Brides for a Cause Raises Funds for Local Charities With Annual Dress Dash

Brides for a Cause Raises Funds for Local Charities With Annual Dress Dash

Portland, OR. Once a year the nonprofit Brides for a Cause offers wedding dresses for just $150. Brides started lining up at 4:00 am on Saturday morning and by the end of the day, hundreds had found their dream dresses. The sale featured more than 500 wedding dresses. Brides for a Cause is a nonprofit organization that collects and resells wedding dresses to raise funds for a variety of women-focused charities.

There was a long line for the 7th annual Dress Dash. The event took place on January 25th at the Exchange Ballroom.

Brides for a Cause raised $350,000 last year which was twice the amount from the previous year. In total, the organization has raised $1,000,000 for nonprofits.

Thousands of wedding dresses are donated each year by individuals, bridal stores, manufacturers and designers, which are resold at discounted prices to local brides.

Brides for a Cause also teams up with Brides Across America every July and November to offer free wedding dresses to local military brides and first responders during their annual “Operation Wedding Gown” events, which are held at over 60 bridal salons around the country.

Brides Across America gives away dresses for brides who are on active duty, a veteran of the military within the past 5 years, a first responder – or is marrying someone who is.

From Brides for a Cause:

Brides for a Cause has three locations:

Portland Boutique:
Brides for a Cause
2505 SE 11th Ave, Suite 120
Portland, OR 97202

Tacoma Boutique:
Brides for a Cause
2711 6th Avenue
Tacoma, WA 98406

Seattle Boutique
Brides for a Cause
6514 Roosevelt Way
NE Seattle, WA 98115

If you are interested in donating a dress you can do that. Brides for a Cause is currently accepting wedding gowns from the past 5 years. 

Please mail your gown to:
Brides for a Cause
2505 SE 11th Ave, Suite 120
Portland, OR 97202

In 2019, we have given away a record-breaking $350,000 for the year! This is DOUBLE the amount we gave away in 2018! We also reached our $1,000,000 milestone of total money given away! Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way!

Our 2019 Gifts:

Past Gifts

Read about our 2018 Gifts!
Read about our 2017 Gifts!

Support Our Cause.

Have a charity you want us to consider supporting?  Nominate a Charity!

Arlene Schnitzer Donates Record-Breaking $10 Million to Portland Art Museum

Arlene Schnitzer Donates Record-Breaking $10 Million to Portland Art Museum

Portland, OR. The Portland Art Museum announced a landmark gift of $10 million from philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer. This represents the largest contribution from an individual donor in the 127-year history of the institution.

The gift was announced at the Museum by her son, Jordan Schnitzer. Gov. Kate Brown spoke of Mrs. Schnitzer’s extraordinary leadership to approximately 200 invitees, underscoring the importance of investing in the arts in our state.

Jordan and Arlene Schnitzer in 2015 at the PNCA Grand Opening

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici also announced a $750,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities in support of the Museum’s Connections Campaign. Through that campaign, the Museum will transform its campus by connecting its two buildings via the new Mark Rothko Pavilion and by growing its endowment in support of access, exhibitions, and programs.

The Schnitzer gift now represents the lead gift in the Museum’s ongoing Connection Campaign, which is currently in the quiet phase. An official announcement of the public campaign is anticipated in 2021.

“This extraordinary gift is a profound investment in our role as Portland’s museum for art and film, but also in the future of the arts in our region,” said Brian Ferriso, Director and Chief Curator of the Museum. “We are so grateful to the Schnitzer family for their leadership in continually reinforcing that the arts are essential for vibrant, equitable communities. This gift, and the gifts it will inspire, will shape the future of the arts in this community in ways we cannot foresee today.”

The Portland Art Museum released the video below to thank Arlene Schnitzer:

Arlene Schnitzer’s relationship with the Portland Art Museum began when she enrolled as a student at the Museum Art School.

Harold and Arlene Schnitzer in the Japanese Garden in 2010

Harold and Arlene Schnitzer are pictured in the Japanese Garden in 2010. Arlene Schnitzer and her late husband, Harold Schnitzer (1923–2011) have been close partners of the Museum for almost half a century.

Their passion for art, and our city, led to leadership roles at the Museum. The Schnitzers have provided financial support of important acquisitions, exhibitions, and capital campaigns; donated their Chinese Han Dynasty collection and other works to the Museum’s collection; and made significant investments in furthering the scholarship of the curatorial team through endowments of Northwest and Asian art, whose curatorial positions are named in their honor. The Schnitzers’ vision and generosity led to the creation of the Museum’s Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Northwest Art, celebrating the creative vitality of the region.

When asked about what drives her philanthropy, Mrs. Schnitzer said, “Enough is never enough giving back. And Harold felt it as strongly as I do. And that’s it.”

In recognition of their commitment and contributions, in 2007 Harold and Arlene Schnitzer were named the first-ever Life Trustees of the Museum. In 2014, the Museum showcased Arlene and Harold’s distinguished collection with the exhibition and publication In Passionate Pursuit: The Harold and Arlene Schnitzer Collection and Legacy. That exhibition displayed artwork by many of the Northwest artists whose careers Mrs. Schnitzer nurtured through her Fountain Gallery, including Robert Colescott, the focus of the special exhibition Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott, opening February 15 at the Museum. The Schnitzers’ legacy and impact on the arts in Portland and throughout the Northwest are undeniable.

“It has been very exciting to see the Museum change and grow, and to watch interest in the art of the Northwest region blossom,” Mrs. Schnitzer said. “It’s what Harold and I envisioned.”

“I am so proud of my mother, Arlene, and my late father, Harold,” said Jordan Schnitzer. “My mother recently said the reason they have given to the art museum was ‘You either put up, or shut up!’ It doesn’t get any more succinct than that!

“While their financial contributions have been important, I believe their leadership and lifelong effort to enlist many others to support the arts is their greatest legacy,” Mr. Schnitzer continued. “My late father often said, ‘You can’t have too many yellow school buses in front of the Museum!’”

About Portland Art Museum:

The mission of the Portland Art Museum is to engage diverse communities through art and film of enduring quality, and to collect, preserve, and educate for the enrichment of present and future generations.


The Portland Art Museum strives to be an inclusive institution that facilitates respectful dialogue, debate, and the free exchange of ideas.  With a deep commitment to artists – past and present – and freedom of expression, the Museum and Northwest Film Center’s collections, programs and staff aspire to reveal the beauty and complexities of the world, and create a deeper understanding of our shared humanity.  We are a Museum for all, inviting everyone to connect with art through their own experiences, voices, and personal journeys.  The following core values guide the Portland Art Museum:

The arts are at the core of our humanity, representing a timeless human impulse.

The arts touch us and connect us across time, geography, and cultural differences, shedding light on how humans interact with their world.

The arts open us to diverse ideas and ways of knowing ourselves, our community, and our world.

The arts must be economically, intellectually, and physically accessible to everyone.

Transparency and careful stewardship of resources—including collections, staff, facilities, and investments – are essential for mission fulfillment now and in the future.

More info at:

$350,000 Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Helps Portland Based Nonprofit

$350,000 Grant from Bill & Melinda Gates Helps Portland Based Nonprofit

Portland, OR. Medical Teams International received a $350,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to increase access to life-saving primary healthcare services for 120,000 Venezuelan migrants living now in Santa Marta, Colombia. Bill and Melinda Gates, pictured in Bangladesh, have a stated foundation goal: “In high-burden communities, millions of women and newborns die during childbirth and the first month of life – the majority, due to preventable causes. We channel our resources to understand and address underlying risks to keep women and their children healthy.”

In Columbia, a Venezuelan migrant named Stefanie is one of many trying to raise young children. The mass migration to Columbia started because Venezuela’s economic and political crisis has now reached a state of hyperinflation due to chronic resource shortages and government corruption. (Photo credit: Sarah Rawlins)

“Mothers are dying unnecessarily without access to care,” said Martha Holley Newsome, Medical Teams International President and CEO. “As an organization, we are called to go where we are needed most. This generous grant from the Gates Foundation will allow us to do exactly this, by providing life-saving care to the most vulnerable Venezuelans in Colombia like children and pregnant women.”

Nearby, an elderly couple is struggling to care for their handicapped daughter.

“The scale of what is happening in Venezuela is considered to be the largest humanitarian crisis in the world today. Persons displaced from Venezuela represent more people than the combined number that have fled from South Sudan and Myanmar. The situation is dire — an estimated 60 percent of medical assistance has been lost, with recent indicators of maternal mortality at an increase of 65 percent.

Since the crisis began, more than four million people have left Venezuela. By the end of last year, access to affordable food and medical care was nearly impossible for millions of people.

“Venezuelans report that the collapse of the economy has led to them being unable to meet their own very basic needs such as food, water, and medicine,” said Medical Teams Humanitarian Advisor Rachel Rigby. “In Colombia, we’re seeing people arriving with nothing, having had to use what little resources they had to pay to illegally cross the border.”

While the government of Colombia has been welcoming to new Venezuelan arrivals, the need for medical care far surpasses the country’s ability to provide them with basic assistance. Medical Teams will support the Colombian government by providing care for Venezuelan migrants and vulnerable Colombians. The program is focused on caring for pregnant and lactating women and young children, as well as ensuring vulnerable communities have access to life-saving medical care.

In addition to strengthening the Colombian health system by supporting local primary health care facilities, this grant will also help implement a Community Health Worker program to train volunteers to create social health behavior changes within their communities, map and monitor vulnerable populations, and provide referrals to local health facilities.

“Without Medical Teams’ help, these women would not receive any prenatal care and would have to find a clinic to deliver their baby in, while in labor,” Rigby said. “Young children are suffering from preventable and treatable illnesses, so our community health work program alongside targeted care is allowing families to learn how to prevent disease.”

From Medical Teams International:

For 40 years, Medical Teams International has worked in more than 35 countries and currently operates in Bangladesh, Colombia, Guatemala, Lebanon, Tanzania, and Uganda, collaborating with more than 50 local partners globally. Medical Teams has executed more than 26 U.S. government international assistance grants and implemented projects with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees, U.S. State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration, United Nations Children’s Fund, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and others on a diverse range of health and nutrition interventions. Medical Teams strives to implement innovative and efficient health interventions that save lives and promote a caring world.

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Because every person—no matter where they are or how desperate their situation—matters. Find Medical Teams International at and on social media using @medicalteams.

For more information on Medical Teams and its work in Colombia, please visit

Portland Children’s Museum Launches Safety Campaign to Honor Co-Worker

Portland Children’s Museum Launches Safety Campaign to Honor Co-Worker

Portland, OR. The Portland Children’s Museum is remembering coworker, Leslie Schmadeke, who was hit and killed by a driver on Tualatin-Valley Highway on January 14th. Museum administers say, “Our staff & visitors mourn the loss of beloved Museum Experience Facilitator Leslie Schmadeke, who joyfully shared her gifts of origami & crafting with families for the last nine years. She will be dearly missed.”
The Portland Children’s Museum is partnering with TriMet to hand out reflective and glow-in-the-dark gear to families at the museum.

Employees will be providing bracelets, lights, and more. They call it a simple but meaningful way to honor Schmadeke’s life.

“I can’t remember a day when Leslie was down,” Ruth Shelly, the museum’s executive director, said. “She always came to work upbeat, ready to go, with some new craft in her bulging apron pockets, ready to share with the public.”


51-year-old Schmadeke was crossing TV Highway to get to the bus stop to go to work when she was hit. It was dark and foggy that morning, and investigators say the driver had poor visibility.


ODOT is working on implementing a few measures to make the route safer, including installing three rapid flashlights in areas identified as the most dangerous for pedestrians.


Portland Children’s Museum is located at:
4015 SW Canyon Rd, Portland, OR 97221
1,500 Local Volunteers Set to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy During Weekend of Service

1,500 Local Volunteers Set to Honor Dr. King’s Legacy During Weekend of Service

Portland, OR. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has nearly 1,500 volunteer opportunities across 60 community projects as part of the 13th Annual MLK Weekend of Service. Click here for a link to a list of volunteer options from Hands-on Greater Portland.

“Dr. King’s legacy of service continues to inspire and remind Oregonians that we all have a role to play in bettering the health of our communities,” says Angela Dowling, President of Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon. “Regence and our employees are proud to celebrate our fifth year partnering with United Way in support of this mission.”

Clean Up and Green Up is a volunteer project at Portland Audubon.

The event is presented by Regence BlueCross BlueShield of Oregon and supported by Intel, Nike, Dunn Carney, Tonkon Torp LLP, Umpqua Bank, with special thanks to U.S. Bank.

From sprucing up libraries and school gardens to sorting books for kids to packaging donated food for families in need – MLK Weekend of Service offers countless opportunities for community members to give back and help build Dr. King’s vision throughout the Portland metro region.

“Our MLK Weekend of Service is an incredible opportunity for people to come together to honor Dr. King’s legacy,” says Cindy Adams, President and CEO of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette. “With over sixty volunteer projects and 1,500 volunteers across the region this year, community members can continue striving for the changes Dr. King championed – including ending poverty and advancing racial equity – and make a real impact for tens of thousands of children and families.”

This year’s event also kicks off United Way’s centennial celebration. Since 1920 your local United Way has been bringing the community together to do good. In addition to honoring Dr. King’s legacy, this MLK Weekend we also celebrate United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s historic role in strengthening schools, families, and communities across the region.

  • The event runs from Friday, January 17 through Monday, January 20 with volunteer projects each day.
  • The event is organized by United Way’s volunteer program, Hands On Greater Portland.
  • MLK Weekend of Service is an integral part of United Way of the Columbia-Willamette’s 10-year agenda focused on reducing childhood poverty and advancing racial equity.

Here’s a list of some of the options for volunteer activities:

Friday: January 17:

  1. Beaverton High School Student Success Week: Join us for painting, creating signage, interior planting
    1. 8:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: Beaverton HS: 13000 SW 2nd St. Beaverton, OR 97008
  2. Hands Dirty but Hearts Filled: Help spruce up the Day Center organizing bookshelves, cleaning furniture and windows, picking up around the property
    1. 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    2. Location: 2nd floor of Sunset Presbyterian Church: 14986 NW Cornell Rd. Portland, OR 97229
  3. VOSE Elementary School (Beaverton School District): Help spruce up the school grounds
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 11350 SW Denney Rd. Beaverton, OR

Saturday: January 18:

  1. American Red Cross: Install free smoke alarms and educate households on fire safety
    1. 9:30 am-2:30 pm
    2. Location: Portland Red Cross office: 3131 N Vancouver Ave. Portland, OR 97227
  2. Schoolhouse Supplies: Sort books by grade level for the Free Store for Teachers
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 4916 NE 122nd Portland, OR 97230

Sunday: January 19:

  1. Q Center: Join us for a day of beautification at the largest LGBTQ2SIA+ community center in the Pacific NW
    1. 9:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 4115 N Mississippi Ave. Portland, OR
  2. The Children’s Book Bank: Sort, spruce up and bundle community donated books for children
    1. 10 am-11 am
    2. Location: 1915 NE 7th AVE. Portland, OR 97217
  3. Hillsboro Public Library: Help “weed” the library shelves and organize the supply closet
    1. 1:30 pm-3:30 pm
    2. Location: Shute Park Library: 775 SE 10th Ave. Hillsboro, OR 97124

Monday (MLK Day): January 20:

  1. Bink-A-Thon: Make blankets for children
    1. 9:30 am-1:30 pm
    2. Location: Village Baptist Church, 330 SW Murray Blvd, Beaverton, OR 97005
  2. SnowCap Community Garden Clean-Up: Help weed, prune, haul and spread cedar chips
    1. 9:30 am-12:30 pm
    2. Location: 17805 SE Stark St. Portland, OR 97233
  3. Oregon Food Bank (Portland): Repack food donations into family-size portions
    1. 10 am-11 am
    2. Location: Portland location: 7900 NE 33rd Dr. Portland, OR 97211
  4. Native Gathering Garden at Cully: Help with weeding and general upkeep of the garden
    1. 10:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: 5810 NE 72nd Ave. Portland, OR
  5. SOLVE: Clean up MLK Blvd
    1. 10:30 am-11:30 am
    2. Location: Irving Park 707 NE Fremont St, Portland, OR 97212
  6. P:ear: Cook meals & tidy up for homeless youth
    1. 1:30 pm-3 pm
    2. Location: 338 NW 6th Ave Portland, OR 97209
  7. Oregon Food Bank (Beaverton): Repack food donations into family-size portions
    1. 1:30 pm-3 pm
    2. Location: Beaverton location: 1870 NW 173rdAve. Beaverton, OR 97006

The University of Portland is inaugurating an annual MLK Day event with local writer, activist, educator and spoken word artist Walidah Imarisha leading a discussion on the question, “Why aren’t there more black people in Oregon?”

The event is titled MLK Day ON 2020: Engage. Reflect. Serve. It also will feature guest singer Julianne Johnson, a 1983 graduate and Grammy Award-nominated recording artist and songwriter.

What: MLK Day ON 2020

When: 3:30-5:30 p.m., Monday, Jan. 20

Where: University of Portland’s Buckley Center Auditorium, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. (Overflow room: Brian Doyle Auditorium in Dundon-Berchtold Hall)

Admission: Free, but RSVP to Everbrite at

35th annual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute

The Skanner Foundation is hosting its 34th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Breakfast.

What: 34th annual Skanner Breakfast

When: 8:30-10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 20

Where: Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr Blvd., Portland

Tickets: To reserve individual tickets or tables, go to

In addition, numerous local organizations and institutions hold annual volunteer MLK Day of Service activities. There is no central directory, but you can find them by searching online.

Each of these projects will have a United Way staff member or Volunteer Leader available onsite to answer questions. If you need more information prior to the event, or if you know that your media outlet will be attending one of the projects, please call Kristen Lambert at United Way (contact info listed above).

For a full list of volunteer activities throughout the weekend, please visit:


About United Way

At United Way of the Columbia-Willamette, we have a simple, ambitious vision – to invest in our region’s kids so they are free from poverty in order to be free to reach their potential. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been bringing our community together to do good for nearly 100 years. We’re uniquely positioned to connect and support the people, nonprofits, businesses and government agencies working hard to address poverty in our region. When we invest in our region’s kids, we free the future. For more information and to get involved please visit


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