Hello Friend of Human Solutions!

We hope you have been able to stay healthy in the midst of the many crises happening around us right it now. It’s a lot by any count! To get through and, ultimately, build back better, it will take a village, and we are so grateful you are a part of ours.

As volunteers and donors you are true partners in our work and in our community. Truth is, a healthy community depends on all of us to engage in some way, using whatever special powers you have. For some, it’s time; for others, money; still others food, diapers, hand-made quilts. And the list goes on. Point being, we’re glad to be connected to you and to each other as we work to create the kind of community where every one of us has what it takes to thrive.

In this month’s Volunteer eNews, we have some existing opportunities coming up and, as always, some needed items for those so inclined. Enjoy!

Join Us for An Evening of Art + Conversation
Please JOIN US for an inspiring and thought-provoking evening of art & conversation, featuring performing artists, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, author of the bestselling book, “How To Be An AntiRacist.”
This free event is an invitation to understand and embrace antiracism, as we are doing here at Human Solutions. Here are the details:

  • WHO: Dr. Ibram X. Kendi, Portland City Commissioner and Human Solutions Board VP Jo Ann Hardesty, and performing artists curated by BoomArts.
  • WHAT: An inspiring evening featuring local artists and powerful speakers (local and national), all focused on the urgent need to become antiracists – for the sake of our nation and every one of us who calls it home. Guests will see relevant performances by local artists, hear a 20-minute presentation by Dr. Kendi and a 20-minute conversation with Dr. Kendi and Commissioner Hardesty, followed by 15 minutes of audience Q & A.
  • WHERE: Wherever you enjoy virtual events these days! You’ll watch on our website; we’ll email a link to registered guests a few hours before the event.
  • WHY: Building a racially just society is a moral imperative that happens to also be at the forefront of Human Solutions’ work in the community.
  • COST: It’s free!
  • REGISTER: Register today – space is going fast!
  • THE BOOK: You likely know how to order a book, but we have a list of (non local) Black-owned booksellers to support, in addition to this local one (online only).
  • HUNGRY? Order dinner from one of these Black-owned restaurants.

What a night with these impressive leaders at the forefront of social change in our region and nation!

Fall Harvest Drop-Off Potluck for Shelter Residents
Helping each other is what we do, right? And we do it a lot these days as there are so many people hurting – from wildfire, a health pandemic, an economic crisis, and deep and structural racism, among others. As a community, working together is how we rise. Food is something we can prepare and share with love – especially in times like these.

So, we’ve started something new: we are very excited to host a “drop-off style” potluck dinner for the 60 residents at our newest emergency shelter, The Chestnut Tree Inn. This shelter is for folks who identify as women, non-binary or gender queer. Although we cannot break bread together, we can still share in the experience of creating a delicious, community-made meal that the residents are sure to enjoy.

Here’s the scoop:

  • WHO: Volunteers like you!
  • WHAT: Drop-off potluck dinner to feed 60 shelter residents. You cook & deliver a dish for 12, shelter residents eat a fabulous meal prepared by a loving and engaged community.
  • WHERE: One of our emergency shelters at The Chestnut Tree Inn, 9699 SE Stark, Portland (near Mall 205)
  • WHEN: Sunday, September 20, 2020 3 – 5pm
  • WHY: A well-functioning community where everyone has what they need includes mutual aid. Plus, sharing food is a powerful act of community. We have a sneaking suspicion that the chefs get as much out of it as the residents!
  • SIGN-UP:  https://bit.ly/FallDropPotluck (If all slots are full, worry not, we’ve got another planned soon. Contact Brielle if you want to be notified when that sign-up is ready!)
  • QUESTIONS: Call/text Brielle @ 971.806.7759 or volunteer@humansolutions.org

Save the Date: Volunteer Orientation in October! 
Thanks to the community’s strong response during COVID, we have a host of new folks helping us in various ways, from driving to collect and deliver donations, making sack lunches and hot meals, baking cookies for shelters and more, we’re planning a virtual orientation so we can all get to know each other. We want to share with you who we are, and also connect us all because we believe deeply in a connected, engaged and supportive community and want to help foster it whenever we can.

We’ll be gathering on Zoom on Wednesday, October 21st from Noon to 1 PM for a casual brown bag lunch conversation, featuring our Executive Director, Andy Miller, our Emergency Services Director, Marci Cartagena, and us, your trusty volunteer team, Shawna and Brielle. Mark your calendar now and we’ll remind you when it nears, too!

Winter Holiday Planning, COVID Style
Talking about the winter holiday season in the midst of wild fires may feel a bit odd and premature, but if we want to create some joy for kids in low-income families this year, we got to get on it! Of course things will be a little different this year due to COVID, but we believe that we can still deliver some fun gifts for kids and relief for parents. We don’t need you to take action just yet, but please, include us in your thinking for the holidays. We’ll circle back with more details next month.

In the meantime, here’s a sneak-peek of our plan:

  • Online + In-person Shopping: Shopping will be both online and drop-off; we’ll have some toy collection boxes at our shelters around town where you can deliver packages.
  • Just Toys Again – And Gift Cards: We’ll stay focused on toys for kids again this year (we used to include household goods, too, but chose to focus on toys a few years back). This year especially, gift cards will be our top priority, so families can choose their own gifts and they’re easier to mail and process! We’ll share our Amazon Wishlist in October so you can shop early and often!
  • We’ll Deliver Gifts to Families: Instead of an actual “store” where families come to select gifts for their kids, our team will instead “shop” for the families they work with and deliver gifts to their homes. This is because during COVID we don’t want to gather in large groups and risk folks’ health. Hopefully next year we can return to the wonderful location we have been using in recent years.
  • Shelters, Too! This year we’re also including our emergency shelters for holiday gift giving and likely drop-off potlucks, too. Because residents are on-site, we will plan some holiday celebrations where home-baked cookies will still shine.

If you have questions our would like to get more involved in our winter holiday planning, email us at: holidaytoydrive​@humansolutions​.org or call 503.548.0213.

What We Need Now
We always need something – you probably know that by now, right?!
We have a variety of Amazon Wishlists to make it easy for staff to share what’s on their lists, and the one we’re featuring this month is for all the fur babies in our shelters. We welcome pets at all three of our shelters because are important companions for many of us.

Please check out our Pet Supply List! (Note: gently used pet supplies are welcome, too)

Thank you for all you do. Together, we are what community looks like!


Brielle Jones & Shawna Hoffman, Your Volunteer & In-Kind Donations Team

PS – If you ever want to support Human Solutions’ work in the community, we’re happy to accept donations 24/7 right here.