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About Us

Our Mission Statement

We are dedicated to providing opportunities for Central Linn citizens to give, receive, and learn.


SHARING HANDS started in the early 1980's as a place for parents to exchange clothing and glean crops from local fields. Growing with the need, it became a non-profit corporation in 1982.
Since 1984 Sharing Hands has been a partner agency of the United Way of Linn County which provides a substantial portion of the funding for the Food Bank and Parents & Pals. The balance of the budget comes from Thrift Store sales, program fees, grants and community donations.


The clothing exchange evolved into the THRIFT STORE which now serves the general public. It recycles over 5000 articles of clothing and general household items monthly and offers them for sale at affordable prices. It is the Brownsville areas only clothing and general store.


The gleaning grew into the FOOD BANK, which today is a part of the Oregon Food Bank distribution network. We distribute between 125 and 150 food baskets to low income families each month to help alleviate food insecurity and ensure that their children have a healthy diet.


PACK SNACK is our newest program. It was started about 7 years ago by a Sharing Hands board member working with the local school board, the Halsey Methodist Church and the Central Linn Lions Club. Over 100 PackSnacks are distributed for each weekend during the school year to students of low income families to help alleviate their food insecurity.


PARENTS & PALS began in the late 1980's to help offset the reported rise of incidents of child abuse in rural areas. Today it brings parents of young children together for sharing, parenting tips, medical and dental advice, and family resource information while their children participate in playgroup activities.


CHRISTMAS GREETERS this program provides seniors and qualifying families with a complete holiday meal for them to prepare at home.

Board of Directors

The overall operating policies and supervision of Sharing Hands are the responsibility of a board of directors - three of whom are elected annually for a three-year term. The board meets on the third Tuesday of each month to review the financial, executive director's and program reports, and act on any business brought before it. If you are interested in serving on the Sharing Hands board, call 541-466-3003

Executive Director

Debra S, Gruell


Lynne Heller

Vice Chairman

Don Ware


Dayna Hansen


Audrey Borders

Board Members:

Jeff Brown

Ken Lorensen

Carolyn Pearce

Tricia Thompson

Rob Hester

Jenn Walton

Emeritus Members:

Pastor Kelly Williams

Wendy Parker

Merritt Schilling

Volunteers & Staff

Our dedicated Food Bank and Thrift Store volunteers donate over 500 hours of their time every month. They count and sort clothing and miscellaneous donations, mark and arrange them for display, cashier, maintaining the premises, receive and track food donations and shipments from Linn Benton Food Share, greet Food Bank customers, prepare their food baskets, and advise customers about other resources.

Food Bank Volunteers

Jeff Brown

Nan Vansandt

Dean Lyons

Chenoweth Robertson

Bruce Brown

Anne Clarke

Elders (Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints)

Allen Buzzard

Audrey Borders

Gina Huff

Wendy Parker

Sharon Miller

Steve Thoma

Bill Teal

Sherry Lyons

Rob Hester

Thrift Store Volunteers

Jude Bushnell

Debbie Waldie

Maureen Robeson

Carolyn Pearce

Rosalind Robbins

Kay Ringel

Don Ware

Rose Sears

Dayna Hanson

Cathy McIntyre

Sharon Krabill

Kathleen Swayze

Chenoweth Robertson

Bill Teal

Bottle Drop Volunteers

Colleen Becher

Bruce Brown

Parents and Pals Coordinator

Gina James