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North Plains Volunteer Spotlight: Ruby Brackin

ruby_brackin2Community Volunteer Ruby Brackin is a fourth-generation Oregonian and North Plains-area resident who has lived here all of her life. She was inspired to serve the community by her mother who volunteered to run a daycare for children of migrant workers when Ruby was young. Her father, brother, and husband also volunteered as firefighters before there was a fire department here. Not only has Ruby made a significant impact on the community through her own volunteer work, but she also in turn has inspired her kids and grandkids to be community volunteers.

Most recently, Ruby spent the past 11 years as the volunteer leader of the North Plains Food Pantry. She had previously worked at Community Action and the Oregon Food Bank for many years so she knew that there was a need in North Plains. Ruby facilitated ordering food from the Oregon Food Bank and buying additional needed food with donations, and at its height, the food bank was giving out 50-60 boxes of food each month and serving around 40 families. When her children were young the family delivered meals on wheels to seniors and Ruby also volunteered to do classroom tutoring while her kids were in elementary school.

“Volunteerism runs in my family, and helping people compels me to volunteer because I like seeing people get things they need and that it gives them hope,” said Ruby,  “I wish I could help everybody. If I won the lottery I’d carry $100 bills and hand them out to people who can’t buy all the groceries they need.”

Having grown up in this area, she also has strong roots and great stories to tell, including that she attended North Plains Elementary through 5th grade, then attended 6th and part of 7th grade at the former school on the current Jessie Mays site, and then went back to North Plains Elementary through 8th grade. She noted that she spent 1st and 8th grade in the same classroom. She was in the last 8th-grade class at North Plains before Poynter middle school was built, and she attended the original Hillsboro High School on Lincoln Street.

After making a significant impact for all of those years, Ruby has seen changes in community demand this past year, and she will be retiring from leading the food pantry this month. Families will be referred to other local food banks and the City and the Senior Center are considering other options and looking for volunteers to help.
Ruby, we can’t thank you enough for your meaningful work and contributions to helping people in our community! You are appreciated.