Seashore Family Literacy secures permanent location
Organization seeks contributions from community
WALDPORT, OR – A literacy organization started 20 years ago by an immigrant barely able to speak English, is now – after years of scrambling from place to place -purchasing its very own home.
Seashore Family Literacy, a nonprofit organization based in Waldport, has secured a permanent location at Hwy 34 & Spruce Street, in what formerly housed Western Title & Escrow Company. Seashore plans to move in November.
“I couldn’t be happier,” says Senitila McKinley, Seashore’s founder and director.
Seashore’s new home is a 2,200 square-foot office built about 10 years ago, according to Rick Hill, chair of the Seashore Board of Directors, who is also director of Seashore’s popular Green Bike program. “This is a great opportunity,” he says. “The building is in excellent condition and is centrally located in town.”
McKinley agrees, and embraces the change. “Having our own place, one that is new, clean and permanent, will give us the stability we need to dedicate our time and energy to the community.”
The new location will serve as a center for the organization’s core programs, with plans in the works to secure satellite locations for meal and clothing programs. Green Bike, a bike loan and training program, will stay in its current location along Hwy 101.
In 1992, with no funding and no meeting place, Senitila McKinley – a South Pacific immigrant to Oregon who learned English while raising two young children – packed her car full of books and meals, and held programs in parks, and later in abandoned classrooms. Steadily she recruited volunteers and fostered an organization that now serves hundreds of low-income, at-risk and homeless youth and families annually.
Serving the need
Over 50 percent of the Lincoln County youth are economically disadvantaged, and within the school district 400 students are homeless (defined as living with relatives or friends, awaiting foster care, or living in an emergency shelter, motel, campground, car or park).
While Seashore’s primary focus is on change through education, the organization first meets the critical needs of food and clothing by providing free Saturday Breakfasts, monthly Read & Feed Dinners, a Summer Food Program, and a free Clothes Closet. Educational opportunities are offered through numerous programs, including youth and adult tutoring, after-school activities, summer camps, an organic garden, and more. All programs are free and Seashore operates almost entirely with volunteer efforts.
Through October, Seashore will continue to offer Saturday Breakfasts (every Saturday), and Read & Feed Dinners (monthly, on the first and third Tuesdays) at their current space in the former middle school on Hwy 34.
A call for help
After two decades of serving others, Seashore is now looking to the community for help. Donations to the nonprofit organization are tax-deductible, and can be sent to: Seashore Family Literacy, PO Box 266, Waldport, OR 97394. Contributions can also be made online: http://www.seashorefamily.org/donate/
“I started Seashore Family Literacy 20 years ago because I believed in the single idea, a humane idea, that literacy can transform lives and communities,” says McKinley. “I still hold that truth.”