COMPELLED TO SERVE
Even though you can see her name associated with myriad efforts, Tiffany Olea prefers to keep a low profile when volunteering in the community.
Still, that didn’t keep Newberg resident Sharee Adkins from nominating the 41-year-old owner of a local coffee house for Pamplin Media Group’s Amazing Neighbors designation for 2022.
“I don’t know Tiffany personally, but I see her showing up everywhere in our community for people in need,” Adkins said of the 26-year resident. “As a small business owner, she’s an enthusiastic supporter of our local nonprofits and youth programs. As a community member, she’s the first to raise her hand and offer support when someone in the community has a need. She’s a role model for civic (and civil) engagement at a time when so many are pitted against one another in our community. She’s passionate about her family and the Newberg community and I am continually amazed by how much she gives of herself every single day.”
Although the Boring native hasn’t concentrated her volunteer efforts on a particular segment of Newberg, Olea tends to gravitate toward causes that involve youth.
“I would say I am passionate about making sure all kids have what they need,” she said. “I have gathered ink cartridges to recycle for money, then I purchase school supplies and backpacks for kids. I have gathered shoes for our school resource rooms and oftentimes I am a drop-off site for supply drives throughout the year. … I primarily donate to organizations that support kids in our community where I feel it will have the greatest impact. I support many of the school auctions, donation drives and fundraisers.”
When Olea isn’t volunteering, she spends her days as owner of Coffee Cat on College Street. The business appears to be a means to an end. “I love to serve,” she said. “By having a business in the community, it has allowed me to expand what and where I can serve. Kids are an important piece of that as I believe it truly takes only one adult to make a difference in a child’s life and by serving in our schools, I enjoy connecting with some of our most vulnerable.”
Mother of three kids ages 14 to 17, as well as a wife of 22 years to husband Angel, she oftentimes has help in her volunteer efforts.
“Mainly I commit my kids and spouse to volunteer with me. Occasionally I’ll ask a friend, if needed,” she said.
To a degree, Olea feels compelled to help in any way she can.
“I think being involved in the community is important … many hands make light work,” she said. “I like being able to give where I can and see the difference it makes.”
Those efforts include volunteering at Northwest Christian Church in its “Night to Shine” prom for young individuals with special needs. She also helps provide meals to the less fortunate in the community.
Her hope is that through volunteering and caring for folks, Newberg will maintain its quality of life.
“To me, Newberg is still a small town even though we continue to grow,” she said. “I love the small town feel and hope to protect that while continuing to welcome our newest community members. I believe everyone should have a place to call home.”
That commitment to the community stops, however, when it comes to seeking in an elected or appointed office.
“I have been asked many times to run for a position at the city, school board and more,” Olea said. “I have no interest in running as I think it is important to be able to continue speaking out and up about our issues in the community without being restricted. I believe it’s important to get the facts out without being censored on what I can say.”