We’re in the Give!Guide!

We’re in the Give!Guide!

Image of the Give!Guide logo

We’re thrilled to be included again in Willamette Week’s Give!Guide, which runs from Nov. 1 – Dec. 31. Last year, we raised over $11,000 – enough to power 450 homes for a week. This year, we’ll be offering a variety of fun prizes and incentives for donors, plus a pop-up event with a local business. Don’t miss any of the details – follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates!

Expanding Energy Assistance, from East to West

Expanding Energy Assistance, from East to West

As part of our mission to provide Power for All, we’ve spent a good part of this year traveling around the state, meeting and talking with our neighbors about the issues they face.

Many of the places we visited are home to high numbers of seniors and high rates of poverty. However, they often lack the resources of large urban centers like Portland and Salem, making it harder for people to get the help they need.

In May, we visited the beautiful city of Medford, where seniors comprise more than 31% of the population. After rent and food, many of them only have about $200 a month to cover extra expenses, making it perilously easy to fall behind on utility payments when an emergency happens.

Our goal was to raise awareness of our Jackson County Senior Assistance Fund in the community and enlist help in doubling the fund from $25,000 to $50,000.

We were touched by the community’s hospitality and enjoyed meeting with local leaders, especially KOBI-TV, who graciously invited Brian to join them for an interview. Brian also presented to the Rotary Club of Medford Rogue and met with representatives from Pacific Power, Avista, and Rogue Credit Union.

We look forward to enlisting the support of more local businesses as we work toward our goal, and as we continue to expand aid to rural communities across Oregon.

If you are part of a business that wants to work with us to increase awareness and funds for energy assistance, please get in touch!

New Partners

New Partners

We’re happy to announce a new partnership with EDP Renewables to bring a sponsored PowerUp Progam to Arlington, Oregon, later this year.

This will include a $5,000 fund to provide energy assistance to residents local to EDPR’s Rattlesnake Road Wind Farm in Gilliam County.

OEF and EDPR look forward to expanding aid to our neighbors in this community!

Summer 2018: Sally’s Story

Summer 2018: Sally’s Story

Dear Friends,

As we’ve focused our attention on the needs of elders, I’ve been thinking a lot about the seniors we’ve helped over the years. Let me tell you about Sally in Medford.

Sally’s family moved to Medford when she was two years old. She grew up, graduated from high school, met her husband, Jim, and they bought a modest home right outside of town. She worked as a receptionist at a small business for forty years, and the couple earned enough to get by, and enough, they thought, to retire.

Jim passed away, so Sally lives alone with an income mostly from social security benefits. One day, the unexpected happened: Sally had a medical emergency that put her in the hospital for a few days. Expecting Medicare to cover the costs, she was shocked to discover it did not, and she owed a larger debt than she had owed to anyone in years. Unsure of where to turn, and still in recovery, she began paying her medical bills without realizing she would fall behind on other payments, including her utility bills.

Sally had never found herself in financial crisis before, and now surrounded by mounting bills, she considered selling her home or trying to go back to work, both prospects that terrified her.

She didn’t feel like she could ask anyone for help. That is, until she connected with local agency ACCESS, where she applied for Oregon Energy Fund energy assistance. We helped with her power bills, and, with that worry off her shoulders, she was able to set up a payment plan for the remainder of her medical bills and regain her financial health.

Many of us know if we’re ever in crisis someone will be there to catch us – our parents, children, or friends – but what about those of us who face crisis alone? Oregon Energy Fund is there to help when no one else can.

Your donations make our work possible. Thank you for your continued support of our neighbors in need.

-Brian Allbritton
Executive Director, Oregon Energy Fund

Welcome New Board Members

Welcome New Board Members

We are thrilled to welcome two new board members to Oregon Energy Fund, David DiMatteo and Jess Marpe.

David is a Family Stability Programs Manager at Latino Network and brings with him knowledge of program development and management.

Jess has over seven years of experience providing direct client services, currently working as an Energy Program Coordinator at Washington County’s Community Action Organization.

We are grateful to have two more talented board members who are willing to volunteer their time and expertise – welcome to David and Jess!

Beyond Emergency Assistance: A New Collaboration with Meals on Wheels People

Beyond Emergency Assistance: A New Collaboration with Meals on Wheels People

At Oregon Energy Fund, we’ve received calls again and again from seniors living on fixed incomes while facing rising housing and healthcare costs.

Emergency assistance helps in times of crisis, but what about our seniors who live frugally and are still unable to keep up with the cost of living?

In response to growing need, we are creating a program in collaboration with Meals on Wheels People to provide monthly utility bill assistance to low-income seniors.

Our initial pilot program is planned to serve 100 households with a $25/month stipend for a 12-month period. Meals on Wheels People staff will sign up seniors in their homes, eliminating the need for recipients to travel to an agency to seek help.

This new program aims to help those like OEF recipient Jeanine in Multnomah County. Jeanine, a senior living in an older home, uses supplemental oxygen for her health, and her husband was recently placed in a care home. She has very little left each month after bills are paid and is only receiving Social Security as income. As a result, she very slowly built up a balance on her electric bill and was unable to catch up.

We were able to help Jeanine pay the balance of her bill with emergency assistance, but regular monthly assistance would have prevented her from getting behind in the first place. We are excited to implement this program and share the outcomes with you here on our website and in future newsletters.

A Special Thanks to Our Anonymous Benefactors

A Special Thanks to Our Anonymous Benefactors

Here at Oregon Energy Fund, we’re honored to have so many donors committed to helping our neighbors in crisis. Many supporters link their Fred Meyer Rewards account to OEF or shop with AmazonSmile. We don’t see your names, but we are so grateful for your support. Your regular donations add up and make a huge impact. From all of us at OEF: thank you.

If you are interested in setting Oregon Energy Fund up as a recipient of Amazon’s donations on your account, it’s so easy! Just go to the link here and Amazon will prompt you to select the nonprofit of your choice. All you have to do is shop at the link Smile.Amazon.com for all the same Amazon products and Amazon donates.

If you are a Fred Meyer shopper, link your rewards card to benefit Oregon Energy Fund – again, all donations come directly from Fred Meyer and all you have to do is sign up! Click here for a 5-minute set up.