Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards 120 Community Grants

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards 120 Community Grants

Portland, OR. The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation awarded 120 community grants to local nonprofits across its five-state footprint totaling $423.5K. Dozens were given out in Oregon and Washington. The grants represent the first of three funding cycles in 2021. Clark College Foundation (CCF), seen above, was one recipient. The foundation is an independent, self-funded nonprofit that assists Clark College through philanthropy.

Another Oregon recipient was Free Geek. It’s a nonprofit working to divert technology that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away, refurbish it, and give it back to members of the community at no or low cost.

Girl Scouts is another recipient. Above, Brownie Girl Scouts lead a signature campaign to save a local park.

Nonprofits were selected from hundreds of applicants who demonstrated a strong commitment to serving their communities, particularly those focused on reaching low-to-moderate income or under-resourced populations in one of the following eight categories: family engagement and resiliency; financial competency; housing stability and homeownership; college, career or technical readiness; entrepreneurship and business expansion; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; technical and digital connectivity; and small business support and financial guidance.

“With local community-focused nonprofits, we are able to work together for better,” shared Randy Choy, vice president of community giving & nonprofit partnerships and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “Their grassroots efforts are key to post-pandemic recovery, and we’re honored to support their work.”

Umpqua Bank, through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, continues to evolve its community giving strategy and community grants program to reflect a deeper commitment to improving economic prosperity, especially for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. The foundation invests in nonprofit organizations, communities, and leaders to support direct-service programming that incorporates a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus.

The community grants are part of an overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested more than $12 million since the foundation was formed in 2014. The next deadline for community grant applications is Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Learn more at

A full list of the nonprofit grant recipients by state is below:


Adelante Mujeres

Baker County YMCA

Building Blocks to Success Corporation

Casa of Lane County

Central City Concern Inc.

Community Connection of Northeast Oregon

Community Development Corporation of Oregon

Community Vision Inc.

Community Works Inc.

Conference of St Vincent De Paul Society of Myrtle Creek

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon Inc.

Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services Inc.

Drexel H Foundation

Free Geek

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington Inc

Habitat for Humanity International Inc.


Juliette’s House

Lewis And Clark College

MetroEast Community Media


Northwest Housing Alternatives Inc.

Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.

Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Portland Housing Center

Portland Tennis and Education

Portland YouthBuilders

Proud Ground

School Garden Project of Lane County

SE Works Inc.

Society of St Vincent De Paul

Stone Soup PDX

Winston Area Community Partnership

Yamhill Carlton Together Cares Inc.

YWCA of Greater Portland



Blue Mountain Action Council

Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties

Boys and Girls Club of The Olympic Peninsula

Career Path Services-Employment and Training

Catholic Charities Housing Services

Clark Community College District 14 Foundation

Community Youth Services

El Centro De La Raza


Foundation for Private Enterprise Education

Fusion-Friends United to Shelter the Indigent Oppressed and Needy

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Homestead Community Land Trust

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Spokane (DBA Family Promise of Spokane)

Junior Achievement of Washington

Mary’s Place Seattle

Northwest Access Fund

Overlake Service League

Parkview Services

Peace Community Center

R Merle Palmer Minority Scholarship Foundation

Seattle Milk Fund

Second Harvest Inland Northwest

South Sound Outreach Services

Sustainable Seattle

Tacoma Farmers Market

The Trail Youth

University District Development Association

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle


Wing Luke Memorial Foundation

Work Force Development Center A Resource Center for Our Future

Your Money Matters

Youth Eastside Services



Accion San Diego

Aim High for High School

APA Family Support Services

Benicia Community Action Council

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Inc.

California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity

California Community Economic Development Association

California FarmLink

California Restaurant Association Foundation Inc.

Casa El Dorado

College Track

Community Action Partnership of Orange County

Financial Beginnings

FOTC — Los Angeles

Fremont Unified School District

Girls Inc. of the Northern Sacramento Valley

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Jefferson Economic Development Institute

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of San Diego County

Junior Achievement of Southern CA

Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County

New Beginnings Housing Foundation

North Marin Community Services

Opportunity Junction Inc.

Petaluma Ecumenical Properties

Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce

Saint John’s Program for Real Change

San Diego Center for Children

Score San Diego

Southeast Asian Community Center

Standup for Kids

Sunday Friends Foundation

United Way of Northern California

UpValley Family Centers

Workshops for Warriors Inc.

Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation



Boys and Girls Clubs of The Lewis Clark Valley Inc.

Jannus, Inc.

Kids Klub Inc.

Moscow Affordable Housing Trust

The Jesse Tree of Idaho

The Momentum Group

Wyakin Warrior Foundation



Andson Inc.

Arts for All Nevada

Clark County Public Education Foundation Inc.

Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada Inc.

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth

Opportunity Alliance Nevada


About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the sixteenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.

Free Geek Needs Computers for People Still Struggling to Get Online for School and Vital Services

Free Geek Needs Computers for People Still Struggling to Get Online for School and Vital Services

Portland, OR. The nonprofit that takes donated computers, removes all personal information, and gives them to needy people is working in overdrive. Free Geek helped to deliver computers to students at William Walker Elementary School as seen above. The nonprofit delivered 40 devices to families of students in need, but there are still many more people in the Portland area who need to get online.

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Free Geek saw a 4,000% increase in the number of requests for computers for low-income people.

The number of requests continues to grow according to Free Geek marketing specialist, Charlie D’eve. She explains how getting online is vital for people. “It’s families of five who received only one computer from the school their children attend when e-schooling began. Its people asking for computers for their parents whom they haven’t been able to contact since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s parents who lost their jobs during the pandemic, looking to find work online. It’s college students who relied on the library for their homework. It’s therapists who have clients with no access to them. It’s social workers. It’s houseless youth. It’s cousins, neighbors, friends.”

In January, Free Geek staff members fill their van with laptops and desktops to deliver a hardware grant to families living at The Louisa Flowers, Multnomah County’s largest low-income apartment building.

For the past two decades, Free Geek has offered a way to divert technology that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away, refurbish it, and give it back to the community at no or low cost.

Since COVID-19 began the organization has been able to partner with programs including SNAP, Every Child Oregon, Project LEDO, Black Resilience Fund, Portland State University, and many more community change organizations according to D’eve.

In their partnership with SNAP, Free Geek has provided 121 devices and is working to provide 300 more. “Our Gift a Geekbox program has been seeing around 20 applications a day since we put the program up on our site. Our highest amount of applications in one day was 240. We haven’t even advertised the program yet,” says D’eve.

Other programs available through Free Geek include:

  • Plug Into Portland (computers for K-12 students)
  • Hardware Grants (free and low-cost technology grants)
  • Online Shop (low-cost tech through an online store)
  • Corporate Technology Donation (bring corporate used tech back into the community)
  • Personal Tech Donation (bring your personal tech back to those who need it)
  • Data Security (data destruction certification for your tech)

There are a number of challenges Free Geek has faced throughout the pandemic, although one challenge has hit the organization the hardest. According to D’eve there is a great need for laptops to provide for students going through e-schooling, and telehealth services for the elderly.

Vaccines are now available in Oregon, with the elderly (age 65 and older) prioritized receiving the vaccine first throughout February. This does not come without challenges, however, as many people are having trouble navigating an online platform and finding ways to get to their appointments. In response to this, Free Geek is relying on potential partnerships with businesses to ensure they can get devices to those who can sign up for the vaccine but don’t have digital access.

Currently, there are no volunteer opportunities with Free Geek. However, there are many other ways to get involved, according to D’eve, including:

  1. Give a gift to Free Geek at
  2. Donate your used technology
  3. Ask your employer about where your used tech goes, and start a conversation about providing that tech to Free Geek
  4. Start a fundraiser for us
  5. Start a tech drive for us
  6. Talk with your friends about Free Geek – shout us out on social media!
  7. Know a community change organization or person that needs a computer? Help them get one from us

“I think what people are starting to notice is that even though they have a device, their next-door neighbor likely doesn’t. And now we’re seeing people notice, and people wanting to make sure that changes,” says D’eve.

Staff members deliver laptops to Title I elementary schools by partnering with project LEDO.

From the Free Geek website: Free Geek’s mission is to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential. Including everyone in our digital future. 

27% of Americans do not own a computer. And one out of ten families do not have internet at home. This lack of access is sharply stratified along lines of income, race, age, and education. Low-income families, immigrants, seniors, and children are digitally under-connected, many with mobile-only internet access, which often isn’t enough. 

The crisis is growing. Our world is growing more digital every day, and vulnerable populations are being left behind. The digital divide separates individuals along economic lines – from the cost of technology and devices, to which neighborhoods have better broadband access. Day-to-day tasks middle- and upper-class individuals take for granted become massive challenges to communities where basic technology and skills feel alien and inaccessible, due to language or financial barriers. From applying for jobs to completing homework assignments, from paying bills to accessing medical records to communicating with family, people with the means to access technology are at a decided advantage over those who are not. This is a social justice issue. Without technology access, full participation in nearly every aspect of American society — from economic success and educational achievement, to positive health outcomes and civic engagement — is compromised

Now think about this: the EPA estimates that only 27% of e-waste is recycled nationally. E-waste represents 2% of America’s trash in landfills, but it equals 70% of overall toxic waste.​​​​ ​​​

A large number of what is labeled as “e-waste” is actually not waste at all, but rather whole electronic equipment or parts that are readily marketable for reuse or can be recycled for materials recovery. So what if we repaired and reused these devices, in order to keep our community connected while keeping e-waste out of landfills?

Our programs are founded on this very idea. Free Geek has created a unique circular model which points two existing societal problems – excess electronic waste in need of sustainable reuse and recycling, and lack of access to basic technology among vulnerable populations – back at each other to reveal innovative solutions. The computers we grant to our Digital Inclusion participants are saved from ending up in landfills, and instead, go on to find a new life helping provide our community’s most vulnerable populations with the digital literacy skills they need to succeed and thrive.

Want to join the movement helping both our environment and our community? Join us and make an impact. For just $10 a month, you can provide one person a device, tech support, and digital skill training. Join our monthly giving community THE BRIDGE, and give the gift of clean water all year round.



Portland Nonprofit Asks for Donations of Old Computers to Meet Huge Need

Portland Nonprofit Asks for Donations of Old Computers to Meet Huge Need

Portland, OR. Do you have an old computer you’re not using? You can donate it to a nonprofit called Free Geek to help meet a 4,000% increase in the number of requests for computers so low-income people can get online. A good portion of requests come from students who suddenly need to get online in order to participate in K-12 education or college. Many people are reaching out on behalf of aging parents who are no longer able to visit their doctors and others are desperate for access to mental health or addiction treatment services.

If you donate, rest assured, your data will be secure. “Data security is our top concern when receiving donations – and we will thoroughly wipe (or physically destroy) any hard drives that we receive,” explains the organization. In the first weeks of the pandemic, the organization saw the demand for used laptops spike from about 300 requests per month to 3,000 per week. “Folks need the internet to be able to see a doctor, to pay their bills, do work so they can continue to get a paycheck or get an education,” said Hilary Shohoney, director of community development for Portland nonprofit Free Geek. “It touches every area of our life right now.” But an estimated 17% of Portlanders aren’t connected to the internet. In rural parts of the Northwest, that number balloons to nearly 40%. With the coronavirus pandemic all but canceling face-to-face interactions, the internet is no longer a luxury — it’s a necessity. “For us, the numbers changed exponentially,” Shohoney said. Here’s a link with info on donating:

Free Geek accepts donations of computers and other electronics at its Portland facility. It offers a donation receipt you can use for tax purposes. (Photo credit, OPB)

On April 1st, Free Geek sold its first round of machines to students at PSU who didn’t have laptops for remote studying through its Low Cost Tech Community Program.

From Free Geek:

Free Geek continues to provide computers to those in need and we need your reusable laptops.

Our current focus is on receiving Macbooks and laptops with i-series processors. Secondarily we have a need for desktop computers, LCD monitors, mice, webcams and headsets. This is the aspect of our work that is essential at this time and we hope that most other hardware donations can wait until safety concerns and our capacity improve.

For hardware donations we offer the following options:

  •    Public Drop offs (limited hours and quantity) In the parking lot on the northeast side of our building. We will have collection bins set outside the warehouse entrance. Please be prepared to unload your own vehicle and form a line if needed. For the safety of our community, we ask that you wear a face covering  and maintain a 6 foot distance from staff and other donors at all times. If you don’t see John at the warehouse door when you arrive during one of the following times: please call the Warehouse Desk at (503) 232-9350 x 124. Receipts will be available by request, this can be expedited by attaching your name and email address to your donation. 

    • Friday April 24, between 10:30am and 1pm
    • Saturday April 25, between 3pm and 5pm.
    • Thursday April 30, between 10:30am and 1pm,
    • Friday May 1,  between 10:30am and 1pm
    • Saturday May 2, 2020 between 3pm and 5pm.
  •  Drop off by appointment for 10 or more computers, or large loads of other equipment. 
    • Please email [email protected] to let us know what you have and when you would like to bring it by.
    • Availability may be limited but we will work to accommodate your needs.
  •  You can mail your donation to  
    • Free Geek: Hardware Donation, 1731 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR 97214.
  • We can pickup your equipment (limited availability, fees apply)
    • Currently this works best if can arrange for your items can be brought outside and, for larger volumes, secured onto pallets.
    •  For more details see our pickups page.
  • We can wait this out together, and be there for you in the future.

Free Geek’s mission is to sustainably reuse technology, enable digital access, and provide education to create a community that empowers people to realize their potential. Here’s more info on our donations:

At the turn of the millennium, Free Geek was founded to create digital equity through environmental sustainability.