May 17, 2010

Helping battle Parkinsons

Category: Charity, Community, Health — admin @ 1:28 am

tagline_pearlWhile the goal for any group battling a disease is a cure, sometimes discovering ways to help those with the disease live a better life in the mean time is just as valuable. 


At Parkinson’s Resources of Oregon they help people with the disease adjust their speech, improve their mobility and even learn how to FALL if they should stumble.  More over, the group specializes in support groups state-wide to help people with the disease anf their families share information, make supportive connections and learn.


PRO is getting a huge funding BOOST this week from the Pearls in the Pearl fundraiser in Portland’s Pearl District.  We’re urging everyone to swing by and check it out.

January 24, 2010

A journey that ends on a Portland Sidewalk

Category: Charity, Community — admin @ 8:08 pm

Before Obama was president.  Before the banks were bailed out, the Salahi’s crashed the White House and the Balloon Boy gained infamy, a journey began in Washington.  After years of functioning as an alcoholic, James grew tired of his life in the northern corner of the Pacific Northwest.  He felt alienated from his friends, he hated himself, he saw no reason to keep plugging along.

So, he packed a bag and walked.  He walked out on family, friends and the life that he built and headed south.  He never really had a destination in mid.  Few people in James’ place do.  They just have to get away.  It’s a common trend with addiction.

The length of his journey isn’t clear, but, after a while, he landed on a Portland sidewalk in Old Town.  To him, it seemed like just another space on the game board that was his wayward journey to who-knows-where.  But what James didn’t realize, is he’d actually reached the end of one chapter and was about to open a brand new book in his life (holy mixed metaphor there Batman).

The sidewalk was outside the Portland Rescue Mission.  James wandered inside to warm up and, hopefully, score a place to sleep for the night.  At the time, he didn’t realize where he was or what the Mission had to offer.  That night was all he could focus on.

Once inside the Portland Landmark just off the Burnside Bridge, James started chatting with one of the Chaplain’s.

“He said, G-d wants you to be here right now,” recalls James.  ”I was like . . . WHOA, really?”  The notion that his life had purpose and mistakes of his past would not define his future gave the man pause.

At that point, James stopped his winding, endless trek through the Northwest and began a fresh journey.  One that did not require a car, train, plane or boat, but perhaps more difficult and more rewarding than any travels across the nation or around the world.

He got sober.

Ten months of focused work with the program at the Portland Rescue Mission provided the U-Turn his life desperately needed.  What’s more, with his addiction’s coming under control, James has been able to make amends with some of those he left behind in Washington and begin building a new life.  In fact, he’s looking at a return to the culinary arts and running his own restaurant in the next few weeks.

Stories like James happen every day at the unassuming building in Old Town.  If you’d like to get involved, make a donation, or find some other ways to help out, check out their website here.

November 30, 2009


Category: Community, family, pets — admin @ 5:48 pm

You can snap an unforgettable keepsake AND benefit Cat Adoption Team with Santa Claws

You can snap an unforgettable keepsake AND benefit Cat Adoption Team with Santa Claws

Just because it has four paws and fur or four legs and a tail, doesn’t mean that your animal is just a pet.  For a lot of us, the dog, cat or iguana is a family member.  Practically a child.  To be completely honest, in the GNPDX house, mom and dad aren’t exchanging gifts but our puppy will be getting tons of loot. 

Be it as a gag or because you think the result would be far too adorable to pass up, countless pet owners would love to have fido or mittens snap a shot with Santa.  Try taking the boa constrictor or great dane into a mall for that precious photo.  Not likely to go over well with management.

But the Cat Adoption Team and Pet Smart have an answer.

Forget Santa Claus.  Come visit Santa CLAWS.  Specially trained volunteer elfs help pet owners corral their critter and pose them with THE St Nick.  And for every photo you buy, the Cat Adoption Team gets 5 bucks.  Not a bad deal.


For more info, go here.

November 24, 2009

Never too early to talk taxes

Category: Charity, Community, Government, Money Saver — admin @ 9:32 pm

Cash Oregon helps THOUSANDS of people save MILLIONS on tax returns

Cash Oregon helps THOUSANDS of people save MILLIONS on tax returns

I wanted to start this post off with some humorous holiday lyrics incorporating tax terminology but I got as far as Frosty the Taxman and hit a wall.  The truth is, this time of year, we’re thinking turkeys, stockings and gifts.  Not taxes, I-9’s and refunds.  Right?

But one local nonprofit IS thinking taxes.  And they hope YOU will too.  CASH Oregon offers free tax prep help for people with low to moderate incomes.

Doing your taxes yourself runs the risk that you will miss a key credit.  Paying someone to do your return can cost a couple hundred bucks you don’t have.  As a result, people can miss THOUSANDS of dollars in tax credits every year.  CASH Oregon volunteers do tax returns for free.  You want results?  How about 16 million bucks in federal returns last year on about 14,500 total returns.  This year, they expect to do even more returns.

Where YOU come in, is they need help with the paperwork.  In fact, they need about 500 people in total to handle the project.  You don’t need any background in the tax world, all training is provided.  But you DO need to go through their training which takes some time.  To learn more about the service (either as a volunteer or a client) go here.

November 17, 2009

Helping these kids have a happy holiday

Category: Charity, Community, family — admin @ 7:05 pm

Putting your own personal politics on prisons and the people who populate them (whoa … alliteration) aside, when mom or dad is behind bars, it can make life incredibly difficult for kids.


There’s a group that wants to change that.  The Children’s Justice Alliance offers services to families and caregivers who watch out for kids when mom or dad are in the criminal justice system.  And this time of year, they collect gifts, clothes and household items for these kids. 


There are a lot of ways you can help.  Start by checking out this ad on Craigslist if you want to make a donation.

November 13, 2009

Dodge the draft!

Category: Community, Freebies — admin @ 3:27 pm

You can fight a drafty house and conserve on your energy bills by taking one of the free classes at Community Energy Project.  For more info, check out their website.

November 10, 2009

Fix It Fair

Category: Community, Freebies — admin @ 11:23 pm

fixitfairIf you want to be more handy around the house you’ll want to check out the upcoming Fix It Fair at Roosevelt HS.  Check out more info here.

October 27, 2009

Face to Face

Category: Community — admin @ 10:53 pm

Jim Clark / The Outlook - Eamonn (yellow) gets a regular boost from his buddy Granjean

Jim Clark / The Outlook - Eamonn (yellow) gets a regular boost from his buddy Granjean

Today we told you about Claudio Granjean, a Detective Sergeant with the Gresham Police who invests a few hours a week with a sixth-grader named Eamonn.  Eamonn’s father is serving overseas and at home he’s the only boy amongst mom and four sisters.  Granjean got involved with the Face to Face mentor program specifically to help Eamonn.

The two spend time talking about life, school … and occasionally talking trash while playing a basketball game on Granjean’s I-Pod Touch.

There are lots of kids like Eamonn who could use a buddy a few days a week.  For more info about Face to Face mentoring, check out this link.

October 25, 2009

Clackamas Emergency Foundation

Category: Charity, Community — admin @ 5:08 pm

**Editor’s Note:  So sorry for the delay on this post everyone!  Long story … we’ll spare you the details and stick to a simple mea culpa**

Here is the link to the Clackamas Emergency Foundation . . . these are the guys we told you about who make sure that emergency responders have some petty cash on hand in case victims need a few bucks to get home . . . give out smoke detectors to people in need . . . make sure schools have AEDs.

October 20, 2009

Brides helping brides (and it all fights breast cancer)

Category: Charity, Community, Fundraiser — admin @ 1:11 pm

Brides Against Breast Cancer collect and sell THOUSANDS of wedding gowns a year

Brides Against Breast Cancer collect and sell THOUSANDS of wedding gowns a year

Thrift store.  Used clothing sale.  Rummage sale.  Quick, what images come to mind?

Vera Wang?  Didn’t think so.

But it’s the case in Beaverton this week.  Brides Against Breast Cancer will hold their biggest used gown sale of the year.

The concept started several years ago and has grown into a nationwide effort.  Brides have their big day and then, rather than stuffing the tule and lace into a box on the top shelf of their closet, they donate it to BABC.  The gowns are then sold at a significant discount and the money goes to Breast Cancer patients.


We love those.

For info on the sale or to donate your own gown (head’s up, it has to be a 2005 or later model) go here.