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Acts of Kindness: 'The care fund is there for people'

Ken and Carolyn Larson

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - On your average shopping trip, once you have reached the checkout stand, you have probably encountered a variety of fundraisers for causes nationwide, like cancer research or heart disease.

But one local market is taking its fundraising efforts to causes closer to home.

It's called the Bungalow Market, located on E Street in Springfield.

It's been owned by a couple, Ken and Carolyn Larson, for about 10 years now. But just three years ago, after hearing about a financial need at their church, they put a donation jar at the register to help raise money.

The community responded, and the jars have since multiplied to help other community members.

"Everybody knows they've got something when they come to the Bungalow," said Carolyn.

Donation jars line the register counter, which began as one three years ago.

"It was doing a fundraising drive to keep the lands around the church so they can use it for future use," Carolyn said.

The community donated more than $757 for the cause. Once enough money was raised, the jar was taken off the counter.

But the Larsons say the customers were not finished donating yet.

"They said, 'we want to keep our jar out here," said Carolyn.

So the next jar turned into a care fund for their church.

"The care fund is there for people who are short on rent or short on food; need money," said Ken. "It's just there to help people."

As of recently, a new jar is out for a cause more personal to the Larsons: a jar for one of their employees.

"She came with the store," said Carolyn. "She was on the fixtures and equipments' list I think."

Her name is Elizabeth, but the Larsons call her Liz.

She has recently been diagnosed with a rare and progressive disease called Moyamoya, which reduces blood flow and oxygen to the brain resulting in temporary, or even permanent damage.

"She worked right up until she had that first stroke," said Ken. "Of course, she hasn't worked since then. But I'll tell ya, her job is open if she ever comes back."

As Liz continues her treatment in the hospital, her donation jar remains at the register.

More than $500 has been raised for Liz.

"It gives me a sense of pride and a sense of joy to see what they do, and to see when negativity is spread around this neighborhood it hurts, because it's not negative," said Carolyn. "They're sweet people; they're good and generous people."

But customers to the Bungalow Market say it's the Larsons that stand out in the community.

"They're on top of it because it is such a small community and they know," said Andrea Wallace, a daily customer to the Bungalow. "They know people and they find out who's in need and attempt to help people. You can always count on them being there for others there in this area."

If you would like to donate for Liz's continuing medical coverage, or to other causes the Larsons are backing, the donation jars remain lined on the register at the Bungalow Market.

And of course, if you know of anyone doing good works in the community, send us an email at "Actsofkindness@kmtr.com

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