The Canby Center has achieved its cash goal of $8 million in its ongoing capital campaign, staff announced this week, ensuring that the local, faith-based nonprofit will move forward with a long-planned and carefully designed expansion project to triple its existing facility near Canby High School.
With the community’s support, the nonprofit also plans to greatly expand and enhance its programs and services in Canby, strengthen partnerships with other local organizations and nonprofits serving those in need, and work to share its model with neighboring communities who have expressed interest in replicating it.
“There’s been a lot of excitement, a lot of buzz about the project,” said The Canby Center Development Director Steve Nelson. “It’s one of the most significant and impactful projects in the history of our community, and I think we can all be excited about the future impact for this kind of facility.”
The Canby Center’s board of directors and staff have carefully planned the organization’s expansion over several years, Nelson said, securing more than $7 million in grants, foundation support, and donations from businesses, organizations and individuals before launching a public fundraising campaign in January 2023.
“It’s been like riding a really awesome wave, because we have seen such an amazing and continuing outpouring of compassion from our community, of churches, businesses, organizations and individuals saying, ‘We believe in what you’re doing, and we want to help in every way that we can,'” said Nelson.
The Center was able to reach its goal in the past month thanks to continued support from the Canby community as well as a significant award from the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, which voted unanimously on May 17 to allocate $640,000 of American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to the project.
“I think that one thing we learned through this process is that there is some alignment between government agencies and the mission we have to serve the most vulnerable in our community,” Nelson said.
“And they’ve seen that we have a great track record of meeting the needs here in a very effective way — at no cost to those who are participating or to the government.”
The expansion project, which will break ground later this month, will add a total of more than 11,000 square feet to the Center’s current building on Southwest 2nd Avenue, including dedicated space for cold and dry food storage and distribution, classrooms, a job center, offices and more.
Nelson said the expanded and renovated spaces will be warm and inviting, akin to a coffee shop or retail store. One of the Center’s key missions is to restore dignity to the families it serves.
“Our programs are all based on relationship,” Nelson said. “What we have observed is that when people know they’re cared about, when they are connecting with others in a community and encouraged by others in the community, they want to move forward in a positive direction.
“We have worked hard to create a place where people can be confident that they’re going to find a solution at The Canby Center. And they do find solutions at The Canby Center.”
Nelson said there are still ways to support the Center’s capital campaign and leave a lasting legacy related to the expansion project, including buying a customized brick in honor of a business, organization or loved one. Learn more about this opportunity at www.thecanbycenter.org/brick.
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