Giving Back to Central Oregon

Community stewardship in the Old Mill District

The Old Mill District believes strong in giving back to the this amazing area we call home.

Since 2000, the Old Mill District and the Les Schwab Amphitheater have provided support to more than 100 local and regional non-profits through donations, fundraisers, in-kind trades and volunteer hours.

“Not only do we as a company make it a priority to become involved in our community and charitable causes, but many of our shops and restaurants feel the same,” said Noelle Fredland, marketing director for the Old Mill District. “We are constantly discovering new significant ways that those involved with the Old Mill District are giving back to our community and making Bend an even better place to live.”

The Old Mill District is full of several great examples of individual retailers launching philanthropic campaigns.

Here’s a few of those inspiring initiatives:

Pastini’s Pasta-thon program partners with schools and non-profit organizations to raise funds. In previous years, Pastini has donated more than $30,000 from its Pasta-thons. They produce posters, flyers, and website suitable images to encourage people to visit Pastini during Pasta-thon days. For everyone that visits the Pastini location and mentions the school or organization, Pastini donates 50 percent of the net proceeds of the table’s check which equates to 20 percent of the dollars spent.

Anthony’s Feast at the Old Mill District has benefited the Central Oregon Community College culinary program for the past 14 years. The entire restaurant is closed to the public and both servers and the kitchen teams donate their time, while chefs and executive team members are brought in to help coordinate this wonderful evening. This annual event has now raised more than $270,000 for the Cascade Culinary Institute.

J.Jill’s annual “Open Your Closet and Open Your Heart” event takes in gently used clothing and donated it to women in need in the local community.

REI spends more than 1,000 volunteer hours a year in the community. For example, they recently helped to secure grants and labor to construct a new Nordic ski shelter.

The Gap provides support for “The Loft”, a non-profit dedicated to helping homeless teens.

Cafe Yumm! has done done roadside cleanups and in spring 2019 the restaurant partnered with Bend FC Timbers to provide soccer scholarships for 35 players from low-income families.

“We are proud to be associated with businesses that have a passion for giving,” Fredland said. “Providing support to services and charities that truly make a difference for people in need is a vital part of being in business here.”

One of the most visual displays of the Old Mill District’s community participation is the “Banner Program.” More than 312 banners line the streets of the district at any given time, and many highlight local organizations, events and non-profits that work every day to make Central Oregon what it is: a great place to live, work and raise a family.