Passion and compassion for her community: Teresa Warriner chosen as the new SACA executive director

June 2013 Posted in Community
Teresa Warriner is the new SACA executive director.

Teresa Warriner is the new SACA executive director.

By Kristine Thomas

There is a Silverton woman who people know they can count on and trust to plan a fundraiser, organize volunteers, or just dig in and get the work done.

The evidence of her lending a hand can be found by asking board or committee members of the Silver Falls Soccer Club, Silver Falls YMCA, Silverton High School Project Graduation, the Mark Twain East Coast trip… to name a few.

Laughing, this woman will humbly tell you the reason she does what she can to help out is because she’s just “a girl who can’t say no.”

Those who have volunteered with her  will tell you it’s truly because Teresa Warriner has a heart of gold and a passion to do what she can to benefit her community.

“Teresa is the one person who just gets stuff done,” said Dixon Bledsoe, the current executive director of Silverton Area Community Aid.

He hired Warriner in early 2012 as his assistant because of her organizational, planning and people skills.

And when the SACA board looked to replace Bledsoe as executive director this month, they turned to the same person Bledsoe did.

The board has hired Warriner as the executive director of Silverton Area Community Aid to replace Bledso when he is leaves the job June 30 to focus on his responsibilities as a principal broker and owner of his real estate business.

“Her community knowledge and organizational skills proceed her,” Bledsoe said. “There is a camaraderie of people who are her fans. She is a good, solid, ethical person with a great heart and compassion. She’s tenacious and she’s gracious – she has a velvet touch and is driven to get things done.”

Silverton Area Community Aid
Silverton Community Center
421 South Water St., Silverton
To volunteer or make a donation: 503-873-3446
Visit: silvertonareacommunityaid.orgfor information.Food Bank hours: 9 a.m. to noon
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday
If you have fresh fruit or vegetables
from your garden to donate, please
drop them off during food bank hours.
Canned food and other non-perishable
items are always needed.

By hiring Warriner, Bledsoe said there will be a great deal of continuity in the job.

Warriner said she is honored to be chosen for the job. She’s excited to work with the current donors, churches, nonprofit organizations and volunteers.

“I want to continue building on the foundation that Dixon and previous directors have established,” she said. “I want to continue helping others and follow SACA’s mission statement to provide a positive difference in our community by providing food, financial assistance and information to people in need.”

SACA Board Chairman and Silver Falls Superintendent Andy Bellando said the SACA board believes Warriner has the experience and skills to maintain the strong presence of SACA in the community.

“Teresa is very resourceful,” Bellando said. “The board has given tasks to Teresa and she has handled them well. She has a welcoming personality which is very important for the SACA director.”

A SACA volunteer since 2005, Anne Henderson is excited Warriner was chosen as the new executive director.

“She has a great way of communicating with people,” Henderson said. “She is a joy to work with and she knows what is going on. She’s just a wonderful person.”

Warriner and her husband, Darrin, have two children – Levi, who will be a senior in the civil engineering program at Oregon State University and Jade, who will start her sophomore year at Chemeketa Community College after spending her freshman year at Trinity Lutheran College in Washington.

As the assistant at SACA, Warriner met with families, senior citizens and other individuals and listened to their stories. She understands that it can be one hurdle – an illness, death, job loss or a decrease in hours – that sets a family back financially.

When people seek assistance from SACA she wants them to feel welcomed and there are people to help them get back on their feet.

“There can be one event in a person’s life that turns their personal and financial issues upside down,” she said.

She’s cried with a few of the families and she knows how humbling it has been for many people to ask for food or financial assistance.

From what she has learned and observed as an assistant, she’s eager to take the next step to become executive director and already has a long list of ideas – from nutrition, coupon cutting and budget planning classes to providing food to meet people’s dietary needs.

“I recently took a man through the pantry who had diabetes and a gluten free diet,” she said. “We read the labels to see what he could get and it was hard to find healthy choices for him.”

She wants to have an open house to share with the community what SACA does and how they can help. She plans to go after more grants and has some creative fundraising ideas. She welcomes anyone who wants to volunteer. Mostly, she just wants to continue to help people who visit SACA.

“One of my main goals is when people come here for help they get a warm, fuzzy feeling and they leave with the same feeling,” she said. “I want people to know we are here to help them and that we care.”

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