A Bend Photographer's Mission to Document Resiliency, from the Sidewalk | Bend | Slideshows | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

A Bend Photographer's Mission to Document Resiliency, from the Sidewalk 

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During this global pandemic, many family owned businesses are torn between doing what's right and doing what's necessary to keep their business from flatlining. Most are trying to find the balance between keeping their business somewhat active and closing down. This is the where the challenge lies.

Bend photographer Megan Baker reached out to a few families and small businesses to see how coronavirus pandemic is affecting their lives, sharing a little bit from each session she's done. She will continue to safely document a small amount of these sessions moving forward, so feel free to send her an email.

mbphotographybend@gmail.com

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Megan Baker
Ranae Staley with The Giving Plate about how they're doing what they do best during the pandemic: "My parents are the founders of The Giving Plate, and we started it in 2010 after we lost everything in the 2008 recession. Both parents have health issues, and we share property with each other, and have a very close relationship. One of the hardest things about COVID19 is that since I am out front serving the community, I can’t be near them, or let my kids be near them. The potential of passing something to them, with them both high-risk, is too great. But now more than ever, we are seeing the need for food relief and are fortunate to have come to a place, after ten years, where the community knows who we are and trusts our commitment to serve. We all know that having The Giving Plate operating during a time like this is 100% what we are here for. 'I am in a unique spot where I am seeing, firsthand, the impact this is having on our community and how quickly the “face of hunger” is shifting, while also getting to see the incredible beauty surfacing in the community as people step forward to help. We have better community support at The Giving Plate than we have ever had. Seeing both sides of the “COVID-coin” is really incredibly hard but also breeds such hope within me. People are starting to look up and look out at the needs of others and explore the part that they can play in helping their neighbors versus just looking at their own needs. 'I was truly shocked how fast the shutdown was impacting our community. Within our first two weeks we had a 55% increase in the number of people accessing our service. We started in an uncertain time, and have grown to become the largest food pantry in the tri-counties. We have faith that we will be able to continue to serve our neighbors in need of food as long as the need exists. 'Keep your heart and hands open. In times like we are in right now, we can choose to cling to that which we can’t control or keep our hands and minds open to receive what is to come. I have experienced how beautiful things have blossomed out of some of my most difficult seasons of loss. My hope is that we come out of this stronger, more united, and with greater compassion."
Megan Baker
Stewart Fritchman, owner of Bellatazza - I really enjoyed our cheery l’il visit the day before Bellatazza was to re-open with Phase 1, where Stewart willingly posed for me in front of his 1970 French van that’s been serving coffee to go since Oregon’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” mandate was set in place in March. When I asked him what he'd like to share most with his community, he said "There's always someone else in need that’s in a more difficult place than you. Focus there and you’re someone's hero rather than focusing energy on your own hardship." Stewart’s career began when he started the first full time espresso cart in Portland back in 1993. And since he opened Bellatazza Coffee Roasting back in 2003, he has been purchasing coffee directly from growers in Guatemala and buying local as much as possible since day one. "Buying local is the best way to correct our economy”, says Fritchman, “don't just expect others to support you then take that money and spend it on Amazon...spend it all locally." When COVID-19 shut down the Guatemalan border to all non-essential travel, Stewart knew the tourism industry would be destroyed and the family he has supported through Bellatazza for 10 years would experience extreme hardship. It started as an idea when he began accumulating pledges to help them, promising to rock a mohawk if he could raise $1000. In just 36 hours he had the money and a new haircut. Since then, five more like-minded people have taken on the cause, raising nearly $4000 and helping 200 families. "It's an open invitation to anyone, male or female, to help a community in need. Find me at Bellatazza and ask me how to make it happen. You can't miss me - I'm the one with the bright blue Mohawk". Read more here »
Megan Baker
Lauren Murphy, Adventure Buddy/Owner of Bend Pet Adventures - When the pandemic hit the United States I was out of the country on the first vacation I'd had in years. I ended up coming home early and had no idea whether I would be able to remain open for business or whether my clients would still need me during this time, let alone afford this service for their dogs. Some pups have taken a pause with promise to return, some have stayed or added extra days, and we even have new pack members! My plan is to continue keeping my clients, my community and myself safe and responsible during this time. It’s a challenge but I’ve cut back on human contact, constantly disinfecting my van, and I stopped taking client leashes. I text when I arrive at a client’s house, they open their door and my furry friends run and jump into the van! During this whole process people have seen that we all need one another to make it through hard times, every little thing counts. If you need help, it's ok to be vulnerable and ask. If you have a little you can spare, there is always someone who could use it. Bend has always had a strong sense of community and it's wonderful to see! I want to know how I can help if someone needs it. Read more here »
Megan Baker
Linda Ly, Founder of Garden Betty - As a mom, not much has changed since my kids aren't in school yet and my husband and I were already working from home. We have happy chaos most days and try to get everyone's energy out on daily walks or bike rides through our neighborhood. Getting to meet more of our neighbors in passing during this time has made us so grateful to live in not only a great neighborhood, but also a great community where we can find trails and open spaces so easily. As a business owner, I've seen my site gardenbetty.com skyrocket since stay-at-home orders were put in place. With all that's happening in the world, more people are realizing the importance of being just a little more self-sufficient at home, whether it's growing their own food, raising chickens, or canning and fermenting — "old-timey skills," as I like to call them. Emails come in every day from strangers who tell me how much my site has helped them learn how to provide for their families and given them a creative outlet that gets them outside safely. It's pure joy to read these emails. If there's a silver lining to this quarantine, it's that people have gone back to truly appreciating the simple things in life. Read more here »
Megan Baker
Courtney Latham, owner/DJ Flip Flop Sounds - Adapting to the times, the team at Flip Flop Sounds has set up a professional stage for streaming content—allowing bands and other performance groups to use the space to play for tips from supporters who can watch them perform while under the reduced gathering guidelines. “We really don't know what to expect, and information seems to change on a daily basis. There’s so much uncertainty with business and economy, but never anything like this. I really miss the thump you can FEEL in your chest from the kick drum,” Courtney confessed. He says that the biggest challenge has been looking into the face of the unknown. “I can't sit idle. If I stop trying, I'll get depressed.” We plan on streaming our first live test this Friday, and then we'll begin to announce dates on when the stage will be open. All funding generated will come from donations by the audience and will go to the band and volunteers who made it happen. Write info@flipflopsounds.com to get more details. Knowing that many years of sacrifice and hard work can be wiped out with one press conference has really put things into perspective. The live event industry needs better assistance for the companies who make their primary revenue from mass gatherings that will ultimately be left without income for the next 12 months. “I’m NOT a fan of politics,” Latham admits...but to politicians he would like to say, “HEY! WE’RE HERE! And there's a lot more of us than you clearly realize.” Read more here »
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Megan Baker
Nicole Vulcan, editor of The Source Weekly - Nicole moved to Bend three and a half years ago with her teen daughter Indie, taking a job as the editor of the Source Weekly, Central Oregon’s locally owned independent weekly newspaper. They’ve been dreaming of buying their own home since long before moving to Bend—and quite literally the day that COVID-19 was found to be present in Deschutes County, they made an offer on their first-ever house. It was, obviously, accepted. After over a month of working seven days a week to continue to provide valuable news and entertainment to Central Oregon throughout the pandemic, Nicole and her daughter got the keys to their home. If there’s anything that shows how confident she is that the newspaper will continue to thrive beyond this current crisis, it’s buying a home, right? Nicole and Indie would also like to say a special thanks to the many frontline healthcare workers (including Nicole’s sister) stepping into the fire right now, and to the many other people working on the front lines, keeping the economy humming and food and necessities supplied to Americans during this unprecedented period. In spite of the uncertainties that come with a global crisis, Nicole will be donating the majority of her stimulus check to those feeding and housing Central Oregonians in need at this time. Read more here »
Megan Baker
Lori - Bleu Rooster "My biggest challenge has been learning and coping with doing this business alone. I started this in July ‘18 with my son Levi, an accomplished and respected Chef. He died in September to suicide. So since then I’ve been solely responsible for the day to day. I had help for five days a week for a couple hours a day, now I’m down to two days and learning to cope in a whole new set of challenges. I have the ability to work, I can choose to help others, I have support all around me. We are all in this together globally. My biggest surprise has been the rally of the community to support local. The outreach to help those in need. Going forward is in the hands of the rule makers, the government. But as long as I’m able, I’ll continue to do what I’m doing. When things go back to “normal” I will certainly be more cognizant of my community. I chose to believe this is that moment in time where we can chose to become a We collective vs. a Me collective."
Megan Baker
Terie Sandusky, owner/publisher of Bend Health Guide - When this whole thing started, I was working on The Bend Health Guide with my designer. We have always worked remotely, so things felt normal at first. My 12 year old son has been home mastering online school, which is a second shift for all of us working moms to be teacher/chef/business owner. Luckily, he’s a great kid. I’ve always been a workaholic, ambitious...a go-getter type. But this has stopped me in my tracks. I’ve slowed down more than being at a Buddhist retreat! Once we finalized our guide and sent it to print, that’s when this whole thing really hit me. I couldn’t go back to my other job as a Massage Therapist. I don’t know when I will feel safe enough to do so again. So, I’m offering distance Reiki healings, energy clearings & astrology charts. My focus has become, “how do I support our health providers & local, small businesses with tools I have?” We may look back at this as the most transformative time of our lives, if we can surrender & trust this process. My son reminded me that after the Spanish Flu, came the Renaissance & I can’t wait for that! Having time off from work to think about things, reset, meditate, connect with my family, and enjoy nature therapy, baby chick therapy, garden therapy...it all gives me time to process and dream more. 🐥 Read more here »
Megan Baker
Ian Vidinha – Aina Hawaiian Bend: "What I struggle with is knowing I should stay home to help the curve, but I've got to pay my bills too. So, by staying open one day a week and only accepting pre-orders, no walk up orders, I can help limit the interaction and make a little money to cover my bills. Keep an eye on Aina's social media for updates on what days what days they will be open."
Megan Baker
Katie Brandow - School of Enrichment, Inc.: "It surprised me how gracious our families and teachers were about the position we found ourselves in. Some families paid full tuition through acts of pure generosity. There is no school, no child care, but they fully paid for it just to support us. Watching my kids watch me get my heart broken is the worst part about this. The silver lining is the time with my family. We're healing the things that come up rather than get distracted with daily life. We hug and cry often. We've always been grateful for our life and this is an extra big reminder of how freaking good we have it. There are downs in life and business and it's just part of life. We can come to embrace it or resist it. Sometimes I have moments where I do resist it and I have to mindfully go back to the place of acceptance. We do what we can but we're participators of this ride and we have to understand what we can control and what we can't. I think that is harder for entrepreneurs because we likely got in to this because we like control...so there is a lesson there."
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Megan Baker
The Ray Family and Combined Hemp: "This pandemic, as for many, has put a lot in perspective for our family. Being part of a family-run farm with a online store, we are carrying on with our fourth season farming hemp to feed our "own grown" product line of CBG and CBD products. We have been navigating through this mess with love, loud music and an abundance of laughter in our home."
Megan Baker
Charla Hanson and Paula Horn - Owners Wild Poppy Florist: "When we first heard of COVID-19 it seemed so distant and not anything that would affect us here in the US. Business was on a roll, we had nearly every date booked for weddings through up until Winter 2020. We were being featured in print ads, multiple styled shoots for spring scheduled, workshops planned in our community, daily deliveries were at a high as well.... until one day it wasn’t so distant. We were called by our bride about her March 21 wedding, her Central Oregon venue had closed. Her wedding was cancelled. That’s when it hit, hard. We scrambled we worked together and were able to pull of an elopement at Sahalie Falls the Sunday before the State mandated shutdown. Since then things have moved rapidly. We closed our shop to retail with the non essential business shut down and stay at home order issued March 23 2020. We have rescheduled March, April, May and June weddings (except a couple holding out hope) until 2021. We are heartbroken for our couples in this decision. We are still accepting online orders and curbside pickup with our doors remaining locked. Business has dwindled dramatically but we're still trying to fulfill orders when we can secure flowers (which is HARD) from our growers, most of our wholesalers are still closed and not delivering to Central Oregon at this time our customers are so gracious and happy to accept any stock we have on hand. We are taking turns as partners coming in and filling orders and delivering to stay socially distant. Which is very isolating when two Portuguese friends and partners that love to talk about life, laugh and collaborate on new ideas are now separated. Yearning for our loyal customers that come in weekly, really to just shoot the breeze or bring us sweet treats, we miss them so much. One partner dealing with new online learning for her small children while still trying desperately to keep Wild Poppy alive, working mostly from home rescheduling couples, booking new couples for 2021 and attempting to maintain a level of sanity. The other partner doing countless paperwork tasks, applying for loans, doing taxes, designing and delivering, implementing new ideas while also trying to keep a level of sanity! This is a challenging time. But we have HOPE. We see it. We see it in the way our community has bonded together to help one another. We see it when we see all the love that is going around in so many places. So we know we will all make it through. By helping one neighbor at a time, crying a tear with one friend at a time and looking forward to creating beautiful events and memories with clients, one at a time. Day by day and Living by Faith, we will make it through."
Megan Baker
Amanda Westfall, Central Oregon Foot and Ankle: "I am working less hours and able to be home with my family more. My kids are playing together more than they ever have. We are doing more family movie nights and game nights because we don't have dance and sports and coaching every evening. This has been a great bonus. I want other small business owners to know that we are in this together. I want our businesses to survive. We need to support each other and try to buy local and support local businesses instead of shopping at the big box store. The take out food order and gift certificate you buy from a local shop or spa will help that business stay afloat until they can open again."
Megan Baker
Missy at Central Oregon Radiology Associates: "Thank you for what you’re doing to document this time in all our lives (from a socially acceptable distance)! You’re amazing and it gave us something to look forward to!"
Megan Baker
Dana Weinmann: "Not too much is different since we are already a homeschool family but we miss socializing with friends and going on trips out of the house. We love taking advantage of the sunny days to get out in our yard and have fun. We are also happy staying in to spend time snuggling with our new baby girl when we may not have had as much time to do so."
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Megan Baker
Kristn - Cornerstone OnDemand: "Although I have worked from home for 10+ years, this feels very different. I live alone and was used to seeing friends socially 3 to 4 times a week. I fell into a fairly significant depression as a result of isolation, but calls and connections with colleagues and friends got me through it. Seeing projects like PORCHtraits from across the country has also lifted my spirits! As long as I’ve got my dogs and my Bevel, I know I’ll get through this!"
Megan Baker
Rochelle Lee Martinez - Joe'Mamas Bend "The business is definitely a lot slower but surviving. The hours are shorter opening at 6am closing at 2 instead of 4:30. Most of our regulars are moms and dads dropping off their children at school. I certainly miss seeing my regulars and having a busy morning and cannot wait to be back to our normal routines of laughter and brightening each others mornings. I hope you're all staying safe and healthy I miss you all and am looking forward to serving you your favorite Joe'Mamas coffee again soon."
Megan Baker
Shannon Hinderberger Strategist & Mentor with Shannon Lee Strategy: "Once given their new routines, my kids have worked hard to do it themselves without bothering my husband and I. They're more willing to help around the house and do chores. They'll even walk over to the elementary school serving free lunch each day to grab lunch without a parent. It's helped them become more independent. My kids are really close already so it's nice to see them playing together and helping each other out. Our family has become closer. We make sure to eat dinner each night and share our highs and lows for the day. We've finally have time to watch the Harry Potter series from start to finish. We're taking daily walks and most importantly, we're learning that if we have each other, we can get through anything...like being confined to our home for an undetermined amount of time. I have set aside a 30-minute block Monday - Thursday, to connect and help small business owners at no charge with marketing items they may need help with."
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Megan Baker
Ranae Staley with The Giving Plate about how they're doing what they do best during the pandemic: "My parents are the founders of The Giving Plate, and we started it in 2010 after we lost everything in the 2008 recession. Both parents have health issues, and we share property with each other, and have a very close relationship. One of the hardest things about COVID19 is that since I am out front serving the community, I can’t be near them, or let my kids be near them. The potential of passing something to them, with them both high-risk, is too great. But now more than ever, we are seeing the need for food relief and are fortunate to have come to a place, after ten years, where the community knows who we are and trusts our commitment to serve. We all know that having The Giving Plate operating during a time like this is 100% what we are here for. 'I am in a unique spot where I am seeing, firsthand, the impact this is having on our community and how quickly the “face of hunger” is shifting, while also getting to see the incredible beauty surfacing in the community as people step forward to help. We have better community support at The Giving Plate than we have ever had. Seeing both sides of the “COVID-coin” is really incredibly hard but also breeds such hope within me. People are starting to look up and look out at the needs of others and explore the part that they can play in helping their neighbors versus just looking at their own needs. 'I was truly shocked how fast the shutdown was impacting our community. Within our first two weeks we had a 55% increase in the number of people accessing our service. We started in an uncertain time, and have grown to become the largest food pantry in the tri-counties. We have faith that we will be able to continue to serve our neighbors in need of food as long as the need exists. 'Keep your heart and hands open. In times like we are in right now, we can choose to cling to that which we can’t control or keep our hands and minds open to receive what is to come. I have experienced how beautiful things have blossomed out of some of my most difficult seasons of loss. My hope is that we come out of this stronger, more united, and with greater compassion."

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