Eric and Rebekah Schwanke reported that with your help, they provided over $16,000 to help feed starving people in Dukana, Kenya. People that were hungry came and were able to eat a simple breakfast and participate in a Bible study. It started with just a handful of people and now there are four large groups meeting daily. This is having a huge impact. When they were first in Dukana, there were about 30 people coming to their friend Eddie’s church. This Christmas he had a Christmas party and over 400 people came. Eddie literally may have to build a larger church building now. The work-for-food program was a simple thing where folks would work for one week, and Eddie would give them a two week supply of food to feed their family. Because of Eric and Rebekah’s donors, they were able to keep a starving village fed.

I’m treasurer of Polk County Women for Agriculture and that group with Polk County Farm Bureau is sponsoring an important training called “Stop the Bleed,” which teaches how to stop severe bleeding (gunshot wound? severe injury?) until EMTs arrive, by applying pressure, packing wounds, and using a tourniquet. This will be tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 23, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the OSU Extension Office in Dallas. The cost is $10, and each attendee will receiving a kit valued at $25 that includes a tourniquet and other supplies. We will have coffee and doughnuts available, too.

LaVerne Bennett’s sister, Kathy Zehner, visited her for two days last week so that she could attend a memorial service for 72-year-old Mickey Hanna, who grew up here and went to school with Kathy. Mickey had been living in Salem, where she passed away. After visiting with Pete and LaVerne, Kathy spend a day with her granddaughter then went home to Central Oregon.

On Jan. 9, the entire student body at the Pedee Charter School went to watch a presentation at the Chemeketa Community College Planetarium. Then on the Jan. 21, the eighth-grade girls began a six-week STEM experience at OSU. This is called the AWSEM Club. STEM is curriculum based on the idea of educating students in four specific disciplines — Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. The club has a website if you would like to read more about it.

Correction: In the last column, I mentioned that we went to Brennan’s for Christmas morning, forgetting to mention that he is Dave and Suzanne Burbank’s son, and that we got to visit with the whole family: Brennan, his wife Callie, and three kids, Annabelle (8), Jake (6), and Zach (3).

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