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Nov 08, 2016

Board of Director Spotlight: Tom Fink Receives 2016 Simon Benson Award

For Janus Board member, Tom Fink, philanthropy is about more than just donating time or money. For him, it is about making a difference in his community. One of Tom’s favorite quotes is by Winston Churchill: “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” This is a concept that Tom has embraced. “I feel like I have been blessed and I want to give back. There could have been so many things that might have derailed my life. But I was lucky enough to have missed those obstacles and want to help others less fortunate,” says Tom. His tireless efforts have not gone unnoticed. On November 3, in recognition of his contributions, Portland State University (PSU) and the PSU Foundation presented Tom with a Simon Benson Award at their gala dinner.

The Simon Benson Awards Dinner is an influential forum celebrating philanthropy in Oregon. Since 1999, the gala has raised over $10 million in support of Portland State University. The award was created by PSU in 1999 as a means of recognizing individuals, like Tom, who are dedicated to philanthropy.

The first in his family to attend college, Tom credits his PSU education with enriching his life and opening the world to him. Since his graduation in 1971 and establishing his career, Tom has been giving back to other PSU students. His PSU Telefund Scholarship assists students each year in pursuing their degrees at PSU. The Telefund employs up to 35 students who reach out to alumni and friends each year—to increase annual support for scholarships, program development and research. Tom believes that the Telefund work is fundamental in keeping the wheels of philanthropy turning into the future. The recipient of Tom’s Telefund Scholarship this year is Alexandra Van—a senior studying sociology who overcame significant challenges to realize her dream of finishing high school and earning a college degree.

Tom has been serving Janus for over 30 years. He is a past president and is the Scholarship Chair. He also serves on the St. Mary’s Academy and the PSU Foundation Boards. Through his generosity, Tom has made—and continues to make—a difference in the lives of so many youth.

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Nov 28, 2018
Ending Youth Homelessness

Every night, our downtown Portland shelters are home to youth ages 16-24 who have no other place to go. Youth often line up outside the door at 8:30 pm, hoping to get a bed and a meal for the night. Not everyone gets in. With a limit of 60 beds, the shelter can only accommodate 60 youth each night. During the winter months, there are an additional 10 beds. This year alone, the shelters housed and fed over 500 youth. While our shelters are running at full capacity and our street outreach workers are out every night providing warm clothing and crisis-intervention services, there are some positive shifts affecting the numbers and demographics of homeless youth in Multnomah County.

Nov 26, 2018
​Employee Spotlight—Gina McConnell

Gina knows what it feels like to run away. She did it at age 12 to avoid abuse at home, but like so many youth on the street, she quickly became a target for sex trafficking. After many years “in the life,” she spent time in prison where she befriended a person who said to her when she was released, “I need you to go out there and be our voice.” This was a pivotal moment for Gina and from that point on, she was committed to helping youth who have experienced similar trauma as she did. Today she works in the Cowlitz County Youth Services Program as a case manager for sexually-exploited youth. We talked to Gina to find out how her experiences has prepared her for this role.

Nov 12, 2018
Share The Season Of Giving

It's not too early to start thinking about giving for the holidays. Over 600 children and youth call Janus Youth Programs home every day. You can make their season brighter. Here are a few ideas:

  • Adopt a shelter or residential program: Provide gifts ($40 or less) for 12 youth in Portland or Vancouver/Cowlitz. We will provide a holiday wish list with names and ages.
  • Make a tax-deductible donation and leave the shopping to us!
  • Organize a donation drive: Purchase new blankets, jackets, socks or winter weather gear for homeless youth in need.

Contact us by completing this form and email to januscommunications@janusyouth.org.

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