Next weekend I will be driving over the Cascades to help shoot a video for the upcoming Justice Conference in Bend, OR on Feb 11th and 12th.
The goal of the Justice Conference is to bring together some of the most respected voices on today’s social issues as well as compile resources for the purpose of encouraging everyday people to be active in bringing about social change in their communities. Along with this shoot I will also be meeting to finalize my internship plans at the Bend office of World Relief, a global humanitarian organization that is very involved in promoting the Justice Conference.
Since the theme of the Justice Conference is to inspire community action, it got me thinking about what ways are available for citizens to be active in the Corvallis community. After a little research I dug up an influential project that was birthed around 11 years ago.
Previously unknown to me, Corvallis is a sister city with Uzhhorod, Ukraine. According to the Corvallis Sister Cities Association website, two women by the names of Sabra Killen and Alice Rampton travelled to Uzhhorod in 1999 to help distribute aid to orphans in the area. While on this trip they were inspired to establish an aid organization that would funnel continual support to children in need in the Ukraine. When they returned home they developed the foundations for the Touch Project (Take one Ukrainian Child’s Hand). It works by connecting children with a network of sponsors that are willing to donate a meager $75 annually that collectively goes towards providing for the needs of impoverished, neglected, or orphaned children.
The original orphanage to receive aid through this project was the Chaslivitsi Orphanage on the outskirts of Uzhhorod. Since this beginning the Touch project has grown to providing sponsorship to over 350 children in various locations around Uzhhorod. It is very easy to get involved in the Touch Project, and also relatively inexpensive. More information can be found at the Corvallis Sisters Cities website:
Or at the Touch project blog:
– Eli Odegaard