Community Services Consortium

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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

CSC Lincoln County Head Start Preschoolers Get a Hand Up from Chapel by the Sea

Vicki and Robert Hunt and Martha and Merv Nerling of Chapel by the Sea meet with Andrea Daniels of Lincoln City Head Start to plan this year’s May 23rd Staff Appreciation Luncheon. 
When Head Start Community Services Consortium bought three acres of wooded land on church grounds from Chapel by the Sea in Lincoln City nearly 15 years ago, little did they know that they would develop an enduring relationship with the church.  

At first, the relationship was tentative, with the congregation navigating how best to participate with the preschool. They tried a “read aloud” to the children and having lunch with the children, but neither of the activities took off. 

Then eight years ago, as Chapel by the Sea Education Committee Head Merv Nerling became more aware of the children's needs, he initiated a church fundraiser to buy Christmas presents for the children. And, as Merv always does, he made it personal.  The congregation didn’t purchase gifts or donate money for gifts for “Boy – aged 3” or “Girl – aged 4” - Merv took the time to find out each child’s name and to get a list of what they really wanted for Christmas. 

The annual gift-giving through Chapel by the Sea’s “Angel Tree” program spurred two other programs to help the preschool.  Merv started providing each graduating preschooler with school supplies required by the school district to take to kindergarten at Oceanlake or Taft Elementary.

“It doesn’t take much to make a difference,” Nerling said. “For about $7 per child, we give them something that makes them feel special on graduation day.” The church Education Committee, now headed by Vicki and Bob Hunt, continues to provide each child with items like pencils, crayons, and glue sticks in a brand new backpack – a tangible recognition of the students’ accomplishments. 

The church has also acknowledged the staff at Head Start. As Nerling worked closely with the staff, he was impressed with the dedication and commitment they showed in giving the children a good preschool education that prepared them for kindergarten. So Merv started the annual Staff Appreciation Luncheon, which takes place at the church each spring. “Church members plan and prepare a tasty meal, usually cooked by Merv, who is a great cook,” Bob said. Church members share the meal with Head Start staff. “We want them to know how much they are appreciated,” he said. 

“The congregation of Chapel by the Sea exemplifies the best of what a good neighbor is,” said Andrea Daniels, Education Supervisor at Lincoln City Head Start. Recognizing that many families take Christmas gifts and school supplies for granted, and are not so easy to come by for some families, Chapel by the Sea stepped in and “adopted” the 80 or so children across the street.

“We feel like family,” Daniels said, who appreciates the “little things” that church members give to the children. “The children love the organ music. Once we went over to listen, and the organist took the time to show the children all the different sounds the organ can make. They had a lot of fun and loved it!”  

As they plan the next annual event, Lincoln City Head Start looks forward to many more years in partnership with Chapel by the Sea, their neighbors across the street. 

If you would like to make a difference to a CSC Head Start student or family in need, contact Diana Teem at Community Services Consortium 541-574-2277 or email  For more information on Head Start in Lincoln County or any of CSC’s poverty fighting programs visit

Monday, February 18, 2013

Visit CSC on Our New Facebook Page

Oh yes, it’s true! CSC now has a Facebook page, which you can access here. We hope you will stop by, "Like" our page and read about all the successes, challenges and hard work our programs are doing to make a difference in our communities.

The CSC Facebook page may be brand new, but Facebook is not new to CSC.  Many of our programs  have used Facebook to successfully connect with partners, participants and supporters for quite some time.  “Like” or view the CSC program pages at the links below.  We hope you will enjoy the successes and announcements they share. We have shared many of their posts and pics on our new CSC Facebook page.

Linn Benton Food Share
CSC Youth Garden
Career Tech Charter High School
Weatherization Training Center

Go for a Run and Help to End Poverty!

Registration is now open for May's Garden Gnome Run and July's Barrel to Keg Relay Race, both benefitting important CSC programs. Whether you prefer to walk or long-distance running treks, we have a race for you!

The Garden Gnome Run, benefitting the CSC Youth Garden, takes place on Sunday, May 5 and includes 1K run/walk, 5K and 10K races. The races start at the CSC Youth Garden in downtown Corvallis and follow the flat, paved bike path course in Southwest Corvallis through Avery and Starker Arts parks. For more information, including registration and volunteer opportunities, visit the Garden Gnome Run website here:

The Barrel to Keg Relay race, benefitting all CSC programs, takes place on Saturday, July 13. Starting at the Harris Bridge Vineyard in Philomath, Oregon, this scenic relay goes through the beautiful back country of the Oregon Coast Range, crosses over the majestic Yaquina Bay Bridge and finishes at the famous Rogue Ales Brewery at Newport’s South Beach Marina. The relay can be either ran or walked: teams of 2, 4, and 6 runners split the 111K (69 mile) distance over 12 legs, while teams of 2, 3, 4 or 6 walkers cover 6 legs (51K). Solo ultra runners are welcome, too. If you don't have a team, don't worry - we can connect you with one! For more information, including registration and volunteer opportunities, visit the Barrel to Keg Relay website here:

Hope to see you there!

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
  2. Email news blasts (blog articles sent via email as eNewsletters)
  3. RSS Feed (subscribers read in Google Reader or other feed reader, can also send posts to Facebook and Twitter)
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.