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A need to replace our old and failing generator to "Keep The Lights On" for our clients and services


Campaign: Keep the ligths on

The Storm

In January of 2017, when the power failed and the generator gave out at the Willamette Family Cheshire location was at 90% capacity with over 40 women and 15 children in the Willamette Family’s Women’s Residential Program

December 2016 and January 2017, were unusually cold months as Lane County, Oregon, was pummeled with repeated snow and ice storms. The damage was so wide-spread that a state of emergency was declared and FEMA money was sent for clean-up and restoration of services

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Laura Jacobsen — Willamette Family, Inc. Facility Manager

The Effect

The power was out for 5 days and after the generator failed, backup generators were rented, but continued to be a struggle to provide warmth because newly-purchased portable heaters kept blowing the power strips. Flashlights were provided in case the lights went out again.

Without a source of hot water, the women clients were transported daily over icy roads to other facilities so they could shower. On day three of the outage the parenting clients and their children were moved to a house that Willamette Family had recently purchased, but it required furnishings. One client was on a C-Pap machine to help her sleep and she was relocated to Buckley House where her machine would have stable source of electricity.

With the power outage, freezers and refrigerators were unusable. Without the kitchen functioning, pizza was a food mainstay for the adult clients during the outage.

Trina Renfrow — Willamette Family, Inc. Associate Director: Women's Residential Program

The Need

Willamette Family must replace that overworked generator with a new one that can provide all needed electrical services before any future power outage. Because of the size of the building, that in the past was used to house a 100 bed nursing home, the replacement generator must be a large and reliable model. The quote for an 8,000 amp diesel generator and components has been quoted at $151,000.

Edith Baumgart — Willamette Family, Inc. Associate Director: Child & Family Services

Storms & Willamette Family Clients

While the storms raged outside this past winter, many of our clients battled internal storms that had led to their participation in Willamette Family programs. Our goal is to provide safe and caring environments where our clients can stay focused on their own recovery, healing, and learning skills to care for themselves and their families. They don’t need the additional stress of taking care of their physical surroundings too.

Storms of nature and the internal storms faced by our clients may be physically different, but in essence all storms take their tolls. Willamette Family is committed to providing an atmosphere to promote healing and well-being for our clients, regardless of the storms that rage – inside or outside.

Won’t you help us to care for our clients by donating to the “Keep the Lights On” campaign to replace equipment damaged by the storm? Your tax-deductible gift will help us “keep the lights on.”