Was Vina Moses?
Vina Moses moved to Corvallis in 1905 and up
until her death in 1971 she left an indelible imprint on the community
of Corvallis with her compassion, generosity, dedication, patriotism,
and higher sense of purpose to all those lives she touched over the
years. From her initial efforts at helping families in her community
the center was born, which continues her important work now and into
Vina had organized recreational and service opportunities for at risk
young boys. During the first world war Vina had organized clothing for
servicemen. Using the excess clothing donated by the community, Vina
started a Community Welfare Center which operated out of her house with
the help of volunteers. Vina ran the center with the help of volunteers,
mainly out of her house, for the next 54 years responding to community
needs by helping victims recover from house fires and by communicating
and soliciting aid from the community, with which she had an uncanny
ability to inspire generosity and goodness. Her tireless efforts at
helping those in need were remarkable, often helping newly arriving
families find lodging and ensuring they had enough to eat before sleeping
for the night.
Vina had a marked sense of patriotism and duty. She started the precursor
to the Boy Scouts for 14 years, organized fireproof clothing for soldiers
during WWI, and also served as the bomb shelter coordinator and as a
volunteer on the emergency food ration committee. In WWII she was instrumental
in getting the community to equip a recreation room for the multitudes
of soldiers training at Camp Adair. In addition, she was able to get
a recreation program organized for the soldiers, particularly the soldiers
of color, which at that time was quite remarkable. Through it all she
had a no- nonsense demeanor, a wonderful sense of humor and a geniality
that endeared her to people instantly.
Vina's tireless efforts didn't go unnoticed by the community. Her humanitarian
awards were numerous: 1949 Woman of Achievement by the Corvallis Chapter
of Theta Sigma Phi, 1955 Benton County Citizen of the Year, and 1969
Oregon Good Samaritan by the Oregon Welfare Association.
After Vina's death, her lifetime's work was continued by her dedicated
volunteers and the community. The center moved to several locations
before finally arriving at its present location in 1986. While Vina
may have gone in person, her spirit lives in the center that bears her
name, and instills our community with a special sense of gentility,
unique to Corvallis.
We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great
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