Featuring a pizza sauce named after the owner’s daughter (Scarlet) and a staff that is made up almost entirely of students from the local high school, Bear Creek Pizza & Pub of Molalla, Oregon is exactly the kind of establishment that makes small town America so special. “We provide a warm family atmosphere,” says owner Christina Van, “and of course great handmade pizza and cocktails for the hardworking people of our community.”

That service to community has been challenged during the pandemic, and Van and team feel the isolation. “We are so much about family and community and it is so hard to stay connected to our people while having to socially distance,” she says.

As such, Van and team are finding new ways to connect, and that is why they jumped at the opportunity to join Columbia Bank’s Pass It On Project. Using their creativity and passion for the community, Bear Creek Pizza is providing gift baskets for those in need and Columbia Bank is paying the bill. “We have decided to pass it on by creating baskets of food, toys, and gift cards for those in need in our town,” says Van. “With Columbia Bank’s assistance, we are going to help our dear friends and neighbors find a little joy at a time we all surely need it.”