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 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 8, 2009

Helping kids MOST in need

Category: family — admin @ 10:14 pm

They are the hardest children to place in foster care.  Kids with mental illness and difficulties that require round-the-clock care.  But rather than turning their backs on this group MOST in need of a loving family, there are groups doing their part.


Like the Foster Family Care Network.  On KXL this morning we told you about Mirae Grant who is not only a recruiter, but regularly takes in children (and adopted a seven-year-old girl of her own).  The change is immediate and immense for each child.


For more info on what it takes to be a foster parent, check out their website.

October 29, 2009

Help for new dads

Category: family — admin @ 1:11 pm

new_dad-420x0Crying that won’t stop.

Messy diapers.

Even picking up an infant can seem like a daunting … if not TERRIFYING task for a new dad.  But there is help.

St James Family Center is offering a free, monthly seminar for new dads.  They go through the basics like picking up the little bundle for the first time … all the way to major issues like dealing with loss or medical issues.

All of the contact and sign up info can be found here.

August 24, 2009

Keeping kids safe

Category: Community, family, safety — admin @ 1:22 am

This weekend, you can protect your kids as you do your back to school shopping.  Clackamas Town Center is hosting a safety fair on Saturday which will include Secure Child.

Spear Headed  Johnny Walker with North Star Financial, Secure Child provides a free kit to each parent including:

A photo of your child (which can be age-adjusted once you get a second photo taken)

Hair sample

Finger Prints

Other stats about the child

And it’s all free.

Thousands of families have taken advantage of the free service so stop by the Town Center Saturday.

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 10, 2009

Free block party on Mississippi

Category: Charity, Community, Freebies, Fundraiser, family — admin @ 1:44 am

More than 20,000 people turned out for last year's street fair on Mississippi Avenue

More than 20,000 people turned out for last year's street fair on Mississippi Avenue

It’s going to be in the 80’s and sunny on Saturday here in Portlandia.  So … how will you spend the day?  Mowing the lawn?  Clean the garage?  Maybe throw a few steaks on the grill?

Ho hum.  You can do that any weekend.  How about taking the kids to listen to bands on FOUR live stages … grab  local food from the top restaurants in North PDX … win some prizes … oh, and benefit two local kids programs at the same time.

Beats chores, eh?

Every year, Mississippi Avenue hosts the mother of all block parties, reaching from Skidmore to Fremont.  This year, organizers say more than 20,000 Portlandians will flood the neighborhood to join the fun.  It doesn’t cost a dime to get in, but you will want to bring a few bucks for food and a couple more to donate to the Boise-Eliot Elementary and Albina Youth opportunity schools.

Lest you think this is just a free concert and a few diners opening their doors, think twice oh ye of little faith.  The party includes the finest restaurants, games, a parade, kids area, info on local artists and some environmental projects as well. In fact, GNPDX bets you could start at Skidmore, walk down one side of the street to Fremont and then back the other side and STILL not see it all.

Prove us wrong, Portlandia . . . prove us wrong :)

For more info on who’s playing, click here.

July 1, 2009

Sherwood is one of the best places to raise a family

Category: family — admin @ 1:00 am

The City of Sherwood is one of the nation's best places for families

The City of Sherwood is one of the nation's best places for families

If you’ve got a family or are about to start a family and think moving is a good idea … take a look at Sherwood.  The city near Tualatin and Newberg is one of the best to raise a family.

Not, like, one of the best in this corner of Oregon.  Not one of the best in the state.  It’s one of the top ten in the nation.  Yeah, consider Montana, Nebraska, New York, Florida, Hawaii . . . Oregon is one of the top ten list and it’s all thanks to Sherwood.

And don’t take our word for it (although the GNPDX staff are huge fans of the city based on it’s local theatre companies and number of Dutch Bros coffee kiosks).  Ask Family Circle Magazine.  The national publication that is read by 21 million pairs of eyes a month says so.

Jim Patterson is Sherwood’s City Manager and chatted with GNPDX.  Apparently, they got the word a few months ago that Sherwood was in a pool of 1,700 cities up for the honor of “Top Family City for 2009.”  Then, they narrowed down to 800.  And finally down to the top ten.  He had to sit on the news that they were up for the honor and then, that they actually won for quite a while before the list was finally announced.

Things like schools, economy and housing were part of the search criteria.  Patterson says the honor only affirms what the Sherwoodians (or is it Sherwoodites? Fine people of Sherwood?) already knew.  That the city has it’s priorities in the right place when it comes to moms, dads and kids.  But, the honor will definitely help attract eyes to the city and draw new families to the neighborhood.

The list will be featured in the next issue of Family Circle which is due out in July.