Community Services Consortium

Serving Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties in Oregon. Helping people. Changing lives.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Helping People Over 65 Preserve Sight

The Seniors EyeCare Program ensures that every senior has access to medical eye care and promotes annual, dilated eye exams. It raises awareness about age-related eye disease, including cataracts, provides free eye care educational materials and facilitates access to eye care—at no out-of-pocket cost.

By age 65, one in three Americans has some form of vision impairing eye disease. Most do not know it because there are often no warning symptoms or they assume that poor sight is a natural part of growing older. By detecting and treating eye disease early through annual, dilated eye exams, seniors can preserve their sight.

Qualifications: The Seniors EyeCare Program is designed for people who:
• Are US citizens or legal residents
• Are age 65 and older
• Have not seen an ophthalmologist in three or more years
• Do not belong to an HMO or the VA
To determine if you, a family member or friend qualify for a referral through this program, call 800-222-EYES (3937) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

Benefits: People eligible for a referral through the program receive a comprehensive, medical eye exam and up to one year of care— at no out-of-pocket cost —for any disease diagnosed during the initial exam.
Volunteer ophthalmologists accept Medicare and/or other insurance reimbursement as payment in full; patients without insurance receive care at no charge.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Volunteer Day a Success at CSC Youth House Gardens

April 17th was a productive day for 25 volunteers and their hosts, Community Services Consortium (CSC) at the Youth House Garden on the corner of 2nd and Western Avenue in Corvallis. Volunteers from the community were asked to bring gloves and boots to help with a variety of garden projects.

“We had a great turnout of around 25 volunteers of all ages,” said Rachel Krasick, Program Development Coordinator at CSC’s Workforce and Education Program. “We are so pleased to see how much the volunteers accomplished in just 3 hours. We spread cardboard to suppress the grass between the beds, mulched it, and built six new raised beds and filled them with soil.”

Volunteer Timothy Lord said, “I have only been in town two days after moving here, and it’s great to find an opportunity to volunteer in the community. It’s fun.”

“A big thanks to everyone who showed up to lend a hand,” said Ian Dixon-McDonald, Garden Crew Leader at the Workforce & Education program. “This is a great way for us to engage with the broader community.”

The Youth House Garden is one of the projects of CSC Youth House, a licensed alternative school in Corvallis. The garden gives youths a chance to develop workforce skills while they pursue their education goals. It has provided an opportunity to learn gardening skills such as growing vegetables, herbs and flowers from seed, drip irrigation and marketing through sales at the local farmers markets.

Thank You, Volunteers

Susan James, Gleaning and Volunteer Coordinator at Linn Benton Food Share program, honored volunteers on Thursday evening, April 29th at her Open House. Susan holds Open House on the last Thursday of the month from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at the Linn Benton Food Share warehouse in Tangent.

“Tonight’s celebration is in honor of Volunteer Week, said James, “But, our volunteers should be honored all year long. I would just like to thank every one of them. We couldn’t do our job of providing food to people who need it without the help of hundreds of volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours. "

Approximately 15 volunteers were at Open House. They repackaged several totes of cereal into family-sized packages. The cereal will be delivered or picked up along with hundreds of pounds of other food by Linn Benton Food Share’s 73 non-profit agencies. These agencies range from food pantries, soup kitchens to day care centers.

When asked what motivated them to volunteer, the answers varied.

“I want to teach my daughter, Elizabeth, about community service.” said Kristi Murphey. They volunteer regularly at Linn Benton Food Share warehouse.

“Volunteer Michael Fernandez said “I think community service is important. I have time and so I thought this is how I should be spending it. Food Share is an essential program.”

Aimee Murphy, a student at OSU gets credit for her class "Families and Poverty" by volunteering. She will also write a paper and give a presentation. "I find it disturbing how easy it is for a family to fall into poverty," said Murphy.

Value of volunteer time grows

From The Philanthropy Journal, April 30, 2010

Volunteer time has become more valuable, and nonprofits are counting on more volunteers, according to a new estimate.

The estimated value of volunteer time grew to $20.85 an hour in 2009 from $20.25 in 2008, says Independent Sector.

It also says over one-third of nonprofits surveyed reported they increased their use of volunteers between November 2008 and March 2009, and nearly half expect to use more volunteers in the coming year.

Nonprofits employ roughly 12.9 million workers, or nearly 10 percent of the American work force, and account for roughly 5 percent of gross domestic product, Independent Sector says.

In 2008, volunteer labor amounted to the equivalent of 6.9 million full-time employees, increasing the charitable workforce by over half.

Roughly 61.8 million Americans, or 26.4 percent of the adult population, gave eight billion hours of volunteer service worth $162 billion in 2008, the most recent year for which data from the Corporation for are available.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Youth get an Art Head Start

This article, written by reporter Monique Cohen, first appeared in the April 9, 2010, Newport NewsTimes.

In celebration of the Week of the Young Child, children’s artwork from Community Services Consortium Head Start students in Lincoln County will be on display and for sale [April 11-17] at various locations in Toledo, Newport and Lincoln City.

Little hands have been busy creating watercolors and collages, as well as weaving with fabric and yarn and creating masks based on book characters, such as cats. Some of the three and four-year-old students’ art on display has a spring theme with images of trees and flowers. Proceeds from the art sale will benefit The Friends of Head Start and Head Start programs throughout Lincoln County.

The Week of the Young Child is sponsored by the National Association for the education of Young Children (NAEYC) to draw attention to the needs of young children and their families. The week, established by NAEYC in 1971, also recognizes early childhood programs and services that help young children. CSC Head Start is taking applications for 2010-2011 enrollment for children who are 3 or 4 years of age by Sept. 1, 2010.

CSC Head Start is located in Toledo, Newport and Lincoln City. Families of children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply. For more information, visit the facility at 253 NE First Avenue in Newport, or call 541-574-7690.

What's New with AmeriCorps*VISTA and Healthy Kids ... ?

Soon, CSC will become home for two new AmeriCorps*VISTA volunteers. Jeannie Ramsey, relocating to Corvallis from Los Alamos N.M., will be filling our VISTA Leader position. This one year position was awarded by Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) State Office, and Jeannie will be working with both Tifani Erpelding and Tom Cope in CSC’s ‘Building Bridges’ program. She will also be a lead in support of members and host sites for CSC’s 9-week 6-member Summer Associate program.

The CSC Healthy Kids program is moving forward on all fronts. Both Susan Stewart, covering Lincoln County, and Tifani Erpelding, working across Linn and Benton counties, have been out across our communities in many directions. Each has been meeting with a variety of community groups, arranging to host trainings and other relevant meetings all with the goal to inform parents and caregivers of the new health coverage program for children and youth (birth-18 years). Contact Tifani at 541-758-2641 or Susan at 541-265-8505 for more information. You may also call toll free at 1-888-957-8652.

10 Quick Ways to Cut Your Energy Bills

The following energy saving tips come from the 'in the know' energy education folks in CSC's Emergency Services department.

#1 Control your Thermostat
68° is the recommended heat setting for your thermostat. For each degree above you set your thermostat, your heating cost will increase 3-5%. Turning your thermostat down at night and while you are away will lower your energy cost. Once you have set your thermostat to a temperature that works for you, leave it alone, constantly adjusting it cost you money!

#2 Let the Heat Flow
Check and clean or replace your furnace filter once a month during heating season. Vacuum the fins of electric baseboards. Let warm air circulate. Don’t block heat sources with curtains or furniture. Use ceiling fans to circulate warm air, and prevent it from escaping through the ceiling.

#3 Help your windows keep you warm
Low cost improvements to your windows will keep you warm! Closing drapes, shades and curtains will help keep heat from escaping out windows, especially at night! Caulk around window and door frames from the inside to plug air leaks. Using rope foam between sliding window frames can help stop warm air from escaping. Installing low cost plastic window coverings will help keep heat in, while still allowing light to come through!

#4 Plug air leaks in your home
Plugging holes where warm air escapes, will help keep your home warm. Common places o find air leaks: around pluming pipes, under electrical outlets and light switch overs, around windows, around door frames, attic and crawl space hatches, around even vents, Holes can be sealed using spray foam, rope foam, calking, rope calk, and weather stripping.

# 5 Set your hot water heater to 120°
Your water heater is the second largest user of energy in the typical home. Turning down the temperature, can cut the cost significantly.

# 6 Insulate your Water Heater
If your hot water heater is in the garage, basement, crawlspace or even outside, you could save over $20 per year by insulating it! Some utility companies will come and insulate your hot water heater for free! Contact your utility company today to find out if they do.

# 7 Install water saving shower heads and aerators
New shower heads and aerators are easy to install, and can significantly cut down water heating costs. For a 10 minute shower, installing a low flow shower head can save about 15¢ per shower. That is a savings that will really add up over time!

# 8 Wash clothes in cold water
It takes about 40¢ per load in energy costs to wash clothes in hot water. By washing one load a week in cold water instead of hot can save you about $20 a year!

#9 Save Energy with your Refrigerator
Refrigerators and freezers can cost between $8-$20 a month! Using them efficiently can cut this cost! Set your Refrigerator temperature to between 38°-40°. Freezers should be set around 0°. Keep liquids in your refrigerator covered.

#10 Put your energy-saving plan into action
Get your whole family involved. Have each family member try one or two simple changes in the major ways they use energy! Start with heating, hot water and appliances. After your have made energy saving changes, watch for savings on your next full month’s energy bill!

More chances coming for adults to receive Oregon Health Plan coverage

ODHS Press Release

Two drawings from the reservation list happening in May

Two Oregonians, one in Redmond and one in Grants Pass, have something in common: They have the security of health care because they are now on the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).

The two are part of a newly insured group of Oregonians, thanks to new openings for adults on OHP. The state is encouraging low-income uninsured Oregonians to sign up today in order to not miss an opportunity to receive health care.
Demand for the Oregon Health Plan is so high that the state is maintaining a reservation list of people who want to apply for OHP, and then drawing from that list to find people who qualify based on income. In the next month there will be drawings on May 3 and May 21. People are encouraged to sign up for the list before the drawings.

The state of the economy means more people are losing health care that they previously received through their employers. Brandy Princehorn, a mother of three from Redmond, and her husband added their names to the reservation list and now have health care coverage.

“Getting on the Oregon Health Plan has been amazing for us,” says Princehorn. “My husband was laid off his job about a year ago and we have not had health care insurance since then. Knowing we are covered now and can see a doctor is a huge relief,” she said.

Others, such as Sandra Rothkamm from Grants Pass who has not had health care insurance for seven years, are now receiving coverage after being without for many years.

“I am looking forward to getting a check-up at long last and some lab work to help me determine some medical issues I have been having but could not afford to see a doctor,” she says.

The state has funding to add some 35,000 adult Oregonians to the Oregon Health Plan Standard thanks to legislation passed in 2009. The state estimates that some 140,000 qualify based on income.

“In order for your name to be drawn, you have to get on the list. So we strongly encourage people to sign up today,” says Judy Mohr Peterson, director of the Division of Medical Assistance Programs, which administers the plan.
In order to ensure that all qualified Oregonians receive an equal opportunity for care, the Oregon Health Authority maintains an open reservation list and holds regular drawings. People whose names are drawn will receive an application packet that asks them questions about income and residency that determine if they are qualified for OHP.

To be added to the reservation list, low-income Oregonians should call 1-800-699-9075 or 711 TTY, or visit the website at Reservation request forms are also available at local Department of Human Services’ offices, local county health departments, and most hospitals and health care clinics.

OHP Standard covers physician services, prescription drugs, mental health and addiction services, emergency medical services and limited dental, hospital and vision services. Adults in the program pay monthly premiums ranging from nothing to $20, depending on income and household size. There are currently approximately 25,700 adults on the Oregon Health Plan.

While there is a reservation list for adults and income limits for the Oregon Health Plan, health officials point out that with the Oregon Healthy Kids program, all Oregon children — regardless of their parents’ income or status on the OHP list — are eligible for health care.

“Even if parents are still on the waiting list for their health care, they can add their children today,” says Mohr Peterson. “We hope that people will sign their kids up right away.”
To sign up for the Healthy Kids Plan, call 1-877-314-5678 or visit the Healthy Kids website at

In Linn, Benton, and Lincoln counties, call CSC's Healthy Kids toll free number at 1-888-957-8652.

Students tackle Gill’s Landing ivy

April 26, 2010

Photo by Jesse Skoubo/Democrat-Herald.

Keenan Costelow of Lebanon and Roderick Lonsinger of Albany hack and pry at a tree covered in English Ivy on a trail near Gill's Landing in Lebanon on Saturday. More than 30 high school students from the Santiam Wilderness Academy, YouthBuild, and Lebanon High School worked to plant trees and remove more than 1,000 pounds of the invasive ivy Saturday during a SOLV event in honor of Global Youth Service Day.

The project is an opportunity for students and young people to make a positive impact in their community, explained Hilary McAlister, an AmeriCorps VISTA coordinator at the CSC Lebanon Regional Office.

Welcome to CSC's blog and e-newsletter!

These communications tools can be used to make announcements, acknowledge donors and volunteers, post videos and slideshows–whatever we want to share with our online community.

There are 3 ways to deliver info to stakeholders:

  1. The blog itself, which can be linked to our current website
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We're excited about these communication tools and look forward to both your input and feedback for continuing improvement and positive information-sharing.

If you have agency/program information you'd like posted on this blog, please send full text and/or photos and videos, ideas, or suggestions to Janet Hessel and she will take the next steps.