02-19-2017  8:02 pm      •     
food bags

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.


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.



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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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — One month after the inauguration, the stretch of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of Donald Trump's White House still is a hard-hat zone. Skeletal remains of the inaugural reviewing stands poke skyward. Random piles of plywood and cables are heaped on the ground inside crooked lines of metal fencing. The disarray outside the president's front door, though not his fault, serves as a metaphor for the tumult still unfolding inside. Four weeks in, the man who says he inherited "a mess" at home and abroad is presiding over a White House that is widely described as itself being a mess. At a stunning pace, Trump has riled world leaders and frustrated allies. He was dealt a bruising legal blow on one of his signature policies. He lost his national security adviser and his pick for labor secretary to scandal. He's seen forces within his government push back against his policies and leak confidential information. All of this has played out amid a steady drip of revelations about an FBI investigation into his campaign's contacts with Russian intelligence officials. Trump says his administration is running like a "fine-tuned machine." He points to the rising stock market and the devotion of his still-loyal supporters as evidence that all is well, although his job approval rating is much lower than that for prior presidents in their first weeks in office. Stung by the unrelenting criticism coming his way, Trump dismisses much of it as "fake news" delivered by "the enemy of the people" — aka the press. Daily denunciations of the media are just one of the new White House fixtures Americans are adjusting to. Most days start (and end) with presidential tweets riffing off of whatever's on TV talk shows or teasing coming events or hurling insults at the media. At some point in the day, count on Trump to cast back to the marvels of his upset of Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election and quite possibly overstate his margins of support. Expect more denunciations of the "dishonest" press and its "fake news." From there, things can veer in unexpected directions as Trump offers up policy pronouncements or offhand remarks that leave even White House aides struggling to interpret them. The long-standing U.S. policy of seeking a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Trump this past week offered this cryptic pronouncement: "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one." His U.N. ambassador, Nikki Haley, the next day insisted, "We absolutely support a two-state solution." Trump's days are busy. Outside groups troop in for "listening sessions." Foreign leaders call or come to visit. (Or, in the case of Mexico's president, cancel out in pique over Trump's talk about the planned border wall.) After the president signed two dozen executive actions, the White House was awaiting a rush order of more of the gold-plated Cross pens that Trump prefers to the chrome-plated ones used by his predecessor. Trump hands them out as souvenirs at the signing ceremonies that he points to as evidence of his ambitious pace. "This last month has represented an unprecedented degree of action on behalf of the great citizens of our country," Trump said at a Thursday news conference. "Again, I say it. There has never been a presidency that's done so much in such a short period of time." That's all music to the ears of his followers, who sent him to Washington to upend the established order and play the role of disrupter. "I can't believe there's actually a politician doing what he says he would do," says an approving Scott Hiltgen, a 66-year-old office furniture sales broker from River Falls, Wisconsin. "That never happens." Disrupt Trump has. But there may be more sound and fury than substance to many of his early actions. Trump did select Judge Neil Gorsuch to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court, a nomination that has drawn strong reviews from conservatives. But the president is regrouping on immigration after federal judges blocked his order to suspend the United States' refugee program and ban visitors from seven Muslim-majority countries, which had caused chaos for travelers around the globe. Some other orders on issues such as the U.S.-Mexico border wall and former President Barack Obama's health care law are of limited effect. Trump says his early actions show he means to deliver on the promises he made during the campaign. "A lot of people say, 'Oh, oh, Trump was only kidding with the wall,'" the president told a group of police chiefs recently. "I wasn't kidding. I don't kid." But the Republican-led Congress is still waiting to see specifics on how Trump wants to proceed legislatively on top initiatives such as replacing the health care law, enacting tax cuts and revising trade deals. The messy rollout of the travel ban and tumult over the ouster of national security adviser Michael Flynn for misrepresenting his contacts with Russia are part of a broader state of disarray as different figures in Trump's White House jockey for power and leaks reveal internal discord in the machinations of the presidency. "I thought by now you'd at least hear the outlines of domestic legislation like tax cuts," says Princeton historian Julian Zelizer. "But a lot of that has slowed. Trump shouldn't mistake the fact that some of his supporters like his style with the fact that a lot of Republicans just want the policies he promised them. He has to deliver that." Put Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in the camp of those more interested in substance than style. "I'm not a great fan of daily tweets," McConnell said Friday, referring to the "extra discussion" that Trump likes to engage in. But McConnell was quick to add: "What I am a fan of is what he's been actually doing." He credits Trump with assembling a conservative Cabinet and taking steps to reduce government regulation, and promised: "We like his positions and we're going to pursue them as vigorously as we can." The challenge may be to tease out exactly what Trump wants in the way of a health care plan, tax changes and trade policy. At his long and defiant news conference on Thursday, Trump tried to dispel the impression of a White House in crisis, squarely blaming the press for keeping him from moving forward more decisively on his agenda. Pointing to his chief of staff, Reince Priebus, Trump said, "You take a look at Reince, he's working so hard just putting out fires that are fake fires. I mean, they're fake. They're not true. And isn't that a shame because he'd rather be working on health care, he'd rather be working on tax reform." For all the frustrations of his early days as president, Trump still seems tickled by the trappings of his office. When New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visited the White House last week to discuss the national opioid epidemic over lunch, the governor said Trump informed him: "Chris, you and I are going to have the meatloaf.'" Trump added: "I'm telling you, the meatloaf is fabulous." ___Follow Nancy Benac on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nbenac
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