OCF Honored for Innovative Housing and Community Development Partnerships

9/10/2012 Press Release

September 10, 2012
HUD Announces Recipients of Inaugural Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations

The Oregon Community Foundation has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), in partnership with the Council on Foundations, as one of 10 recipients of the first annual Secretary’s Award for Community Foundations. The award honors community foundations for innovative public-philanthropic collaborations that address housing and community development challenges.

The awards were announced today during the Council’s Fall Conference for Community Foundations in New Orleans.

HUD and the Council on Foundations’ Public-Philanthropic Partnership Initiative developed this award to recognize community foundations for enhancing the quality of life of low- and moderate-income families. The projects addressed housing and neighborhood improvements, education, health and recreation, transportation, arts and culture, public safety, sustainability, and economic development. An expert panel selected one award recipient from each of HUD’s 10 regions.

OCF was honored for Ready to Smile, a program focused on preventing childhood dental disease in Coos and Curry counties. An OCF partnership with Coos County Public Health, Ready to Smile ensures that public school students in grades 1, 2, 6 and 7 are educated about oral hygiene, screened for dental disease, treated with sealants and fluoride varnish, and referred to a dentist for urgent care when necessary. Ready to Smile partners with dental professionals to provide coordinated, cost-effective services to youth. Coos County Public Health oversees and manages the program and staff.

OCF provided $500,000 for this program. Other partners, who have collectively committed more than $400,000, include The Ford Family Foundation, the Mildred E. and Harvey S. Mudd Foundation, Ronald McDonald House Charities® of Oregon and Southwest Washington, the Coquille Tribal Community Fund and the Curry Health Foundation.

By the end of the 2011-2012 school year (the second year of the program), Ready to Smile had reached approximately 60 percent of the targeted students — 1,376 students in nine schools.

"The Oregon Community Foundation and the other honorees are shining examples of foundations at their best, demonstrating leadership, vision, partnership and investment,” said Vikki N. Spruill, president and CEO of the Council on Foundations. “While leaders will continue facing challenges in years to come, we should be heartened by the philanthropic spirit community foundations exemplify as they innovate, take risks, and make a positive impact for the people they serve.”

Community foundations in America administer more than $49 billion in charitable funds in more than 725 communities and regions throughout the country.  

                            

                     OCF Staff and Volunteers Receive HUD Award