By Karen Oehler

At a special luncheon in August, NorthStar Clubhouse, a mental health recovery community, received checks totaling $6000 from 100 Women Who Care, an organization that donates money to non-profits in the Metro area.

The members of 100 Women Who Care pledge to give a $100 check every quarter to a different non-profit the group selects.

After a presentation by NorthStar members Deborah K. and Michelle C., and a parent of another member, the organization voted for NorthStar to receive their donation.

NorthStar group follows the guidelines from Clubhouse International, an evidence-based, non-clinical model focusing on strengths and skills rather than diagnoses. Members actively participate in running all aspects of the program and make decisions by consensus.

The group operates on a work-ordered-day, Monday through Friday, 9 am-5 pm. The work is divided into two units, or teams: Nutrition & Wellness and Employment & Operations, which includes running a retail store in the NorthStar building at 5600 NE Glisan St.

Social time is held every Friday from 3-5 pm, and members enjoy a monthly hike the last Saturday of every month. Membership is free, and open to anyone 18 and over with a mental health diagnosis.

The donation from 100 Women Who Care will support NorthStar’s mission empower people in mental health recovery to thrive personally, in the community and in the workplace.

“NorthStar has changed my life,” said Deborah K. “I went through a bad patch for several years, due to suffering several losses, and due to my mental health symptoms. I was very isolated, depressed, and anxious.

“After joining NorthStar in 2013, I gained confidence to volunteer in the community, and eventually got paid employment for the first time in several years.  I was also trained as a Peer Support Specialist through NorthStar and got a job doing that.

Member Matt S. says, “NorthStar’s Nutrition and Wellness Program for me has been an amazing adventure in becoming more mindful of what foods are important not only for physical health, but mental health as well. I volunteer in the kitchen helping to prepare amazing meals with like minded colleagues, in a good humored and always exciting environment.”

NorthStar hosted three members of the 100 Women Who Care group for a celebratory lunch when the women presented the agency with their checks.  Members prepare a nutritious lunch daily, and lunch that day featured Vietnamese spring rolls, tofu rice bowls, salad, and fruit.

The women received a tour of the building, including the adjoining resale shop, The Next R, which supports NorthStar financially and offers opportunities for members to participate in the store.

100 Women Who Care was started in November of 2006 in Michigan, as a simple way to raise money efficiently and quickly for local charities.

There are now nearly six hundred chapters of 100 Women Who Care nationwide, including Portland’s which meets quarterly at the Old Spaghetti Factory in Clackamas.

In order to be eligible, an organization must serve people in the Portland metro area and be non-political.

For more information, see: 100womenwhocareportland.org

NorthStar Clubhouse was started in 2010 and is located at 5600 NE Glisan, Suite B.  Suite A is the location of The Next R Resal e
Shop. The website is: www.northstarclubhouse.org Clubhouse International can be found at: clubhouse-intl.org/