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.
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.
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.
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.