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Vina Moses 01

Vina Moses Center executive director Christine Duffney is seen in an overcrowded storeroom on Monday afternoon.

Each year the Vina Moses Center makes the holidays brighter for around 1,000 low-income families in Benton County by providing food and gifts through its Christmas Program.

To make this happen, the center places giving trees at dozens of sites throughout the community and supplements the community’s donations by purchasing additional presents, food and gift cards for fresh groceries. All told, the center spends around $40,000 each year on its Christmas Program.

But because of a shipping issue, the center’s annual holiday donation letter, which encourages around 4,000 of the center’s donors to support the Christmas Program, never went out, said Christine Duffney, the center’s executive director. Typically, she said, the donations that come in response to the mailing completely fund the Christmas Program.

She said some of the center’s regular donors came through with donations without being asked, but so far, the center is about $30,000 short of the donations needed to fund its 2018 Christmas Program.

Duffney said the center has enough funds in its emergency reserves to pay the bills it incurred for the 2018 program. But the center still is hoping the community will help make up the shortfall.

She said the center may spend around $2,000 for a new fundraising letter. She and the center's board of directors are planning to meet Wednesday to develop a plan for what to do next.

Skip Hamilton, with ProPrint in Corvallis, said he printed the fliers for the center and sent them to a Salem-area mailing service for mailing through the United States Postal Service. He said the company, Valley Mailing Service, sent him a receipt saying the letters had been mailed, but the company apparently never actually delivered the letters to the Postal Service distribution center in Salem.

Hamilton said he’s now working with a new mailing service and has filed a police report for theft of services because he paid for the distribution of the letters up front.

Calls and an email to Valley Mailing Service went unanswered.

The Vina Moses Center has operated as a nonprofit in Benton County for more than 100 years. In addition to its Christmas program, it provides low-income families and individuals food, clothing and other essentials year-round and gives prom dresses and school supplies to local students in need. 

Donations can be mailed to the Vina Moses Center at 968 NW Garfield Ave., Corvallis, OR, 97330. They can also be made at www.vinamoses.org. Contact the center at 541-753-1420 for more information.

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Anthony Rimel covers weekend events, education, courts and crime and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.

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