05 04 2016
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There are many ways to give back this holiday season. These organizations serving the Portland area could use donations of money, household items or volunteer time.

GIVING:

Local Charities:

These charities give back to the community through youth development, the arts and community services. All of the charities below scored high on Charity Navigator which tracks things like financial performance and accountability.  Every single charity listed spent 75 percent or more of their budget providing program services.

All Hands Raised education equity non-profit has a Charity Navigator score of 80.96.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area: Their mission is to provide a safe positive place for kids to learn and engage. They have Charity Navigator score of 85.46.

Caldera believes in the power of creativity to transform lives. They focus on bringing art and environmental programs to underserved youth. Caldera has a Charity Navigator score of 96.92.

Friends of the Children works to break the cycle of generational poverty and has a Charity Navigator score of 91.28.

Open School is a college-prep program for the kids who have fallen the furthest behind. They have a Charity Navigator score of 81.52.

Oregon Food Bank works to eliminate hunger and its root causes. They have a Charity Navigator score of 87.75.

Raphael House of Portland is a domestic violence agency dedicated to ending intimate partner violence for good. They have a Charity Navigator score of 77.92.

Self Enhancement, Inc. is dedicated to guiding underserved youth to realize their full potential. They have a Charity Navigator score of 83.06.

Sisters of the Road works to find systemic solutions to the roots of homelessness and poverty. They have a Charity Navigator score of 76.53

The Oregon Community Foundation works to improve life in Oregon and promote effective philanthropy. They have a Charity Navigator score of 94.59

 

Toy, Food, Clothing, Houseware Drives

Portland Fire and Rescue Toy and Joy Makers have been collecting new toys for needy children for 100 years. New and “like new” toys can be dropped off at any local fire station or the Toy and Joy Office at 5916 NE Going St. They are looking for infant toys like Play Doh Play Sets, and older children’s toys like Barbie Dolls, tea sets, sports equipment, model cars and board games.

Volunteers of America Oregon are seeking new or gently used winter coats and clothing in all sizes from infant to adult. They are also looking for new hygiene items such as toilet paper, deodorant, toothpaste and shampoo. Donations can be dropped off at the Family Relief Nursery located at 234 SE 7th Ave.

The Sunshine Division of the Portland Police Bureau are collecting canned and non-perishable food donations at Portland Fred Meyer locations until Dec. 24, at Standard TV & Appliance locations until Dec. 26 and at  Zupan’s Markets until Dec. 31.

The Community Warehouse is collecting home goods from non-smoking households to restock the furniture bank. The warehouse always needs mattresses (especially twin), dressers and kitchen items. Goods can be dropped off at 3969 NE MLK Jr Blvd. Community Warehouse will also pick up larger items in exchange for a $30 fee. For more information, visit https://www.communitywarehouse.org/request-a-pick-up.

Many local organizations will have need for in-kind donations to help provide services. The Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization is looking for donations to help their after-school programs. Needed Donations include general office supplies, sports and recess equipment and books. These can be dropped off at 10301 NE Glisan St.

Open School requests all sizes of winter jackets for men and women, journals, art kits, sketchbooks and gym clothes. Items can be dropped off at the Open School Development Office at 7633 N Wabash Ave.

Street Roots vendors are looking for winter gear so they can stay warm throughout the season as they work outside to sell newspapers. Street Roots is specifically asking for gloves, hand warmers and socks. Donations can be dropped off at the Street Roots office located at 211 NW Davis St. in Portland.

 

VOLUNTEERING:

Shelters and soup kitchens will be looking for extra help feeding the hungry this season. City Team Ministries runs a daily meal service and needs volunteers to pack Backpacks of Hope for students who would go hungry over the weekend. Volunteers can sign up for opportunities through this calendar.

Both Portland Rescue Mission and Union Gospel Mission offer meals to the homeless and have many volunteer opportunities on and around Christmas to help feed the needy.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul Portland Council is looking for volunteers for three hour shifts between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday – Friday. Volunteers are needed to help clients and prepare food boxes.

The Portland Council of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul runs the call-in center for the Multnomah County Christmas Food Box Program which serves over 3000 families per year.  Those interested are encouraged to call Diana Day at (503) 234-1114.

For more volunteering ideas, the Hands On Network of Greater Portland hosts a Volunteer Opportunity Calendar which shows many service projects going on throughout town. The calendar can be found at http://www.handsonportland.org/HOC__Volunteer_Opportunity_Calendar_Page

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