Why I give

Why I give

Every year I reflect on why I give. I love that my story, as all of ours, is ever growing.

This year, we are celebrating five years of Giving Tuesdays. I’m proud to be a part of #OregoniansGive. Rotary International Foundation is truly is like having your own foundation, as it celebrates 100 years. It began with just $26.50 and has grown to over $1 billion. Consistently ranked among the most effective nonprofits in the world, Rotary Foundation is a sum of all of us who contribute to it and make the projects happen around the world each year.



First, because it starts with people, I am honored to be a part of Rotary, and to share it with amazing people like Lou Radja, my brother from another mother. Who is an example of how to Be More, Give More and give back with EduCongo. That we should share this orbit together is a pleasure.

To my dear husband Adam Creighton. Who tirelessly dedicates himself in service of humanity. Whose commitment to InStove and vision to accelerate the growth of green jobs in rural America. To lobby his talents on behalf of a better and cleaner way of living for the planet.

Adam Creighton Clark Hendrickson InStove Oregon Country Fair
Adam & Clark volunteering at Energy Park during the Oregon Country Fair.

Because of what Fred Colgan created in his retirement on the banks of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River. Who teamed up with Damon Ogle to create a revolutionary technology, the InStove. I’m inspired to give of myself to InStove, as its Chief Partnership Officer, to see us reach our full capacity through partnership with others doing great work.

Fred Colgan, Co-founder and Executive Director of InStove rolls stainless steel to be used in the manufacture of solid fuel stoves. (InStove lead stove builder Roman Corona working in background)

Through the work and living example of people like Michael Royce, who created Green Empowerment. An organization that supports community level development, particularly related to energy equity and clean water, through long term local partners. As a Portland-based team, they are a great example of good development practices at work.


I give because I am inspired by the work that Habitat for Humanity does for the world, and right here in Portland. Thanks to Pat Mahoney, our current club President, for inviting me to the spring breakfast table fundraiser. When I consider the options for how to create diverse in communities and neighborhoods within our city, it is work like this that will get us there together. As a home owner and real estate aficionado for more than a decade, I feel that this approach works to help create housing options that are accessible to all. I also love the earthquake-proof work that I saw a presentation on in Washington, DC, where they won an award for this innovative technology.


I give each year to Lewis & Clark College, because I deeply appreciate all that the College has done to foster me into who I am today. Ever grateful for my education, I believe that it should be attainable for all. While a student, I was especially grateful for extra scholarships that helped me cover the gap between what I could pay, working 2-3 jobs on top of student aid, and what it cost to attend.


I give to the La Pine Community Kitchen because their work serving people in need in their community inspires me. It is a great service for so many people each day. I’m inspired by their Executive Director, Kim’s work to raise funds and better serve the community. I’m excited to get funding for a small project to equip the kitchen with InStove to help reduce the monthly gas bill of $200 (one of their highest monthly expenses) and to be prepared in the event of poor weather or other emergencies.

Lovely South Umpqua River
Lovely South Umpqua River

I give to the Columbia Riverkeeper because I believe that we should protect our greatest natural resources and make wise choices for our future generations.

I give because of people like Javelin Ormond, a man who served his community, expanding from Promise Natural Foods in Canyonville, the baseball field in Days Creek, and his presence upriver in Tiller. He was a man of the people to gave and gave of himself. We miss you Jav.


I give to Yo Ghana!, a volunteer based penpal opportunity for children in Ghana and Oregon. Great stuff. Feel free to check them out and donate by sending to “Yo Ghana!” to 4920 NE 35th Place, Portland OR 97211.

I give because people like Delilah inspire me with the ferocity of their faith in good work. She brought an InStove out to Ghana and immediately started working with women to fry plantain chips and cook down palm nut oil. She shows how applicable InStoves are for creating micro-businesses or cleaning up big ones.


I give of myself because I believe in Tana Myers, who founded Global Village Power. She is the local partner that InStove relies on for expansion to scale within Ghana. It is an exciting venture to support and be a part of.

I give because of my village, Dorfor Adidome, in the Volta Region of Ghana, West Africa. I’m thankful everyday for the experience I gained through being a Peace Corps Volunteer. I dream of giving back more through creating a space called Ama Kope, or “Ama’s Village.” Ama was my name as a volunteer, I consider it as any of our names that we adopt in a culture that we experience on a deeper level by living there. I’ve gone by Milla, Ama, Woesta, and Mama Dorfor Nenyo I.

Most of all

Clark in Ghana at 18 months

Finally, I give because of Clark and all the other kids out there in this world. We each do our own part in creating the world we inhabit. I feel fortunate to have been able to share the world with him so early on in life. His comment this morning, in a very chipper mood, on the way to Rotary was, “I’m going to feel proud at the Rotary Club.”

Give Today!




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