The Giving Gorilla

Our business is built around revitalizing communities, and we care deeply about leaving a positive impact. Therefore we wanted to come up with a community philanthropy program to give back to our communities in a way that resonates with our employees. As a result, in 2016, The Giving Gorilla was born.

Each month Gorilla Capital will make a monetary donation to 1-2 charities, organizations, or programs nominated by our employees. We will donate up to $5,000 each calendar year to employee chosen programs. We left the definition of “community” up to the individual employees to interpret for themselves; they may consider their community to be the world, the nation, the state, or their local neighborhood. To date we have supported over 60 deserving organizations through The Giving Gorilla program.

2024 Giving Gorilla recipients

International Rescue Committee
nominated by Jack

I would like to nominate the International Rescue Committee.

They help refugees in War zones (Ukraine, Gaza) and help them get out of there and resettle until it safe to return. The IRC puts in place high-impact, cost-effective solutions that help people affected by crisis. They also use their learning and experience to shape humanitarian policy and practice in ways that improve the lives of more people worldwide. They also assist those affected by climate change and help them to survive, recover and rebuild their lives.

St Vincent de Paul Lane County
nominated by Cindy

This year I am nominating St Vincent de Paul Lane County.  Its thrift shops are well known to us all and it uses donations as well as its thrift shop income to provide affordable housing, employment and training, and run recycling programs.  St. Vinnie’s also mustered additional warm shelters for our unhoused during the January ice storm.  A fixture in the community, it does endless good.

McKenzie River Trust
nominated by Ally

This year I am nominating McKenzie River Trust for my Giving Gorilla recipient. McKenzie River Trust does amazing things protecting critical habitats and lands in the McKenzie Basin and beyond (Long Tom, Upper Willamette, Coast and Middle Forks, Umpqua, Siuslaw). To date, over 9,000 acres have been protected forever, more than 1 million trees and shrubs have been planted and 25 miles of Salmon bearing streams have been restored. As a native of Springfield, the McKenzie River and surrounding waters have always been a huge part of my life. My grandfather was a river guide. With climate change and now the ever-present threats of annual forest fires, caring for our water and lands is more critical than ever for the future generations.

The Big Fix Uganda
nominated by Tanja

This year I would like to nominate for my Giving Gorilla the Comfort Dog Project of the BIG FIX Uganda. This program uses the powerful healing power of dog companionship to help war trauma survivors as part of a program of psycho-social rehabilitation. Dogs in need of good homes are rehabilitated by the team, temperament tested and spayed/ neutered. They then are placed with war trauma survivors selected to be part of The Comfort Dog Project. The guardians make a lifetime commitment to their dogs, live with and care for their dogs, and participate in a weekly training program. Upon graduation, the dog-guardian teams become project ambassadors – visiting villages and schools to:

  • educate others about the importance of being kind to animals
  • teach others how to use positive reinforcement training techniques
  • to serve as testimony of the healing power of human-dog bonds.

 

Although there is now peace in the region, internal wars are still being waged and lost. Tens of thousands of survivors–with no social and mental health support–struggle to cope with anxiety, loneliness, and despair and a host of caustic psychic and moral wounds that constitute post- traumatic stress disorder. It has been estimated by mental health professionals that 7 in 10 people in Northern Uganda have been traumatically affected by the war. The rates of suicide are high because war trauma survivors have not received help in dealing with their psychological injuries.

The Comfort Dog Project is designed to fill this psycho-social therapeutic void by providing professional trauma counseling in conjunction with training in how to care for, teach and create a solid dog-guardian bond as a way to further reduce the symptoms of PTSD.  The Comfort Dog Project provides therapeutic support to three groups: LRA former abductees, UPDF veterans, and war-affected community members.  Thirty years of research has shown Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) improve a wide range of physiological and psychological outcomes. Recently, companion dog therapies have become widely used as complementary interventions to relieve the symptoms of combat-related traumatic stress.

Recurring Sponsorships

Bark in the Park
supporting Greenhill Humane Society

For the 8th year, we are excited to be a part of Greenhill’s Annual Bark in the Park fundraiser as their mile marker sponsor! Our dog friendly office approves; we have had representatives of our “office dogs” run the 5k or 2k every year!

 

Eugene Women's Volleyball League (City League)

This is serious stuff folks. For the last 7 years we have sponsored the reigning champions of the Eugene Women’s Volleyball League, Team Gorilla Capital. The team includes 2 of our employees and as well as the interior designer for our office space! This team was already in place years before Gorilla Capital was the sponsor, and in May 2019 this group of women clinched their 9th title in as many years. Due to covid the leagues have been on pause since 2020 but are starting back up in 2023! How long can the streak last? They’re not getting any younger out there…

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