Vina Moses moved to Corvallis in 1905 and up until her death in 1971 she left an indelible imprint on the community of Corvallis with her compassion, generosity, dedication, patriotism, and higher sense of purpose to all those lives she touched over the years. From her initial efforts at helping families in her community the center was born, which continues her important work now and into the future.
Vina had organized recreational and service opportunities for at risk young boys. During the first world war Vina had organized clothing for servicemen. Using the excess clothing donated by the community, Vina started a Community Welfare Center which operated out of her house with the help of volunteers. Vina ran the center with the help of volunteers, mainly out of her house, for the next 54 years responding to community needs by helping victims recover from house fires and by communicating and soliciting aid from the community, with which she had an uncanny ability to inspire generosity and goodness. Her tireless efforts at helping those in need were remarkable, often helping newly arriving families find lodging and ensuring they had enough to eat before sleeping for the night.
Vina had a marked sense of patriotism and duty. She started the precursor to the Boy Scouts for 14 years, organized fireproof clothing for soldiers during WWI, and also served as the bomb shelter coordinator and as a volunteer on the emergency food ration committee. In WWII she was instrumental in getting the community to equip a recreation room for the multitudes of soldiers training at Camp Adair. In addition, she was able to get a recreation program organized for the soldiers, particularly the soldiers of color, which at that time was quite remarkable. Through it all she had a no- nonsense demeanor, a wonderful sense of humor and a geniality that endeared her to people instantly.
Vina’s tireless efforts didn’t go unnoticed by the community. Her humanitarian awards were numerous: 1949 Woman of Achievement by the Corvallis Chapter of Theta Sigma Phi, 1955 Benton County Citizen of the Year, and 1969 Oregon Good Samaritan by the Oregon Welfare Association.
After Vina’s death, her lifetime’s work was continued by her dedicated volunteers and the community. The center moved to several locations before finally arriving at its present location in 1986. While Vina may have gone in person, her spirit lives in the center that bears her name, and instills our community with a special sense of gentility, unique to Corvallis.
Vina Moses was laid to rest in 1971 at the Crystal Lake Cemetery in Corvallis. Her and her husband Victor (who was the Corvallis Postmaster) set an example for all of us to aspire to.
Vina’s good work is carried on today through the many volunteers at the Vina Moses Center. The center is hard at work throughout the year providing those in need with household supplies, clothing for adults, food, clothing for schoolchildren, and of course, during the holidays The Vina Moses Center provides food and gifts to many of our local neighbors.
The center welcomes volunteers who wish to help with various programs, and is grateful to receive your donations throughout the year, and particularly now, during the holidays. You can help make a neighbor’s holiday season a little brighter with your donations of food, gifts, money, or your time.
Be on the lookout for the annual “Holiday Giving Trees.” The trees each have lots of tags with a child’s age and “boy” or “girl” – you can pick a tag and then purchase a gift for a local child. Gifts can be dropped off at the Vina Moses Center at: 968 NW Garfield
Giving Trees can be found at various locations around Corvallis such as Market of Choice, Citizens Bank, and more.
For more info call: 541-753-1420
Or visit www.vinamoses.org