Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Aug. 10, 2022

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From the Newsroom: An update on giving, partnerships

By , Columbian Editor

Here’s something that may not be news: Columbian readers are community-minded and incredibly generous!

With several weeks left to go, our 2020 People in Need campaign has already raised more money than it has in the last several years. We’ve received at least $20,000 so far, and all of it will go to local charities that directly assist people in need in our community.

We work in conjunction with several partners on this annual tradition. I have been aware of People in Need for a number of years but didn’t know much about it. So I asked Julie Sellner, who has been its coordinator for The Columbian, to tell me more.

She said the drive was started in 1979 by Publisher Don Campbell, the grandfather of The Columbian’s current publisher, Ben Campbell. We used to collect donations of money and items such as clothing and have recipients come down to the newspaper to receive their gifts, she said. For those unable to drive, Don’s son, Scott Campbell, used to make pickups and deliveries in a circulation van.

After that program outgrew itself, we limited the donations to money and partnered with the Community Foundation to collect and distribute it. You can send checks made out to The Columbian People in Need Fund directly to the foundation at 610 Esther St., Suite 201, Vancouver WA 98660 or donate online at If you send the money to us, we will transmit it to the Community Foundation. The foundation will send you a receipt, since your donation is tax-deductible.

There’s currently a link to People in Need at the top of our home page, When I checked on Wednesday, it highlighted the needs of 65 local families being served by the Salvation Army’s Adopt-A-Family program. Although People in Need donations are split among several local charities, the Salvation Army is always a recipient.

Reading the brief descriptions of each family’s plight, I reflected on how lucky I have been. If you want to help a family, the deadline is fast approaching, because Adopt-A-Family is tied to Christmas giving. If you go to our website after reading this, you may see more general information about the People in Need Fund, which remains active for several weeks after Christmas.

Community partnerships

The People in Need campaign is just one of the projects undertaken by The Columbian’s Community Partnerships department. Some news came from that small department this week, as its director, Jody Campbell, announced her retirement. Jody is one of the family owners of The Columbian, and she and her husband, Scott, are passing the business to a fourth generation. Since you can’t quite ever leave a family business, Jody will continue to be involved in a few of the department’s endeavors, as well as stay on the editorial board.

Our community partnerships take two forms. First, we have two advertising programs where we join with local nonprofit groups to get their word out to the community. In our larger program, we match advertising budgets 1:1 with the nonprofit. If you see advertising in our paper or on our website promoting a community event or fundraiser, the odds are it’s part of this program.

Our second program works with three or four local nonprofits to raise awareness of their group and its mission. This advertising is donated by The Columbian.

Community Partnerships’ other main focus is on producing our annual Economic Forecast Event and First Citizen recognition program.

If you want to know more about our community partnerships, the new coordinator is Teresa Davis, 360-735-4572, or

Assuming you paid for a subscription to read this column, thank you for supporting local journalism. Our readers not only keep us in business, they also help local people in need and the nonprofit groups that serve them.


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Your tax-deductible donation to The Columbian’s Community Funded Journalism program will contribute to better local reporting on key issues, including homelessness, housing, transportation and the environment. Reporters will focus on narrative, investigative and data-driven storytelling.

Local journalism needs your help. It’s an essential part of a healthy community and a healthy democracy.

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