News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

SSI leader earns award for ‘Making a Difference’

Santiam Service Integration coordinator  Kim Dwyer was honored as one of 17 Community Award winners selected for “Making a Difference” in the lives of the people they serve.

Maps Community Foundation awarded $17,000 on Aug, 15 to local nonprofit organizations serving Marion and Polk counties. An awards celebration will be held on Sept. 15.

Each year, the foundation receives nominations and then selects community members from across the region who are an inspiration through helping family, neighbors, friends, or community members through their volunteerism, or their place of employment.

Each winner receives an award certificate and a gift basket of locally produced items that celebrate the region and support of area businesses. Additionally, winners are given $1,000 to grant to a local nonprofit. 

“This year was my first year participating in the selection of winners,” said Kathy Moore, MCF board chair. 

“I am honored, inspired and humbled by the amazing people we are surrounded by in our Maps communities. Our Community Award nominees are all very deserving of this recognition. We want to thank each of them for all they do.”

Maps winner and SSI coordinator Kim Dwyer facilitates four SIT teams: Scio, Santiam Canyon, North Santiam and Cascade. She was honored for increasing community outreach and tripling the number of requests. 

Dwyer was nominated by Melissa Baurer, Integrated Health and Outreach Director at Santiam Hospital & Clinics. The hospital is the umbrella for SSI, which covers the Santiam Canyon, Cascade and Scio. 

Baurer said Dwyer constantly volunteers for events and serves on the Parent Teacher Committee of North Santiam School District, the homeless task force for the City of Stayton, and with the Santiam Canyon Long Term Recovery group. 

“Kim inspires me through her dedication and service to the Santiam Region,” said Baurer, who was the SIT coordinator before passing the reigns to Dwyer. 

“I am inspired by her kindness and her willingness to give of her time to better the lives of our community.”

The nonprofit Dwyer selected to receive the $1,000 stipend is the SSI Neighbor to Neighbor Fund. 

“I choose the N2N fund because I get to see the daily need in our community,” Dwyer said. “The Neighbor to Neighbor Fund is a fund for community donations There is one for each Santiam Integration Team. The N2N Funda are used to leverage with team dollars to make them stretch further. They can be used to assist with a variety of vetted needs, including clothing, food, gas, rental and utility assistance, auto repairs and animal care.”

Santiam SIT serves as a safety net by facilitation resources and information for individuals and families in the Santiam Canyon region. SIT was established in 2017 to coordinate community providers and services to identify needs, find solutions, and avoid duplication of services. 

Santiam SIT continually seeks partners that includes local school districts, law enforcement, local and state governments, faith communities, businesses, non-profits, early childhood providers, community volunteers, and other interested parties.

Other Maps donation recipients are: Equity Splash, Love, INC of North Marion County, CASA of Polk County, Northwest Human Services’ Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Project (HOAP), Ella Curran Food Bank, Gervais Community Progress Team, Mid-Valley Literacy Center, The Transformative Justice Community, Grace House, Salem Free Clinic, PCUN, Center for Hope and Safety (Safe Paws Program), Liberty House, Friends of Monmouth Senior Center, VETcare and Oregon Artists Series Foundation. 

Maps Community Foundation is the philanthropic branch of Maps Credit Union, a member-owned financial cooperative with 75,000 members and 10 full-service branches serving the Mid-Willamette Valley region. With a mission of enriching the lives of members and community, the Foundation focuses on improving the quality of life in the communities served by Maps. 

For more information on SSI, call 503-769-9319 or visit the Santiam Service Integration page on Facebook.

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