Pat Loy Radio Interview

We have been fortunate that we have had so much support from our community. Our education has to this point, been a no-cost program its volunteers. We have computers that have been donated.
— Pat Loy, Longtime Volunteer Teacher of Continuing Education/ GED, September 2019 Radio Interview .

The following is a transcription of a radio broadcast featuring Pat Loy, Albany Helping Hands, GED/ Continuing Education Volunteer. The interview, conducted by Jim Willhight, AHH Development, and Media Consultant airs on Monday, September 9, 2019, from 9:30 to 10:00 am on 1580 AM, KGAL and KGAL.com. The to listen to the interview (Podcast audio in the form of an mp3 file) is available by clicking here.

Jim Willhight: Good morning, 1580. KGAL, Jim Willhight. It's Valley Talk. Joining us this morning for Albany Helping Hands is Pat Loy. Good morning Pat.

Pat Loy: Good morning.

Jim Willhight: So Pat you are what we call at the Shelter the GED teacher, but you do a whole lot more than that to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Pat Loy: Actually they call me the GED teacher but I really teach anything that anyone needs to work on academically.

I've taught for a long time, and I've taught all grades I've taught in Los Angeles and Colorado, and I taught in juvenile court schools in Los Angeles, and I've been here for about ten years now. I love it.

My first year was the first and second grade in Colorado. That was, oh my goodness, 1974.

Pat Loy, longtime Albany Helping Hands Volunteer Teacher of Continuing Education/ GED.

Pat Loy, longtime Albany Helping Hands Volunteer Teacher of Continuing Education/ GED.

I think one of the important things that we do is address the needs that adults have for education and because our adults range in age from maybe 27, I had a student it was 80 years old, and they also have this range of experience and Knowledge and Skills.

So it non-traditional education and it requires flexibility so you don't go through a curriculum as you might in the public school K to 12 education. I think it is just necessary for adults who have those that variety of needs.

We also have to use practical strategies that make sense to an adult you can't use the kind of materials and instructional procedures that you would with younger people all the time.

I think also that adults are at this point they want to get their education, and they don't have a lot of extra time to do it.

They need to be efficient, so I try to integrate as much as possible. So if I'm doing Global Studies, I'm doing language arts at the same time. Reading, Writing, parts of speech that's sort of thing.

Jim Willhight: Kandice Williams is the guest services coordinator here at Albany Helping Hands Shelter. What she does is gets with each individual guest and determines their needs they have, if it's here at the Shelter, The Bailey Home or in Transitional Housing. Is it clothing? Is it education? Is it Social Security assistance? Is it help for medical assistance or perhaps navigating the mental health system. That is what Kandace does and a part of what you do as well. Let's discuss that.

Pat Loy: Networking is extremely important, and we do interact with the other agencies in the community. Because, for one thing, efficiency is important and economical responses to the needs that our people have here at the Shelter.

Old PC’s in Albany Helping Hands Computer Lab that are in need of replacement.

Old PC’s in Albany Helping Hands Computer Lab that are in need of replacement.

We have been fortunate that we have had so much support from our community. Our education has to this point, been a no-cost program its volunteers. I go to the Friends of the library book sale, and they give me the books. We have computers that I believe have been donated. We have those are they are very helpful. And then we have volunteers. I volunteer.

And I think it's extremely important that we not try to do everything. There are agencies here. We have CHANCE, and we have a Supportive Housing. We have these different agencies, and I think of us as a pipeline that we are part of that people move in to our program and then we find the services out in the community so that we are not replicating those and we're supporting, and within the Shelter we also do a lot of collaboration you know.

And that's another advantage that we have because we can be flexible. If people go into a classroom they generally have to be there every day, but often our people have other issues that they need to deal with. So they may be gone on a Tuesday, but we are just going to take rightup Jim where they left off.

Jim Willhight: Tell us about Albany Helping Hands holistic approach.

Pat Loy: One of the things that the Shelter offers is that it hat serves the whole person and so they are doing job training after thrift store or the farm, or they're doing maintenance here at the Shelter, or they are providing all the foodservice. So there's that very practical aspect as well as the academic.

We are working on having internships here. And we need people in all of those areas because I think that somebody who is in business, Education, Human Services, health, communication, they all can learn so much from working with this population.

So I don't think they have something they can get the opportunities to meet so many people in the community through internships and of course, they are so important for our program

Jim Willhight: We have, of course, the GED computer lab here up with somewhat antiquated equipment, we'll talk about that in a little while. But let's talk about the technology GAP for the poor.

Pat Loy: Go to the Community College and take some classes out there that's part of addressing that Technology Gap that so many of us have. They need to go back to school. They have they need to feel confident that they can go out there.

We take everybody. That is one issue is particularly important right now in this state there are I think it's 280,000 adults between the age of 18 and 64 that have not completed high school.

So and there is the last census said about 12,000 people just in the Linn and Benton County areas that do not have GEDs.

And so for those students at we have to start sometimes at the very beginning to develop those academic skills. And so we have that part of our program that prepares them to get a GED. Then we work on transitions so that we might introduce that student to a teacher at Linn-Benton so that they feel more comfortable going out there so will

We look at a independent living skills because we have considerable number of people who are approaching Social Security age. So we have to look at what their needs for achieving Independence. Then we have the people that are in that middle range that have some training and sometimes just need a focus for a particular career.

When I first came to the Shelter, it was when Pastor Bailey was here. I walked into the day-room, and I just sat down, and I would say to somebody on do you have your GED would you be interested in getting your GED.

And then we moved into the chapel, and we had classes there, and then we moved into the boardroom, and now we got a classroom.

Jim Willhight: Pat Loy, the continuing education volunteer here at Albany Helping Hands. Otherwise known as the GED teacher. Thank you very, very much, Pat. It's been a great interview.

The preceding is a transcription of a radio broadcast featuring Pat Loy, Albany Helping Hands, GED/ Continuing Education Volunteer. The interview, conducted by Jim Willhight, AHH Development, and Media Consultant airs on Monday, September 9, 2019, from 9:30 to 10:00 am on 1580 AM, KGAL and KGAL.com. The Podcast (audio in the form of an mp3 file) is available by clicking here.

Emma Deane Appointed as Farm Manager

Albany Helping Hands Executive Director John Leon recently announced the appointment of Emma Deane as Albany Helping Hands Farm Manager.

Emma will oversee the U-Haul, Woodlot, Christmas Tree Lots, and other farm operations located at the “Farm” at 5050 Santiam Highway SE, one-third mile east of Coastal and Walmart on Highway 20.

Emma, tell us a little about yourself.

Emma Deane, Albany Helping Hands Farm Manager

Emma Deane, Albany Helping Hands Farm Manager

I was born and raised in Albany, and it has been a true blessing to be a part of my community.

I spent about ten years working with at-risk youth and learned a lot about early childhood trauma and the effects it can have. My work was fulfilling, and I thought I would work with adolescents my entire career, but God had a different plan.

For the last few years, I have worked with adults who struggle with addiction, mental health and experiencing homelessness.

I never imagined I’d be here, but God knew what He was doing, and I love the path He has put me on. My passion and love for our homeless community started at a young age and has continued to grow throughout my life.

As the Farm Manager, I want to create a safe, loving, encouraging, balanced, and productive environment for our volunteers to thrive in as we continue to build on the solid foundation already laid.

We view each person as an individual and want to build on their strengths.

I strongly believe in coming alongside people, right where they are in their journey, and walking with them while offering the support and skills they need to be whole, healthy, and happy while moving towards self-sufficiency.

I am looking forward to creating such an environment at the Farm. I am beyond excited and grateful to spend my days working hard alongside our volunteers from the shelter and us learning from one another.

Emma Deane


“If you plant a thousand seeds of love and kindness, pain and poison can’t grow here anymore” Unknown

Inez Neal Recognized as Volunteer of the Year

by: Jim Willhight

Inez Neal being presented Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award for Albany Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year at the April 2019 Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

Inez Neal being presented Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award for Albany Helping Hands Volunteer of the Year at the April 2019 Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

This year’s Spirit of Pastor Bailey Award was awarded to Inez Neal a long-time volunteer at the Thrift Store. 

She was presented the award in front of a crowd of over 400 at the ninth annual Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction.

 The event was the biggest ever raising well over $100,000.

The auction is the primary fundraiser each year for Shelter and Kitchen Operations.  

Paul Schultz auctioneered, and John Kollaer was M/C of the dinner at the Linn County Expo Center.

Special Thank You to our Sponsors

A special thank you to our generous Bridge of Hope Dinner Auction sponsors and donors who include but are not limited to Coastal, Dahled Up Construction, Frank & Linda Morris, Jim and Phyllis Richards, Chad Davis Construction, Cadwell Realty Group, John & Jane Donovan, Santiam Christian, Chris & Kathy Erickson, Linn Benton Tractor, Harts Nursery, Valley Christian Center, Eads Broadcasting (KGAL/KSHO), BiCoastal Media, JTI Supply, Vic's Roofing & Construction, OFD Foods LLC, Ticor Title, Burcham Metal, The Conser Group, Mennonite Village, Jim & Marilee Sapp, Will Tucker, Steele’s Insurance Services, Jenks Hatchery, Gray Farms, Northwoods Management, Stutzman Services, Central Willamette Community CU, Bob Anderson, Holistic Housing, Oxford House, Les Schwab, Love Inc. of Linn County, Mennonite Village Foundation, The Java Network, Gods Gear, Emerson & Linda Smoker, Three Lakes RV Storage, Carpet One, South Willamette Valley Oregon Honor Flights, Albany Hearing Center, Academy Mortgage, Valley View Farming, Davis Glass, Birky Farms, Chris Scariano and Fisher Funeral Home.

 Also, thank you to the generous auction participants and the hard-working volunteers. 

The 10th Annual Dinner Auction is slated for Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at the Linn Co. Expo Center.





Increased Need for Seniors

 By: Jim Willhight 

Burned out by Fire

Your contributions helped reduce the trauma of a serious fire for a retiree.

An Apartment fire resulted in a need of housing for a 76-year-old Sweet Home woman.

She had worked hard and has a pension but was without a place to live for the first time in her life.

The stories leading up to the need for support are many. Pastor John stated, “the ratio of elderly or senior citizens is higher than in the past in the last year or two here at the shelter."

Family Troubles

Your donations helped provide a safe and dry bed, plus hot meals for a Salem woman. 

Family discord was a factor resulting in her crisis.  She was a hard worker and has retirement income but was kicked out by her son.

With high rents and lack of affordable inventory, she found it difficult to find housing.  

Your ongoing generosity had an immediate impact on her life.

Thank you for your compassion and trust. Donate today.


PODCAST: To listen to the archived live Radio segment with Jim Willhight interviewing Pastor John where he discusses the increased need for senior housing click here for our Podcast Page.

Albany Angel- Doris Scharpf

By: Jim Willhight 

Dorish Scharpf- AlbanyAngel

Dorish Scharpf- AlbanyAngel

A recent Democrat Herald Editorial Headline proclaimed Doris Scharpf as “Albany’s Angel”.

Doris was a major, long time donor to Albany Helping Hands and many area nonprofits.  

She passed in April at 95  years of age.

Pastor John reflects “where would the Albany Helping Hands mission be without Doris.

She has given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the mission.

It is questionable whether AHH would be [here] today”.

Thank you, Doris, for your years of contributions.

Your Big-Hearted Donations Enriching Lives- Story of Tammy and Marcus

Tammy and Marcus

Tammy and Marcus

Jim Willhight 

In a recent radio interview, Pastor John Leon (Executive Director) discussed how your generous contributions contributed to the lives of Marcus and Tammy. 

Spoiler Alert. The two are now married and are integral parts of the Albany Helping Hands organization thanks to your generosity. 

Marcus was self-supporting for many years but came to AHH with a housing need as a result of suffering and surviving 12 Heart Attacks.

“Tammy is probably one of the best managers we’ve ever had at the Thrift Store”
— Pastor John Leon, Executive Director.

Marcus was described by Pastor John as “a gentle soul, he is kind to the guests”.

Marcus is now AHH's Property Manager, supervising “roughly 3 million dollars in property assets” according to Pastor John.

Tammy worked for years in Utah providing loving care to individuals. Her dad passed away in 2017 from dementia. She had been his caregiver.

After time with her daughter in Portland, Tammy headed to the Coast. Tammy’s car broke down and she came to AHH for a meal.  She met Marcus and their relationship began.

Tammy now is Manager of our Thrift Store helping to generate over $100,000 per year in sales.  Pastor John stated “Tammy is probably one of the best managers we’ve ever had at the Thrift Store. She's very kind, empathetic, very professional, and very compassionate.”

 Marcus and Tammy recently married, moved into their own apartment and continue as AHH Property and Thrift Store Managers.

Your gift today will impact the lives of folks like Marcus and Tammy. 

PODCAST: To listen to the archived live Radio segment with Jim Willhight interviewing Pastor John where he discusses Marcus and Tammy’s story click here for our Podcast Page.