Portland, OR. New Avenues for Youth celebrated its annual Brews for Youths festival, but for the first time in its history, this fundraiser was held virtually. The benefit on July 25th, is one of many that have moved to an online platform due to COVID-19 pandemic. New Avenues for Youth has seen a tremendous shift towards technology to provide goods and services for at-risk and impacted youth in Portland. With a decrease in physical presence and an increase in a virtual presence, New Avenues for Youth has had to shift its approach.
“[This shift] is beneficial in the long run because we will have new tools and systems online,” says Lauren Eads, Director of Development and Communications. With an increase in online tools, New Avenues for Youth can continue to provide counseling and services to help at-risk youth in Portland while remaining safe.
An image from the educational program which is going live with virtual learning on August 24th.
However, one aspect that technology cannot provide is the face to face physical interaction that people need. “Community is important for them, a network of safe adults, that’s a lot of what the employers are. Case managers and problem solvers that can help,” Eads explained.
Helping nearly 1,400 individuals a year, New Avenues for Youth has served as a safe space for youth in Portland struggling with homelessness. By focusing on both intervention and preventative care, the nonprofit offers educational and employment programs, as well as counseling. Drop-in services including showers and meals, housing/residential services, and works with foster care systems with Portland to help those who are experiencing trauma or emotional and mental challenges that do not work well with foster care.
An image from the SMYRC program that serves young people who identify as LGBTQ+ with supportive services and a safe space.
Moving forward under the pandemic, New Avenues for Youth has decided to also hold its 19th annual Steve Allen Comedy show virtually. The comedy show has been a foundational pillar helping to fund the work of New Avenues for Youth. “With COVID-19 disrupting that [fundraising] pattern, we have an increased need for folks to make contributions so we are able to continue supporting young people experiencing or are at risk for homelessness,” Eads explained.
Tickets for the Annual Steve Allen Comedy Show can be found online.
New Avenues For Youth Front.
New Avenues for Youth is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the prevention and intervention of youth homelessness. Here’s a video about the nonprofit:
Since 1997, our programs and services have impacted more than 20,000 young people as they work to overcome barriers, pursue their goals, and realize their potential. From supporting basic needs like meals and counseling to providing opportunities for education, job training, employment, and housing, we meet youth where they are—and help them get where they want to go.
Portland, OR. Students at De La Salle North Catholic High School (DLSNC) (pictured above before COVID-19) are excited about having a new facility. Since the launch of its Capital Campaign in March of 2019, DLSNC has raised $20.5 million to construct a new and more permanent school campus in the Cully Neighborhood of North Portland. However, the additional $3.65 million needed for a new gymnasium has not been raised. So far, DLSNC has raised $900,000 for the gymnasium, but time is of the essence because leaders will face a one million dollar price increase and the project will be delayed if the remaining $2.75 million for the gym is not raised by an August 3rd deadline.
Architectural rendering of De La Salle’s new school campus in North Portland.
“It’s not just about our students, it [the gym] will be apart of the Cully neighborhood, a place for after school sports and renting out the facility for youth sports on the weekend,” says Ashleigh de Villiers, VP for Advancement at De La Salle North Catholic High School.
Opened in 2001, De La Salle North Catholic High School serves a racially diverse population of students in the Portland area who typically do not have access to an affordable college preparatory education. De La Salle is the most diverse private high school in Oregon, with 93% of the student body being students of color. It also maintains an income cap that ensures students from low-income families can attend. Students cannot attend La Salle if their family makes more than 75% of the area’s median income.
Each student works one day a week as a part of DLSNC’s Corporate Work Study, a program that partners with corporations, local businesses, and nonprofits to work with students one day a week. By working one day per week, each student earns half the cost of their tuition throughout the entire four years they attend. DLSNC maintains affordable tuition to ensure a quality education for underserved populations.
Currently, the school rents gym space for sports, but even without a proper on-campus gym, De La Salle’s men’s basketball team earned the 2018 and 2019 state championship title. The high school has made a total of six state appearances.
“The gym is special to us because our boys’ basketball team were the 2018 and 2019 state champions, and they did this without having a home gym,” says Ashleigh de Villiers.
After renting current elementary school building in Kenton from Portland Public Schools, DLSNC decided to pursue a more affordable and sustainable option. It has faced ever-increasing rent, with next year’s rental bill topping out at $480,000. After three years of searching, the school signed a new 50-year lease agreement co-locating with the Saint Charles Parish on 42nd and Killingsworth. The agreement includes two possible 25-year lease extensions which could result in a 100-year lease.
DLSNC hopes to have the new campus built by the Fall of 2021. It will include a visual arts center, science center, and welcoming campus, with the gymnasium being the final part of the facility. Construction is planned to begin at the end of July and will take 12 to 18 months. The new school campus will also allow the student population to increase from 280 to 350 students. Currently, 95% of graduating seniors are accepted to universities.
Four graduating students, DLSNC Class of 2020
“To have a gym where we hang our banners and have our logo on the floor is something we really care about,” explains de Villiers,
De La Salle North Catholic High School serves a racially diverse population of capable, motivated, and interested college-bound students from the Portland area who would not otherwise have access to a faith-based, rigorous college-preparatory education.
Here’s more information and some additional architectural renderings of De La Salle’s new school campus in North Portland:
Portland, OR. “Small actions can have a big impact,” said Lilly K.H. McFadden, Director of Programs & Community Engagement for Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC). Participants (like the superhero shown above) were raising money from home for the nonprofit. May 13th marked RMHC’s first Neighborhood Heroes Campaign. By encouraging communities throughout Oregon to partake in various events from home, the campaign raised enough money to provide 300 overnight stays at the Ronald McDonald Houses for families living in rural Oregon in need of housing near hospitals for their sick or injured child.
A Volunteer wears cape for Week 1 rally.
A family works on fundraising by celebrating their favorite superheroes.
After receiving inquiries from locals asking how they could contribute to the foundation, Ronald McDonald Charity Houses created the Neighborhood Heroes Campaign to engage the local community and fundraise for the cost of the stays, always free of charge to the impacted families but averaging about $115 to $200 per night for the Ronald McDonald House.
Previous guests, board members, and volunteers reached out to friends, family, and coworkers to recruit volunteers and participate in weekly themed events from their home.
“We want to offer a fun opportunity for people to become the hero they want to be,” said McFadden.
Week 1 consisted of families and individuals dressing up in their favorite superhero costumes or favorite capes. McDonald’s hosted week 3’s “Neighborhood” theme by encouraging others to help their local neighbor, whether it be by picking up trash or mowing someone else’s lawn. One HR Company even hosted a dance competition.
While COVID-19 social distancing guidelines have placed restrictions on rallying and fundraising gatherings, locals were able to show their support from home and through social media.
Additionally, Netrush, an online retailer, gave a $10,000 corporate sponsorship to continue the campaign for one more week.
The Neighborhood Heroes Campaign ended on June 17th. Due to its success, the campaign will happen again next year. “We were honored to help the community step up and step in for our families, and have fun while doing it,” said Lilly K.H. McFadden, Director of Programs & Community Engagement.
From its first house in 1984 by OHSU Doernbecher Children’s Hospital and Shriners Hospital for Children, the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oregon and SW Washington are placed in close proximity to hospitals, helping impacted families with sick children easily reach their medical center in Portland, Bend, and Springfield. Ronald McDonald’s House Charities are in four different locations; Portland East House, Bend House, South Waterfront House, and Springfield House. Each house has 79 rooms, equipped with a fully stocked kitchen and beds.
From Ronald McDonald House Charities (Oregon & SW Washington):
Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oregon & SW Washington provides access to medical care, a home away from home, and a community of support for seriously ill or injured children and their families.
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