July 31, 2009

Military brings home the groceries

Category: Money Saver — admin @ 10:18 am

It’s a very minor perk of being in the military, but it makes a huge difference.  The commissary.  It’s basically a big grocery store that offers goods to soldiers and retired vets at a lower price than your neighborhood supermarket.

The one problem is commissaries only exist on bases.  If you don’t live near a base, you can’t go shopping unless you want to drive however far it may be (for example, in Southern Oregon soldiers might have to drive several hours to Fort Lewis in Washington).

Which is what led to the Comissary Case Lot Sale.  The Military effectively brings the store to soldiers by setting up a make shift grocer in central locations around the state, trucking in tons of food to sell.

There’s just such a sale this weekend at the Jackson Armory in Portland.  Fri-Sun, 9A-5P.

July 30, 2009

Taking care of our furry friends

Category: pets — admin @ 12:08 pm

There’s a great piece on Oregonlive about a local guy who travels around providing food to homeless animals.  As a newly-minted owner of a puppy, the GNPDX staff thinks this guy deserves a mdeal.

July 29, 2009

Life Flight is number 1

Category: Health, Uncategorized — admin @ 10:11 am

Life Flight is the number one air medical service in the world

Life Flight is the number one air medical service in the world

When it comes to air ambulance service, you can’t get better than Life Flight.  Anywhere.  Like, in the world.

The Life Flight network is the recipient of a major award this week from the body that oversees all air medical services for outstanding service.  Not only is it the first time any such service in the Pacific Northwest has been recognized, it’s the first time any crew on the WEST COAST has been honored.

You can learn more about Life Flight, how to donate to the nonprofit AND how to become a member (which works a lot like an insurance policy) by clicking here.

July 27, 2009

A winning lotto ticket for jobs and parks

Category: Community, Jobs — admin @ 6:12 pm

Local parks are getting a makeover.  Local workers are getting jobs (or, their jobs are being saved).

Who do we have to thank?  The Oregon Lottery.

See, the lotto turns over cash every year to the Park and Rec Department which, in turn, doles the bucks out to different communities as grants to spruce up local parks.

How much?

$4million this summer.  About the same next year.  And so on.

Even cooler, there are two different types of projects they consider.  Buying more land to expand a park or create a new park.  Or upgrading an existing park.

This year, the vast majority of projects they selected, according to Chris Havel with the department who spoke with GNPDX . . . fall into the latter category.  Why?  Because buying land doesn’t do squat on the job front, whereas building a trail or a new structure or facilities means contractors go to work.

ANYONE can apply for a grant (cities, neighborhoods, counties, etc.) so if you would like to fix up a park in YOUR neck of the woods, go here.

July 24, 2009

Beaverton gets a dose of Good Will

Category: Charity, Community, Jobs — admin @ 1:00 am

The new Cedar Hills GoodWill is the second largest around

The new Cedar Hills GoodWill is the second largest around

For weeks, neighbors in Beaverton have knocked on the doors of the new Goodwill, hoping the doors would finally open.  Well, let the shopping commence.  The new, massive thrift store is officially open for business.

Dale Emmanuel with GWill tells GNPDX this store is the second largest in the local territory . . . but it won’t get the pleasure of being the “family baby” for long.  Business is doing so well for the chain (sales up several percent) that three more stores are slated for opening in the coming months.

Of course, what is good for Goodwill is good for all of us.  About 94% of the dollars that come in go right back to helping local people find jobs.  Yeah, that pair of jeans you never wear and those cooking utensils sitting in your attic gathering dust could help someone find a new career.

Kinda makes you want to do some spring cleaning this weekend, eh?

The new store is in Beaverton across from the Nissan dealership off of Cedar Hills Blvd (12975 SW Westgate Dr).

July 22, 2009

A book that gives hungry kids food

Category: Charity, Community, Fundraiser, family — admin @ 1:00 am

Purchasing the Full Plates Full lives book benefits kids in need right here

Purchasing the Full Plates Full lives book benefits kids in need right here

It’s no secret that the recession is hitting local kids pretty hard.  Schools can’t offer as many free summer food programs.  Belts are tightening at home.  More families need emergency food boxes.  It’s tough.

But the people at US Foodservice have an idea to make a dent in the problem.  Chef Mark Eggerding tells GNPDX that they started brainstorming a cookbook a while back.  HUNDREDS of top recipes have poured in from all over the country, each with personal stories and cooking tips from the chef’s who dreamed up the delectable dishes.

The resulting book is on sale now at this website.  The really cool thing about this book is that all the proceeds are being dropped back into local food banks to pay for fresh fruits and veggies for those kids in need.  Here in Portlandia, the Oregon Food Bank and St. Vincent DePaul can expect donations when the final sale tally comes in.

They are offering a 3-month STEM-ulus offer (great play on the whole fruit and veggie thing), cutting the price in half.

July 20, 2009

A week away

Category: Charity, Community, family — admin @ 1:07 am

More than 4,000 kids in need have benefitted from Camp Rosenbaum

More than 4,000 kids in need have benefitted from Camp Rosenbaum

Forty years ago, Fred Rosenbaum had an idea.  At the time, the Brigadier General for the National Guard was also serving as chair of the Portland Housing Authority.  Every day, he saw local kids in bad circumstances.  He wanted to help.  He wanted to give them each a chance to get away from the day to day struggles and have the opportunity to just be kids.

And so began Camp Rosenbaum.

It started small.  A few kids spent a few days on the coast with volunteer counselors.  But the idea was good and people believed in Rosenbaum’s mission.  So it grew.

Today, forty years later, hundreds of kids get to shake off the city every summer and spend a week having fun.  Horseback riding.  Sports,  Arts and Crafts.  Typical summer-camp stuff.  The camp does incorporate important messages about making good choices and teaches each kid that they control their own destiny.

As a special thank you, the camp is dedicating a Gratitude Garden in honor of Rosenbaum this week.  For more info on visiting you can click here.

The camp itself is staffed by all volunteers, mainly drawing counselors from the National Guard, the Police and Fire Department.  To date, more than 4,000 kids have been campers.

July 17, 2009

Why does Providence care about bikes?

Category: Charity, Community, Freebies, family — admin @ 1:12 am

Every summer, thousands of cyclists get to cruise over Portland Bridges

Every summer, thousands of cyclists get to cruise over Portland Bridges

Cyclists have a good reason to scour the garage for that old ten-speed that hasn’t been ridden since Paula Abdul was known for her music (and not judging other people’s vocal chops).  Or that box of old bike parts that is just gathering dust.

It’s worth $35.00  And you don’t even have to haggle on Craigslist to get the money.

Providence is accepting donations of old bikes and bike parts at their Tanasbourne location this Saturday.  In exchange, each donor gets a free registration to the August Bridge Pedal (a $35.00 value).  Plus, you can bring the kids with their bikes and helmets for a free safety check.  Oh, and if you’re thinking about riding your two wheels to work one of these days, make sure to catch the free commuting workshop.

For more info on the Bridge Pedal, click here.

July 15, 2009

Look Good, Feel Better

Category: Community — admin @ 1:13 am

A group of volunteers are helping women as they undergo cancer treatment hold on to some semblance of normalcy.  It’s called the Look Good, Feel Better program and is courtesy of the American Cancer Society.

Women sign up for classes taught by local beauticians where they learn about stuff like wig styling / shopping, scarf styles and special make up techniques.  It’s a great, free program and anyone can pitch in.  Classes are offered all over the metro area . . . and hows this for thinking . . . classes are held AT the treatment centers so there is no need to find a new location.  To help, go here.

July 13, 2009

A safe ride home

Category: Community, volunteer — admin @ 1:00 am

Get yourself and your wheels home safe for only ten bucks

Get yourself and your wheels home safe for only ten bucks

It happens all the time.  You meet your buddies after work for a drink … only to find yourself, a few hours later, too buzzed to drive.  It’s not safe to get behind the wheel, but you don’t want to pay for a cab ride home, and then back the next morning . . . plus, what if you get a parking ticket or towed? 

Relax.  There’s a solution.

It’s call Ride On.   Give them a call (yeah, no reservation required) and soon after two volunteers show up.  One takes your car and drives you home, while the other follows behind.  They drop you and your ride off at your house for the whopping price tag of . . . ten bucks.  Flat.

Right now they mainly focus on SouthEast but they’re planning to expand.  To volunteer or get their contact info for a ride, go here.