This content was published: December 15, 2008. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.
‘Driving’ for the holidays
Photos and Story by James Hill
December is the last month of the year and is the time for staff, students and faculty to get together for a good cause. Correction: good causes.
The following are highlights of what each campus did to make the lives of those less fortunate in the community a bit better:
Food for Neighborhood House
At Sylvania Campus there was the annual holiday party, now called "Winter Fest." Faculty and staff donated canned food that was gathered the weeks before and during the party. All proceeds, including money from a raffle, were donated to Neighborhood House, a locally based nonprofit agency dedicated to feeding the hungry and housing the homeless. It partners with the Oregon Food Bank to provide emergency food boxes for individuals and families in need who reside in southwest Portland. Last year’s event generated approximately 500 pounds of food and nearly $1,500 for the organization.
Laundry Basket Project
For the sixth consecutive year, the Women’s Resource Center at the Sylvania Campus sponsored the Laundry Basket Project, which solicits donations of environmentally safe household cleaning and personal hygiene products to create baskets full of goodies. With the help of El Programa Hispano – an arm of Catholic Charities that is dedicated to increasing self-sufficiency within the Latino community – these baskets are distributed to women who have escaped domestic violence.
Thanksgiving Food Basket
At the Rock Creek Campus, the holiday party included a food drive to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. Cash donations and a raffle also contributed money that was sent to the organization. Earlier for Thanksgiving, students, faculty and staff contributed to its annual Thanksgiving Food Basket project, where they ended up serving 37 student families.
Military Collection Drive
In addition, Rock Creek hosted the Military Collection Drive where they shipped common household items to American troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Staff, faculty and students collected items like mouthwash containers, 10 shampoo and soap bars, 13 foot powder bottles, 23 dental floss containers, 32 body powder bottles, 43 pieces of deodorant, 51 boxes of baby wipes, 56 toothbrushes, 61 hand sanitizer bottles and 160 toothpaste tubes.
Socks for Family-Friendly Shelter
At the Southeast Center, staff placed barrels around the center for the Oregon Food Bank to collect food as well. But in a twist of the usual holiday drives, the Extended Learning Campus partnered with the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility to collect new pairs of socks for a family-friendly homeless shelter in Gresham. The women inmates decide which family-friendly shelter to support and then made creative collection boxes. The drive collected socks from locations at the center, and the Portland Metro and Washington County Workforce Training Centers.
Families and Children Adopted
At Cascade, student government adopted student families for Christmas. This year, students chose 18 families (with more than 40 children) and requested donations to stuff baskets and gather gift cards that were raffled at the winter gathering to support this cause. The Cascade Women’s Center Student Advisory Board holds their annual raffle to support the Adopt a Family program.