Rotary Club Of Greater Bend Awards $100,000 To Revillage Co-Op For Childcare Expansion

ReVillage Community Co-op Childcare Center to add 60 new spots for infants through five-year-olds.

Rotary Club of Greater Bend (RCGB) announced a gift of $100,000 to ReVillage Childcare Center, for a Signature Project to address fundamental challenges faced by children and their families in our community. This funding supports a new, third site operated by the nonprofit, which currently operates two sites in Bend for 31 children, age 2-5. ReVillage will open its newest site at Grace First Lutheran Church, providing up to 60 new spots of high-quality, affordable childcare for families with low and middle-median incomes.

ReVillage Childcare Center

ReVillage was founded to build affordable, accessible, equitable childcare cooperatives. Their programs use community spaces, train parents as childcare assistants, and partner with Baby Promise, Preschool Promise and Neighbor Impact to provide needed resources and subsidies for families otherwise stretched to pay the rising cost of childcare. In partnership with RCGB, ReVillage will use this funding for needed supplies, kid-sized furniture, play-based learning tools, and other critical investments to support children in this new site.

Deschutes County is considered a childcare desert by many, with regulated childcare spots available for only 10-20% of infants, toddlers, and preschool children. “With housing costs that limit working families’ ability to afford rent or mortgage and other basic needs, Bend is increasingly becoming a place that is not affordable for young families. ReVillage was created to expand affordable, high-quality childcare to plant seeds in our childcare desert,” shared co-founder Becca Ellis.

“Rotary Club of Greater Bend is dedicated to creating positive change, and that starts here in our own community,” said RCGB President Brian Stallcop, adding “We were impressed by ReVillage’s approach to play-based learning, their dedication to fair compensation and benefits for early education professionals, and the overall impact this project can have on our local workforce. This grant is an investment in the future of Bend, with the intent to make it a place where more young families can thrive.”

“As one of Bend’s oldest congregations, Grace First Lutheran Church has watched and weathered over a century of change and growth. We’re proud to reach beyond our congregational walls and invite ReVillage in as a partner, serving and supporting our neighbors in raising healthy children — one of the best investments we can imagine in the world we want to see.” said Pastor Andrew Bansemer.

San Lucas Toliman Update

Dennis Evans, who runs the San Lucas Toliman Scholars project in Guatemala, sent in this update & photos:

“Dear sponsors, friends and family,

Good to read of the improving situation in the US and the UK.

Here in San Lucas Toliman, individual schools are adapting to the situation, each in their own way. While they follow government and public health requirements, local school directors have decided how to apply them in their school. Depending on the number of classrooms available, some schools have classes every day: some two days a week, with the students doing homework on the other days, and so on.

Every town is graded every two weeks, red, orange or yellow. When we are in red, all students study at home. We hear on Saturdays what color we are. On that depends if studies take place in school or parents collect work for the students to do at home. Not an easy situation for teachers or students!

The good news is that the government has bought sixteen million doses of “sputnik” vaccine. To my surprise, I am registered to receive the jab. Guatemalan Health services attend to anybody living in the country, regardless of their nationality!

Last year, some of you very generously contributed funds to help build an annex to the local IMED junior high. The land was bought, and that would not have been possible without the donations sent through SLT scholars. The land has now been cleared, with teachers lending a hand in their spare time. Only minor fundraising activities have been possible, but with vaccinations, restrictions should be reduced, and it will be all systems go! The new building will allow a substantial reduction in class sizes.

As the students have not had some of the normal expenses for school activities, we have been able to give them more in the way of shoes, rucksacks, school supplies and so on.

Some sponsors have also donated money for us to help the most needy families in the area, regardless of sponsorship. I set up an advisory group to help us decide who and how to help. They visited the poorest families to assess individual situations. One member of the group said how nice it was, to visit houses and be able to do something to alleviate the extreme poverty in which some people have to live.

We bought three beds in a local store. They gave is a hefty discount, and an extra bed for free! An old lady, living on her own and sleeping on the floor, wept for joy that same day when we delivered her bed. I wish you could share the happiness of families when our workers fix a variety of their problems.

Unfortunately, with the on – off – on – off of the schools, and because students can earn some money to help their families, we have had a few students withdraw. There are many waiting to take their place: good students whose families are enduring hard times. Thank you for your understanding and continuing support.

All best wishes,


$2000 Donation to Jericho Road

Our club has just given $2000 to Jericho Road to support Jericho Table, serving free, nutritious meals 25 nights each month, and their Weekend Food program to create and deliver backpacks of food to assist hungry students and their families over weekends.

Thanks to the Central Oregon community and our club members for supporting our club’s fundraisers, so that we can help in ways like this!