- About Us
- Funding Opportunities
- Keeping Up
- Just Ask Us
TWST Report - Tualatin
On the road again… to Tualatin Public Library!
This time it was just Sally and me. Just as rainy as the day before, the highway trip to Tualatin gave us the slightest bit of sunshine that actually made us put down our visors. That was short-lived, though. Not more than two minutes later our visors were back up and we were wondering what that mysterious glowing orb in the sky might have been. Maybe it was the sun…
We arrived at the Tualatin Public Library, whose doors first opened in July of 2008, to find a beautiful statue of children listening intently while being told a story adorning the outside walkway. A Tai Chi class was finishing up a lesson in the room we were going to use, so while the library receptionist got Sally settled in, I wandered the library to take some photos. The library was incredible! Being only four years old, the look was modern, but the feel was comfortable and accessible.
It boasted a “Teen Room” that was decorated with neon lights hanging from the ceiling along with tables, armchairs, and computer setups. There was also a very inviting “Children’s Room” that had shorter tables and chairs, and mounds of children’s books. My favorite part of the library (other than the myriad of books, of course) was the round gas fireplace. What an innovative idea! It was beautiful and cozy, and made me want to curl up with a blanket and mystery novel for hours. There were a few adults enjoying books next to the fire, appreciating the warmth while the rain and wind enviously peeked in through the library’s windows.
By the time I was done, the Tai Chi class had finished up, so I headed back to the meeting room. Our Tualatin host, Charla Chamberlain, also with Vision Action Network, was there to help us set up.
This discussion had a smaller turnout than the Beaverton stop, but that allowed us to hear from each of the organizations about who they were and what their work was. Nine participants represented a total of five organizations. We got the chance to hear from Friends of Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Community Partners for Affordable Housing and Broadway Rose Theatre. Someone with the Tualatin Public Library was there to learn and share input as well.
The conversations focused mostly on grant programs, processing time frames, and what MMT considers to be a strong proposal. One question with a resonating response was whether or not MMT could tell when an organization has used a hired grant writer, and whether or not it helped. The answer was yes, we can often tell, and no, it doesn’t always help. From my perspective, which is that of an editor, when we review a request, we look at the organization’s capacity to deliver services, the overall impact of the services being delivered, and whether MMT funds would help this organization achieve their goals. While using a grant writer isn’t a hindrance, it doesn’t actually increase the chances of approval. Even further, it is imperative that organizations who do use a grant writer make sure they read the request before its submission, because it is the organization MMT will call upon to answer any questions, not the grant writer. We used every minute of the session to finish answering questions before it was time for us to prepare for departure.
The groups got a chance to chat with each other and us a bit more while we got things cleaned up. Again, folks made it a point to stop us and let us know how helpful the session was for them. What a wonderful feeling to know our efforts have been truly effective!
As we put tables and chairs back where we had found them, a group of men stopped in to ask what the session had been about. Sally and I told them a bit about MMT and our community meeting, and found out the group of about four or five men were homeless and used the library facilities, while they were open, to stay out of the rain. We were able to share sandwiches and cookies we brought along with us before saying good night to them and the friends we had made at the library.
Another rainy ride home and a little later than yesterday, but well worth the long day. Joining in on these tours has me craving more opportunities to connect with Oregon’s communities. Stay tuned to see what our other stops bring, and the other ways we find to stay connected and involved. Thanks for tuning in!
Read about the Beaverton TWST here.
Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.