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Dozens roll out for Medford drive-up fundraiser

One good deed in Medford kindled by a group of local businesses has sparked dozens more.

Dozens of Southern Oregonians rolled into the Medford Radiology Group parking lot Saturday to give bagfuls of what they could to a collection of Rogue Valley nonprofits that largely help families.

An estimated 50-plus cars came through with donations for Family Nurturing Center, Kid Time Children’s Museum, Hearts With A Mission and Maslow Project for the Passion of Service 2020 drive-up fundraiser, according to Medford Radiology Group CEO Jason Darrow who helped organize the fundraiser with eight other businesses to collect donations for family-focused nonprofits in ways that limited contact and maximized physical distancing.

At least one donor’s haul stemmed from way more than just one household.

De Rider, who lives at Twin Creeks Retirement in Central Point, estimated that the multiple bags of donations and hundreds of dollars she raised were from at least 100 of her roughly 160 neighbors at the assisted living home.

Volunteers counted about $700 in cash donations — which will be split four ways with each nonprofit — along with check donations made out to individual nonprofits.

Rider said it all came together very quickly. She saw a story about the Passion of Service 2020 event Friday morning in the paper, and by midday Saturday she’d gathered everyone’s donations.

“This has been so wonderful to watch our community come together,” Rider said.

Items she collected included non-perishable food, and intricate 3-D printed plastic toys made by a resident.

“Everybody just donated what they could, and that was fine,” Rider said. “We got lots of different people at Twin Creeks.”

At the Kid Time donation table, volunteer Melissa Hidy marveled at the brightly colored plastic dragonflies, sharks, slugs and octopuses the Twin Creeks resident made — many of them assembled from more than a dozen individual plastic pieces each.

“The kids at Kid Time are just going to go crazy over these,” Hidy said, later adding, “I want to be friends with this guy.”

Hidy said the idea that a senior could make something for a child they’ve never met made being part of Saturday’s event “so special” to her.

Event organizers didn’t have an estimate Saturday afternoon as to how much they’d collected or money raised, but it largely filled a Mercy Flights ambulance and several tables.

Toothbrushes, shampoo and feminine hygiene supplies were among the less exciting but much needed items that donors gave Hearts With A Mission and Maslow Project, which each have programs serving homeless youth.

Kid Time collected dozens of Ball mason jars, coloring books, crayons, colored pencils and markers.

Darrow — who organized the event with help from Adroit Construction, Garrison’s furniture, Jackson County Physical Therapy, KDP Certified Public Accountants, Mercy Flights, RHT Energy and Rogue Credit Union — said he wanted to help organizations that help families because lots of people are hurting because of the pandemic, but “kids are some of the most vulnerable.”

Darrow touched on statistics showing increases in family abuse and neglect since the rise of COVID-19, and the struggles of nonprofits at a time when they’re needed most.

“Without them we’d be in a pretty bad way,” Darrow said.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.

Kid Time received these toys made by a Twin Creeks resident from 3-D printed parts Saturday at the Passion of Service 2020 drive-up fundraiser. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune
Twin Creeks resident De Rider delivers checks for the Family Nurturing Center to Rebekah McAnally Saturday at the Passion of Service 2020 drive-up fundraiser Saturday in Medford. Andy Atkinson / Mail Tribune