. This is a big undertaking and many people will be needed to pull off the event envisioned. Our group sponsored a great 25th anniversary of the Peace Corps, pulled off a grand three day festival at the 1990 National Peace Corps Association national meeting, and can do the same for the 50th Anniversary here in Eugene. If you are interested and can help in any way, please call Wayne at 541-343-6596 or email him at wayne@foxhollowfiber.com

    In addition there are ongoing and new projects for 2010. We will continue to sell international calendars and attend Saturday Market and Holiday Market to sell our products and to publicize West Cascade Peace Corps Association. We hope to do a small fundraising event for this year. If you have any ideas, please contact Rolly Thompson, rollyt@foxhollowfiber.com or 541 343-6596. The next fundraising committee meeting is February 9, 6 pm at the home of Evangelina Sundgrenz, 910 Jackson.

  • A New Edition of "The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love":
    In 1994, the WCPCA put out "The Funniest Job You'll Ever Love", an anthology of Peace Corps humor. This book was a great fundraiser and was made up of the stories of members. Now, we'd like to do it again, and we'll need your stories for the next edition. To give everyone an idea of what was in the earlier book, we will be linking to stories from the book in the newsletter.

    This month, we'll feature one of our favorites: "Riding High" by Patricia Wand, Colombia (1963-1965).

  • Memberships:
    WCPCA has renewed its annual membership in the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA). The cost is $90 for an organization of our size. Benefits include the opportunity for RPCVs to join WCPCA through the national organization which then sends affiliates their $15 in annual individual dues. NPCA also vouches for the fiscal integrity of its affiliates. This is important for fundraising efforts.

    Returning volunteers receive an automatic one year membership in NPCA free of charge. They often, at that time, take out a membership with WCPCA, which also offers that first year of membership at no charge. We, of course, hope that they will renew their membership in WCPCA after the first year.

    This year the NPCA is asking its affiliates to report on activities that they undertake to celebrate the Peace Corps' 50th anniversary. The organization will, in turn, share that information among the affiliates. The information will keep WCPCA up to date in this effort and possibly give us ideas to pursue.

    WCPCA now has 119 members of whom 33 are also members of NPCA.

    Dorothy Soper, Membership chair

  • Finances:
    As of the January board meeting, WCPCA account balances were the following:

    • OCCU checking and saving accounts - $6,919
    • OCCU restricted account from which funds can be used only for grants or to augment the principal in the OCF account - $1,590
    • Total in OCCU accounts- $8,509
    • Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation: $25,000

    Jack Meacham, Treasurer

  • 6th Annual Nonprofit Organization Board Training organized by FinancialStewardship Resoruces, Inc. attended by Rolly Thompson:
    The conference, 6th Annual Nonprofit Organization Board Training, in Corvallis on Saturday was very worthwhile. It is unfortunate that more of us couldn't attend, because there were many good sessions and only three time slots for each participant. I signed up for Fundraising 101, Doing Good Abroad While Staying out of Trouble at Home, and Crafting Solutions: Making Decisions that Result in Lasting Agreement.

    The keynote speaker, Arty Trost, emphasized 5 things in her talk "Lessons from the Edge," to guide individuals working in nonprofits: 1) FLY with people who stretch your wings, 2) YOU are the pilot in command, 3) CREATE big, hairy, bodacious goals, 4) BE READY to change your flight plan, and 5) ABOVE ALL... Enjoy your flight(Always find a smiling moment.). All the references to flying are because she flies ultralites and is the first woman to fly across the U.S. in an ultralite.

    Fundraising 101 was full of useful information; I wrote quickly and still didn't get everything down. She discussed a nonprofit's Development Plan. The components of a good plan include a clear and compelling statement of need. There must be an accurate and complete history of each donor's contributions. Each event or project needs a separate committee. A year long calendar will help in meeting goals and doing outreach. The second presenter talked about board responsibilities, as individuals and as a group. His definition of fundraising is: "Fundraising is extracting funds from nice people for worthy causes." Then he listed the 3 G's of board membership: Give, Get, Get. A board member GIVES money, expertise, support, and time to the organization. A board member GETS money from others for the organization. A board member GETS more money from others for the organization. Then he shifted to the donors. Who do you ask? Everyone. Everyone is a potential donor. Ask existing donors. Ask existing donors to suggest other potential donors. The main reason given for why someone hasn't donated to an organization; he or she wasn't asked.

    In 'Doing Good Abroad While Staying out of Trouble at Home' the presenter covered what is legal and not legal for a 501c3 in the U.S. The main information I got out of this was that earmarking funds for specific foreign individuals is illegal. Restricting funds for certain projects is not illegal. It's a fine line, but keeps organizations legal. When we donate to another U.S. nonprofit, we need a proposal on how and what the funds will be used for and periodic reports about the use of our money.

    The third session I attended was 'Crafting Solutions: Making Decisions that Result in Lasting Agreements.' The common problems in decision making are: unclear or mixed up process, discussing a decision to death, documenting discussions, not decisions, and the question of whether decisions equal agreement. Good decision making builds relationships, trust, and capacity of individuals and group. The presenter went over the nine decision making tools, emphasizing that most tools are appropriate for some decisions and none are appropriate for ALL decisions. The most time was spent on understanding the components of the "Consensus Standard."

    This conference is an annual event and will be in Corvallis again next year.

  • Potlucks:
    Many thanks to Walt and Nancy Meyer who hosted the January potluck in their home. About 35 people attended including several new members. We enjoyed delicious food, good socializing, and an excellent program.

    We appreciated the Meyers' hospitality and the description and visual presentation of their Peace Corps service in Mexico, 2006-08. Nancy taught English and Walt worked as an engineer.

    If you would like to host a potluck in your home or have ideas for a program, please contact me.

    Dorothy Soper


  • Wednesday Morning TLC February 3rd
    Would you like to get together Wednesday morning, February 3, to Talk, Listen, and have Coffee (TLC)? The talk and listen topics would be local, regional, national, and especially international social, political, and economic events. No fixed topics. Bring your own ideas and we'll go from there.

    Midtown Marketplace, on Willamette at 16th, Wednesday, February 3rd. Drop by anytime between 7:00 am and 9:00 am, before you go to work or whatever. Coffee, pastries, and breakfast are available, also the Register-Guard and The New York Times. Ample parking, if you aren't walking or taking the bus, on the north side and on nearby streets.

    I'm willing to be the informal host to pick a table and get the discussion started (Jack Meacham, beard, glasses, bald on top). If anyone is there besides me, we can talk about whether to do this again and how often.

  • From the National Peace Corps Association (NPCA)
    The following information comes from the Peace Corps Polyglot, the blog of the National Peace Corps Association:

    It's Coming: March 2nd, National Day of Action

    The first week of March is Peace Corps Week, marking the signing of a presidential executive order creating the Peace Corps. To learn about the activities that the NPCA is planning for that week, and particularly for March 2nd, go to peacecorpsconnect.org.

    The National Day of Action is timely in that it comes several weeks after the President submits his Fiscal Year 2011 budget proposal to Congress. Stay tuned for updates as the day approaches. For volunteer information and other questions, please contact jonathan@peacecorpsconnect.org.

  • Job Listings Now at Peace Corps Worldwide
    Peace Corps Worldwide (peacecorpsworldwide.org) is now accepting job postings from organizations looking for RPCVs or Returned Staff - for both domestic and international work.

    If your organization recruits RPCVs, you can post jobs for free, including full-time, part-time, volunteer positions or internships. Current employers registered with us include Save the Children, HealthNet TPO from the Netherlands, CDM, Abt Associates, Transparency International and others.

    If you are an RPCV or Returned Staff looking for a job, you can visit the site and search current postings, or register with us and create a profile so employers can find you. Also, registered RPCVs and Staff can search the employer profiles to find organizations who match your interests even before jobs are posted.

    Post Jobs, Search Jobs, Register at peacecorpsworldwide.org

  • $60 Million Increase for Peace Corps in 2010
    More Info

  • Europe Draws Inspiration from U.S. Peace Corps
    More Info

  • RPCVs in the news:

    • U.S. Ambassador to Korea Kathleen Stephens was PCV (Korea '75-'77)
      More Info
    • Steve Smith (Zaire 1984) mitigates conflicts in Congo, Rwanda, Sudan
      More Info
    • Chic Dambach (former president, National Peace Corps Association)
      More Info

WCPCA Board Minutes

The full text of the minutes is available on the website.