From Share Our Strength -”Join us in celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Portland’s premier tasting event dedicated to ending childhood hunger. Mix and mingle with Portland’s premier chefs, wineries and distilleries in the heart of downtown Portland. Savor signature dishes, specialty cocktails, wine and beer. The silent auction will feature lifestyle and epicurean packages!”
Proceeds locally benefit Oregon Food Bank, Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon, St. Vincent de Paul Food Recovery Program and Klamath-Lake Counties Food Bank. All of these organizations are fighting to end childhood hunger in Oregon.
Dozens of Portland’s finest chefs from the city’s top restaurants will participate in this incredible culinary event. Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy exceptional food paired with beverages from local wineries, breweries and distilleries. In addition to fabulous food and drinks, the event will feature a silent auction with lifestyle and epicurean packages.
General Admission: $85
6:30pm – 9:00pm
VIP Admission: $135
5:30pm – 9:00pm
LUXE Ticket Admission: $185
5:00pm – 9:00pm
Western Regional Passport: $500
Share Our Strength®, a national nonprofit, is ending childhood hunger in America by connecting children with the nutritious food they need to lead healthy, active lives. Through its No Kid Hungry™ campaign—a national effort to end childhood hunger in America by 2015—Share Our Strength ensures children in need are enrolled in effective federal nutrition programs, invests in community organizations fighting hunger, teaches families how to cook healthy meals on a budget, and builds public-private partnerships to end hunger, both nationally and at the state level. Working closely with the culinary industry and relying on the strength of its volunteers, Share Our Strength hosts innovative culinary fundraising events and develops pioneering cause marketing campaigns that support No Kid Hungry.
Adelante Mujeres (Flourish/Rise Up Women) is a 501(c)(3) in Forest Grove, Oregon working to educate and empower low-income Latina women and families. We provide low-income Latina women and families the tools to achieve self-determination in the areas of education, empowerment and enterprise.
Adelante Mujeres was founded in 2002 by Bridget Cooke and Sister Barbara Raymond. Through their work in other local organizations, Bridget and Barbara noticed that Latina women did not actively participate in the programs. They founded Adelante Mujeres to empower these women, who were often relegated to the home. As the founders suspected, when presented the opportunity to attend a program focused on and developed for women, these same women quickly found their voices.
Adelante Mujeres fosters the empowerment of women who are often relegated to the home. The program helps often isolated participants to build friendships, engage in the community, celebrate their cultural heritage, and improve skills and self-esteem. Our holistic approach aims to build stronger families, healthier communities, and foster respect for our planet.
This week the 2nd annual Justice Conference is being held in Portland. We are proud it is in our home city and thrilled we will be there with the exhibitors. Keep an eye on our Twitter feed as we tweet out our thoughts from the conference #justice2012.
The Justice Conference focuses on the tremendous issues of social justice facing our world today. Here’s how they describe it on their website:
Justice is a garment, a billion threads, interwoven, interlocked, knit together with strength and integrity. Pull one thread from the fabric and the garment begins to fray. Pull ten million threads and justice unravels into injustice.
The work of justice is to mend the holes injustice inflicts upon the garment. It is a brave, challenging, courageous work and it does not begin with expertise or duty. It begins with love…and love is a thread.
The Justice Conference 2012 is the second annual international gathering of advocates, activists, artists, professors, professionals prophets, pastors, students and stay-at-home moms working to restore the fabric of justice. For some it means speaking. For others it means singing. For some it means going. For others it means giving. For all, it means living with mercy and love.
You are invited to come weave your voice and gifts into the conversation. Join us, and discover that in the garment of justice, your love is an irreplaceable thread.
What the Justice Conference does, and what they stand for is exactly what Focus 52 is about. Compassion. Mercy. Love. We look forward to sharing more about this conference and the many amazing organizations and causes we will connect with. For yourself – perhaps consider attending – tickets are still available. Currently almost 4000 are expected to attend.
I’ve heard about Sisters Of The Road and the great work they do since I first moved to Oregon. I have friends who have volunteered there. I’ve read about their work and seen the lines out their door of the homeless and hungry individuals they serve. The people associated with Sisters are passionate about ending poverty and homelessness. The live out that passion through their service, their love and their mission.
We here at Focus 52 urge you to check them out this week!
Read more about them: (taken from their website)
About Sisters Of The Road
Since 1979, Sisters Of The Road has been an essential part of the Old Town/Chinatown neighborhood. Sisters offers a space to build community, empower ourselves, learn from one another, dine with dignity and organize for justice and human rights for all.
Sisters Of The Road exists to build authentic relationships and alleviate the hunger of isolation in an atmosphere of nonviolence and gentle personalism that nurtures the whole individual, while seeking systemic solutions that reach the roots of homelessness and poverty to end them forever.
Nonviolence: At Sisters we say “no” to any form of humiliation, including physical, emotional, and verbal violence. Nonviolence asks us to stop violence in a nonviolent way, confronting it using love and respect to promote the safety and well-being of all. Creating a nonviolent environment starts with relationships, by calling each other by name, and caring for one another.
Gentle personalism and dignity: The term “Gentle Personalist” was coined by Catholic Worker Movement co-founder Peter Maurin, to refer to a community-minded sensibility. Maurin wrote:
“Through words and deeds he [sic] brings into existence the common unity, the common unity of a community.”
Systemic change: Systemic change usually doesn’t occur because the current system wakes up one morning and decides it needs a change. At Sisters, our experience has shown us that our community (people who experience homelessness, poverty, and oppressions at the hands of the current socioeconomic system) ARE the catalyst for the change that is needed. They are the outside force working to end oppressions and are too frequently met with resistance and oppression from the current system.
Anti-Oppression: We actively and continuously work to create a community in which all people are welcomed and valued. We are creating a community in which all people have access to the support and resources needed to live and to thrive. At Sisters, we interrupt racism, sexism and other forms of oppressive actions and language. We are committed to recruiting and supporting people with diverse backgrounds for all positions in Sisters’ community.
About The Logo
The Cafe was anonymously christened when a circle containing three Xs (the hobo symbol for good food and hospitality)—-was chalked on the pavement outside the restaurant door. This symbol became Sisters’ logo, and represents more than three decades of building long term, stable and mutually supportive relationships.
This particular charity is close to my heart as I currently serve on the board of the Oregon Chapter. More importantly, though, I have had family members who have struggled with profound depression and at times contemplated suicide. I even had a sister-in-law who tragically did take her own life.
Having seen this much pain in my own family and knowing the toll mental health issues can take – I believe wholeheartedly in what the AFSP stands for.
Suicide crosses all races, all economic levels, all cultures, all countries. The current number of suicides in our nation is growing – especially among those brave soldiers who have served our country. You can help. Regardless of whether you have lost someone in your life to suicide – you most likely know someone who has. Join in the efforts, support the AFSP, be aware of the signs.
The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is the leading national not-for-profit organization exclusively dedicated to understanding and preventing suicide through research, education and advocacy, and to reaching out to people with mental disorders and those impacted by suicide.
To fully achieve its mission, AFSP engages in the following Five Core Strategies:
Out of the Darkness Walks
This is a great way for you to get involved! I’ve attended one walk so far and it is a powerful event. Survivors of suicide gathering together to support one another, to grieve, to share. The beads you see people wearing in the picture are symbolic of those they have lost…these are different colors based on who they’ve lost. A brother or sister, mother or father, friend, spouse. I saw people with up to five different beads on. Heartbreaking.
Walks are happening all over the country each year. Find one where you are. Commit to walk. Raise awareness. Raise funds. Show your support or receive comfort from others experiencing the same grief.
Learn more about Out of the Darkness HERE!
Yes, there are many organizations feeding hungry children. Feed My Starving Children is unique in a number of ways and this week they are the one we’ve chosen to introduce you to. I had the pleasure of attending a MobilePack event a little over a year ago and was blown away by the work they are able to do and how they are able to do it.
Started in 1987 by a businessman who felt called the help those who are hungry – FMSC has grown and adapted to the needs so well that in 2010 they produced over 124 million meals with 6 permanent packing sites, and a nationwide MobilePackTM program, and more than 515,000 volunteers. This organization relies on volunteers to make it happen. Churches, organizations and businesses participate in MobilePack – packing parties and agree to raise the money for the amount of meals they pack. This, combined with other fundraising efforts have allowed FMSC to change lives every day.
The packing party I was a part of was so much fun! Orientation to teach us how to do it was great, testimonials of kids whose lives had been saved with these meals and the comraderie of those around us created such an energy! We could have kept packing for hours upon hours.
To give you an idea of the difference these meals can make – here’s Omar.
We encourage you to check them out. Help them provide meals by finding a MobilePack event in your area!
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Human trafficking is a terrible crime that exploits innocent and vulnerable people. It is one of the fastest-growing criminal industries in the world that involves the recruiting, transporting, selling, or buying of people for the purpose of various forms of exploitation. Trafficked persons are often controlled through force, fraud, or coercion.
~ from the OATH website
Learn more about what trafficking is and some warning signs to help you identify it HERE.
If you are a victim of human trafficking or would like to report a tip regarding suspected human trafficking, call 911 in an emergency, or for non-emergencies call the toll-free National Hotline at 1-888-3737-888.
If you would like more information on how you can help, contact us by clicking here or email.
*This post has been updated as previous video contained outdated and incorrect information.
Kneeling before someone, bowing your head and washing their feet. Tenderly, lovingly, with care. This is how BridgeTown Inc. began. Two men. One passion. An idea breathed. “Wash feet.”
So it began 9 years ago. Today BridgeTown is an integral part of Portland, a light in the city. Every Thursday night under the Burnside Bridge is their NightStrike endeavor to the homeless community. Serving a hot meal, washing feet, cutting hair, distributing blankets and clothing – but most importantly – loving people. Guests are treated with utmost respect, talked to, cared for. This is a movement. A movement that has grown. An average of 100 – 150 volunteers show up each week to serve alongside the BridgeTown team. It is an amazing sight to see. One which stirs your soul and urges you to do more.
This week we will share more of BridgeTown with you and hope you will be inspired to love people.
In their own words here are the Mission Vision and Core Values BridgeTown lives by:
To be honest, our motive is propelled as we follow the teachings of Christ; however, our outlet is Love and loving others. All motives aside, we hope you join us in propelling love onto others.
Relational Approach: We believe the most influential, impactful and lasting way to love others is simply to live and experience life with the people around us. We move to be fully submerged and involved in the culture of the community serve while building raw and intentional relationships with the people we meet
Dialogue: Dialogue is the attitude in which we communicate our faith with others. Our communication is a dynamic and open-minded dialogue. A dialogue that is honest, truthful and respectful; never degrading, judgmental or condemning.
Service/Action/Justice: We see service, action and justice as an act of grace and love to be experienced by those both giving and receiving. Acts of service, action and justice are means through which Love is revealed.
Adventure/Creativity: We see life as a journey of creativity and adventure; with that we are continually searching for new ideas and possibilities for ways of loving people, because people matter.
People: We value all people and seek to influence others to do good works, so that together, we may be a blessing to the people of Portland.
Most of us have heard the tale of the good Samaritan at one time or another. We all know the meaning of it: loving our neighbors, helping those in need, going beyond ourselves, serving. Each of us can do this in our own lives, with our own neighbors and those we see hurting. One organization doing this on a daily basis is one we are also proud to say is a client, Good Samaritan Ministries.
Founded over 30 years ago, the international organization makes its home in Portland, Oregon with offices throughout the northwest and the world. They are 100% supported by donations, the majority of their staff are volunteers, and their services are offered free of charge.
Their Mission: Empowering people to live and love as Good Samaritans
Our Vision: To develop relationship worldwide that demonstrate the love of Jesus in Action
Through our months of working with this ministry we have witnessed them living out their mission and their vision. Daily. Purposefully. Intentionally. Founded by Betty Mitchell after a trip to Nineveh in 1976, Good Samaritan Ministries continues to live out her vision to change the world, loving one person at a time. Led by their current Executive Director, Marty Miller, the organization is growing and reaching more people.
For a glimpse of what they do every day, here’s an excerpt from their website:
Through 1000′s of loving volunteers in over a dozen offices in the Pacific Northwest (OR, WA, ID), Good Samaritan Ministries (GSM) provides services to men, women, professionals, families, children, and really anyone in need of heartfelt healing, encouragement,or empowerment. As a 501C3 non-profit organization all Good Samaritan services are provide through donation support and volunteer effort.
GSM offers similar services internationally. Located in over 30 countries, our centers touch the lives of those in need by providing encouragement through service such as widow and orphan programs, care for the elderly, counseling/mentoring, empowerment classes, education for children, and MUCH more
Last year GSM extended scholarships to over 8000 students and provided support to over 70 schools and hundreds of classrooms worldwide. GSM provides programs for food, nurseries, micro credit, orphanages, life skills, agricultural and vocational training.
More than 95% of the GSM’s funding comes from private, individual donations. The activities in each country are sponsored by a “Satellite.” A satellite is a connection of family, friends, neighbors and colleagues who organize themselves to raise money in support of GSM leaders in their adopted country while building lifelong relationships.
The list of classes they offer at their main headquarters in Portland is extensive and they have many volunteer counselors who donate hundreds of hours each month to counsel those who walk through their doors. If you or someone you know may be in need of counseling or want to take a class, visit their website and call today.
If you want a refresher on the Good Samaritan parable – here you go:
25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”
This week we are deviating from the type of charity we tend to focus on. This week we choose to highlight a person, fighting for his life against testicular cancer which metastisized. His name is Clint Miller – but we knew him first as @therealclint – on Twitter. Our company centers around social media – and that’s how we “met” Clint – so it’s fitting to us that we call attention to him, his family and the fight.
Clint was diagnosed in February with Stage 3 Germ Cell Testicular cancer that had spread to his lungs and liver and most recently, his brain. He has and will continue to fight this valiantly – and with a massive amount of supporters through social media. A #weloveclint hashtag floats around Twitter with encouragements. A Facebook prayer/support group stays alive with more encouragements.
Throughout this week we will share more of Clint’s story, his journey. Help us spread the word about Clint, add him to your prayers, follow him on Twitter, join his Facebook page or even contribute to help with expenses.
In Clint’s own words – he shared something today on his Facebook page:
Words that have been used to describe me lately: Courageous; Strong; Humorous; Grace; Honor; Inspiration. All words that I find hard to accept.
I’m not courageous. I’m scared as hell. But, I have the willingness to try again tomorrow.
Yes, I try to be humorous…it is a defense mechanism I fall back on to keep from crying myself to sleep every night.
Grace…I have no idea where that came from…perhaps an unwillingness to let everyone know how scared I really am.
Honor…You can thank my dad for that one. It was born into me…I dont have a choice but to face things with honor regardless of how much they suck nuts. Sorry…nut. (humor again…)
And, I have never thought I was an inspiration. I had to choose between life and death. I chose life. I chose to live for myself…for my wife, my kids, my family.
Perhaps it is that very human side of me that makes it appear to you that I am all these things. And, if that is how you choose to see me, then so be it. I don’t have a problem with that approach. But, I don’t have a problem with the flipside of that coin either.
Clint lost his battle with testicular cancer on December 11, 2011. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Angela, his boys, daughters and other family and friends.