Portland, OR. Katy Fackler of Wells Fargo was honored with a Service Award at the Blanchet House virtual benefit for her committed effort to build and sustain a therapeutic beekeeping program at Blanchet Farm. (Beekeeping helps formerly homeless individuals heal from trauma, build sobriety, and gain self-confidence.) Fackler’s story was featured during the nonprofit’s virtual “Lend A Helping Hand Brunch” on March 7th. Blanchet House celebrated supporters of the nonprofit’s work to alleviate suffering and to raise critical funds for its services. The virtual event was open to the public and more than 250 people were in attendance. Notable guests included Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Commissioner Lori Stegman who were there to support the human services provided to the City of Portland by Blanchet House. $216,000 was raised to support Blanchet House’s meal, clothing, and shelter services that are provided free to those in need.

Alaska Airlines PDX employees were honored with a Fr. Kennard Award for their daily volunteer service during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Event honorees included the Jesuit High School community which received the Founders Award for their service in 2020. Students and faculty made more than 20,000 sack lunches to help Blanchet House meet the increased need for to-go meals.

Jim Christianson and Ed O’Hanlon received the Al Riley Award for their life of volunteer service to managing Blanchet House’s finances.

Speakers included a formerly homeless man, Jordan S., who found health and healing at Blanchet Farm while participating in the therapeutic beekeeping program. Jesuit Father Gary Smith gave an inspired blessing reminding everyone that their generosity is “a bridge of life” to those served by Blanchet House.

The goal of the new beekeeping program is to offer the men at the farm a productive activity that will build soft job skills, self-worth, and generate extra income for the farm. Beekeeping is a relaxing hobby that is beneficial to both those in recovery and the environment.

Here’s a video about volunteering:

From Blanchet House:

The event was supported by Presenting Sponsor Fortis Construction, Inc., Platinum Sponsor Agnes Petrusich Family, Gold Sponsors Alaska Airlines and SERA Architects, and other generous sponsors. Additional support of the event came from the B.P. Lester & Regina John Foundation and Ed Cauduro Fund of Oregon Community Foundation who matched gifts made during the special appeal. Next year’s event will celebrate Blanchet House’s 70 years of service to the community. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to contact Brenda Ray Scott, CFRE at 503-241-4340 or [email protected]rg. A recording of the program is available online at blanchethouse.org/brunch2021.

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