Well 2021 has come in like a lion, hasn’t it? There is a lot swirling in our nation right now, some of it very upsetting. One way to find our way forward in this moment is to engage positively in community where we can to help those among us who are harder hit by the health and economic impacts of COVID and the unjust systems that create poverty and homelessness. Thank you for sharing your time and resources with our community so that all of us can thrive. One thing we have been reminded of during COVID is that we are stronger together.

Volunteer Orientation Coming Up on January 27th — Join Us!

We’re coming right up on our 2nd quarterly zoom orientation for volunteers, and we hope you’ll join us! It’s a casual time to connect with each other, learn about Human Solutions (and our Trauma Informed Care approach), find out about upcoming volunteer needs and opportunities and more. Mark your calendar!

  • WHEN: Wednesday, January 27th from 12 to 1 PM
  • WHERE: On zoom, of course! Just click this link when the time comes. (The meeting ID is: 749 823 5068)
  • WHY: Because we like connecting with you and it’s a great way to meet others and know what’s going on. And, we figure you might want to understand Human Solutions’ broader work in the community – we do a lot!
  • WHO: Current, past and prospective volunteers!
  • RSVP: Not needed – just show up!
  • WIN THE RAFFLE: Anyone who attends is entered to win a lovely bottle of Winderlea wine and a copy of Dr. Ibram Kendi’s book, “How to Be An Antiracist.”

We hope to see you there!

Good Article About Food Activism 

So much of what we do together as volunteers is share food with each other and those who don’t have enough. This article from Civil Eats is a good, quick read related to this. Enjoy!

Holidays at Our Shelters Were Festive!

Families staying at our Lilac Meadows Family Shelter had some fun over the holidays, as it should be! The highlight was having Black Santa visit on December 23rd. Our shelter team (pictured here) sang carols, served hot chocolate and made sure every kid got some toys.

BIG thanks to our longtime corporate partner, On Semiconductor, for donating SO many toys – they really outdid themselves. Living in shelter and experiencing homeless is traumatic for children, so we make sure to bring some joy into their lives as often as possible.

New Year’s Breakfast Food Drive for Our 3 Shelters

For several years, local Starbucks around East Portland and East Multnomah County have been sharing their “day-olds” with local non-profits, like us. For which we are very grateful!

This month, they shifted to a different system to donate that no longer comes directly to Human Solutions’ shelters, so we’re adjusting! Which is why we’re asking our community (yes, that’s you!) to help us gather breakfast food items for our emergency shelters. Items on our list are:

  • Cold cereals & granola
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Jams and peanut butter
  • Granola bars
  • Dried fruits and nuts
  • Ground coffee & creamer

We’re OK with the change – and understand why Starbucks wanted this new system. We are grateful that they donate to the community as they do!

Contact Shawna to learn more and coordinate your drive and delivery: 503.278.1637 or volunteer@human​solutions.org.

Drop-Off Potlucks Are a Big Hit! Find a Date in January to Cook & Share a Dish

Our “drop-off potlucks” are going strong at our shelters. Residents love them because the food is so good and there’s always a nice variety. One of our recent favorites was high school night, when students from eight area high schools cooked dishes at home then delivered them to Lilac Meadows, our family shelter. It was incredible! You all came through in so many ways on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s. An incredible bounty was shared. Our community really knows how to make holidays meaningful, that’s for sure! Both for those receiving and for those giving.

With the holidays behind us, we’re hoping that folks will continue to cook and make these “drop-off potlucks” a success – they have become an important way that we provide hot meals for 220 shelter residents every day. This web page always lists upcoming opportunities, and we post on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, too. Currently we have some fun ones on deck: Italian night, taco night, small continental breakfasts at our family shelter, and some SuperBowl options soon, too! Find a date (or two!) that work for you 🙂 It’s a wonderful way to be part of building the kind of connected, supportive communities we all need.

Sign up right here for upcoming “taco night” potlucks:

You can also host a drop-off potluck yourself, meaning you pick a date, round up the cooks and we provide the easy sign-up and on-site supports. Contact Brielle on our team to learn more and get started! You can call/test her on 971.806.7759 or volunteer@human​solutions.org.

BIG thanks to the Portland Waldorf School, who is hosting one in a few weeks! What a great way to bring your community together in service.

Did You Miss Our Fun “Volunteers in 2020” Recap Slide Show? 

During the holidays we put together a fun slide show to share out all the great volunteer community building that’s been going on at Human Solutions this year, despite COVID. Check it out! You just might see yourself in action! And if not, we guarantee you’ll be inspired by all the positive energy folks are sending to those most impacted by our unjust society.

Thank you, as always, for your interest in our community and how we can work together to create an East Multnomah County where everyone has the tools they need to thrive. We got this.