Creswell First! Projects
We “CAN” Help
Alisa Kounovsky, a Creswell resident put together a recycle bottles and cans program. The project was called: We “CAN” Help. It began in May 2020 with volunteers accepting bottles and cans once a month, sorting them into recycle bags and taking them to a Recycle center in Springfield. The project needed a non-profit organization to manage the funding so Creswell First! became the organization to handle the finances. Money paid from the recycling center was used to purchase hot meals from Creswell restaurants. Volunteers from the project then transported the meals to shut-ins and seniors who were using the food pantry. The We CAN Help project closed operation in May 2021 due to a lack of volunteers. During their one year of operation, they earned $11,299 and provided 981 meals. The project left $2,495 in the Creswell First! bank account to help other organizations!
Niblock Lighting Project
Niblock Lane is a major road that is used to access Creswell High School. It is just outside the city limits of Creswell. County funds were are not available for street lights and since it is outside the city, city funds can not be used for street lights. As a result, the street is dark much of the school year for evening activities. Citizens became concerned about safety and decided to raise funds to pay for the installation of five street lights. Creswell First! accepted the responsibility to collect the funds and make a contribution tax deductible. There are now five street lights providing a great increase in the safety of anyone driving, walking, or bike riding on Niblock Lane.
Creswell Vision Assistance
The Creswell Lions Club ran a successful program of providing eye exams and glasses to low income residents. Due to low Lions Club membership the club elected to close and requested Creswell First! establish a Vision Project to manage the finances for the project. Creswell First! agreed. Donations to the Vision Project are tax deductible. Dr. Cat Merritt screen applicants, provides the exam, and provides the glasses. As with other Creswell First! projects there is no fee for managing the fund.
In the last three years a Creswell choir has evolved and grown to over 35 members. This community choir gives voice to and for the residents of Creswell through performances at various community events and venues. The music brings joy to both those who hear it and those who perform. There are some costs for a pianist, sheet music, and office supplies. Creswell First! was asked to partner with the Creswell Singers and serve as the recipient of grant funds and to make it possible for the Singers to accept donations that would be tax free. Creswell First! accepted the program and has received $2,500 from the Oregon Community Foundation for use by the Creswell Community Singers.
Creswell Heritage Foundation
An old Creswell school house is in great need of repair and restoration. The Creswell Heritage Foundation was formed to work with the city to restore the school house as one of landmark buildings in Creswell. It is on the National Register of Historic buildings. Creswell First! became the financial organization to accept tax exempt donations during the time the Heritage Foundation was being legally established. The Heritage Foundation is now their own non-profit organization and the city has turned the building over to the Foundation. All financial contributions have been transferred from Creswell First! to the Creswell Heritage Foundation. Creswell First! served as a temporary bridge to handle financial matters until they could become their own tax-exempt organization.
Family Resource Center
The Family Resource Center is housed at the Creslane Elementary School. Its mission is to connect families with the resources they need. They work with the Creswell Food Pantry, and Food 4 Kids. They help families that are homeless get signed up for affordable housing. The work with 33 community resources to families in Creswell. The Larson Family Foundation needs to go through a non-profit organization to make a contribution to the funding for the Family Resource Center. Creswell First! does not charge any administrative fee to handle the transfer of funding so anyone may make designated contributions to Creswell First! and the funds are passed on to the Family Resource Center.
This is a project that engages the community by having residents paint beautiful rocks, place them around the community, and invite people to find them and keep or share them. They have nearly 800 members. The project is covered by facebook. They needed Creswell First! to take on the project under our 501.c.3 non-profit status so they could use the city community center free of charge. This allows the group to hold many more “paint parties” without having to raise funding.