Message from Our President

Message from our President Lauren Jespersen

The United Way of the Klamath Basin has been helping people in the Klamath Basin since we opened our doors in September of 1945.  Our community has struggled for more than a year with the economic and personal hardship due to the Coronavirus pandemic. But we have  faced many hardships throughout our 76-year history, and I am confident we will overcome this as well.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this pandemic.  Going forward, let us all strive to be safe and follow public health guidelines so we can one day resume our normal Klamath way of life.

Over the decades, thanks to the loyalty and generosity of so many Klamath Basin citizens and businesses, our local United Way and its 16 supported agencies continue to help about 20,000 local citizens each year. These program services have a profound impact toward improving the lives of local people of all ages.  I want to thank everyone who contributed to the 2020 United Way Community Campaign and helped raise $495,104 for 99% of our $500,000 goal.

Because the Coronavirus (COVID-19) has significantly impacted the citizens of Klamath County, our local United Way conducted a COVID-19 relief campaign in the Spring of 2020 to provide immediate emergency funds to United Way agencies in need of support.  On July 31, 2020, a total of $58,325 (100% of all funds raised) were granted to 10 local United Way agencies who applied for special funds to address their immediate needs (loss of revenue, increased demand for services) due to COVID-19.   These funds were donated by local individuals, businesses and corporate foundations.

We wish to thank the following donors who helped support this special COVID-19 relief campaign: John & Kendall Bell, Rick & Susan Kreizenbeck, JEJ Enterprises, Glenn & Ursula Gailis, Frank Ganong, Dr. Raul & Karri Mirande, Neal & Susan Eberlein, Bud Wakefield, Mike & Laila Griffith, Frank & Renee Hernandez, Robert & Mary Lou Beach, Leroy & Nora Cabral, Oregon Community Foundation, Columbia Forest Products, NW Farm Credit Services, Dutch Bros Foundation, First Interstate Bank Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Klamath Falls, Umpqua Bank Foundation and Pacific Source Foundation.

The 2021 Community Campaign Chairwoman is Amber Gomes, Umpqua Bank Community Relations Manager.  Anyone wishing to volunteer and participate in our fall community campaign should contact the United Way of the Klamath Basin at 136 N. Third Street in Klamath Falls, OR  97601, or telephone 541-882-5558.  Of course, our United Way accepts contributions year-round.

With a growing demand for services,  I believe a gift to our local United Way is the best way to help a wide variety of agencies with just one contribution. Our United Way is well run, efficient, and 98 cents of every dollar donated to our local United Way stays local. That’s real impact.

I want to thank the United Way board of directors and all of our many volunteers for their time and expertise given to help improve our community. We have serious social problems in the Klamath Basin like substance abuse, domestic violence, hunger, child abuse, student drop outs, mental health issues, and so much more. Fortunately the United Way supports programs that help people overcome all of these problems. United Way is strongly committed through its funding of youth related agency programs to help every student in the Klamath Basin to graduate from high school and succeed either in college or advanced vocational training.

With your loyal, generous support we can continue together to make our Klamath Basin an even better place to live, work, and raise our families. Thank you.

Click HERE to view the 2020 United Way Annual Report.