Our foundation was established in 2011 in the memory of our son Ethan, who was taken from us by childhood cancer on August 8th of the same year. We will keep Ethan’s spirit and smile alive by raising awareness and providing support to the children and families affected by childhood cancer. Our foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity with an active Board of Directors operating solely on a volunteer basis. Our activities and events are made possible by volunteers and donations from businesses and the public at large.
Elizabeth formed the Ethan Jostad Foundation, a non-profit organization benefiting childhood cancer, in honor of her nephew who passed from cancer at the age of nine. She currently serves on the Board and as Treasurer.
Elizabeth’s son Kyle is an avid and passionate baseball player. He played in local leagues, but in order to excel and pursue his passion, Elizabeth and her husband saw a need for a competitive travel team. Therefore, she formed and established Southern Oregon Baseball, a non-profit organization for a youth competitive travel baseball team. She currently sits on the Board and is acting Treasurer for the foundation.
The Women’s Leadership Conference of Southern Oregon grew out of a desire to see more women represented in leadership roles in business and the community. This desire is not just about inspiring women to step up as leaders, but also about encouraging women to use their voice and share their stories. From these early ideas, shared over coffee, a community has grown. We are dedicated to providing both personal inspiration and practical application to promote more equitable representation of women leadership in our community—at every career level and all stages of personal growth.
SCS sponsors this truly inspirational conference annually.
663 million people in the world live without clean water. That’s nearly 1 in 10 people worldwide. Or, twice the population of the United States. The majority live in isolated rural areas and spend hours every day walking to collect water for their family. Not only does walking for water keep children out of school or take up time that parents could be using to earn money, but the water often carries diseases that can make everyone sick. But access to clean water means education, income and health – especially for women and kids.
Clean water changes everything, which is why Gretchen donates on a monthly basis to support their initiative! Charity Water works with local experts and community members to find the best sustainable solution in each place where they work, whether it’s a well, a piped system, a BioSand Filter, or a system for harvesting rainwater. And with every water point they fund, their partners coordinate sanitation and hygiene training, and establish a local Water Committee to help keep water flowing for years to come.
Protecting the Life that Sustains Us. Since 1971 The Xerces Society has worked to protect invertebrates and their habitats. Invertebrates are an essential part of all ecosystems, contributing to the survival of wildlife, the pollination of crops, and the health of our environment. The Xerces Society is working to protect the life that surrounds us, but this work is only possible with donor support.
Gretchen donates to the Xerces society on a monthly basis to support their research and investigation into protecting pollinators and species conservation, namely bumble bees and monarchs. Their Native Pollinator Conservation Program trains farmers, agency officials, and park managers to protect, restore, and enhance areas for pollinators and other beneficial insects. Their Aquatic Conservation Program provides advice and resources to scientists, land managers, and watershed stewards for monitoring the health of streams, rivers, and wetlands. They also provide resources and inspiration for your own garden; pollinator-friendly plants, reducing pesticides, and leaving the leaves! Xerces also provides many avenues for you to get involved in fundraising and events. Pollinator conservation is a vital issue and Xerces works hard to raise awareness and provide individuals with the resources to help change the game.
Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the natural world around them through a simple solution: planting trees. Together. Friends of Trees was founded in 1989 by a community member who loved trees and started planting them in Portland neighborhoods. Today, Friends of Trees is a nationally recognized, regional leader in improving the urban tree canopy and restoring sensitive natural areas—through programs delivered by thousands of volunteers. Friends of Trees greens our region while growing community. Since their founding, Friends of Trees has planted 750,000+ trees and native plants with thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers in 120+ neighborhoods in six counties across two states.
Gretchen has volunteered with Friends of Trees for a few years now, participating in neighborhood and green space tree plantings in both Portland and Eugene. She hopes to one day become a crew leader and lead some of those tree plantings with fellow tree lovers. It’s a great way to get outside with friends and directly improve the environment and communities we live in!