Woody Medeiros, Director of Grandma’s House is retiring. Woody has been an advocate for Teen Mothers since her own teen daughter became a mom. “When my daughter was 16-year-old she had a baby boy. There weren’t a lot of resources at that time and we found that there were other pregnant teens that were homeless. We opened our home to any pregnant teen in need of support and two girls moved in with us long-term. One was 14 years old, her son was born the same year as my grandson. The other mom was 17, she chose adoption for her son. These women are still like daughters to us and their children think of us as grandparents. My grandson is now 29 and is a teacher at Marshal High School. One of our current residents is in his class. She often comes home excited to tell me, “Mr. Johnson says he loves you!” Everybody does! Woody has touched hundreds of moms and babies and everyone that has had the pleasure to work with her over these nearly 30 years. She will be missed!
Woody started with Grandma’s House in 1992 as a volunteer. Over these years Woody has used her heart and talent to advocate for pregnant teen moms who cannot advocate for themselves. She has developed community partners and long-term relationships with the region. Woody believes that if you give youth positive support and the tools to build a life, you guide them towards a future most never knew was possible. Woody has served numerous community organizations: Parents of Teen Parents, Homeless Leadership Coalition, one-night shelter count, Project Connect, and others.
Woody’s favorite quote is by Liam Neeson: “Everyone says love hurts. That’s not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality, love is the only thing in this world that covers up all the pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.” Thank you Woody for your pure heart and dedication to these young girls that desperately needed the support of you and Grandma’s House.
Families in Need
Kindred Connections helps kids find their way to adulthood. The staff and volunteers recently helped teenager, Sherrie, move to a host family when she needed to find an alternative living space away from an alcoholic father. Sherrie finished high school this year and is preparing for college. Kindred Connections staff and volunteers helped Sherrie complete a FASFA application for college and find stable housing. She is on her way toward self-sufficiency!
Kindred Connections rallies around families in need. When families face challenges we offer the help they need to find their way through the storm. For Misty, support allowed her to find her footing as a single mother in the middle of a divorce. Volunteers helped Misty with transportation to appointments, taking kids for activities like ice skating and ice cream and provided child care while Misty studied for Tech school exams. Volunteers even brought fire wood and meals on hectic nights. This family is now stable and safe and have developed a network of support families to lean on when needed.
Thanks to our Donors for supporting kids and families by supporting Kindred Connections!
Camp for Littles
Each summer, Trinity Episcopal Church in Bend raises money and works with Cove Christian Camp to send 30 Littles in our Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Oregon program to a week long summer camp in Eastern Oregon. Due to Covid-19, camp was cancelled this year, but that didn’t stop Trinity Church from making sure our Littles have an opportunity for enrichment activities during this time of isolation.
Between 30 and 40 of our Littles will receive $300, to be spent on a fun and interactive activity that they wouldn’t normally have access to. These experiences include horseback riding lessons, martial arts classes, kayak rentals, driver’s education courses, and even season passes to Mt. Bachelor!
We are so grateful to Trinity Episcopal Church for their generosity and support of the needs of local youth!
Best in Show: Our Community!
When faced with cancelling the Oregon High Desert Classics this year, J Bar J Youth Services Event Coordinator Jenni Garner leapt at the chance to create a virtual horse show. The reaction from the equine community was terrific. Trainers and barns from Washington to Northern California and Idaho jumped in, several creating mini-horse shows with their own riders. They set up courses and filmed rounds, posting them on social media. Judges from the real shows participated, watching all of the rounds and leaving comments and scores. While it couldn’t replace the excitement and camaraderie of the Oregon High Desert Classics, this year’s No-Show Horse Show did bring the equine community together and provided a fun event for participants.
The No-Show Horse Show culminated with the Sheri Allis Memorial Virtual Grand Prix live-streamed on Facebook. The event featured interviews with the grand prix riders, a video of clips from other participants, and pre-recorded grand prix rounds from riders Lindsey Paton Garner, Rachel Long, and Kyle King. The winner was the highest fundraiser, with each rider getting their friends and clients to donate. It came down to an exciting jump-off with Lindsey and Rachel, each taking and losing the lead over the last few minutes. In the end, Lindsey came out ahead and won a stay for four at the luxurious Bay House Vacation Rental in Lincoln City!
The Oregon High Desert Classics is our largest fundraiser of the year, and its loss creates a large gap in our revenue. The No-Show Horse Show helped to offset that setback with donations and several OHDC sponsors who agreed to stay with us for the virtual event. Thank you to our sponsors for continuing your support! The WHH Foundation/ Les Schwab/Morgan Stanley- Schroeder Fain Group/Regence Blue Shield Blue Cross/ Bigfoot Beverages/ Meridian Peaks/Fratzke Commercial/ Jerry Jackson Insurance/ JTS Animal Bedding/ Pahlish Homes/ Eberhards Dairy/ Hamby House/ Coyote Rock Ranch/ Crystal Image Farms