Holiday Donation Guide
By Jack Rubinger
Looking for a list of places to donate goods, money, food or volunteer time for the holidays? Here’s a list with an emphasis on smaller organizations and causes with messages from each group.
- League of Minority Voters
We accept volunteer time, and assistance for our leadership program for students of color and immigrants students on our debate programs. Oregonlmv.org, 503.720.6776.
- Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon
We utilize volunteers in of our program and would appreciate your help raising awareness for this. We have a food drive going on called Season’s Feedings, collecting unopened wet and dry cat food.feralcats.com, 503.797.2606 x105
- Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro E
Donate money and volunteer time to Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East. Donate goods to our ReStores in addition to volunteering time. All donations of money, time and talent go to create successful home ownership by partnering hardworking families in need with the community to build and repair healthy, affordable homes.habitatportlandmetro.org, 503.287.9529 x. 17
- Oregon Humane Society
A place where people can donate goods, money and volunteer their time for the holidays. oregonhumane.org, 503.285.7722
- Free Geek
We love to emphasize volunteering and year-end monetary contributions freegeek.org, 503.232.9350 x111
ImpactNW seeks warm clothing for youth, kitchen and household supplies, books and games for families, and hygiene items for seniors. We accept monetary donations and gift cards for grocery stores, restaurants, and shops. holidayhopedrive.org. 503.294.7416
- The Rebuilding Center
With a nonprofit mission to build community through reuse, the ReBuilding Center carries the region’s largest volume of used building materials. Volunteer your time in the store on N Mississippi Avenue where you can sort reclaimed materials, help customers find items for creative reuse projects, or write with the newsletter team. Help us divert millions of pounds of building materials from the landfill by donating your used materials for a tax-deductible receipt. rebuildingcenter.org
- Community Alliance of Tenants
OregonCat.org, Jensi Albright, 503.460.9702 ex. 2
- Peace in Schools: Bringing Mindfulness to Teens
All donations are very much appreciated! peaceinschools.org/donate, 503.421.8825
- Dream Builders Alliance
A volunteer mentor program for young adults with disabilities. We welcome donations. sevencornerscollaborative.org/contribute. Lisa Steenson at email@example.com
- Sabin School Community
Season of Sharing is our in-house holiday assistance program for families within the Sabin School Community who may have limited resources this holiday season. Headed up by a couple of awesome parents and SUN school staff, we average 25-30 families who are provided with clothes, toys and gift cards for their households. Our goal this year is to raise $4000+ to help even more Sabin families. Contact Maria Leis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Friends of the Children
You can adopt-a-family, provide gifts for the children or host a giving tree for the holiday. Contact 503.281.6633 email@example.com
- Portland Women’s Crisis Line
Portland Music Eastside on Division is accepting working and non-working cell phones for the program to combat domestic violence.
12334 SE Division St., 503.760.6881
- Toy & Joy Makers
There will place collection boxes at each of the 30 Portland fire stations, community and holiday events. Station locations can be accessed at www.portlandonline.com/fire/stations or 503.823.0922.
- Portland Audubon Society
Make a donation to protect wildlife and habitat when filling out tax forms, or give Gift Trees as memorial gifts to celebrate friends and loved ones. audubonportland.org/support/give
By Bonita Davis, Master Recycler and Sunnyside resident
Ever presented or received a gift that missed the mark? I certainly have. Years later when downsizing or simplifying, these items can turn up unused, tucked away in storage spaces, sometimes no longer useable.
Researchers have come up with tips to up the chances of selecting gifts that not only will get used, but elicit smiles, joy and strengthen our connection to the special people on our list.
Here are some of their suggestions:
- Consider what has been requested. Often, the closer we are to people, the more we bypass the wish list or gift registration.
- Build on areas of interest and shared experiences such as books, cooking, travel or biking.
- Have something about you in the gift, maybe handmade or cleverly wrapped, etc.
- Gifts that reflect effort was put forth for a special something are treasured. Maybe it means we were really listening or observing or had that person in mind as we travelled.
Surprises and small luxuries can be very special; the treat we don’t buy ourselves. It doesn’t have to be big or expensive. A coffee card, manicure, a vintage pin… whatever would please.
Great gifts and saving money are a nice combination. Many wonderful, sustainable SE businesses participate in The Chinook Book. Find out where to buy it at chinookbook.com or use the online coupons. Maybe the book could be a gift.
Go to www.resourcefulpdx.com to find ideas for simple lifestyle changes, buying smart, and saving money during the holidays.
Receive a gift you can’t use? Exchange, swap, sell, re-gift, or donate to a favorite charity.
This holiday season, stop by Montavilla for holiday festivities. Businesses in Historic Downtown Montavilla (SE Stark St from 82nd -76th) will be participating in a window decorating contest, creating window displays with spectacular, eye-popping visuals for all to enjoy.
In previous years, these one of a kind creations have delighted thousands of residents and visitors. Voting for a favorite window display began Nov. 25, at metba.org, and continues through December 19.
These holiday displays create a beautiful backdrop for the Merry Montavilla Soiree December 9.
The Soiree, a holiday pub crawl, features businesses offering food and drink specials. Attendees are encouraged to bring warm winter clothing to donate to JOIN, a local nonprofit that supports efforts to transition homeless individuals and families into permanent housing.
On Saturday, December 10, Santa will appear at SE 81st Ave. and Stark St. Crafts and hot chocolate will be available for children and adults can check in with the Montavilla Food Co-op and Bridger Elementary, who will be there in support of the festivities.
“The event has always been a great way for the community to come together and celebrate the holiday season,” says Brooke Brandsmith, one of Frosty Fest’s lead organizers.
“It gives people a chance to check out some one of a kind items, support local business, and share their holiday spirit.”
2017 grant project requests
The goal of the East Portland Action Plan (EPAP) General Grant program is to build East Portland livability and prevent displacement by funding projects that implement strategies and items identified in the East Portland Action Plan.
Project Requests may be for $500 to $75,000 and can be found in English, Spanish, and Russian languages at: eastportlandactionplan.org. Applications can be found at :
Applications are due by December 21, 2016 at 5 pm and can be submitted in any language, by email, in person, or by mail to:
East Portland Action Plan
1017 NE 117th Ave., Portland, OR 97220
Grant Support Sessions–Thursday, December 8, 11:30 am – 1:30 pm or 6:30 – 8 pm. Call 503.823.4035 for more information.
Short term rental enforcements
The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) is proposing a new administrative rule called Accessory Short Term Rental Enforcement.
The proposed rule establishes a citation-based enforcement process for violations of Accessory Short Term Rental regulations of Portland City Code (PCC) 33.207; and establishes administrative review and appeal procedures for those violations.
Under proposed Accessory Short Term Rental Enforcement Administrative Rules, property owners will not have a 30-day compliance period, and will be issued citations of $1,000-$5,000 per occurrence.
Citations may be issued for each day of continued violation and may be reviewed administratively and appealed to the Code Hearings Officer.
The Code Hearings Officer may request additional documentation including, but not limited to, bank records, relevant tax records, and information from online platforms as a basis for their decision.
View the administrative rule at BDS, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, 5th floor. Copies will be available for review at the hearing.
A public hearing on the proposed administrative rule will be held on Friday, December 16, from 12 noon – 2 pm, 1900 SW 4th Avenue, Room 4a (4th floor).
Comments will be accepted in person at the hearing or in writing. Written comments will be accepted until 4:30 pm on Friday, December 16.
Submit written comments to Mike Liefeld at BDS, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SMART (Start Making A Reader Today)
SMART is a nationally recognized, statewide nonprofit organization that works to empower children in Oregon to create successful futures for themselves through books and reading. In honor of its 25th anniversary, SMART just published a children’s book titled OREGON READS ALOUD. The anthology of 25 stories for kids is written and illustrated by members of Oregon’s local children’s literature community. While the stories reflect a diverse range of topics, tones, and styles, they’re unified by a common theme: Oregon.
Chris Otis, Executive Director of SMART said, “This project is the result of the collective creativity and commitment of people who believe in the power of books to transform children’s lives. The book is a celebration of our state, our kids, and our families—and the power of books and reading in forming our experiences, paths and passions.”
Mt. Tabor resident Estela Bernal’s story, MT TABOR, HOME OF ARDI THE SQUIRREL, is one of the twenty-five stories featured in this beautiful collection. The cover art is from that story, which is (as the title implies) set in the park.
The book was launched at the downtown Powell’s Bookstore. While currently available from the publisher at www.graphicartsbooks.com or at htttp://www.indiebound.org/book/9781943328864, it is also available at bookstores throughout the state and there are many reading and signing events scheduled at various locations. Future events will be held at the Oregon Historical Society December 4 from noon to 4 pm, the Clackamas Barnes & Noble (December 17 from 10 am – 2:30 pm).
Sunnyside School tree recycling
For the past 8 years, Sunnyside Environmental School has been having a Holiday/Christmas Tree Recycling Event with all monies collected to benefit the “GO FUND”. This fund is utilized throughout the school year to supplement the out-of-pocket costs of school field trips for many of our students and families with limited means. Middle-schoolers (grades 6 – 8) earn community service credits by working at the event and they provide a needed service — particularly for apartment/condo-dwellers.
They offer both drop-off and pickup options. Complimentary coffee, tea and hot cocoa is usually available for those who bring trees to the school.
Drop off trees at Sunnyside Environmental School; 3421 SE Salmon St, behind the school bldg.
Pick-up service: Available from the river east to 82nd Ave and NE Fremont St. south to SE Woodstock Blvd. Call Jeff Skoke, 503.719.7415 or email@example.com to arrange for pick up. TRee recycling: Saturday, Jan. 7 and Sunday Jan. 8 from 10 am to 4 pm.
Cost: $ 5 for drop-off; $ 10 for pickup
Non-profit bike shop
Bikes for Humanity, a non-profit, community-oriented bicycle shop at 3354 SE Powell Blvd, will be partnering with Braking Cycles, a non-profit cafe/coffee house where at risk youth will gain practical job experience through paid apprenticeship and take strides toward a better future through mentorship.
Bikes for Humanity has been at the Powell location for two years. It offers affordable refurbished bicycles, recycles and re-uses unwanted bicycles, offers free repair training programs for youth and adults, and community service opportunities for volunteers of all skill levels. As of January 2, 2017, they will be sharing the shop space with a new cafe/coffee house, Braking Cycles.
PORTLAND MENNONITE CHURCH hosts a Longest Night service on Wednesday, December 21 at 7 pm, 1312 SE 35th Ave. The longest night of the year comes on the cusp of Christmas. Amidst all of the glad tidings of the season, some of us are carrying grief, enduring loss, or struggling with depression. The Portland Mennonite Church is gathering for a service of readings, contemplative music, silence and prayers. The hour-long service will be in the Sanctuary. Everyone is welcome to seek light and peace for your soul on the shortest day and longest night of the year. See portlandmennonite.org for more information.
HOLIDAY CRAFT FAIR – Wednesday, December 7, from 2 – 7 pm at People’s Food Coop Address: 3029 SE 21st Ave. Join them for their annual Holiday Craft Fair, featuring fantastic artisans from our community. Browse handmade arts, crafts and foodstuffs with a warm beverage, and get to know local makers. This event is free and open to all. Happy holidays!
A SHARED CITY: NATIVE AMERICANS IN EARLY PORTLAND HISTORY – Thursday, December 8, 6:30 pm at the Multnomah County Library – Belmont, 1038 SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd. The first written histories of our city never mentioned that Portland’s recently arrived white residents were outnumbered three to one by the Native Americans who lived along the Willamette River at the foot of Jefferson Street and other sites around Portland. Portland historian Tracy J. Prince, Ph.D., recently uncovered this completely neglected part of Portland’s history, and in this presentation, she will share rare photos and early stories about Native Americans in Portland. multcolib.org/events/shared-city-native-americans-early-portland-history/65686
NEW YEAR’S EVE BALL – The Laurelhurst Club invites you to join them on December 31 to welcome in 2017 at the beautiful historic Laurelhurst Club Ballroom at 3721 SE Ankeny St. (Just North of Laurelhurst Park). Bring friends and enjoy an elegant evening of dinner and dancing to the John Bennett Orchestra. Social begins at 7:30 pm with dinner at 8 pm. The Dance Band plays from 9:30 pm – 12:30 am. This event has a dress code of black tie/dark suit for men and formal party dress for women. BYOB with soda and coffee provided. For reservations call Sue Van Winkle at 503.234.6725 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Dinner/Dance is limited to 50 couples so make your reservations now!)
MRG FOUNDATION OPEN HOUSE – Thursday, December 15, 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm at 1235 SE Morrison St. Join the Mckenzie River Gathering to celebrate another year of social justice and to welcome new Executive Director, Roberta Phillip-Robbins. There will be delicious food, good drinks, and the opportunity to learn about our plans for 2017 including the full interactive exhibit, Giving Back: The Soul of Philanthropy Reframed and Exhibited. mrgfoundation.org/event/mrg-open-house-december-2016.
ANNUAL ADVENT CRAFT DIY FESTIVAL, December 4 at Tabor Heights Methodist Church, 6161 SE Stark. Join us at 12:30 for a chili lunch then make your way downstairs to make holiday crafts for all ages. This is a real community affair. For more information email@example.com.
POVERTY SIMULATION PROGRAM – Up to 80 participants and 18 volunteers will experience the virtual realities of poverty in a unique poverty simulation facilitated by CoActive Connections. Using the Community Action Poverty Simulation kit, participants role-play the lives of low-income families. Some are TANF recipients, some have limited mobility, and others are senior citizens receiving Social Security. They have the stressful task of providing for basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute programs. They interact with human service agencies, grocers, pawnbrokers, bill collectors, job interviewers, police officers and others. The simulation is designed to help people better understand the realities of poverty and the event is Friday, Dec. 2, 8 am – 12 noon at the Community of Christ Portland Congregation, 4837 NE Couch St. Space is limited so registration is required to attend the simulation. The registration fee is $25. Learn more and register online: coactiveconnections.net/register-now-for-upcoming-poverty-simulation.
2016 SPIRIT OF PORTLAND AWARDS –Tuesday, December 13, 6 – 8:30 pm at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah. The City Council presents Spirit of Portland Awards each year to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions to our community. portlandoregon.gov/oni/article/595630
RACC, REGIONAL ARTS & CULTURE COUNCIL invites artists living in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Utah to submit qualifications for a commission for the lobby of the new Multnomah County Central Courthouse in Portland. There is a budget of $500,000-$750,000 for a 30’H x 80’W wallwork. Artist’s fee will be 20% of the fabrication/installation costs if s/he chooses to work with a fabricator. Construction begins in 2017 and the courthouse is scheduled to open in 2020. Deadline for submitting materials is 11:59 pm (MDT), Monday, December 19, 2016. All applications must be submitted through CaFÉ Register at callforentry.org/faq.phtml.(A second RFQ for additional permanent sites will be posted in early 2017.)
BUS 75: HIDDEN PORTLAND is a weekly photo/story blog exploring the city via the #75 TriMet bus created by photographer Geoffrey Hiller and writer Tom Vandel. See oddball specialty stores, old-school barbershops, family-owned sausage parlors and more online at bus75.org. The exhibit is in the Student Activities Center at Concordia University, 2811 NE Holman St. in the Hagen Campus Center/2nd floor. Free and open to the public through December 18.
TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY, everyone is invited to join the fun and magic on Saturday, December 3 at The Fernie Brae, 4035 SE Hawthorne Blvd. There will be music, hot cider and other activities. The fun begins at 5 pm. Bring an outdoor ornament or create one there. 503.775.7633.