Portland Charity Pays Off Mortgage Early

December 01, 2009 | Brian Vistaunet

An Adventist charity has eliminated a major expense during this economic downturn. Portland Adventist Community Services met a major campaign goal by paying off the mortgage on its facilities on Oct. 18.

A large number of people and organizations made donations to help PACS repay the loan six years ahead of schedule. The early payoff eliminated a $7,115.60 minimum monthly payment and saved thousands of dollars in interest.

"It's a miracle," says Paul Cole, PACS executive director.

More than $87,000 poured in during the final month before the Oct. 18 goal set by Cole. The final contributions needed to cover the balance were made on the deadline of the 18th during an awards dinner and auction, which celebrated PACS 75th anniversary. The payoff check was presented to the North Pacific Union Conference at the event, and a copy of the mortgage document was ceremonially burned.

PACS purchased its current facilities in 1998 for $1.3 million, with the help of a $1 million loan from the NPUC. Thanks to the improved space and location, the PACS Food Pantry now helps four times more needy families each year than it could in the old facility.

Original efforts toward an early mortgage payoff began shortly after the facilities were purchased. From 2006 to 2009, generous individuals and organizations contributed more than $200,000 toward the mortgage.

The elimination of this debt helps PACS maintain financial stability and make needed facility repairs while keeping up with the sharply increasing needs for services.