McDonald Community Vision Fund to carry forward legacy of service

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Date: Wednesday, February 10 2021
Staircase at SVdP's Chad Drive headquarters features a timeline applied to the wall, dating back to its earliest foundations in 1953.

Staircase at SVdP's Chad Drive headquarters features a timeline applied to the wall, highlighting milestones dating back to 1953.

As staff head up the stairs to their second-floor offices at St. Vincent de Paul’s Chad Drive headquarters in Eugene, they follow a timeline on the wall highlighting dozens of milestones in the 68-year local history of SVdP.

Remarkably, Terry McDonald has been with the organization for 50 of the years represented on that timeline — 37 of those as executive director. He can be credited with transforming a once-diminutive nonprofit into Lane County’s largest human-services organization, which provides emergency services to more than 55,000 low-income people every year and has developed more than 1,500 units of affordable housing, as just two examples of its local impact. 

SVdP’s ongoing positive influence on this community has also translated into national and international reach and recognition for its social enterprises, largely imagined by Terry and implemented under his leadership.

In honor of Terry’s lifetime of service and immeasurable contributions, SVdP will mark his 50th anniversary in November 2021 with some exciting (yet pandemic-aware) festivities to be announced.

Terry McDonald, SVdP Executive Director
Terry McDonald

In the meantime, and coinciding with Terry’s 50-year milestone, SVdP is launching the McDonald Community Vision (MCV) Fund. SVdP’s development staff held an initial meeting Feb. 4 with the newly formed MCV Committee, which will solicit donors to help carry forward the commitment to community service long held by Terry and his father, H.C. “Mac” McDonald, who served as SVdP’s first executive director. 

As Terry nears retirement, the MCV Fund will form a flexible funding stream to allow SVdP and its future leaders to continue leading the way in responding to community needs.

This is neither an endowment fund, nor a traditional reserve fund for future planned expenditures. Terry describes it as an “opportunity fund,” which will allow SVdP to take more effective and immediate advantage of every chance to do good in the community.

Such unrestricted funds will enhance SVdP’s ability to pivot on demand and serve community needs as they present themselves, as it has done in recent years to address the growing homelessness crisis with the Dawn to Dawn shelter site, the Overnight Parking Program, The Youth House, The Hub clinic in partnership with Willamette Family Inc., and more.

The fund also will help stabilize SVdP operations in the face of unexpected revenue losses, as happened when COVID-19 forced the closure of all of its thrift stores, and enable it to nimbly direct resources toward helping people in an emergency, as when it operated a donation sorting center for victims of the 2020 wildfires.

SVdP has always quickly pivoted to address community needs under the astute leadership and innovative vision of Terry McDonald. The MCV Fund will help ensure that remains true as it heads into the next 50 years on a firm, yet flexible, financial footing.

More information will come soon about celebrations of Terry’s 50 years of service and ways to give to the MCV Fund. Stay tuned!