Dear friends and supporters of Acorn Outreach:
This past year has been one of change, and yet our mission remains the same, serving immigrants and the local Latino community in the name of Christ.
You are undoubtedly aware that the cofounder of Acorn Outreach, Peter Ogle, died in the Spring after living with cancer for the past 7 years. His memorial service in May was a testimony to his faith in Christ and his love for this ministry. Many members of Iglesia Emanuel attended and Pastor Josué Gómez helped lead the service, in an authentic demonstration of the affection and respect that has emerged among our Latino and Anglo partners in the ministry.
With Peter’s passing, Mark Edwards has become president of the board, and our long-time friend and co-worker Ben Slothower has joined the board as well. Ellen Ogle remains our Executive Director leading the ministries described below. Soon after we lost Peter, Ellen felt called to invest even more deeply in this ministry by leaving their home of 18 years across town and moving into the Acorn Center. Meanwhile, Pastors Josué and Hilda of Iglesia Emanuel moved from Acorn into the Ogle home, giving them more room for practicing the hospitality that is so central to their successful ministry. So with this housing swap, our Executive Director is now on-site for continuing the work, and the Gomez family has a better location for their ministry.
Acorn Outreach continues as a community center in an immigrant-destination neighborhood, offering education, advocacy and support to help our immigrant friends integrate into the community. Since 2005 we have taught English to more than 300 students, and have responded to other needs of the community by working with the community college, OSU, and Benton County Health Department.
We are especially pleased to report that we have helped over 100 young people receive Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). Each of these young friends, some of whom began participating in Acorn activities over ten years ago, are now able to drive and work legally, and pursue higher education in the country where they have been living since they were very young. We have helped other adult immigrants obtain their green cards, become citizens, and bring their family members to the U.S. Our part-time assistant, Alan Duran, who is an immigrant himself, continues to work with us while completing his degree at OSU and preparing for application to law school. Through mostly word of mouth and client referrals, our reputation for honesty, compassion, and providing accurate information has brought us clients from all around the Willamette Valley.
Along with our legal services, we continue to offer English classes at the Acorn Center four days a week. Unexpectedly one of our students found more than English instruction at Acorn. About the time we wrote to you last year, we celebrated our first “Acorn wedding” when one of our longest-attending students, Fernando, married one of our volunteer teachers, Becky. It was a beautiful event that several of us were privileged to be a part of. So Acorn Center remains what we dreamed it would be: a place where friendships are formed and where people find hope and encouragement, experiencing God’s love through the practical ways we meet very important needs. Almost every night of the week, next door to Ellen’s half of the duplex, you’ll either find students studying English, Iglesia Emanuel men praying, Latino children learning to play instruments and lead church worship, or a Calvin Presbyterian Church small group meeting. Acorn Center is being used by God for his purposes, and we are open to the ways God will lead us in the coming year.
We are grateful for your interest in this work and ask that if what you see and hear about us inspires you, then please consider supporting the ministry financially. We are charging very low fees for the legal services we provide, and those fees do cover some costs. But the expense of training and overhead for legal services is high, especially for an organization of our size. Please consider making a one-time gift or supporting us on a monthly basis. Our goal with this letter is to receive $10,000 in donations from individuals and churches
Checks can be made payable to Acorn Outreach and mailed to the address shown below.
You may also give electronically by clicking here.
We appreciate your partnership with us in this ministry and thank you for your faithful support over the years. Dios los bendiga y Feliz Navidad! God bless you and Merry Christmas!
Acorn Outreach Board of Directors
Mark Edwards, Ellen Ogle, Josué Gómez, Loren Chavarría, and Ben Slothower
1740 NW Division Street, Corvallis, Oregon 97330
Phone: (541)224-6590 Fax: (541)207-3249