Volunteerism cornerstone of Partners in Progress

Taste of Service eventLindsey Thomas, a Linfield College senior, reads books to homeless children, sophomore Ashlee Carlson distributes backpacks filled with food to local schools, and senior Krystal Lum helped organize a community connection event for low-income residents.

As volunteers with Yamhill Community Action Partnership (YCAP), the students are examples of the integral partnership between Linfield and Yamhill County. YCAP, along with other local businesses, provides volunteer, internship and employment opportunities for students, while Linfield students contribute to their community. It’s a win-win situation, according to Lee Means, executive director of YCAP.

“We value our collaboration with Linfield,” said Means. “It works for both of us. It gives us students who are eager to learn and help, and gives the students real experience in the community.”

The community-college partnership is the central theme as local business leaders and representatives from Linfield College launch the 38th annual Partners in Progress (PIP) campaign.

Volunteers are making calls and collecting pledge cards from local businesses and individuals during the month-long blitz, which began Sept. 7 and runs through Oct. 5. The campaign goal is $500,000. A celebration for campaign volunteers and Yamhill County leaders will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5, in the newly renovated T.J. Day Hall at Linfield, made possible in part by gifts from the community.

The campaign, a long-standing partnership between Linfield and the McMinnville community, began in the 1950s and adopted the name PIP in 1974. Over the years, contributors to Partners in Progress have supported the college’s role in local economic and cultural development, according to Linfield President Thomas L. Hellie.

“We are grateful for the exceptional support of the McMinnville community,” Hellie said. “Local individuals and businesses play a key role in Linfield’s success.”

PIP campaign gifts will benefit the ongoing relationship between Linfield and Yamhill County by supporting scholarships, events and activities that take place on campus.

The award-winning drive promotes the partnership between Yamhill County and Linfield, and is recognized as a model for outstanding college-community relationships. Community involvement and volunteer support are key to the success of the regionally recognized campaign.

This year, 50 volunteers will take part in the program and will contact more than 400 businesses and individuals. Dan Davison of Davison Auto Parts is a 2003 Linfield graduate and beginning his second year as PIP chair. Other members of the PIP steering committee assisting Davison are Kathleen Bernards, class of 1976 and a McMinnville CPA; Chris Browne of Chris Browne Insurance; Wendy Buchheit of Cross and Crown, Inc.; Todd Caster of Citizens Bank; Rose Lorenzen of the City of McMinnville; John McKeegan of Linfield College; Erin Stephenson of First Federal Savings and Loan; and Harold Washington of Washington Roofing Company.

Staff members assisting the steering committee are Hellie; Christina Diss, director of annual giving; and Bruce Wyatt, vice president for college relations. For more information on the PIP campaign, call 503-883-2282 or visit www.linfield.edu/pip.