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Jul 11, 2017

Employee Spotlight— Eca-Etabo Wasongolo

Eca-Etabo Wasongolo bends down and picks an amaranth plant that is growing in a Village Gardens’ plot on Sauvie Island. Three families grow the vegetable, along with many other African vegetables, as part of the Village Gardens’ Market Gardener Program.

Designed to support families in launching a small farm business, the Market Gardener Program provides donated land, free water, vegetable starts, tilling support and business training. Wasongolo has been the community organizer at Village Gardens for seven years and, more recently, working with the Market Gardener families to help them launch their small businesses. “Village Gardens helps each family business define their goals and work with them on each step, beginning with planning their garden, preparing the garden beds, harvesting and taking the produce to market,” says Wasongolo.

Market Gardeners sell at the New Columbia and St. Johns Farmers Markets and Village Market. As the vegetables get ready for harvest, Wasongolo shows gardeners how to trim, weigh, bundle and price the vegetables for sale at the Farmers Market. The families in the Market Gardener program are from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Africa. They grow hard-to-find vegetables from their native countries in Africa, such as fresh amaranth, mbonga bujungu or “MB veggie”— as well as African eggplants, kale, peas, cabbage, beans, squash and tomatoes.

Wasongolo, along with other Village Gardens staff, is a critical link in helping each gardener and their families learn the skills necessary to run a successful small farm business. His role as a Community Organizer for Village Gardens is to work alongside Community Leaders who live in Cathedral Gardens, New Columbia and Tamaracks Apartment affordable housing communities to support leadership in community-led food projects. In addition to the Market Gardener Program on Sauvie Island, Wasongolo also collaborates with residents on the Seeds of Harmony Community Garden and Fruits of Diversity orchard in New Columbia and the New Beginnings Garden in Cathedral Gardens.

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Sep 11, 2017
​Partner Spotlight: Home Builders Foundation

Brenda Ketah of Home Builders Foundation (HBF) likes giving people the opportunity to serve others. As Project Manager of HBF for six years, she does that every day—connecting people to service providers who need help restoring or maintaining their shelters or transitional housing for youth, women and children. HBF has been a Janus partner for many years, leading the Cordero House renovation, the energy retrofit of Buckman House and painting seven of our facilities. We talked to Brenda to find out more about HBF’s work in the community.

Aug 29, 2017
Dinner in the Vines

180 people enjoyed our annual “end of summer” Dinner in the Vines event at the scenic ArborBrook Vineyards in Newberg’s Chehalem Mountain wine country. Guests savored a Spanish influenced, four-course dinner from Crown Paella, selected wine pourings from ArborBrook Vineyards and live jazz by the Rob Bonenfant Quintent on a perfect summer evening.

Thank you to everyone who came and to our sponsors who helped make the evening a tremendous success: Jazz Sponsor, Greg Bauer; Wine Sponsor, ArborBrook Vineyards and Table Sponsors Magnacorp, Melissa Bauer, Harsch Investment, Home Forward, Kaiser Permanente, Shelly McFarland, Miller Nash Graham & Dunn, RBC Wealth Management, Barry Schrimsher, Albina Community Bank and The Standard. Click here to see more pictures.

Aug 28, 2017
Get A Columbia Sportswear Employee Store Pass Today!

Take advantage of this limited time special offer to shop at the Columbia Sportswear Employee store! Now through September 17, 2017 you and up to four guests can purchase any items at the Columbia Sportswear Employee store and 10% of your purchase will be donated back to Janus. Call 503-542-4636 to receive a store pass or email pvalenti@gmail.com.

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