Gift of Support Celebrates a Special Birthday

From our Winter Newsletter:

The other day, my friend called to ask me out for coffee. I was pleasantly surprised because, while we are friends, we had never done coffee before. I was excited but also a little nervous. Sometimes this kind of get-together leads to the divulging of a medical problem or major life change. But as we curled up around our lattes at Fika (a new lovely coffee shop on the north side of Sisters), I was relieved to learn that there was no unveiling of a frightening diagnosis or terrible event. I had been called to recognize what would have been my friend’s grandmother’s birthday.

My friend is Erin Borla and her grandmother was Gert Boyle, the iconic former President of Columbia Sportswear. Gert passed away this fall but would have turned 96 in March. Erin and her husband, Chris, wanted to recognize her grandmother’s birthday by doing 96 kind things.

Erin is one of the remarkable champions of this community. She has probably done 96 kind things this week, even as we shelter in place! You may know her as she has played many roles in Sisters, from Director of the Chamber of Commerce to running the Book Fairs at the Elementary and Middle Schools, founder of Fast Creek Productions and a trustee on the Roundhouse Foundation Board of Directors. She is all over town, usually with kids in tow.

Getting things done is in her blood. And one of the things on her “To-Do List” is to help all members of our community thrive. In this vein, she stepped up to help S.O.U.L. in our service to community members with IDD. She supported S.O.U.L’s founding when Roundhouse granted us $1000 to assist in getting the organization going. And on this winter morning, one of her 96 kind things was an additional gift, from her and her husband’s heart: a $500 check, made out to S.O.U.L.

Along with her tremendous generosity, Erin gave me important words of encouragement for S.O.U.L. and the people we serve. Sisters is diverse and growing to be more so. Everyone deserves the opportunity to live, work, and thrive here. She told me to keep pursuing housing, cultural activities, and game nights for the people we serve and to keep her informed of our progress.

That we will. Our coffee was brief because she had other people she needed to meet, with whom she needed to share her kindness. One can’t stop moving for long, when there are 95 others to attend to.

Thank you Erin for celebrating your grandmother’s birthday by paying it forward to us and thank you for all you do for the Sisters community.

— Becky Lukens, SOUL President