In a state that’s increasingly divided along urban and rural lines, the Oregon Community Foundation plays everywhere. Like Oregon Public Broadcasting, which fills a void left by The Oregonian’s retreat from rural Oregon, the Oregon Community Foundation (OCF) is that rare statewide institution.

Over decades, the OCF has made grants to a broad array of Clatsop County nonprofit endeavors. The beneficiaries include the Liberty Theater, Columbia River Maritime Museum, Clatsop County Historical Society, KMUN, Fort Clatsop Visitors Association, Lower Columbia Youth Soccer Association, Seaside Kids Inc., Clatsop Community College, Cannon Beach Historical Society and more.

OCF’s special role in charitable giving is to make an early gift that gets a project off the ground. Tyler Graf’s Monday story about Max Williams provides a picture of the OCF and its role in Clatsop County. Williams has enjoyed a varied career, including state legislator, head of the state Corrections Division and now president of OCF.

In recent years, the OCF formed leadership councils across the state and empowered them to allocate $1 million to a defined cause. The North Coast council chose literacy as its objective, and OCF has funded so-called GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) training in 18 county schools – in all districts except Jewell.

It would be hard to imagine our county without its spectrum of nonprofit organizations that sponsor activities ranging from human welfare to education to youth athletics to the arts, culture and history. And it would be equally difficult to imagine this county without the imaginative, encouraging and far-reaching support from the OCF.