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Doug Bales

"It's humbling to be part of a community where there's so much generosity," says Doug Bales, volunteer coordinator for the Egan Warming Center. Named for Major Tom Egan, a local homeless man who died outdoors on a freezing night in 2008, the center provided 4500 warm beds and 9000 meals at six locations to an average of 250 guests on 21 cold nights from November through March this past winter. Bales grew up on a farm in New Mexico, followed his two older brothers into the army, achieved the rank of lieutenant, and served for seven years. He graduated from NM State, got a job as a stockbroker, then relocated to Eugene in 1989. In addition to his work as a financial advisor, he has lived in and renovated several historic houses. After working as a kitchen volunteer at the First Christian Church in EWC's first year, Bales was hired by St Vincent de Paul to coordinate the program. "I had some ideas on organizational development," he says. "I still work in the kitchen. It's a blast. Everyone loves it. We all share that feeling of wanting to contribute." A number of local agencies and businesses, as well as 325 individual volunteers, contibuted to the center's second season. Learn more at eganwarmingcenter.com.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 14 April 2011

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