Sales to List Price in Southern Oregon

Different areas in the country have different ways of negotiating sales prices.

For example, in the Bay Area recently, the listing prices have been artificially low to encourage bidding wars. So List to Sales price can be way over 100%

I have heard of other areas that list the houses high, knowing it isn’t uncommon to take 75% of the list price.

So it is important to know the area and the norms when working on negotiating.  So your expectations are set appropriately.

Our market typically sees all home sales occurring between 95-100% of asking price.

The breakdown for 2017 for houses in Jackson County between $200-400,000 is this:

0-30 days         99.36%        1450 houses sold
31-60 days       98.06%         337  houses sold
61-90 days       97.78%         180  houses sold
91-120 days     97.74%         122  houses sold
120+ days        97.39%          169  houses sold

Note that in that price range, almost 65% of the houses sold in the first 30 days.  So in a competitive price point, one needs to be ready to make an offer quickly. Which might get you thinking about what it looks like on the upper end of the market.  Interestingly enough there is statistically more negotiation rooms in the upper price ranges.  This is how it breaks down for houses priced over $800,000

0-30 days         98.16%         31 houses sold
31-60 days       97.97%          5  houses sold
61-90 days       98.58%          5  houses sold
91-120 days     92.09%          7  houses sold
120+ days
        94.00%         24  houses sold

So think about that.

A house priced at $300,000 that has been on the market for 100 days statistically will sell at $293,000 or $7,000 less than asking price.

A house prices at $1,000,000 that has been on the market for 100 days statistically will sell at $921,000 or $79,000 less than asking price.

And just because I recently ran the numbers, one more set of stats.

Ashland between $300-500,000 sales price.  Or the “affordable” Ashland homes.

0-30 days          99.02%       62 houses sold
31-60 days        98.39%       25 houses sold
61-90 days        98.49%      16 houses sold
91-120 days      99.43%      12 houses sold
120+ days         99.34%       20 houses sold

The Maslow Project September 2017

The 501-c-3 Files from The Ashland Sneak Preview

By Sophia and Adam Bogle

     Recently, the Maslow Project celebrated their 8th anniversary with a newly remodeled and upgraded center of operations and I went to the ribbon cutting ceremony to get a tour of the facility. I found the upgrades to be both welcoming and professional, but the thing that struck me most about this visit was the amazing enthusiasm and energy of the staff. I got to meet Jorge Zamarripa, the Project Manager, who orchestrated the remodeling.He had obviously thought hard about the needs of their clients. From the phone charging station, to having a guitar hanging on the wall, it just feels good to be there.

     The Maslow Project has a rather daunting task: to provide support to the shocking number of local un-housed youth and their families in the Rogue Valley, and yet they manage it with notable good humor and aplomb. While taking the tour, I met their job coach, Gary Montgomery. Gary took a moment to tell me how happy it made him to help people realize their own skills and abilities. He helps people create their own resumes and they can even sign up to do practice interviews. His joy in his work was obvious and a bit contagious. He made sure to let me know that not everyone who comes in jumps right to getting a resume made. There are a lot of basic needs that have to be met before that is a priority.

     I also ran into Lacey Renae, a Maslow Counselor, who was showing our tour group the upgraded art room. Art is seen as an important part of the Maslow layers of success. Not that everyone has to do art there, but the creative outlet is recognized as a basic human need. The art room is well stocked with the basics but I know they can always use more good quality supplies. I was also impressed to hear how Lacey is given the flexibility to be able to meet clients in the way that works best for them. The whole system at Maslow is highly functional.

     They can supply a mailing address when one is not readily available which helps with getting a driver’s license and job applications. They can also help with such basic things as food, clothes and assistance finding shelter. The lounge area has a computer to help with job hunting and there are snacks available thanks to donations.

     One of the things that stands out at Maslow is their Youth Advisory Board. The ages of the kids on the board range from 14 to 18. They are responsible for making their own decisions about Maslow community issues, they plan and create meals together and they choose special projects to do to give back, such as working with the animals at Sanctuary One.

     As you can see, I am a fan. Supporting the Maslow Project makes a huge difference to some of our most vulnerable citizens. Now, I just know that after such a glowing description of helpful efficacy that you must be wondering how you can help, so you will be pleased to know that September 23rd is the 4th Annual Southern Oregon Smoked Salmon Festival! What better way to contribute than to also go have a fantastic day in the park with your family? Held in Medford at The Commons on E 5th Street, the event is kid friendly and features local food, wine and beer with live music! 100% of the event proceeds will benefit Maslow Project. For more information go to the Maslow Project Facebook Page and please “share” to help spread the word! You can also visit their website at www.maslowproject.com

     And now a word to those who may be out there couch-surfing and uncertain of the future. The center is located at 500 Monroe Street in Medford. The hours are 10-5 Monday through Friday. Call them at 541-608-6868 or email: development@maslowproject.com Their motto is “A Hand Up Not a Hand Out.” They would love to hear from you.

 

Science Works Hands on Museum August 2017

The 501c3 Files from The Ashland Sneak Preview

By Sophia and Adam Bogle

     To the untrained / un-magnified eye, our 93% view of the solar eclipse here in Ashland is going to look pretty darn spectacular. Did you know that eastern Oregon is expecting over one million tourists for this event? Just the traffic alone is going to be a bit much to say the least. So if you are like me and don’t have a week to dedicate to camping in the high desert, why not stay local? Come to the eclipse party at our own ScienceWorks on August 21st!

     I met recently with Ann Dowdy, ScienceWorks’ Executive Director to find out more about this event. She was super excited about this great scientific opportunity for the community and told me they are going all out to make the most of it.

     There will be food and coffee carts on site and eclipse glasses will be for sale. Ann told me that there will be some free glasses for early birds but if you want to be guaranteed a pair, come visit ScienceWorks now and buy a pair in their gift shop for only $1.

     On the day, bring your lawn chairs and picnic blankets and get there early. The event starts about 9:15 with the total eclipse occurring at 10:18. It won’t cost anything to just come hang out on their lawn but for those curious budding scientists there will be fun astronomy activities and information inside. ScienceWorks is one of the few N.A.S.A. approved sites for the eclipse and will have a N.A.S.A live-stream feed of the event so we can see the “totality” on the screen in their theater. Regular admission is only $10 for kids and seniors and $12 for those over age twelve.

     This eclipse is such a rare celestial occurrence, why not take advantage of it and make this an astronomy summer? Did you know that ScienceWorks has Free Summer Star Parties August 4th and August 25th! Starting at 8:30 and going until 10 P.M. They turn off the outdoor lights and set up the telescopes! I know I personally am always wondering if those twinkling objects in the sky are stars or planets and I only know two or three constellations for sure: Orion’s Belt, The Big Dipper and the Little Dipper. It would be nice to be able to point out a few more, although I have to admit I have had fun making up some new ones for my nieces. The Great Whisk and Santa’s Beard are good fun to make up stories for, but I do hate to think I am dooming my nieces to fail astronomy later on. Don’t be like me! Get the real scoop on constellations like Cassiopeia and Aquila!

      ScienceWorks will have eclipse activities and information available for the entire week before the event. And on eclipse day there will be astronomy specialists to answer your questions and various devices to view the sun while the eclipse is happening. The next time a complete solar eclipse will be near us (in Northern California) will be August 12th 2045. Only 28 years away…

      ScienceWorks is located in Ashland at 1500 East Main Street near Walker Ave. Their summer hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parking is easy and there is so much to do from giant bubbles to making your own machines in Da Vinci’s Garage that everyone is bound to have a good time. For more information go to www.scienceworksmuseum.org. ScienceWorks is a non-profit organization that is helping to provide S.T.E.A.M. based educational opportunities for our youth and our young at heart. Volunteer! Make a donation! Now more than ever…

Southern Oregon Land Conservancy October 2017

 The 501c3 Files from The Ashland Sneak Preview

by Sophia and Adam Bogle

So what the heck is a conservation easement and why should we care? I met with Cathy Dombi, the Executive Director of Southern Oregon Land Conservancy (SOLC) at Noble Coffee to get the 411. I had met Cathy previously when she was the Executive Director of the Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF) so first I had to ask about the transition from film to easements.

Cathy: “I spent summers working in Jackson Hole Wyoming and lived on a property that actually had a conservation easement on it so I was familiar with how they worked. I also have a strong background in outdoor education and youth work.  After I left the AIFF, I spent some time thinking about what to do next and when this position came up it just seemed a perfect fit.”

The E.D. before me, Diane Garcia, was with SOLC for 14 years and retired at the end of June. When she started she was the only employee and now SOLC supports eight employees who do everything from working with landowners to pulling invasive weeds. The capstone to her career happened recently in June when Diane and the SOLC team secured the Rogue River Preserve. These are big shoes to fill.”

Now back to the definition of conservation easement. The more boring definition, according to the Land Trust Alliance is: “a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a land trust or government agency that permanently limits the uses of that land in order to protect its conservation values.” After my conversation with Cathy, I would define it as: “Land that is ecologically special that the owner makes a commitment to conserving it forever by connecting legally with a land trust such as the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy.”

The “specialness” of the land could be as simple as providing a great view (called a viewshed) for the public along a road or it may support lots of wildlife or be great agricultural land. Creating a conservation easement does not mean you have to quit farming that land or even stop cutting timber. There would just be limitations based on best conservation practices. For instance, some of the land that SOLC helps protect keeps the Pacific Crest Trail wild by providing a natural buffer zone for the animals and plants.

While there are some costs associated with conserving land, SOLC works closely with each property-owner to create a plan that meets the conservation goals and unique situation of each owner.What a great legacy to leave for future generations!

The Rogue River Preserve that I mentioned earlier is 352 acres along the Rogue River about 15 miles north of Medford. It is special because it has been mostly undeveloped for thousands of years. The land contains several rare or at-risk ecological systems and native species and it just happens to be amazingly beautiful to boot. This is the first property that the SOLC worked to buy outright with the help of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB). Now it is the responsibility of the SOLC to create and fulfill a management plan for this preserve.

The plan will include educational outreach to the public that focuses on lightly using the land in order to preserve the habitat. If you are curious now about what these conservation easements look like, SOLC offers a Free Fall Hike Series: To find out more go to www.landconserve.org, click on the “hamburger” icon, click on +ENGAGE, then Hikes and Tours or Calendar.

Their next big fundraiser is coming up November 10th. They are celebrating their 39th year! The event takes place at the Ashland Hills Hotel with a silent auction and a live auction where people bid to “Save an Acre”. Tickets are $75.

SOLC would love to have you join them and become a member. There is no minimum membership fee so even $20 will work fine. There is an annual member picnic and a new member picnic. What a great way to meet others who appreciate the natural world of our beautiful Rogue Valley.

Grandma Boom! Conscious Living Foundation November 2017

The 501-c-3 Files from The Ashland Sneak Preview

By Adam and Sophia S.W. Bogle

Grandma Boom!

She is hard to miss: Flaming red curls, flamboyant feathered hats, a huge smile and it is not unusual for her to have wings! Janai Mestrovich a.k.a. Grandma Boom is the head and heart of The Conscious Living Foundation (CLF). The CLF is dedicated to creating a world where children have the emotional tools to make good choices from the inside-out. I first met Janai at the Ashland Chamber of Commerce Greeters’ meetings where she regularly demonstrates her teaching methods. My favorite is the expandable rainbow sphere. She uses it to teach how to take a deep breath in order to calm yourself and it is very effective!

I met with Janai at the Breadboard and (while I ate my favorite pancakes) asked her about what made her so passionate about kids’ emotional health. She was ready for me with a couple of daunting statistics. According to the National Institute for Mental Health, 50% of all children and youth in the U.S. right now suffer from some form of mental health issue and there is an eight to ten year lag between the onset and any treatment. Sadly, 75% of the cases are never resolved.

This great need is what drives Janai to get creative and do something about it. Her pioneering work advocates that all children deserve the right to learn self-help skills that strengthen their resiliency, confidence, self-control and mindfulness. Janai has developed and applied her program for over 40 years and has won several awards for her methods.

Locally, she teaches workshops around the Rogue Valley. She has done work with Lone Pine Elementary and Griffin Creek Elementary in Medford and the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Program through the Jackson County Oregon Child Development Coalition. She also does a class to train parents and teachers.

The latest CLF project is called Empowering Superkids. “It is focused on using 3D tools that engage all the senses, like the expandable rainbow sphere, to teach young kids to know themselves in a way that creates health, happiness and self-accountability.” Here is the wonderful example she gave me of how she knows it works.

One day, after Grandma Boom had been working with a class of preschoolers, the teacher was getting frustrated and upset. One of the boys in the class noticed and started singing the “calming song” to her and the class joined in to help her calm down. “Calming, calming I’m calming myself (with soothing hand gestures). Breathing, slowly, I’m calming myself.” Just imagine! These little super-kids were able to recognize the emotion and they had the tools to help the teacher. I wish I had a Grandma Boom when I was growing up.

Another fact that Janai shared with me is that 85% of a child’s brain is developed by the age of five. That is why it is so important to get these tools to them as soon as possible. While Grandma Boom is making a difference here in the Rogue Valley, Janai is not satisfied with helping just a few kids. She wants to help all of them.

To that end, Janai and the CLF are doing everything they can to get the word out. She recently met with former State Representative, Peter Buckley who was very encouraging about the program. Apparently there are already programs that exist to help older kids with mental health but nothing out there for pre-K! With more funding, the CLF is dedicated to create the resources for teachers and parents all over the world to learn and teach these methods themselves. There is already a guidebook available on Amazon called the Superkid Power Guidebook as well as 6 other books that can be used with children to teach them these skills.

Their website: ConsciousLivingFoundation.us is currently under construction and will be up and running December 1st with a downloadable video series for parents, teachers and pre-K children. Meanwhile, just google Grandma Boom for more information. Janai offers Training Workshops, Private Sessions, Curriculum Development, Consultations and Speaking Engagements through the Conscious Living Foundation. You can reach her at janailow@gmail.com. If you want to be a part of this effort to help empower Superkids, send a donation to the CLF at P.O. Box 1201, Ashland, Oregon 97520. Everything helps!

Bzzzzzzzz….Bee Girl July 2017

The 501c3 Files from Ashland Sneak Preview:

By Adam and Sophia S.W. Bogle

Bzzzzzzzzzz…

I was a bit nervous before I got there. I even brought a homeopathic remedy for bee stings just in case. Oddly though, when I donned the beekeeper outfit that Sarah had lent me, I found I was suddenly completely calm. Under the broad brimmed hat and veil it felt like I was in a dream.

The reality was that I was visiting Ellen Wright’s home apiary. (That’s a bunch of beehives in one area sort of like bee condos). Ellen is the president of the board of directors of Bee Girl and was kind enough to play tour guide for me. Bee Girl is a local non-profit with a mission to save the bees. It was founded by Sarah Red-Laird who is still the executive director. When I met with Sarah to get her story she suggested that to really “get it” that I should meet the bees in person.

This is how I came to visit Ellen’s back yard. After we both geared up, Ellen led me up the hill in her beautifully landscaped backyard to where her bees lived. The sun was shining after several days of rain and there were many bees buzzing about celebrating the good weather and taking the opportunity to get a drink of water and of course visit the flowers. Apparently in rainy weather they mostly just stay in the hive. (Probably watching Bee Netflix.)

June is the busy bee month with the most bees in the hive. The population rises and ebbs with the solstices and equinoxes. In June they have a huge amount of work to do just so they can survive through the winter. They have to make at least 60 pounds of honey per bee hive. This may not sound like that much until you know the rest of the story. It takes two million flower visits to make just one pound of honey (about 1 1/3 cups). On top of that the bees might have to fly as far as five miles away to find good flowers and each worker bee makes only 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in their entire life. After they make their own 60 pounds, on a good year, one hive can generate 30 extra pounds, or about 2.5 gallons. That means honey for us!

I asked if I could see the bees at work. After using a bee keeper’s tool called a smoker, to calm the bees (they just need to “smell” the smoke) Ellen opened one of the beehives for me to see the bees at work close up. I found their constant weaving motion to be hypnotic and inspiring. There they all were, thousands of them clustered together working to survive – and these bees are lucky.

We have all heard to some extent about how the bees of the world have been having a hard time lately between farmers not planting diverse crops and the continued overuse of pesticides and insecticides. These are just a few factors that have put bees in grave danger.  And if bees are in danger then we are in danger. There is a direct connection between 90% of all of our groceries and bees.

But let’s keep this simple. One easy thing that you can personally do  to help the bees is to plant bee friendly flowers like bluebells, foxglove, lavender and rosemary. Another way to help is to support the people who are using their voices to speak up for the bees. Bee Girl is dedicated to educating people about bees and advocating for them and their habitats across the country. Through classes, field trips, lectures and fundraising events they are determined to do their part to make the world a safer place for bees. We are lucky to have this great bee resource here!

Their next fundraising event is called Hive to Table Dinner and it takes place this August 26th in Jacksonville at the Hanley Farm. There will be live music and amazing bee inspired food. Think honey and herbs and delicious! Here is the dessert listed: Brown butter ice cream with a crunchy caramel cookie, honey glazed bacon crumbles, fresh blackberries and basil. There is more information on their website www.beegirl.org and you can get a look at the inside of a beehive!

Happily Ever After with FOTAS: May 2017

The 501-C-3 Files

by Sophia and Adam Bogle

Happily Ever After with FOTAS

This month we have a special guest writer who has a personal story to share about Friends of the Animal Shelter, FOTAS.

Have you ever had a rescue animal? If you have, then you know that there’s something different about them. I have a long running belief that trials in life bring us additional strength and understanding, and rescue animals do nothing but solidify this idea. It seems to me that knowing hardship, in the way rescue animals do, makes them appreciate a loving home much more than any pet you might buy from a breeder or pet store.

Seven months ago my rescue cat, who was the most dog-like cat you’ve ever met, passed away. I had rescued her when she was about the size of a potato (coincidentally named Po). I got her when I was 21 and she had been with me through all of the ups and downs of a large part of my life. Losing her was really hard and so it took about six months before I felt like I could even consider another pet, Even then I was still approaching the decision with great trepidation.

So one day I wandered into the Jackson County Animal Shelter to check out a couple of the dogs that were currently up for adoption. After taking one of the “interview” walks that day, my attention was captured by a dog that I saw standing on a picnic table. He was ignoring the other dogs in the outdoor run, and instead was watching the volunteers intently as they worked. I was immediately drawn to his calm, intelligent demeanor. I just had to take him out next.

When I arrived at his pen, he was the only dog sitting calmly on his cot while the other dogs were bouncing and barking and generally behaving as I’ve known dogs to behave. He caught me staring at him and let out a single, low bark that was inarguably him saying, “Hey! I see you looking at me”. The instant we got done running around and playing outside, I called my girlfriend and asked her quite frantically how quickly she could get there. I sounded like someone who found the last Tickle Me Elmo hidden on a back shelf (way back in Christmas 1996). My trepidation was gone. I didn’t waste a second and started filling out the paperwork: I knew she’d love him.

Since that day, life has been amazing. He has been the single most well behaved dog I’ve ever met, and he continues to convert one “not a dog person” after another. Of course he is still part puppy and does his fair share of puppy chewing on the wrong things, but apparently love is blind. I’ve always cynically laughed when I read the line “happily ever after” because my realistic mind tells me that life is an assorted mix of the good and the bad, but since that day, I feel like I’ve been living exactly that: “happily ever after.”

I feel I owe my happiness to FOTAS. The amount of hours they dedicate to the Jackson County Animal Shelter every month really could never be fully comprehended and appreciated, but we can sure try. If you wander into the shelter some day looking for a new friend, pay attention to the people walking the dogs, changing beds or cleaning up messes, you are probably looking at a FOTAS volunteer. Give them a smile. They deserve our attention and our thanks.

FOTAS has been supporting the programs of the Jackson County Animal Shelter since 1990. Their vision is for all adoptable animals there to find a loving home. They work to improve the quality of life for the Shelter’s animals, promote spay and neuter programs, and facilitate outreach and educational activities about the humane treatment of companion animals throughout Jackson County.

If you are inspired to give some time or a financial gift (no gift is too small) just go to FOTAS.org. We can’t all adopt a new pet everyday, but working together we can all help deserving pets find their perfect match so they too can live happily ever after.

Talent Maker City: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!

Ashland Sneak Preview

501c3 Files

By Sophia and Adam Bogle

Talent Maker City: Full S.T.E.A.M. Ahead!

I met Ryan Wilcoxson at the ScienceWorks Mini Maker Faire last year. (Which is coming up again September 23rd so mark your calendars!) He was at a booth where they were handing out paper airplane designs and promoting their enigmatic-sounding project: Talent Maker City (TMC). What could this name possibly mean? Were they from a city where talent was created? Was it a subdivision of Talent where they made things? Was it some virtual reality place on the internet? It turned out that my second guess was the closest.

The idea of Talent Maker City is based on creating a “makerspace” facility in Talent. A makerspace is a physical location that offers classes, training, equipment and support for creative endeavors that all have to do with making things, from creating products, to getting experienced

guidance in prototyping an invention. A place where you can learn to fix a lamp, create a new line of tech gadgetry to sell or create your own artwork.

Creating a makerspace is only part of it though. The reason it is called Talent Maker City is because it represents a paradigm shift for the whole city of Talent. The maker city concept has the potential to make small cities thrive through supporting open innovation and creative

entrepreneurship. While makerspaces exist in many big cities. Choosing to create this in a small city requires more effort but also has the potential to have a bigger impact. It can support and sustain the local maker economy and build a more connected, more successful, thriving city that

supports the whole Rogue Valley and beyond.

I went to their open house on April 11th to find out more about it and was amazed at how many people showed up and also at the level of enthusiasm. We did a sort of “window shopping” session on “What do we want this to look like?” and I just remember that everyone wanted it to

be a beautiful space that would encourage collaboration and someone mentioned having a rooftop bar. I can’t wait to see how it all comes together!

The origin story for Talent Maker City goes back to 2016 when Talent planning commissioner, Allison French and local artist Karen Rycheck discovered the Etsy MakerCities Summit (etsy.com). Through a happy synchronicity it happened that all in the same day they got the approval of Talent mayor, Darby Stricker and then brought Ryan on board (who was doing

woodcraft in his garage) and so they decided to apply to get in. Weeks later they found out they were one of only 13 cities chosen out of 126 to be included so they went off to New York to find out more and create an action plan.

Now, almost exactly a year on from the group’s sojourn back east, Talent Maker City is working with the City of Talent to build the makerspace facility as a core attraction of their upcoming Gateway Project development and they are moving full STEAM ahead! Pun intended. S.T.E.A.M. Stands for: Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics. Even without having the physical makerspace yet, TMC is offering summer STEAM camps for middle-schoolers through Rogue Community College and the Phoenix-Talent School District. The camps have already begun to fill up so check it out soon! Stop Motion Animation, Rube Goldberg Machines and Renewable Energy are just a few of the ones available.

TMC has also launched what will be a year-round series of diverse maker workshops, from a live bronze pour demonstration to a hands-on udder-to-cheese goat chèvre class in conjunction with Pi Creamery in Talent. More maker workshops are in the works! If you have a suggestion for one, contact them!

Are you a Maker, Entrepreneur or Teacher? Do you want to help Southern Oregon become a vibrant ecosystem for creating economic innovation? Get involved! Go to TalentMakerCity.org and click the contact button to let them know what your interests are. Together we can create an environment that encourages the kind of boot-strap creativity and entrepreneurship that can only be described as Oregonian.

Ashland Emergency Food Bank 2017 501c3 Files

Ashland Sneak Preview March 2017

501c3 Files

Ashland Emergency Food Bank (AEFB)

By Adam and Sophia Bogle

Every other month, the AEFB gets a huge influx of of food all on one day that arrives in the iconic green bags from the Ashland Food Project. It is quite an event that lasts for hours and takes a small army of volunteers to pull off. At the end of the day the shelves are so full if feels like there is enough to feed everyone forever. But, inevitably, this food does not outlast the need until the next delivery.

This is what the new AEFB director, Traci Darrow, finds herself contemplating as she steps into the shoes of Pam Marsh. Pam was elected in November as our newest State Representative from Southern Oregon. While some of the challenges of running the food bank may seem daunting, Traci is coming at it from a useful background of politics and nursing. Her last job was Chief Nursing Officer at Rogue Community Health. She jokes that it should have been called “Chief Networking Officer”. Her position there was all about case management and putting people together with the resources they needed. Perfect practice for running the food bank.

The AEFB relies on a huge network of businesses, other non-profits and volunteers so as to help the most people with the resources available. Businesses like Amy’s Kitchen, Albertson’s, Shop N Kart, Village Baker and Starbucks are just few of the regular contributors. Items that are donated in an overabundance are shared with other non-profits like the Food Angels, Maslow Project and the school Backpack program.

I asked Traci what it was like to start work at the AEFB.

Darrow: “I am constantly amazed at how reliable the volunteers are. Somehow they manage to get there even on the days with ice storms! We have a huge pool of volunteers, about 245 people not even counting the Ashland Food Project volunteers. Most of them come from a rotation of faith based organizations. Today the Methodists are there making meal bags where they put together ingredients and a recipe to make it obvious how to cook a nutritious meal. And they are singing while they work!

Bogle: Is it easy to put together meals from what is donated?

Darrow: Sometimes, but so often we will get things like hamburger helper and we have no hamburger. We do have a lot of tuna usually so I wish we would get more tuna helper. Pair all that with some frozen veggies and it’s a pretty healthy meal.

Bogle: What would you like to tell the public about the AEFB?

Darrow: Mostly I just want to express my extreme gratitude for the support that has never wavered. George Kramer, the president of the board has been helping with our Facebook presence and board member Julie Cortez, from OSF, has been helping with press releases and other communications. This is a great team to work with.”

One of the challenges with the food bank is how to get enough of the items that go quickly without getting an overstock of it. Items that don’t last long after the food drive include cooking oil (in small containers please), and healthy cereals. And spaghetti sauce always seems to run out prior to the noodles. The worry is, if you ask people to give extra cooking oil then that’s all there will be in the pantry.

While I was sitting there with Traci, all I could think about was a segment on Sesame Street where the king decided to have a picnic. He told all his subjects to bring something to the picnic, but when they arrived, everyone had only brought watermelon. So he asked them why no one had brought potato salad and next thing, all they had was potato salad.  Finally someone spoke up and suggested that everyone bring something different to the picnic. They made a plan and had a grand time. I have no doubt that Traci will find the right plan to solve this challenge. After all, the community does come together in a big way to help, especially on green bag day. And maybe next time I am there helping unload the green bags, I will be singing the Sesame Street song of the King’s Picnic: “Who brought the whipped cream? I did king! Who brought the sour cream? I got it king! And I’ve got the Ice Cream!”

The next Ashland Food Project pick up is April 8th. Contact ashlandfoodproject.com to start donating food throught the green bag program. And if you need food assistance go to: ashlandemergencyfoodbank.org. They are so welcoming. Honestly. Been there.541-488-9544

Down Payment Assistance

Did you know that there are great down payment assistance programs in Southern Oregon?  We have regular fundraisers to help fund the Home Foundation First Time Home buyer Grant Assistance Program.

In 2016 we surpassed $100,000 given to over 100 home buyers, and we still have more money to give. In fact we just raised an additional $30,000.

How do you qualify?

First you need to use a local Realtor (such as myself).

2nd, you need to use a local lender (I’m happy to refer you to one of the good ones who understand the program)

Your household income does not exceed the State of Oregon median income level (this number varies based on family size)

Be a first time home buyer, or have not owned a home in the past 3 years.

If you think this might sound good to you, contact me and we I’ll get you the information to get started.  clientsupport@tenrealtygroup.com