Maps Community Awards 2021

Maps Community Foundation will honor community members who are "Making a Difference" in the Mid-Willamette Valley with 15 Maps Community Awards. 

Help us recognize those individuals by nominating someone you know who goes above and beyond to help others. Nominations are open June 1 - 30.

Nominate Here

Maps cares about our community and is dedicated to giving back through the charitable work of our Maps Community Foundation. We know that we are not alone in this effort. Many community members, and especially Maps members, are making a tremendous difference in their communities. They might be individually helping family, neighbors, friends, or the community via volunteering or through their business or employment. Each of us knows that person who is an inspiration. Through our Maps Community Awards, we would like to honor those community members who are going above and beyond to “Make a Difference” in the Mid-Willamette Valley region. 

If you know of a community member who is “Making a Difference,” please nominate that wonderful individual for a Maps Community Award*. Preference for awards will be given to Maps members. 15 winners will be selected in July. Each winner will be given $1,000 that they can give to the nonprofit of their choice in Marion or Polk counties. They will also receive a basket of locally produced items that celebrate our region and support our area businesses. Giving back to the community is something Maps believes in and wants to celebrate. Please join us!

Please see the stories below to learn about the individuals who received Maps Community Awards in 2020!

2020 Maps Community Award Winners

Jesse Rodriguez

Stephanie Bobb

Micah Sischo

Alice Swanson

Martha Walton

Clinton Gertenrich

Teresa Dinsmore

Evelyn McCoy-Harris

Patricia Tischer

Diane Millican


Give-Back Story: “In her role as Development Manager at United Way, Stephanie has done an exceptional job coordinating pandemic and wildfire relief. She played a lead role in establishing the huge resource center on Silverton Rd. and then Front St. that collected and distributed food, clothes, and other resources to wildfire evacuees. She is the type of person who consistently puts in 10+ hour days giving back to our community, but never loses her enthusiasm, or the smile on her face.”
What motivates you to help your community? In a time where so many feel lost and hopeless, others also believe there is still good in the world. Giving back and working hard to help others keeps me motivated as a community member to see the good.  I have seen firsthand during the COVID and Wildfire efforts how much compassion means to people and how it affects them. They need to feel like there are people and organizations that still care and want to help.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: United Way Mid-Willamette Valley - Santiam Canyon Wildfire Relief
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? United Way was and still is a boots-on-the-ground, get things done organization. I am proud to say I have never wavered from my support and love being a part of what will help this community thrive.


Give-Back Story: “Jesse was instrumental in getting the fire line up on Butte Creek and saving the community of Scotts Mills. He paid his construction company employees to fight the fire and stayed on the front line during all of it. Jesse should receive an award for his bravery and for protecting the homes and lives of so many in our community. He is a true inspiration for all of what is good in all of us.”
What motivates you to help your community? I feel like it is our duty as citizens to help our community.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Scotts Mills Community Center
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? I am choosing the Scotts Mills Community Center because they give back to the community.


Give-Back Story: “Micah runs a nonprofit named Heart to Soles that purchases and collects donations to gift brand new shoes to foster kids. Each year they hold an event called Unboxing Day where foster children come and choose a new pair of shoes, get haircuts, and play games. Micah found ways to still make this event possible this year. He did whatever it took, played by every rule, and made many sacrifices to give these foster kids hope during a time of despair. He displayed what it looks like to have a true unselfish heart.”
What motivates you to help your community? My motivation comes from the simple fact that this is the community I live in. This is the community I am raising my son in. I work here. It is just as much my responsibility to help improve it, as with anyone else that calls this place home. I am proud of Salem and the effort it is putting in to better itself for the people who live here, and I will continue to do whatever I can to do the same.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Heart to Soles
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? Heart to Soles focuses on a very voiceless population, youth living in foster care. They give the person the choice on the pair and style that they want, which is often what they are lacking most in their life. Choice. Everyone can relate to the feeling of just how special it feels lacing up a new pair of shoes.


Give-Back Story: “As soon as Covid hit and businesses were shutting down, Ali immediately jumped into action and was finding ways to feed the community. She has been doing things such as local food drives and has hosted a city-wide dinner each week at different churches. No matter what the situation, it seems like she is always buzzing around town, finding out what she can do for the community. She inspires not only me, but those around her to genuinely just do better.”
What motivates you to help your community? I have been blessed in my life. When I see that I can make a difference by simply reallocating funds or putting my hand to something it empowers me. I am convinced that the church is not a building, but we the people are the church. This is why I work for my neighbors and my community.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Neighbors Helping Unsheltered Neighbors
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? It's my personal mission to love those who are at the lowest point of their life. A concerned number of citizens and myself work together to serve those without homes. 


Give-Back Story: Martha and her family managed to give and transport 3,000 bales of hay to areas with displaced animals and livestock. Not only in our Marion County, but different counties affected by wildfires throughout Oregon. Martha was not looking to shine when I found out about this wonder deed. She deserves to shine.”
What motivates you to help your community? When people are in need, we come together and help each other. Growing up as a farmer that is what I was always taught. If you’ve got it and can share, you share, and I hope to instill that in my grandchildren. 
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Shangri-La
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? They help special needs people and special needs people are dear to my heart.


Give-Back Story: “Clinton worked tirelessly over the summer to ensure that student athletes and coaches at Sprague High School had a safe place to go and participate in activities during this pandemic. He worked to find a safe and socially distant way to get students back to Sprague to participate in an organized activity, giving them an outlet and keep them connected to others. The compassion and commitment Clinton has for the wellbeing of the student athletes at Sprague is outstanding.” 
What motivates you to help your community? My motivation really stems from a strong desire to see our students be supported through this pandemic. Isolation is not good for our young people, and meeting as safely as possible has been a high priority. At Sprague High School, we have tried to create spaces for our student athletes to flourish mentally and emotionally during this pandemic. I’d like to recognize all of my coaches who are working with our students through care and connection. 
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Family Promise of the Mid-Willamette Valley 
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization?  Family Promise serves some of our most impacted families who are homeless in our community by helping stabilize living and financial situations. This pandemic will have a severe impact on many of our families with children, and Family Promise is right at the heart of serving children who are most in need. 


Give-Back Story: “Teresa is a volunteer at United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley and since the COVID pandemic hit, Teresa has shown up weekly to deliver food boxes to home-bound or immune compromised individuals. Teresa has developed a relationship with “her peeps” as she calls them and works her work schedule around the opportunity to make sure these folks get what they need each week.”
What motivates you to help your community? I became involved in volunteering in our community years ago as the need for volunteers is great. It gives me a sense of purpose and it keeps me connected to our community.  I enjoy serving those that I care about, and it is a way for me to give back. 
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: The Alzheimer's Association (Greater Salem Area)
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? For the past 11 years I have worked directly with those that have been affected with the disease, the disease that does not discriminate.  The lives that are affected are not only the person battling the disease, but the families, friends, and caregivers as well.  One day there will be the first survivor!


Give-Back Story: “Evelyn and her husband are pastors and provide affordable and safe daycare, rental assistance to people displaced and in need of funds due to COVID, job assistance to find jobs and create resumes, and so much more. She is always looking for new ways to make a difference and create positive change. She has the best attitude and personality and radiates love and hope for change. She is working non-stop to make Salem better for everyone she meets.”
What motivates you to help your community? My motivation comes from an inward desire to see community members thrive from birth through adulthood.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: Seed of Faith Ministries
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? Seed of Faith Ministries has been steeped in Salem, OR for 25+ years serving vast populations. They are a full wraparound service provider as well as have several worship locations that meet spiritual needs in addition to counseling services. 




Give-Back Story: “Patricia is President of the Gubser Neighborhood Association. She coordinated relief supplies that came to Keizer Volcano Stadium when it was opened as a back-up site for people who were displaced during the fires. She spent many days coordinating supplies and helping individuals and families who were in need. She helps with many civic and charitable activities and gives countless hours of completely un-paid work to help our community.”
What motivates you to help your community? I am honored to be a recipient of this award. I believe that everyone can make some difference in their community. I enjoy giving back to my community to try to make a difference for others. Growing up in Silverton, each of my family members have always given back to the community, so I have had a legacy of volunteerism as an example.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: The Keizer Community Food Bank
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? I have chosen this nonprofit organization, because I know this monetary donation will make a big impact for this organization and my community. There are so many people experiencing food insecurities during this time, and I believe no person should ever go hungry.


Give-Back Story: Diane, a retired teacher, assembled a “Kids Library” similar to the Free Little Libraries that are found in many neighborhoods. With the Salem Library closed for construction during the Covid shutdown and distance learning keeping kids out of the classroom, Diane’s elementary school-age Kids Library has been a huge success. One need only overhear the excited voices of its “patrons” browsing its shelves or finding their own art on display to understand the need that the library has met.”
What motivates you to help your community? Last March when I realized how hard Covid would be on families I decided to create the library and the activity bags. This little piece of the most special neighborhood, Highland, has developed into a fun part of neighborhood walks.
Nonprofit selected to receive $1,000: HOME Youth and Resource Center
Why did you pick this nonprofit organization? I am so happy to be able to send this money their way. This non-profit deserves all our help.



Back to top