Recovering from Flu

It’s funny. You go along on your normal breakneck pace and then – whump – you are stopped in your tracks by a virus. As you make your way back, (as I did, am doing) your pace is slower. You can be frustrated by this change but you can also welcome this slower pace–utilize it. Use it to think about the possibilities of things. Thinking positively, thinking creatively, but maybe just a bit more slowly as you recover your strength. So, apologies for the posting gap, but that’s what’s happening. We’re not in hibernation, we’re in that space that occurs when intention and energy are not entirely matched up.

Just as a start, let’s recap: We all recognize that supporting kids is important; building opportuniplayground friendsties for kids, opening doors, ensuring that every kid has the opportunity for success.  We know that you care about that and we do, too. But how do we do it? What exactly is Washington County Kids? What exactly do we do? We are a consortium of individuals and organizations, collectively supporting the goal of providing sustainable funding to nonprofits that provide early childhood, before and after school, and summer programs, including nutrition components; programs for all children — and our mission is to ensure they have enough money to help all kids.

We’ll continue to talk about the possibilities, that is to say the ways we can support this mission, and we’ll start with some conversations. Conversations are a great start because we have many partners in this mission. Hopefully, you’re one of them. Stay tuned.

Partner Update: Rachel Schultz (formerly Parker) Promoted

Rachel Schultz (formerly Parker) receives promotionWe are delighted to honor Rachel Schultz (formerly Parker) and share best wishes and congratulations for her recent marriage and a much deserved promotion! Melissa Habit, a volunteer with Washington County Kids, did an interview a while back with Rachel and we have updated that article with this recent news. If you want to read more about Rachel, here is a link to an updated (PDF copy) article. 

So double congratulations to Rachel: on her marriage–she is now Rachel Schutz (and can be reached at the email . We celebrate our partners and are delighted to share news on Rachel’s promotion to Area Director of Youth & Family Services and The Inukai Family Club for the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Portland Metropolitan Area.

Thank you so much

Representative Margaret Doherty in group photo taken at the Salmon Bake Fundraiser
Don Domes, Representative Margaret Doherty, Maureen Barnhart
group photo taken at the Salmon Bake fundraiser
Martha Brooks Jim Phelps, Corinne and Joe Christy
Katie Riley at the Salmon Bake
Don Amon, Don Domes at the welcome table with Martha Brooks, Katie Riley

It’s difficult to express how grateful we are for friends and supporters being able to come together Saturday, September 23, 2017 at our very first fundraiser. It was a beautiful afternoon and there are SO many people to thank that we just need a moment to collect our thoughts (our next post will have details). Today, we’re collectively grateful, grateful, like in a bowl– so grateful. Rustic beauty abounds at Helvetia Vineyards and Winery, a lovely venue.  Let me just share a couple of the pictures we have so you can recall the afternoon if you were there or imagine it if you were unable to attend.  And we’ll be back to you soon (posting-wise).  Here’s a link to our Facebook Album which we hope you enjoy.  Just a reminder, we have our monthly board meeting tomorrow, Monday, September 25 at 6:30pm at the Hillsboro Shute Park Library. We’ll be sending our newsletter out soon and it will have lots of thank yous and lots of pictures. We hope you enjoy them. Our conversations focusing on solutions that impact the future of children in Washington County will be something that we’ll talk about. We have lots of conversations coming up and we very much hope you’ll be a part of them. 

Sunny forecast

sunny forecast for 9/23It’s great to hear (yay!) that there’s a sunny forecast for the weather on September 23, the day of our FUNdraiser Salmon Bake. I think the reason we’re getting together is to have conversations about making sure the forecast is positive for kids. Really, that’s it. Lots of folks in Washington County are working hard. Our partners, the schools, individual champions – we’re all interested in the future for our kids – all kids. Washington County Kids is interested in making sure that all doors are open to success for kids. We know you feel that way too.

The last day for tickets is today by the way. Hope to see you there 🙂

Last day for tickets is Wednesday 9/20

in gentle ways you can shake the worldIt’s time to get those last minute tickets – the ones that you should have set a reminder for and now you’re like, “Oh My Gosh, I better get that done.”
When you are planning things you kind of walk around head down checking off your list (well, I do). There’s a funny quote and scene from the movie Zootopia (a great family movie by the way). The quote is from the assistant to the mayor of Zootopia. She is walking along checking things off and she says, “I did that so it’s done so I did do that.” That one quote is where we (Washington County Kids) is today. We just finished our big reaching out communication and now we’re turning our attention to the details of this coming Saturday– a big day, our first official fundraiser. You can still get tickets today and tomorrow (through 9/20). Now we’re gathering up the silent auction items. I just picked up the framed photos (wow, so nice!). We have some lovely items. And our checklist includes making sure we have enough tablecloths, food and beverages,  signage–things like that. If you are coming we look forward to sharing a delightful afternoon/evening with you and if you’re not able to make it we hope we get to see you next time.  The Scavenger Hunt has ended (as of yesterday 9/18) and we’re removing all the little blue fish that were hiding in plain sight. If you see any lingering do let us know:)

Scavenger Hunt extended (to 9/18)

Want to go to the Salmon Bake on 9/23 from 4-6pm but need another ticket? Have a friend who wants to go? Great news – the Scavenger Hunt is extended to 9/18!

Here’s the scoop !

win tickets
Win tickets right up to 9/18!

Love from 5411 miles away

Katie loves Washington County KidsIt can be hard to leave your kids with a sitter for the first time. And sometimes it’s hard to give your kids space to make their own decisions. But you do. You know that it’s good for you and for them. It’s important for them  to know that they can do things on their own. It’s also good to have them experience that the things that are possible in life are possible because of the network of many. It’s wonderful to realize that things that you plant in your life have the opportunity to grow and that there are lots of people you can count on as you “garden.”  You can’t do it entirely on your own. No matter how self reliant you are, you need help. You need community. So when Katie takes a trip (for example to Spain, which is about 5, 411 miles away) she knows that the Chuck loves Washington County Kids tooWashington County Kids’ team of supporters is on the case.  It’s a good feeling. And you can carry the love and caring in your heart no matter where you travel – it’s just there.  Katie loves Washington County Kids, Chuck too.

We’d like to remind you to get your tickets for the Washington County Kids Salmon Bake on Sept. 23rd. It will be a beautiful afternoon/early evening (4-6) and includes a delicious meal, live music,  and, of course,  the wonderful community of folks who care.  Join us won’t you? (thank you!)
Event page

Starting over with hope and determination

Eagle Creek fire - photo courtesy of“Through my screens come tiny black shards that lived, three days ago, as old growth Douglas fir bark. On my porch floor is grey ash. Three days ago, it was a branch woven into a bald eagle’s nest, or the dried grass in a mouse’s burrow, or the insect-laden trunk of a snag. The pileated woodpecker who mined that tree is somewhere safe, I hope. The insects… they’re atomized, small victims…”
–Laura Foster, author and naturalist

When we experience a loss, even if it is not our backyard, not our trees, not our house, it is something we witness and we’re affected.  Devastation on a large scale is hard to process. The Eagle Creek Fire that’s still burning out of control in the Columbia River Gorge is having an emotional impact on many of us. What to do? Perhaps we can take this time to regroup as typically we do each fall anyway. But perhaps this time let’s focus not only on what we’re grateful for that we have; friends, family, etc., but let’s be grateful for what we will do and can do. We can work together to make a doorway to success possible for those less fortunate. For the opportunity for renewal begins with hope and determination.  [ today’s thought  after reading about the fire]

Also see How We Got Started (tells of how Washington County Kids got started)
REFERENCE: this thought generated after reading’s online note.

How it all started – Washington County Kids

Katie I-heart WashCoKids
Katie Riley, current Chair

Washington County Kids (WCK) was formed out of a concern that children and youth in Washington County were not being served. How did it all start? In 2002 the Washington County Commission on Children and Families was asked by the State Commission on Children and Families to conduct a comprehensive community plan. The resulting activity involved 200
community members participating in countless hours of review of needs and possible solutions to problems. The group’s final summit identified their highest priority as the implementation of community schools where the neighborhood school becomes the hub of the community, providing services that support academic success.

Susan and Maureen hold up sign saying they love Washington County Kids
Susan Bender Phelps and Maureen Barnhart

In 2009, it had become apparent that the Commission did not have sufficient funds to address the Commission’s OST goals, so members of the task force decided to form a separate group outside the Commission structure. Key members included Katie Riley, Susan Bender Phelps, and Susan Stoltenberg.
Susan Bender Phelps agreed to be the convener. The group initially called themselves the “Children’s Opportunity Fund Initiative of Washington County” or COFI and held monthly Steering Committee meetings that were open to the public.   >>read the background document

Link to About  /  Link to Events / Link to Donate


Game on: Find the Salmon (fish) scavenger hunt

fish drawing-can you find meOK, game on! It’s a Scavenger Hunt! Can you find the blue fish on a blue background. Hint, there’s one in the prior post (just scroll down so you can see what it looks like).  Find three (3) images, get in the running to win a free ticket!

Find all eight (8) images and win two free tickets. What could be more fun! Then just tell us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram where you saw the fish and you’re in the running to win some tickets. This scavenger hunt runs from Aug. 27- Sept. 10th. Good luck!