Portland, OR. United Way of the Columbia-Willamette worked ahead of the curve to raise over $600,000 in response to the emerging needs due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the community. It began distributing the funds to needy people in April. “We have been overwhelmed with requests for assistance and receipt of in-kind goods,” noted Cindy Adams, President and CEO. “We have continued to leverage our strong partnerships with culturally responsive and culturally specific nonprofits in the community to distribute funding and in-kind goods to individuals and families who have been impacted the most by the pandemic.” Thanks to the help of its partners, United Way has continued to provide access to assistance in short-term housing, utilities, and access to food.
Here’s a video update from the organization:
The nonprofit focuses specifically on racial and ethnic equity by assisting local families and kid’s projects. Its programs include education-based projects aimed at increasing graduation rates for students of color, and financial assistance for healthcare and housing for families.
United Way (UW) staffer delivers in-kind donations to the Q Center in Portland.
The organization adapted quickly to an online business model, due to a previously in-place telecommuting policy that ensured resources and technology were available for the transition. United Way has done its best to navigate the lack of social contact, making the most of technology like Zoom, virtual cards, and phone calls.
LCSA_UW partner: Members of Labor’s Community Service Agency, a United Way nonprofit partner that received Safety Net funding in response to the pandemic, deliver food boxes to families in need.
As donations continue to come in during the nonprofit’s annual workplace campaign season, the organization will distribute the funds to partners assisting those in need as the community navigates the pandemic. Details of the distribution of funds to organizations can be found here.
Cindy Adams expects the needs of the community to continue to grow. She added, “United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is committed to helping our community transition from response to recovery and then rebuilding a community that is more resilient than ever before. We ask that our community, your readers, stay safe, be well, and think about how we can help those who are maybe less fortunate than ourselves.
United Way of the Columbia-Willamette has been bringing our community together to do good for nearly 100 years.
We connect the people, nonprofits, businesses and government agencies addressing poverty in our region.
Improve lives, strengthen communities and advance equity by mobilizing the caring power of people across our metro area.
We’re working hard to create a future where kids in our region are free from instability and worry so they can be free to play and discover, free to learn and grow.
Free from poverty. Free to reach their potential.
Right now, 20% of kids in the Portland region live in poverty and 1 in 3 families can’t pay for basic needs.
That’s 1 in 7 kids whose families must choose between:
• Rent or groceries
• Heat or healthcare
• New clothes or TriMet fare
Together, we can make our region a better place for everyone.
With your support, we can continue investing in our region’s schools, families and communities.
Schools for Kids
More students are showing up prepared for the first day of kindergarten than ever before.
New preschool classrooms are being built, particularly addressing culturally-specific communities.
Graduation rates are increasing for students of color with the help of community partners.
Families for Kids
Families receive the assistance they need to help pay for basic needs like rent and food on the table.
Many families are staying housed one year after receiving service.
With free tax services from our partners, working families are receiving important tax credits to remain financially stable.
Communities for Kids
Through Hands on Greater Portland, United Way’s volunteer program, thousands of volunteers are connected to meaningful projects being held throughout our region.
The value of service from our volunteers equates to hundreds of thousands of dollars put back into the community.
Hundreds of local organizations are receiving service from our volunteers.
When we understand the causes of poverty in our region, we have a better chance of finding solutions. By partnering with local organizations and providing opportunities to convene and mobilize, United Way can address the different areas of need in our community and find strategies that will create the strongest impact.
Portland, OR. “We are the Rose City! A History of Soccer in Portland.” That’s the focus of a new exhibit coming to the Oregon Historical Society (OHS) in late July. The Oregon Historical Society Museum will be reopening its doors to the public on Saturday, July 11th at 10:00 A.M. It has been closed since March 14th due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Timber exhibit photo above features Mamadou “Futty” Danso, Jack Jewsbury and Steve Purdy celebrated a win following the Timbers first home game in the MLS era. (Photographer Craig Mitchelldyer, Courtesy of Portland Timbers.)
“We’re looking forward to reopening,” said OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk. “We’ve got lots for people to see, and we’ll be following of course all the guidelines required by the state and the county as far as face coverings and social distancing.” Museum-goers will be able to check out OHS’s permanent exhibit, “Experience Oregon,” which debuted last year and chronicles “the good, the bad and the ugly,” of Oregon’s history, according to Tymchuk. Additionally, the new exhibit entitled, “Soccer in the Rose City,” will explore a full history of Portland’s soccer culture.
Capo Tina leads section 108 during a 2019 Portland Thorns game. (Courtesy of 107 Independent Supporters Trust.)
Over the past few months, OHS has been busy producing a weekly newsletter and keeping the community updated and informed through social media.
“We’ve been very proud of all the work and material we’ve been able to provide through our social media outlets,” Tymchuk said. “We’ve been putting out great material on the pandemic, such as the Spanish flu pandemic of 100 years ago and how it impacted Oregon and lessons learned and not learned. And then we were able over the past couple of weeks to put out just a phenomenal amount of material on racial justice and equity.”
Just before having to shut its doors on March 14th, the museum was getting ready to debut an exhibit entitled, “Nevertheless, They Persisted: Women’s Voting Rights and the 19th Amendment.” Museum-goers will still be able to check out the exhibit when OHS reopens. “[It’s] a phenomenal exhibit—artifacts and documents, chronicling the fight for equal rights for women and giving them the right to vote,” Tymchuk said. “We’re anxious to give that a showing to everybody.”
March in 1913 in support of women’s right to vote. Photo featured in OHS exhibit, “Nevertheless, They Persisted.”
Additionally, the OHS has a variety of virtual programs that can be found on the OHS website that will still be available after the museum reopens.
According to Tymchuk, due to good financial planning and the Multnomah County levy, which provides the museum with funding, the OHS has not had to make any mass lay-offs or budget cuts. “We’ve been very fortunate,” he said.
Tymchuk encourages anyone interested in supporting the OHS to visit the museum after it reopens, to make a tax-deductible donation, or to become OHS members. “A membership in OHS is a great deal, and we encourage people to become members—that way they get all the material that we put out,” he said. He also provided this reminder: “Here in Portland, because of the Multnomah County levy, all Multnomah County residents have free admission [to the museum].”
“We’ve been actively fulfilling our mission during this time,” Tymchuk said, referring to the pandemic’s effect on the OHS. “We certainly live in a time where people are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of history.”
OHS Executive Director Kerry Tymchuk and Oregon Governor Kate Brown in June 2013.
Following re-opening, public museum and store hours will be Wednesdays – Saturdays from 10 am – 5 pm and Sundays from 12 pm – 5 pm. The OHS Research Library remains closed for renovations that began in January 2020. More information on library services that are available during the renovation can be found at ohs.org/libraryreno.
About the Oregon Historical Society:
For more than a century, the Oregon Historical Society has served as the state’s collective memory, preserving a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, maps, manuscript materials, books, films, and oral histories. Our research library, museum, digital platforms & website (www.ohs.org), educational programming, and historical journal make Oregon’s history open and accessible to all. We exist because history is powerful and because a history as deep and rich as Oregon’s cannot be contained within a single story or point of view.
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