Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Feral Cat Coalition Holds Showcase of Kitty-Friendly Outdoor Play Enclosures

Portland, OR. The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon (FCCO) is holding its ninth-annual “Catio” Tour in September. “Catio” is a portmanteau of “cat” and “patio,” which describes outdoor enclosures for pet cats to climb and play in safely, without risk of the animal escaping. To adjust to pandemic restrictions, FCCO has converted the tour to include both in-person observation and virtual self-guided tours of this year’s selections around the Portland metro area.

Catios come in all shapes and sizes, often containing ramps to climb, perches to rest on, and toys to play with. Following a year when many spent extensive time at home working on DIY projects, the trend of creating safe outdoor spaces for cat recreation has increased in popularity.

After many submissions, the nonprofit has selected all Portland-based catios to showcase. Registration for the event is now open here, for all interested in watching cats explore innovative constructions designed for their leisure. The 2021 Catio Tour event will take place on September 11th, 2021. The in-person self-guided tour is $10 and virtual tour access is $15.

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon has already announced that the event will be happening in 2022, and invites all catio creators to prepare for application. The FCCO has posted additional information online detailing what catios are and can be, as well as a list of resources for Portland residents interested in having their own catio. The list includes Portland-area construction businesses that design and build catios, as well as information and instructions for those who wish to build their catios independently, from scratch.

The 2021 Catio Tour event comes as part of a partnership with Portland Audobon society, as part of their Cats Safe At Home campaign, which aims to “reduce the number of cats living outdoors in the Portland metropolitan area in a humane and environmentally responsible manner.” Catios can assist with this initiative by providing outdoor time to pet cats, while ensuring safety from outdoor hazards, protecting wildlife from cat predation, and preventing cats from running away from their owners.

From The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon:

The Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is a Portland-based nonprofit that offers spay and neuter services to Oregon and SW Washington. Their services are free for feral, stray, and barn cats, but unfortunately due to the pandemic, The FCCO is unable to offer cheap services to pet cats as they usually would. In addition to spay/neuter services, the organization also coordinates a “kitten caboose” program which has successfully relocated over 1,300 feral kittens into adopted homes. You can support the Feral Cat Coalition in its mission of housing cats, and keeping them safely off the streets on its website.

 

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards 120 Community Grants

Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation Awards 120 Community Grants

Portland, OR. The Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation awarded 120 community grants to local nonprofits across its five-state footprint totaling $423.5K. Dozens were given out in Oregon and Washington. The grants represent the first of three funding cycles in 2021. Clark College Foundation (CCF), seen above, was one recipient. The foundation is an independent, self-funded nonprofit that assists Clark College through philanthropy.

Another Oregon recipient was Free Geek. It’s a nonprofit working to divert technology that would otherwise be recycled or thrown away, refurbish it, and give it back to members of the community at no or low cost.

Girl Scouts is another recipient. Above, Brownie Girl Scouts lead a signature campaign to save a local park.

Nonprofits were selected from hundreds of applicants who demonstrated a strong commitment to serving their communities, particularly those focused on reaching low-to-moderate income or under-resourced populations in one of the following eight categories: family engagement and resiliency; financial competency; housing stability and homeownership; college, career or technical readiness; entrepreneurship and business expansion; vibrant and equitable neighborhoods; technical and digital connectivity; and small business support and financial guidance.

“With local community-focused nonprofits, we are able to work together for better,” shared Randy Choy, vice president of community giving & nonprofit partnerships and managing director of the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation. “Their grassroots efforts are key to post-pandemic recovery, and we’re honored to support their work.”

Umpqua Bank, through the Umpqua Bank Charitable Foundation, continues to evolve its community giving strategy and community grants program to reflect a deeper commitment to improving economic prosperity, especially for under-resourced individuals, families, and small businesses. The foundation invests in nonprofit organizations, communities, and leaders to support direct-service programming that incorporates a diversity, equity, and inclusion focus.

The community grants are part of an overall foundation and corporate giving program that has invested more than $12 million since the foundation was formed in 2014. The next deadline for community grant applications is Friday, Sept. 3, 2021. Learn more at www.UmpquaBank.com/Community.

A full list of the nonprofit grant recipients by state is below:

Oregon

Adelante Mujeres

Baker County YMCA

Building Blocks to Success Corporation

Casa of Lane County

Central City Concern Inc.

Community Connection of Northeast Oregon

Community Development Corporation of Oregon

Community Vision Inc.

Community Works Inc.

Conference of St Vincent De Paul Society of Myrtle Creek

Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon Inc.

Corvallis Neighborhood Housing Services Inc.

Drexel H Foundation

Free Geek

Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington Inc

Habitat for Humanity International Inc.

IRCO

Juliette’s House

Lewis And Clark College

MetroEast Community Media

NeighborImpact

Northwest Housing Alternatives Inc.

Oregon Tradeswomen Inc.

Portland Homeless Family Solutions

Portland Housing Center

Portland Tennis and Education

Portland YouthBuilders

Proud Ground

School Garden Project of Lane County

SE Works Inc.

Society of St Vincent De Paul

Stone Soup PDX

Winston Area Community Partnership

Yamhill Carlton Together Cares Inc.

YWCA of Greater Portland

 

Washington

Blue Mountain Action Council

Boys & Girls Clubs of Benton and Franklin Counties

Boys and Girls Club of The Olympic Peninsula

Career Path Services-Employment and Training

Catholic Charities Housing Services

Clark Community College District 14 Foundation

Community Youth Services

El Centro De La Raza

FareStart

Foundation for Private Enterprise Education

Fusion-Friends United to Shelter the Indigent Oppressed and Needy

Girl Scouts of Western Washington

Habitat for Humanity in Whatcom County

Homestead Community Land Trust

Interfaith Hospitality Network of Spokane (DBA Family Promise of Spokane)

Junior Achievement of Washington

Mary’s Place Seattle

Northwest Access Fund

Overlake Service League

Parkview Services

Peace Community Center

R Merle Palmer Minority Scholarship Foundation

Seattle Milk Fund

Second Harvest Inland Northwest

South Sound Outreach Services

Sustainable Seattle

Tacoma Farmers Market

The Trail Youth

University District Development Association

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle

Wayfind

Wing Luke Memorial Foundation

Work Force Development Center A Resource Center for Our Future

Your Money Matters

Youth Eastside Services

 

California

Accion San Diego

Aim High for High School

APA Family Support Services

Benicia Community Action Council

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County Inc.

California Association for Microenterprise Opportunity

California Community Economic Development Association

California FarmLink

California Restaurant Association Foundation Inc.

Casa El Dorado

College Track

Community Action Partnership of Orange County

Financial Beginnings

FOTC — Los Angeles

Fremont Unified School District

Girls Inc. of the Northern Sacramento Valley

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles

Jefferson Economic Development Institute

Junior Achievement

Junior Achievement of San Diego County

Junior Achievement of Southern CA

Neighborhood Housing Services of Los Angeles County

New Beginnings Housing Foundation

North Marin Community Services

Opportunity Junction Inc.

Petaluma Ecumenical Properties

Sacramento Asian-Pacific Chamber of Commerce

Saint John’s Program for Real Change

San Diego Center for Children

Score San Diego

Southeast Asian Community Center

Standup for Kids

Sunday Friends Foundation

United Way of Northern California

UpValley Family Centers

Workshops for Warriors Inc.

Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation

 

Idaho

Boys and Girls Clubs of The Lewis Clark Valley Inc.

Jannus, Inc.

Kids Klub Inc.

Moscow Affordable Housing Trust

The Jesse Tree of Idaho

The Momentum Group

Wyakin Warrior Foundation

 

Nevada

Andson Inc.

Arts for All Nevada

Clark County Public Education Foundation Inc.

Junior Achievement of Northern Nevada Inc.

Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth

Opportunity Alliance Nevada

 

About Umpqua Bank
Umpqua Bank, headquartered in Roseburg, Ore., is a subsidiary of Umpqua Holdings Corporation, and has locations across Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California and Nevada. Umpqua Bank has been recognized for its innovative customer experience and banking strategy by national publications including The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Fast Company and CNBC. The company has been recognized for eight years in a row on FORTUNE magazine’s list of the country’s “100 Best Companies to Work For,” and was recently named by The Portland Business Journal the Most Admired Financial Services Company in Oregon for the sixteenth consecutive year. In addition to its retail banking presence, Umpqua Bank also owns Financial Pacific Leasing, Inc., a nationally recognized commercial finance company that provides equipment leases to businesses.

Supporting Literacy in Africa During COVID-19 Getting Easier

Supporting Literacy in Africa During COVID-19 Getting Easier

African Library Project establishes partnerships with African-based organizations that specialize in education, library, or community development. The partners must be capable of supporting the development of 30-60 libraries per year.

African Library Project works in English-speaking African countries that meet the organization’s criteria for sustainable library development. The nonprofit looks for countries that have a significant need for books and feature political stability, reliable transport of books to destinations, and a network of local organizations capable of organizing books into real, working libraries.

Partners and librarians in Africa unloading donated books. The African Library Project pays close attention to a recipient’s ability to sustain a working library.

Giving children access to books has become urgent because, according to a recent study, separation from the classroom as a part of global attempts to curb the spread of COVID-19 is negatively affecting their developing reading skills. The UN reports a significant decline in literacy and reading ability across the globe.

While all non-profit organizations have dedicated staff that work hard to affect change, most non-profits rely on volunteers. The months of social isolation during the COVID-19 pandemic have taken their toll on all of us.  Many remember all the canceled activities and suspended obligations from March of 2020; the wondering in April and May of how long it was all going to last.  Volunteer programs were not immune to the confusion of constantly shifting guidelines, nor the concerns for safe and healthy conditions.  A report released by VolunteerMatch found that during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, greater than 50% of non-profit organizations were experiencing heavy cancellations from their volunteers.  Now that many states are re-opening and attempting to return to a semblance of normalcy, a lot of us still feel trepidation at the idea of entering back into public life. Here‘s a little “How To” courtesy of the African Library Project on how you can volunteer to support children’s literacy, re-engage with your local community, and stay safe while doing it.  The African Library Project’s online Resource Center features everything you need to help build a library in Africa.  It includes fundraising ideas, book drive guidelines, marketing, and outreach tips, quality standards for donated books, and how to pack and ship your completed library.

Below is an example of a poster:

African Library Project advertisement for the 2021 Summer Book Drive volunteer event.

About The African Library Project:

The African Library Project was founded in 2005 by Chris Bradshaw and her family from Portola Valley, California. While visiting remote villages in Lesotho, a small mountainous kingdom in Southern Africa, Chris was inspired to work toward ending the cycle of poverty and illiteracy when she found out that there was only one public library in the country. She realized the simple act of establishing libraries within schools would have a profound effect on communities as a whole.

We are proud to partner with capable and hardworking organizations and individuals who are dedicated to promoting literacy and library development in Africa. In the United States, volunteers organize book drives and raise funds to ship the books overseas. Once those books are gathered and mailed, the African Library Project relies on a network of dedicated partners within Africa to get them to each community – no matter how far.  In addition to selecting and vetting each library recipient, our trusted partners provide training on how to set up and run a library in a rural community. They also follow up to evaluate the use of our libraries and encourage good library practices. The African Library Project’s goal is to make sure our libraries remain active and continue to enrich those who need them the most.

Story by

American Red Cross Helps People in Path of Bootleg Wildfire

American Red Cross Helps People in Path of Bootleg Wildfire

Home Builders Foundation Raises a Record $510,000 With In-Person Benefit

Home Builders Foundation Raises a Record $510,000 With In-Person Benefit

Portland, OR. The Home Builders Foundation (HBF) raised a record amount to help build and renovate shelters for those experiencing homelessness throughout the Portland metro area. The Building Hope Gala & Auction presented by California Closets was held on June 19th at Tumwater Vineyard in West Linn. Led by Honorary Chairs Gordon Root (seen above with his wife Tracy) and Rick Waible of Stafford Land Company, the benefit raised a record $510,000. (Photo credit, Andrea Lonas Photography) Covid-19 restrictions were lifted in Clackamas County just a week before the scheduled gala, so organizers were able to host 230 attendees outside for an evening of fundraising.

A group of attendees & volunteers pose at the photo booth during the Building Hope Gala & Auction.

Guests mingle during the Directors Mortgage VIP Reception.

The group from Ridge Crest Custom Cabinetry is all smiles during dinner.

Attendees Mike Rowe, Liz Rowe, & Ed Becker take in the beauty of Tumwater Vineyard on a warm summer evening.

HBF Board Vice President Ryan Boatsman of Delap LLP supports the nonprofit with a donation during the special appeal.

During the planning process, HBF event organizers decided to develop both an in-person event that was outdoors, as well as a virtual event as a backup plan and an option for those not comfortable attending events yet. The HBF staff and committee got to work and eventually held one of Portland’s first large hybrid fundraising events of the season.

In-person attendees had the opportunity to bid on live auction packages that included home renovation packages donated by industry members. These packages included a kitchen renovation from Macadam Floor & Design and Standard TV & Appliance, which sold as the Golden Ticket raffle prize and was donated again for the live auction, and a package to beautify the exterior of the home from Oregon Outdoor Lighting & The Wall.  Other live auction packages included unique experiences such as a bird hunt with Nate Bond & Brian Boggs of Ridge Crest Custom Cabinetry, a stay in the heart of wine country (which sold twice!), a whiskey collection put together by HBF’s Board of Directors, and the extremely popular Bucket List Trip, which sold 34 times and allowed each purchaser to travel to Iceland, Costa Rica or Tuscany.

While the in-person guests raised their paddles in support of Home Builders Foundation, virtual guests were treated to a special red carpet presentation with interviews from key sponsors and HBF’s non-profit shelter partners, as well as exclusive performances by Aaron Meyer, concert rock violinist formerly of Pink Martini.

After the conclusion of the live auction and the red carpet presentation, both in-person and virtual attendees learned about a life-changing shelter Home Builders Foundation helped build for the non-profit A Village For One, which dreamed of a healing home for young women escaping sexual exploitation.  HBF partnered with Jim Standring of Westland Industries as Builder Captain to construct Anisa’s Place, a six-bedroom home for these young women. Cassie Trahan of A Village For One shared with the audience the importance of shelters like theirs and the impact Home Builders Foundation and its partners in the home building industry.

The audience responded by raising their paddles high.  Right in the middle of the special appeal, to the audiences’ surprise, Gordon Root took the stage and announced a $50,000 match from the Jack & Wilma Root Trust.  Both in-person and virtual attendees answered by giving $58,000 in a matter of minutes, after which Gordon grabbed the mic and announced yet another surprise gift of $15,000 from Chad E. Davis Construction.  In total, the special appeal garnered $181,000 in donations.

From the Home Builders Foundation:

Funds raised at the Building Hope Gala & Auction benefit Home Builders Foundation, a Portland-based nonprofit that builds and remodels shelters for those experiencing homelessness in the Portland metro area. Home Builders Foundation focuses on building and renovating shelters for those who are most vulnerable when homeless, including families with children, youth, and domestic violence survivors. Home Builders Foundation completes shelter builds and renovations by leveraging donations from companies in the home building industry and providing cash grants to shelter providers to complete projects.

Home Builders Foundation would like to say a special thank you to Gordon Root and Rick Waible for the incredible leadership and support provided to the event. Home Builders Foundation would also like to thank all of the attendees, donors, volunteers, and the 2021 Auction Committee for their contributions to the event.

Home Builders Foundation would like to recognize all of the companies that sponsored this year’s Building Hope Gala & Auction: California Closets, Standard TV & Appliance, Builders FirstSource, Performance Insulation, Directors Mortgage, Milgard Windows & Doors, OrePac, NW Natural, Berkshire Hathaway, Metropolitan Land Group, Pacific Crest Building Supply, Lakeside Lumber, Adair Homes, Banner Bank, Eastbank Mortgage, First American Title, Holt Homes, IWP, Lennar, The Oregonian, Pamplin Media Group, PayneWest Insurance, Richmond American Homes, Royal Restrooms, and Tiffany Home Design.

The Home Builders Foundation, established in 1997, is the charity of choice for the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland. Their mission is to build transitional shelter for families and individuals experiencing homelessness in our community and provide construction related educational opportunities for individuals interested in pursuing a career in the home building industry. Visit www.BuildHopePDX.org for more info.

Campaign for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts Raises Final $12 Million

Campaign for the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts Raises Final $12 Million

Beaverton, OR. Led by the Beaverton Arts Foundation, the campaign to build the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts “The Reser” has concluded. The final push raised more than $12 million of the $52 million needed to build the center. Supporters exceeding the original fundraising goal by more than $1 million. The center is 75% finished and engineers are checking out the acoustics in its 550-seat theater with the help of local trumpet player, Justin Copeland. The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will open in the spring of 2022.

Located between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, the facility will include the 550-seat theater (seen above), and an art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza, and adjacent parking structure.

An architectural rendering shows an interior space called The Lab. The Reser is the first performing arts center of its kind to be built in the Portland metro area in more than 30 years.

In the video below, administrators Lani Faith and Chris Ayzoukian take you inside the building to catch a glimpse of the ongoing construction.

A bit of History: On July 17, 2018, the Beaverton Arts Foundation announced a personal pledge of $13 million to the project. With this news also came the official name of the facility, the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts. This transformative pledge from Pat Reser provided nearly one-third of the initial $48.2 million needed to build The Reser. With increased construction costs due to COVID, the goal grew by nearly $4 million to $52 million. More than 960 donors came together to help the campaign close this gap and exceed its fundraising goal by more than $1 million.

Chris Ayzoukian of Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Beaverton Mayor Denny Doyle, lead donor Pat Reser and Lani Faith of the Beaverton Arts Foundation at the groundbreaking ceremony in November of 2019.

“When we officially embarked on this undertaking several years ago, I could not have imagined the incredible level of support we would receive from our community and beyond,” said Pat Reser, who serves as the chair of the campaign for The Reser. “Now, to see the campaign reach its conclusion, I’m so thankful for our volunteers, public officials, community, and our Executive Director, Lani Faith, who served as our North Star in leading our efforts to raise the private funding needed. I’m proud to see this community dream come to life, not just for the arts, but as a place to foster joy and connection for Beaverton and the region.”

Here’s some history about the fundraising efforts:

Key Supporters

Additional lead donations include $1 million from Arlene Schnitzer and Jordan Schnitzer through The Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation, $1 million from Gene and Lindi Biggi of Beaverton Foods, $1 million from the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, $750,000 from Cambia Health Solutions, $630,000 from the Washington County Visitors Association and $500,000 from Todd Baker of Hillsboro’s Baker Rock Resources.

In December of 2018, the Oregon Community Foundation awarded The Reser with a matching grant of $250,000, for new donors from Washington County and – 18 months later – the Oregon Lottery allocated $1.5 million to the project via the Cultural Advocacy Coalition. While the lottery funds were later rescinded due to complications related to the pandemic, the State reinstated the investment via House Bill 5006 and the American Rescue Plan in June of this year. This grant closed the gap on the private fundraising goal and helped cover the additional construction costs incurred due to the impact of the COVID.

Additionally, in early 2021, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), one of the largest funders of humanities programs in the U.S., awarded The Reser a 3:1 matching grant totaling $250,000, generating $1 million for The Reser. The recognition from NEH represents the largest national gift to The Reser, as well as the first dedicated to the humanities. For a comprehensive list of supporters, see here: centerfortheartscampaign.org/supporters/.

“I’ve long been a champion for the arts because they enrich our lives and improve our communities,” said U.S. Representative of Oregon’s first district Suzanne Bonamici, who serves as co-chair of the STEAM Caucus, as well as a member of the Congressional Arts Caucus and Congressional Humanities Caucus. “The arts inspire creativity and learning, broaden our horizons, and boost our economy.  The pandemic has reduced many funding sources for the arts, so I was especially thrilled to help the Beaverton Arts Foundation secure a federal grant for The Reser. The Reser will serve as a place of inspiration and opportunity for our growing community, and I applaud the efforts of the Beaverton Arts Foundation to increase access to the arts for everyone.”

Campaign Highlights

The Reser launched its Fill the Seats campaign in November 2019, honoring designated $1,000 donors with a name plaque on one of the seats within the theater. The Reser sold 463 seats, raising $470,500 with only 60 remaining. In February of 2021, the campaign launched its $100K in 100 Days program to raise the last $100,000 to top off the community phase of the campaign, generating more than 400 donations, which ultimately raised nearly $650,000.

By The Numbers:

Of the funds raised in support of The Reser, there were more than 960 total donors. Businesses gave nearly $1.1 million, individuals granted nearly $5 million and $6.1 million was provided by foundations and other funders. Gifts to the campaign ranged from $2 to $1.5 million and more than $1.8 million in funds were secured from out-of-state donors, including those from Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington D.C., Georgia, Florida, Ohio, Montana, Kansas, Texas, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Nevada, California and Washington. The campaign raised $12,206,975, $1,027,425 above the goal.

Construction Milestones

The Reser celebrated its groundbreaking in fall of 2019, followed by its topping out ceremony nearly a year later in the fall of 2020. Construction continued – with safety measures in place – throughout COVID, keeping the progress moving forward. In June of this year, construction reached 80 percent completion with the building estimated to be finished in fall 2021.

Nestled near The Round between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, The Reser will include a 550-seat theater, art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza and adjacent parking structure. The project’s design and construction team includes Skanska USA Building Inc., Gerding Edlen and OPSIS Architecture.

 

About the Patricia Reser Center for the Arts

The Patricia Reser Center for the Arts will be the first performing arts center of its kind to be built in the Portland-metro area in more than 30 years. Nestled near to The Round between SW Cedar Hills Boulevard and SW Hall Boulevard, the facility will include a 550-seat theater, art gallery, rehearsal, workshop and meeting space, lobby, outdoor plaza and adjacent parking structure. With the Beaverton Arts Foundation serving as its fundraising partner, The Reser will feature innovative offerings in the performing arts – theater, music and dance – serving as a beacon for civic engagement, creative learning and greater social cohesion. For more information, please visit: centerfortheartscampaign.org and beavertonoregon.gov/prca.

Focus on Youth Sees Blossoming Support

Focus on Youth Sees Blossoming Support

Portland, OR. Focus on Youth is a nonprofit combining sustainable gardening and photography with hands-on learning. Homeless and at-risk youth learn leadership, responsibility, gardening, healthy eating, and photography as they “grow their own food” and photograph their achievements at Sunflower Organic Farm. The nonprofit grows and donates produce to local food pantries serving children and families to help alleviate community hunger.

Currently, Focus on Youth is operating a flower stand to raise needed funds. It’s located at 5901 SW Garden Home Road, Portland, OR 97219. The flower stand is open Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to noon. It’s selling small flower bouquets for $10 and large for $20.

By raising money, it is able to purchase essential equipment/supplies for the farm and expand to grow more produce. According to the advocates, “Covid-19 is putting thousands of people in our community at risk for food insecurity and as a result, making them vulnerable to malnutrition and serious illness. Closure of restaurants has reduced food donations to shelters and Food Pantries exactly when the need for food donations has increased.”

You can visit the flower stand any time because it has an ‘honesty box’, so supporters can purchase bouquets when flower stand volunteers aren’t present. Focus on Youth accepts both cash and digital payment for flowers.

The mission of Focus on Youth is to nurture creativity, promote self-esteem, cultivate leadership, foster independence, encourage success, and profoundly transform the lives of homeless and at-risk youth.

Participants take away positive experiences, food, pictures of what they have achieved, and a wealth of knowledge about sustainable gardening.

Volunteers man the flower stand.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, volunteers have spread 114 tons of organic compost and tripled the size of our garden with the help of our volunteers.

Focus on Youth works in partnership with youth shelters and Neighborhood House to put food on the tables of vulnerable community members.

Here’s a flyer with more info on the flower stand:

Below is a video about the program:

From Focus on Youth:

Our greatest need is for volunteers to help in our garden. Sunflower Farm is conveniently located on a one-acre parcel in Southwest Portland.  If you would like to lend a hand with harvesting, planting, weeding, or mulching garden pathways please fill out the volunteer form (http://tiny.cc/Foy) or call/text 503-341-6878. We are open seven days a week and provide gloves and tools. No gardening experience is needed, we will teach you how to grow healthy, delicious organic fruit and vegetables.

You can also help by donating on our website using PayPal or through the Givebutter platform, (givebutter.com/foy). Thank you!

Don’t forget to support Focus on Youth this summer! Select Focus on Youth via Amazon Smile to turn a percentage of your purchases into a donation.

Since 2003, Focus on Youth has provided hands-on learning, sustainable gardening, healthy cooking classes, science and photography classes, and mentoring for over 16,000 at-risk and homeless youth. Hunger in Oregon has spiked 18% in the last two years, and one in five homeless youth report going hungry each week. Our program, Seeds of Hope is decreasing food insecurity and improving nutrition for homeless youth by teaching them where food comes from, how to grow food through hands-on activities, and the importance of eating fresh produce.

Our students grew over a ton of organic fruit and vegetables, plus they donated thousands of pounds of produce to low-income seniors through the Neighborhood House food pantry. Seeds of Hope connects youth with nature and the joy of growing their own food while giving them the ability to take on leadership roles within the community by donating food to help low-income seniors and families.

Focus on Youth is fostering community building through our partnerships with nonprofits such as New Avenues for Youth, Outside In, Neighborhood House, Community Legacy Program of Our United Villages, Hands-on Portland, Portland Service Program, and hundreds of community volunteers.

Portland Center Stage Gets Back Into the Swing of Things

Portland Center Stage Gets Back Into the Swing of Things

Portland, OR. After a pandemic-induced shift to virtual and filmed performances, Portland Center Stage (PCS) aims for a major comeback to live theater with the new 2021-2022 season and JAW New Play Festival. One of the city’s most prominent theater groups, Portland Center Stage (PCS) has officially announced its first live theater events since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo credit, Joan Marcus) With the state reopening following a full lift on state pandemic restrictions by Gov. Kate Brown on June 30th, the doors to the historic theater, The Armory, will finally reopen to the public for the 2021 JAW New Play Festival. The festival is free to attend and takes place from July 23-25th, with both in-person and virtual attendance options being offered.

The 2021-2022 season is a seven-show lineup that will kick off in October. It features four plays that had been previously scheduled, including the return of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which was canceled a week after it opened because of the pandemic, along with the celebrated production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and August Wilson’s iconic story of freedom, justice, and salvation, Gem of the Ocean.

Three newly announced titles will provide audiences with the opportunity to revel together including Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Freestyle Love Supreme and Rent.

This year’s JAW features Inda Craig-Galván’s A Hit Dog Will Holler, Ty Defoe’s Trans World, Rinne Groff’s The Red Beads (based on The Singer of His Sorrows by Osip Dymov), and Kate Hamill’s Ms. Holmes & Ms. Watson – Apt. 2B. Five local teen playwrights have also been commissioned to develop short scripts that will be read as part of the festival: Natalia Bermudez, Moss Johnson, Aaron Leonard-Graham, Becca McCormick, and Nevaeh Warren.

A 2016 JAW Workshop

Directors say PCS 2021-2022 season is designed to lift and nourish spirits with energetic, imaginative worlds on stage. “This powerhouse lineup of plays and musicals resonates deeply for me as we create a space on stage to examine resilience within the framework of bright theatricality, sharp humor, and full-hearted connection,” Artistic Director Marissa Wolf said.

Freestyle Love Supreme
Anthony Veneziale, Aneesa Folds, Arthur Lewis, James Monroe Iglehart, and Chris Sullivan in “Freestyle Love Supreme” at The Booth Theatre. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
Select cast members in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time from Portland Center Stage’s 2020 production.
Photo by Owen Carey/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage at The Armory

Hedwig and the Angry Inch
Maria Del Castillo, Jasmine Linée Wood, Nsayi Matingou, Delphon “DJ” Curtis Jr. and Ithica Tell in “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” from Portland Center Stage’s 2019-2020 season.
Photo by Owen Carey/Courtesy of Portland Center Stage at The Armory

From PCS:

TICKETS AND INFORMATION The JAW New Play Festival events are FREE and can be attended in person at The Armory, or online. Audiences are encouraged to reserve their general admission tickets in advance for the JAW Play Readings; in-person walk-ups will be welcome based on availability. The Press Play performances surrounding the readings don’t require a ticket. Community Artist Labs are in-person only. Masks will be required in all areas, except for those at seated tables, enjoying a beer in the mezzanine bar.

Portland Center Stage is among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Managing Director Cynthia Fuhrman, the company produces a mix of classic, contemporary, and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 28 world premieres, many of which were developed at its new works festival, JAW.

Portland Center Stage’s home is at The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue in the country, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating. Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA).

Learn more at pcs.org/idea. Portland Center Stage’s 2021-2022 season is funded in part by Season Superstars the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation; Supporting Sponsors the Oregon Arts Commission, a state agency funded by the state of Oregon and the National Endowment for the Arts, and US Bank; and Producing Sponsors Ellyn Bye, Ray and Bobbi Davis, and Ronni LaCroute

Oregon and Washington Nonprofits Receive $1 Million Boost  From The Kuni Foundation

Oregon and Washington Nonprofits Receive $1 Million Boost From The Kuni Foundation

Portland, OR. The Kuni Foundation awarded just over $1 million to support 19 projects that advance cancer research and promote vibrancy and inclusion for people experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Portland-based PHAME, a performance and arts school for people with developmental disabilities, pictured above, received a $25,000 for current programs and a $50,000 grant to help support the planning and development of the region’s first fully accessible community and arts building. The community and arts building will be purpose-built for the needs of people with IDD and other disabilities and will include art studios, classrooms, rehearsal spaces, a kiln room and a black-box theater with an accessible light and sound booth. People without disabilities will also be welcome and rehearsal spaces will be open for use to local organizations.

PHAME was founded in 1984 by a group of families who were interested in creating performance opportunities for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Imagination Grants reflect our commitment to investing in people and projects that inspire, innovate and experiment,” said Greg Goodwin, Kuni Foundation Board Chair. “We’re excited about the range of creative approaches expressed in this most recent round of grants.”

Oregon nonprofits received just over $350,000 including three grants to Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). A $50,000 grant will help launch a Center of Excellence for Autism Research at OHSU.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one out of every 54 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder and Autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability. Access to diagnosis and intervention is often delayed and reduced for people of color and those living in remote, rural areas. OHSU has the state’s largest clinical program for the treatment of autism, and the grant will be used to help build capacity, collaboration and expand services through the Center of Excellence for Autism Research.

“This capacity-building grant from the Kuni Foundation will provide us with the launch pad we need to start our Autism Center at a critical time.” Eric Fombonne, M.D., Professor of Psychiatry, OHSU.

OHSU also received $149,000 to advance two cancer research efforts. Dr. Lara Davis, Associate Professor of Medical and Pediatric Oncology and the Director of the Sarcoma Program at the Knight Cancer Center, received $75,000 to pursue better outcomes for women diagnosed with Uterine leiomyosarcoma. This rare and aggressive cancer affects thousands of women each year with a mortality rate of more than 50 percent.

The Leukemia Lymphoma Society (Oregon) received $50,000 for research to improve diagnosis and treatment for Multiple Myeloma, with an emphasis on improving access and outcomes for African Americans. The risk for Multiple Myeloma increases with age, and with the population in the United States steadily aging, the incidence of new diagnoses is expected to increase by 60 percent over 20 years (2010 to 2030). Nearly 13,000 Americans die from Multiple Myeloma each year; African Americans are more than twice as likely to receive a diagnosis, and at a younger age.

Expanding Housing Access in Washington

A new co-housing model in Shoreline, Washington led by Community Homes, Inc. received $50,000 to help plan an inclusive community for people who experience IDD. The nonprofit provides affordable and supportive housing, in addition to navigation and support.

Open Doors for Multicultural Families provides culturally and linguistically relevant information, services, and programs to culturally diverse people experiencing IDD. Based in Redmond, Washington, the organization received a $50,000  planning grant to support a new housing effort.

“People experiencing disabilities are the drivers of the planning, design, and development of the Multicultural Village housing project, said Ginger Kwan, Executive Director of Open Doors for Multicultural Families. “By gathering their feedback and lifting their voices, we will build options that provide opportunities for homeownership and create a multicultural community center. Kuni Foundation has played a critical role in realizing this vision, planting the seed for this project to grow.”

Ten cancer research initiatives received just over $700,000 for efforts ranging from treatments for brain and bladder cancers to the use of artificial intelligence. Christoph Lee, MD, MS, MBA, and professor of Radiology at the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine received $75,000 for the regional expansion of artificial intelligence-driven breast cancer screenings.

Here are more specifics:

Oregon Grants ($356,988):

Grace Commons Consortium, Portland: Pre-Development for Community Arts Building, $50,000

Home Life, Corvallis: Quality Assurance Program $7,000

Leukemia Lymphoma Society: Improving Targeted Adoptive Cell Therapy of Myeloma, $75,000

Lara Davis, MD, OHSU: Circulating Tumor DNA as a Non-Invasive Method for Monitoring Uterine Leimyosarcoma, $75,000

Eric Fombonne, MD, OHSU: Building an Autism Center of Excellence, $50,000

Adel Kardosh, MD, OHSU: ctDNA Biomarker to Improve Organ-Preserving Strategies for Colon Cancer Patients, $74,988

PHAME, Portland: PHAME Program Expansion, $25,000

 

Washington Grants ($700,000)

Arc of Spokane: Person-Centered Approach to Community Advocacy, $25,000

Autism Empowerment of Vancouver: Multi-Media Resources, $25,000

Community Homes, Inc.: Shoreline Co-Housing Project, $50,000

Open Doors for Multi-Cultural Families: Housing Planning Grant, $50,000

People First for Washington: Coalition Building for Self-Advocates, $25,000

Brittany Barber, MD, UW Washington: Why Young Patients with No Risk Factors are Developing Oral Tongue Squamous Cell Carcinoma, $75,000   

Eleanor Chen, MD, UW Medicine: Therapeutic Target and Biomarker Discovery for Adult Rhabdomyosarcoma, $75,000

Meghan Flanagan, MD, UW Medicine: Using Spatial Genomics to Predict Progression of Lobular Carcinoma In Situ to Invasive Breast Cancer, $75,000

Andrew Ko, MD, UW Medicine: Developing New Brain Cancer Treatments through Measurement and Modulation of Neural Activity, $75,000

Ming Lam, MD, UW Medicine: Defining Bladder Cancer Metastasis at a Single Cell Resolution for Therapeutic Discovery, $75,000

Christoph Lee, MD, UW Medicine: Regional Expansion of Artificial Intelligence-Driven Breast Cancer Screenings, $75,000

Brent Wise, MD, UW Medicine: Predicting Medication-Resistant and Atypical Pituitary Adenomas Using a Cell-Free DNA Approach, $75,000

About the Kuni Foundation:

Based in Vancouver, Washington, the Kuni Foundation funds cancer research and supports programs and initiatives that enhance the lives of adults who experience intellectual and developmental disabilities. Learn more at www.kunifoundation.org or via Twitter: @KuniFoundation.

Playworks Brings Back Footgolf & Raises $23K to Help Local Kids

Playworks Brings Back Footgolf & Raises $23K to Help Local Kids

Portland, OR. After a few years’ hiatus, Playworks Pacific Northwest brought back a fan favorite, Footgolf. A combination of golf and soccer, the Footgolf event brought out close to 100 participants and 20 teams battling for the win while raising awareness about the organization’s impact on elementary schools across Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

The event took place at Glendoveer Golf Course on May 22nd. The winning team was a group of employees from The Standard (seen above). Raising a total of $23K, donations will help Playworks continue to create a space on the playground for every kid to feel included and build valuable social skills.

Playworks has supported schools by working to keep kids playing virtually and in hybrid settings while helping to prepare for when they return to full-time in-person instruction.

Playworks creates spaces for every kid to feel included and build valuable social skills by leveraging the power of play.

Footgolf is a family-friendly event to raise awareness of Playworks Pacific Northwest’s impact on elementary schools across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Alaska.

FootGolf (sometimes referred to as, “soccer golf”) is a combination of the popular sports of soccer and golf. The game is played with a regulation #5 soccer ball at a golf course facility on shortened holes with 21-inch diameter cups. The rules largely correspond to the rules of golf. This sport is a relatively new concept (since 2008), and is being played at golf courses throughout the world.

 

Playworks Pacific Northwest, a leading non-profit organization founded in 1996, leverages the power of play to transform children’s social and emotional health throughout Oregon, Washington and Idaho schools through year-round, and on-site support services, creating healthy environments for kids through recess. Through Playworks programs, they reduce bullying and enable social-emotional learning by leveraging the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school every day. Creating a place for every kid on the playground to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills, Playworks is helping grow healthy and happy youth. Over the 2020/2021 school year, Playworks is providing two school districts-seven total schools, across Oregon and Washington, with direct services, impacting the lives of 3,150 kids daily. Additionally, the non-profit has impacted more than 18,450 kids in the past 8 months through professional development training and digital support services across the region. Plaworks has provided services in 15 school districts across Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Alaska and impacts over 21,850 students and more than 960 staff/teachers annually.