West Cascade Peace Corps Association
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Email Newsletter for March 2010

Greetings from the West Cascade Peace Corps Association!

Upcoming Events In The Next Month

  • March 2: Peace Corps Information Session starting at 6:30pm at Downtown Eugene Library (Tykeson Meeting Room)

  • March 4: Haiti: Then & Now, Peace Corps Information Session starting at 5:30pm in Ben Linder Room (Basement EMU, next to ASUO).
    Hear Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Kathy Lynn and Michael Schapiro talk about their experiences working in Haiti as volunteers and how they have subsequently started and worked with NGO organizations and stayed involved in Haiti.

  • March 4: Peace Corps Social Gathering at 7pm (after information session) at Rennie's Landing
    Returned Peace Corps Volunteers, interested students and community members are invited to gather at Rennie's Landing after the information session on Haiti.

  • March 10: Board Meeting starting at 7pm. For location, contact info@westcascadepca.org.

  • March 12: "Espwa Fe Viv" Fundraiser for Haiti
    "Espwa Fe Viv", Haitian Creole for "Hope Makes Life", is a fundraiser and silent auction of Haitian art for three organizations involved in Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Organized by Kathy Lynn, Haiti RPCV (1996-99) and Eugene resident, it will take place 6 to 9 pm on Friday, March 12, 2010, at Vero Espresso House, 14th and Pearl Streets, Eugene. See article below for more information.

  • March 16: Peace Corps 50th Anniversary Celebration Committee Meeting at 6pm
    See article below and contact Rolly Thompson at rollyt@foxhollowfiber.com for more information.

From the Board

  • Support Haitian Relief

    "Espwa Fe Viv", Haitian Creole for "Hope Makes Life", is a fundraiser and silent auction of Haitian art for three organizations involved in Haitian earthquake relief efforts. Organized by Kathy Lynn, Haiti RPCV (1996-99) and Eugene resident, it will take place from 6 to 9 pm on Friday, March 12, 2010, at Vero Espresso House, 14th and Pearl Streets, Eugene.

    WCPCA is a cosponsor and the board encourages our membership and friends to take part. All proceeds will be donated to the Haitian Education Leadership Program, PAZAPA, and Fonkoze, organizations currently working in Haiti, to support education, small business development, and critical services for disabled youth in the wake of the January earthquake.

    Details of the event and the work of the three Haiti relief organizations that are beneficiaries are available at www.espwafeviv.com. Donations may be made online and are tax deductible.

    Kathy is bringing the world back home and then some! Through this fundraiser Kathy's informing us about Haiti and will channel our support to organizations serving the communities where she worked. She spent her first two PC years in Haiti working in a rural village on several projects including reforestation and tree grafting, vaccinating hundreds of chickens, and advising a women's group on micro finance.

    During her final months in Haiti Kathy served as a Crisis Corps Volunteer in the wake of Hurricane Georges. In this position she developed a community based disaster preparedness program for PCVs to use in their villages and in coordination with NGOs.

    Let us learn from Kathy while supporting relief work in Haiti.

  • Activities Committee Seeks Assistance
    The Activities Committee, which was inactive for a while, is now looking for volunteers. Because we are almost all short on time, the plan is to make this a mainly by-email group. The two things requested of a committee member would be to occasionally sponsor an activity and to be available to help with the activities of others. When a member felt inspired, he or she would email me with the activity and whether or not assistance would be needed. I would help find assistance and notify the WCPCA membership of the event. Events could be anything from a book club to cross country skiing, from a fishing trip to a pub night. We definitely need volunteers to sponsor family-oriented activities, too. If you are interested in helping out, please contact me at info@westcascadepca.org.

    Felicia Kenney

  • Awarding grants to Peace Corps programs:
    At its next meeting the WCPCA board will award approximately $1,000 in one or more grants to humanitarian programs. The board invites members to participate in this activity by contributing ideas ahead of time and/or attending the board meeting to take part in the discussion. Shannon Micheel is coordinating this activity and members should email her with questions or suggestions several days before the March 10th board meeting.

    The board follows this process. We consider only potential recipients that have tax deductible status with the IRS. We look primarily to the Peace Corps Office of Private Sector Initiatives (OPSI) for three possible types of recipients. Most often we fund an individual project organized by a PCV from Oregon. Also available are “Special Funds” which emphasize specific sectors such as agriculture, business development, or drinking water in several countries, and “Country Funds” which are specific to a country and used at the discretion of each country’s PC director. Please look at http://www.peacecorps.gov/index.cfm?shell=resources.donors for further details about each type of potential recipient.

    To evaluate a small group of potential grant recipients that Shannon identifies and brings to our attention prior to the meeting, the board uses a scoring rubric that is posted on the website. For further information go to http://www.westcascadepca.org/projects.php and click on this rubric to rank projects . The board’s grants to its selected projects are made online.

    Raising the funds for these grants is one of the WCPCA’s primary activities and awarding the grants is one of its primary goals. Please be aware of the process and consider taking part. The board would welome greater participation from the membership.

    Note that individuals may make personal donations to these projects online. The full amount of all donations goes to the programs in the local currency. All financial transactions are made by the Peace Corps.

  • Potluck and program: Our next potluck will be on Friday, April 30th, 6:00 pm, at the home of Mike and Chris Helm, 1147 East 26th Avenue, Eugene. Please bring a dish to share for 4-6 people. Plates and utensils will be provided.

    Our program topic is "Healthy Hearth: the work of Stove Team International to bring fuel efficient stoves to the world". Nancy Hughes, a Eugene resident and founder of Stove Team International, will describe the organization's work in central America including the involvement of PCVs. Our hosts, the Helms, have worked with Nancy in El Salvador and will add their personal experience.

    Stove Team International manufactures and trains users of the Ecocina stove. Detailed information about the organization's work is available on its website at http://www.stoveteam.org.

    Aficionados may enjoy an excellent article about the development of these new health and fuel saving stoves, "Hearth Surgery: the quest for a stove that can save the world," The New Yorker , December 21 & 28, 2009. The role of the Cottage Grove organization, Aprovecho Research Center, is featured.

    Dorothy Soper

  • Membership: As of the end of February WCPCA has 129 members. Felicia will soon distribute the updated membership directory as a .pdf file to the membership. The directory lists those who were members as of mid-February. No other groups or individuals receive the directory. Over 30 WCPCA members also belong to the National Peace Corps Association.

    We've invited members to add a short biographical sketch to the directory as a networking tool. Several have and we hope that you'll enjoy learning more about the membership. We hope that more of you will take advantage of this opportunity with future updates.

    As an organization WCPCA is affiliated with the NPCA. The latter attests to the fiscal responsibility of WCPCA and invites new or renewing members of the national organization to join WCPCA. This often brings us new members who are just leaving Peace Corps service or those with ties to the northwest even though they may not live in Lane County. Annual WCPCA dues may be paid through NPCA or directly to WCPCA. Either way, the cost is the same.

    Felicia Kenney and Dorothy Soper

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

    • Oregon Community Credit Union General Fund: $7270
    • Oregon Community Credit Union Beryl Memorial Fund (restricted): $1590
    • Beryl Brinkman Memorial Fund at the Oregon Community Foundation: $26,020.45

    Jack Meacham, treasurer

  • Peace Corps 50th Birthday

    It's been almost fifty years since the Peace Corps was created by the Kennedy administration on March 1, 1961 and West Cascade is getting ready to celebrate that event. Six members of the WCPCA Board have volunteered to help University of Oregon officials in staging an event in the Spring of 2011 centered on a symposium on international topics and the Peace Corps at 50. If you are interested in joining our committee and/or have ideas about how we might celebrate Peace Corps' 50th Birthday, please attend our next meeting on March 16 at 6 p.m. Contact Rolly Thompson at rollyt@foxhollowfiber.com for more information.

  • February 28th Potluck
    About 15 people enjoyed the February potluck which featured presentations by Dr. Nicole Brulé and her father, Nick Bosustow, both RPCVs and WCPCA members. We learned from Nicole, a practicing psychologist, the typical issues faced by returning RPCVs and ways that their families, friends, and communities can support them.

    Nick, who joined the PC staff after concluding his PCV service, described the mentorship program, organized in 2007, by the National Peace Corps Association in conjunction with the Peace Corps, and available upon request to RPCVs during the first year after their service. This relatively new form of support calls upon RPCV organizations to provide mentors. The national organization matches mentors and mentees. Detailed information is available at www.rpcvmentoring.org. We enjoyed a lively discussion after the excellent presentations. Many thanks to Nicole and Nick for sharing their experience and thoughts. Dave and Dorothy Soper hosted the potluck.


  • Wednesday Morning TLC March 3rd
    Talk, listen, and have coffee (TLC) Wednesday morning, March 3rd, from 7:00 am to 9:00 am, at Midtown Marketplace, on Willamette at 16th. The talk and listen topics are local, regional, national, and especially international social, political, and economic events, from the perspective of former Peace Corps Volunteers. No fixed topics; bring your own ideas from recent news events and we'll go from there.

    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).

  • 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.

  • Join us on the Ferry Street Bridge!
    On this International Women's Day, thousands of women (and men!) worldwide will gather on bridges from San Francisco to Congo to call for an end to war and to demonstrate that women can build the bridges of peace and hope. We hope you'll join us at Ferry Street Bridge on March 7th at 1pm as we participate in this global campaign led by Women for Women International.

    For more information about the Eugene, Oregon event, please contact volunteers Marie-Helene Rake at timmilene@comcast.net and Sheila Daughtry at sheiladaugh@gmail.com. More information is also available at this website.

    See you on the bridge!

WCPCA Board Minutes

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