Gary and Debi Kelso met while serving at Shepherd's House together in early 2007. Debi, who had lived in Bend for 25 years, recently retired from the school district. Gary, a former Wisconsin business owner, had completed a discipleship program at Salem's Union Gospel Mission before helping open Shepherd's House in 2005. "While serving together, our eyes were opened to the need our community had for food relief," says Debi. The two decided to do what they could to help.  After a great deal of thought and prayer, they used Debi's savings to fund The Giving Plate’s startup fees and expenses.  This was all around the time that Central Oregon experienced an unexpected economic downturn that left hundreds without jobs.  In those first months, they were often reminded of the story of the young boy who gave his five loaves of bread and two fish over to Jesus who in turn took it to feed over 5,000 individuals.  In many ways they felt like that boy by giving the little they had, and in amazement watching that expand in the hands of Jesus, to help and serve a need that was bigger than they ever realized or thought possible.  It was clear from the start that this outreach was all a part of God's timing and plan.  Gary & Debi have been committed to “rescuing” food and making it accessible to those in need ever since, and they purpose to provide that food to those in need with the same love and compassion Jesus had on the crowds that He fed with the 5 loaves and 2 fish.

 

Board Members

 

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DAWN COFER

Chairman of the Board

dawn.cofer@fib.com | 541.330.7555

gary kelso

Co-Founder, Vice Chairman

seeker11258@yahoo.com | 541.4103621

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GEORGE jOHNSON

Board Director

gljj1947@gmail.com | 541.213.6044

 

Melissa Ford

Secretary & Backpacks for Bend Program Manager

ford.melissa1981@yahoo.com | 530.524.0442

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Justin VanPatten

Board Director

creatingassurance@gmail.com | 541.639.2104

Kimberly handley

Board Director

handley@bendbroadband.com | 541.420.6022

 

Executive Team

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DEBRA RANEY KELSO

Co-Founder & Co-Executive Director

djraney@ymail.com | 541-410-3086

RANAE STALEY

Co-Executive Director & Bookkeeper

ranaestaley@bendbroadband.com | 541-771-1194

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Jeff “JR” Rickman

Warehouse Assistant

jeffrickman72@yahoo.com | 541.903.1319

Stormie VanPatten

Fund Developer

stormievanpatten@gmail.com | 541.241.0189

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Kara Fallini

Grant Writer

karafallini@yahoo.com | 775.671.7582

April Renfro

Grant Writer / Link2Feed Assistant / Volunteer Coordinator

april.l.renfro@gmail.com | 541.388.6930