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Next Door needs $1,860 to meet $100K matching grant

Next Door Inc. is on the verge of a major capital goal.

The nonprofit agency needs $1,860 to match a $100,000 grant made last year by Luhr Jensen Company.

The Next Door has until Jan. 31 to raise the remaining funds, according to Heidi Venture, NDI development manager.

This is the first matching grant ever received by NDI, and “we really weren’t sure what would happen,” Venture said. “Our supporters came through for us, and we even had donations from 45 people who have never given to us before.”

In 2009, Phil and Judy Jensen loaned NDI $300,000 to help pay for the renovation of the agency’s new building in Hood River while NDI waited for grants to be funded.

“When our loan was due in June 2012, they told us they’d be happy to give us $100,000 as a matching fund in honor of Phil’s dad, Luhr Jensen, with a final matching date of Jan. 31, 2013,” Venture said.

“Phil and Judy are great people, and their offer couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Janet Hamada, NDI director.

“In discussing what they wanted the Luhr Jensen Match Fund to accomplish, the Jensens did not have a particular focus; instead they let us decide if we wanted to earmark it to one of our 28 programs or for administration in general,” Hamada said.

“We decided that we would use the match for any individual donations, including those that are program-specific.

“For example, donations to Klahre House School, New Parent Services and Big Brothers-Big Sisters have all been matched. This has been a help to the programs. General donations have also been matched, which has helped all our programs.”

Toward the match, NDI received 14 donations in amounts over $1,000, all from individuals — except one from the congregation of the Hood River Alliance Church.

The largest matchable donation was $10,000; the smallest, $10.

“So far, we’ve been able to match 256 donations for a total of $98,140. We are very grateful to the amazingly generous people of the Columbia Gorge,” Venture said.

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Anyone who wants to donate to the Jensen matching fund can call Venture at 541-436-0303, or visit www.nextdoorinc.org and click the Donate button.

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