Dougy Center

"We have minimal technology needs, but having the right tools in place allows us to deliver even more programming to youth and their families in need, now and in the future."

— Donna Schuurman, executive director 

Microsoft Keeps Dougy Center Staff Connected Following Devastating Fire

In Portland, Oregon, The Dougy Center provides children, teens, and young adults with a safe place to deal with death and to process the loss of a close friend or family member. Staff offers peer support groups and a variety of interactive activities from art and music to exercise in the high-energy volcano room. 

With several locations including an administrative building, a training center, and two satellite offices, six program coordinators, a dozen full-time employees, and more than 50 ongoing peer groups, organization has always been paramount to the center's success. But on the night of Fathers Day 2009, the organization was dealt a heavy blow — an arson fire burned its 5,000-square-foot administrative office to the ground. 

Scheduling meetings and sharing information can be a challenge for any organization, but after the fire it became a nightmare. Staff members set up shop in what had been the primary training center while satellite offices in west and south Portland compensated with more trainings. Keeping track of who was where when became a constant challenge. But with challenges come opportunities. 

Upgrading the organization's Microsoft Office suite from 2003 to 2010 helped keep the center running smoothly. The new version of Office has made tracking staff and coordinating meetings so much more manageable while the user-friendly features in Word and PowerPoint make a huge difference in the creation of fundraising presentations and training manuals. After a year of back and forth with insurance companies, the organization broke ground on a new 11,000-square-foot facility on April 18, 2012.