Portland, OR. The Bridge Meadows model is an intergenerational neighborhood where adoptive families of youth formerly in foster care bond with their older neighbors. The nonprofit has had to dramatically alter its operations due to the pandemic. “In our community, it’s about one-third elders—adults over 55 is how we define that—and then families who have adopted kids out of foster care,” Director of Communications Lindsay Magnuson explains. “The way everything is built is so people can connect, and that means being in person, face to face, doing things in the courtyard. And so [Covid-19] has kind of ripped away this way of connecting that has been so essential for people in our communities, and so we’ve had to pivot and figure out: how do we maintain that feeling of intimacy and connectedness without the physical proximity?”
Several of the Bridge Meadows elders in North Portland started busily sewing masks to support local health care workers.
Bridge Meadows will be hosting its annual fall auction and gala, IMAGINE, on September 17th. The event will be hosted—as in previous years—by KGW anchor Drew Carney and Benefit Auction 360’s Johnna Wells. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be held virtually.
“We are aiming to do a very interesting, dynamic and short program,” said Bridge Meadows Director of Communications Lindsay Magnuson. “We really want it to be valuable because the event usually has this community reunion feel, and so we wanted to kind of try to replicate that as much as possible.”
“Though our event will be held online this year, we are excited to celebrate the resilience and power of intergenerational community with you in new ways. Hear stories from the community about the impact the Bridge Meadows Model has on the lives of children who have experienced foster care and how you can help us bring this solution to more communities.”
Bridge Meadows lawn prior to the pandemic.
Many of Bridge Meadows programs, such as check-ins with its members and therapeutic groups, have been adapted into virtual programs, and members have been hard at work figuring out how to help older members who are uncomfortable with newer technology and parents who are adjusting to homeschooling.
According to Lindsay, “We’ve also been brainstorming with the community about how—now that we kind of know a little bit more about how [Covid-19] is spread—figuring out how to safely connect in person with [social distancing].”
On top of the upcoming IMAGINE gala, Bridge Meadows has also been hosting virtual roundtables, where community members, partners, champions and donors get together to check in with one another and host Q&A sessions.
For those interested in supporting Bridge Meadows, Lindsay recommended signing up for their newsletter, attending their virtual events, and making financial contributions.
While the pandemic has created many challenges for Bridge Meadows, Lindsay noted that there has been some benefits: “I think that this experience has really made us become more comfortable with how you diversify your methods of maintaining community. We have learned how to do that very quickly, and we’re still learning,” Lindsay said.
About Bridge Meadows:
Bridge Meadows develops and sustains intergenerational neighborhoods for adoptive families of youth formerly in foster care that promote permanency, community and caring relationships while offering safety and meaningful purpose in the daily lives of older adults.
Portland, OR. Despite the challenges that have ensued in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Compassion Connect has continued to provide resource connections and unite some churches that serve Portland neighborhoods. Thanks to the continued support of donors, the nonprofit was able to raise over $10,000 for COVID-19 relief programs this spring.
The Portland-based nonprofit (which also has chapters in Washington and Arizona) has had to put its main outreach programs on hold until further notice due to health and safety concerns as well as state mandates. These programs include free health clinics and after school groups for vulnerable youth who face a higher risk for sexual exploitation.
Setbacks, have not stopped the small staff from brainstorming ways to invest critically in the communities they serve. Communications director Anna Johnson offers some insight: “During this time of hiatus, our team hasn’t ceased tackling the challenging question of how to resume operations safely so we can continue helping churches serve their neighbors in a time when they need the support more than ever.”
At the beginning of the outbreak, the company held area-specific Zoom meetings with church leadership from eight local neighborhoods to provide a platform for prayer and collaboration on how to meet the needs of the community. According to Ana, the “meetings culminated in a webinar in late May, where we shared ways for the church to make the ‘new normal’ look more like the Kingdom of God by providing a framework and tools for churches to build relationships, work together in unity, and transform the neighborhoods.”
While working from home, staff have rallied volunteers and churches to collect care package items for youth, many of whom now find themselves immersed in unstable home environments. The kits include essential hygiene items like masks and hand sanitizer along with games, treats, and encouraging notes.
Compassion Connect Health Clinics saw patients before the pandemic (above). The nonprofit is offering a community support form for clinic guests in need of medical services while the organization’s clinics are closed.
For those who have been without healthcare or have lost job-based insurance due to layoffs, Compassion Connect hopes to resume clinic services in late August with additional safety features in place, configured by staff, volunteers, board members, and outside experts. With additional precautions, the nonprofit has also been working on gradually relaunching its after school program, as well as its Adorned In Grace bridal shops, which offer new and gently used wedding gowns, formal wear, and accessories to support its work in anti-trafficking.
The nonprofit is currently exploring completely virtual or small group options for its largest fundraising event in October, which typically sees an attendance of around 300 guests.
About Compassion Connect:
Interested in volunteering with the Compassion Connect team? The nonprofit is looking for a technology coordinator to help plan virtual events, as well as other virtual volunteers, donors, and interns to make a difference in the community during this challenging season. For more information, go to www.compassionconnect.com or Compassion PDX on Facebook or @compassionconnect on Instagram.
We believe in the volunteer leaders, in those who are yet to rise up and in the potential of any community in the world to make a difference by uniting in Jesus-like service to its most hurting members. You have the heart to make a difference. We have the tools to make it a reality.
Portland, OR. The Latino Network is gearing up for its big annual gala, Noche Bella (Beautiful Night), which is set to take place on Sept. 25th at 7:00 p.m. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the event will be held virtually. The picture seen above was taken at an event prior to the pandemic.
“We’re really excited to virtualize everything,” said Latino Network Communication Manager Martina Bialek. “We have an auction, and our auction items are coming through, and we’re just really trying to get people excited to attend, whether it is from the comfort of their homes or elsewhere.”
Normally, the event draws around 600 people and raises approximately $400,000 for the organization to fund programs, operations and administrative work, according to Bialek.
The pandemic has forced the Latino Network to alter many of its regular operations; however, the organization has been busy offering as much support as possible to the communities it serves. Everything shifted to virtual operations on March 13th, and since then, school coordinators have found innovative ways to continue to offer the education and support that the organization regularly provides to students and families.
“We’re basically an education focused non-profit, so, just from the sense of our programming, we’ve had to absolutely change everything, from the way that we interact with our students to how we show up for families who are in need right now,” Bialek said.
Latino Network program participants at a pre-pandemic event
One innovative way the organization has adapted its communications is through Facebook groups. “We created Facebook groups and invited parents and started doing Facebook Live nighttime reading for students,” Bialek said.
Through this program, the Latino Network has been able to help families cover their basic needs, such as food, utilities and rent.
Latino Network staff and program participants hosting standing food drive
“It has been a little challenging because we’ve reached the $10 million mark through the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, and we’re waiting for the second installment to come, which means that through that window, we’re not getting any new applications,” Bialek said.
Until the Latino Network is able to secure the additional funds from the state, the organization is keeping busy connecting families to any type of utility assistance they can get based on their circumstances.
“Being a nonprofit, it’s like we’re pulling money from all of our unrestricted funds, and all of our fundraising money, and we’re just putting it all towards helping the families,” Bialek said. “But we’ve reached a point where that’s just not a possibility at this point. So we’re getting other utilities involved and we’re really making sure that they can offer any type of assistance that they can to our families.”
Bialek applauded the work of the staff at the Latino Network through this time, saying, “They’ve just been going above and beyond to really put families at the forefront of everything.”
Throughout the pandemic, the Latino Network has also had many opportunities to work with other organizations: “Being able to work with other like minded community based organizations has been wonderful because we’ve been able to really tagteam all of our needs, and we were able to really expand on them,” Bialek said. “For example, we’ve been working really closely with the ACLU of Oregon, and we’ve really been able to create a partnership that is definitely going to last for years to come.”
Bialek said that those interested in supporting the Latino Network can make a donation or elevate the work being done by the organization.
“I feel like there is a big wave of change in the country, and the fact that our Black hermanos and hermanas are able to elevate their needs and are able to fight for what they need is wonderful,” Bialek said.
“We’re no strangers to police brutality either, we’re no strangers to racial targeting, we’re no strangers to discrimination or racism, and on top of that we have a pandemic that has completely devastated our community in ways that we’re only scratching the surface of right now. So any visibility we can get, any support we can get helps, whether it’s economic or just sharing something on Twitter—just making sure that our struggle is seen and heard.”
About the Latino Network:
Latino Network was founded in 1996 by community leaders who grew concerned about the lack of adequate resources to meet the needs of the growing Latino community. Since that time, we have evolved to become an organization that also encompasses transformational programs aimed at educating and empowering Multnomah County Latinos. Low achievement scores, youth violence and high drop out rates undermine the Latino community’s potential. We address these issues by promoting early literacy, encouraging parent involvement, working with gang-involved and adjudicated youth and families, and providing academic support and activities to high school aged youth. We also build leadership capacity for youth and adults.
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. Last summer walkers hit the streets together for the annual Autism Walk, but this year’s fundraiser will be a virtual live-streamed event, according to the Autism Society of Oregon. The free event, for which participants can register online, will be held online at 1 P.M. on Sunday, August 23rd. “Patterns and routines help to make sense of the world for people on the autism spectrum – they’re incredibly important. When those patterns are disrupted, it completely disrupts everything.” Executive Director Tobi Rates provided some insight into life on the spectrum, noting the impact that the disruptions to school, work, and service provisions have had on people experiencing autism: “It’s been traumatic for a lot of people, and it’s an ongoing trauma because it doesn’t look like things are going back to normal anytime soon.”
Participants in this year’s Autism Walk can send videos and photos to ASO by July 14th
Those registered can send in videos and photos of themselves walking or running in their Autism Awareness/ Acceptance T-shirt by July 14th. These will then be featured during the virtual event in a compilation video. Viewers can expect recognitions and prize-giveaways for sponsors, as well as guest appearances from Star Wars characters and a Virtual Resource Fair.
Here is a video encapsulating the details of the event:
Adapting the Autism Walk – ASO’s largest fundraiser supporting Oregon and SW Washington programs – to a virtual setting is one of the many ways the organization has been able to maintain a sense of routine for its members during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Participants in last year’s walk sporting their awareness gear
Max’s support system celebrating at last year’s finish line
Whether participants choose to walk or run in this year’s event, they can expect the fun to be virtually limitless.
NONPROFIT BENEFIT TICKET GIVEAWAYS!
Sign up for our free weekly highlights for the chance to win two tickets terrific nonprofit events! If you "like" us on facebook, or sign up for our weekly news highlights, you'll be entered to win! Sign up today!
Look for another ticket giveaway soon! Are you a nonprofit looking to bolster your publicity with facebook and tweets? Email us and we'll run a contest with tickets to your event! [email protected]