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St. Charles announces fall funding recipients

BEND, Ore. - St. Charles Health System is awarding about $50,000 to 10 Central Oregon nonprofits whose missions are to improve the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

The largest award — for $10,000 — was given to the Bethlehem Inn, which serves as Central Oregon's only emergency shelter, providing critical housing services for adults and children experiencing homelessness.

The organization will use the funding to support its case management program, which helps residents receive cost-effective, preventive health care.

The need for the Bethlehem Inn's services has expanded in correlation with the region's significant economic challenges. Over the last two years, the shelter provided housing for about 1,600 adults and children.

"We know that the basic necessities of housing and food in conjunction with solid case management can empower our residents to transition back to a life of self-sufficiency," said Bethlehem Inn Executive Director Gwenn Wysling.

Other organizations awarded funding include:

  • Advantage Smile For Kids, for $3,000, for orthodontics and dental treatment for Central Oregon children
  • Boys and Girls Club of Central Oregon, for $5,000, for healthy lifestyles programming at the Bend Branch
  • Family Access Network, for $4,900, for linking children and family members to basic needs at MA Lynch Elementary in Redmond
  • Healthy Beginnings, for $3,100, for Prineville community screening for kids ages birth through Kindergarten
  • Kids in the Game, for $2,500, for sports registration fees for low-income children in Central Oregon
  • Mountain Star Relief Nursery, for $4,950, for core service operating expenses for Juniper Junction Relief Nursery in Madras
  • Ronald McDonald House, for $3,000, for new furnishings for the facility serving Central Oregon families
  • Saving Grace, for $4,803, for the Lethality Assessment Program serving the residents of Deschutes County
  • Volunteer Connect, for $9,000, for prescription and medical/dental supplies for the Project Connect event in September, serving the residents of Crook, Jefferson and Deschutes counties

"St. Charles is committed to working with its local nonprofit partners to improve the lives of the underserved residents of Central Oregon," said Alisha Fehrenbacher, director of strategic improvement. "We are fortunate to live in a community where organizations like these are working toward the benefit of those who need it most."

For information about the St. Charles Community Benefit funding cycles, visit

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