A Sunny Saturday in Service at the Food Bank

LC students looking stylish in their hairnets!

On one of the most beautiful days that Portland has seen during our rainy winter, sixty-six Lewis & Clark students loaded onto a bus and headed out to volunteer at the Oregon Food Bank. We gathered in front of Templeton this past Saturday, February 4th. I had everyone sign in and then we packed onto a school bus. I was the last one on. Our bodies had grown just a bit since those elementary and middle school days when three of us could fit on one bus seat. I hadn’t realized what sixty-six grown adults looked like crowded onto a school bus.

There were friends sitting on laps of others, people squeezed into the aisles. I was astonished that so many people had showed up on a day when the sun’s glorious rays called our names. After the bus ride, we stepped off the bus and into the halls of one of the biggest non-profit organizations in the state of Oregon. In the last year, volunteers contributed 93,000 hours to the Oregon Food Bank, which is the equivalent of 45 full-time employees. Volunteers are essential to the functioning of any non-profit, as it saves them time, resources, and promotes community involvement.

Excitement over packing 100 bags in record time!

We spent two hours packaging rice into plastic bags that included bilingual instructions on how to cook the rice. These bags would then go into emergency food boxes for families or individuals in need. Overall, we packed an incredible amount of rice, and I had an excellent time meeting new people. I witnessed two teams who were working side-by-side competing for how fast they could fill 100 bags. I don’t know who won, but the excitement and enthusiasm was contagious.

Thanks to everyone who came out this past Saturday for making it such a successful day! Look out for the next Saturday in Service. We are going to Zenger Farm on March 10th from 1:00 to 3:30. I look forward to another day of new connections and engagement off campus!

Recent Grad Success Story: Leah Scott-Zechlin

Welcome to our new series highlighting recent graduates who are surviving (and even thriving!) out in the “real world.” Starting in January 2012, 3CE will periodically highlight recent grads who have found a fulfilling job or are enrolled in an engaging graduate study program.

Do you know a recent graduate who has landed a job they love or has been accepted into their dream graduate program? Perhaps you are a recent grad with a story to share. We want to hear about it! Email kdomann@lclark.edu for more information on being a featured recent graduate on the 3CE website.

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Meet Leah Scott-Zechlin, class of 2011. Leah was recently hired as a German Merchant Risk Investigation Specialist with Amazon.com in Seattle, Washington. Leah graduated from Lewis & Clark in May with a degree in Economics.News Image

Q. Have you started your new job? How is it going so far?

Leah: I just finished my first month as an Investigator…there is major information overload and every investigation I do seems overwhelming, but it is satisfying to complete them, especially if I wind up finding a sneaky fraudster. I mostly had experience with small non-profits, so it’s definitely a change to work at a large company. There are very cool benefits (working in a beautiful spot in downtown Seattle, discounts on services across Seattle, free public transit pass, ergonomic evaluation for my workspace, )……..

Read her whole story here!

MLK Day of Service

Coming up on Monday the 16th is Martin Luther King Day, a day off from school and work that honors the contributions that Dr. King made to the civil rights movement in the 50s and 60s. Even today, he is still regarded as one of the most influential people of the 20th century, and it is fitting that there is a holiday in his honor near his January 15th birthday.

Given Dr. King’s achievements, I think that MLK Day is a different holiday than most because it urges us not to take time for ourselves, but to give time to our community. Dr. King made incredible changes to this country, and I think the best way to really take advantage of the holiday and honor its underlying meaning is to go out into the community and help to make positive changes.

With that in mind, I’m really excited for MLK Day of Service taking place this Monday. The event, in which nine colleges and about 1200 people participate, is an exciting day-long event that includes a rally and a huge number of service projects designed to enrich the community. In years past, the service has happened at sites all around the greater Portland area, but this year, all of the service will take place at Roosevelt High School.

I think that MLK Day of Service is a great idea because it really captures the spirit of the Dr. King and the spirit of the holiday. Dr. King once said, “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is: ‘What are you doing for others?’” An event like this gives a large amount of people the opportunity to go out and do something for the communities around them. Many people can be paralyzed by the fact that it’s very difficult to make in impact in the world, but I think community service like this makes that sort of impact. It really all starts at the community level, and 1200 college students getting together to better a local high school and the surrounding neighborhoods is a part of that impact. MLK Day of Service is a national event, and if we have groups across the country making small impacts like those of us in Portland will be, then those impacts will compound, and we will have done a great deal for our country as a whole.

That’s why community service is important: being a part of something like this really helps us answer Dr. King’s question, “What are you doing for others?” I hope you all get out and do something on MLK Day!

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Josh Francis is a Community Engagement Coordinator in the Center for Career and Community Engagement at Lewis & Clark. He is a English and Hispanic Studies major set to graduate in May.

My Top 6 Volunteer Spots in Portland

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics in 2010, Oregon is home to 21,990 nonprofit organizations, which means lots of opportunities to volunteer! With so many great organizations, it can be challenging to know where to start volunteering. To make it a little easier, I’ve outlined my top six places to volunteer below. Please note that this is based on my own personal experience and I know that there are many other wonderful opportunities out there that I have yet to discover. If you want to suggest something to me, please feel free to shoot me an email at kdomann@lclark.edu.

Here we go…. in no particular order.

1) Community Cycling Center

The Community Cycling Center “broadens access to bicycling and its benefits through [their] hands-on programs, volunteer projects, and neighborhood bike shop.” I’ve participated in their Tuesday evening volunteer shift as a volunteer “mechanic” (I actually just cleaned the bikes but the real mechanics work on them) preparing bikes for their Holiday Bike Drive, a program that gives over 400 bikes and helmets to children from low-income families in the Portland area. Their other programs include commuter classes, after school programs, and bike camps. To get involved, visit their volunteer page.

2) Operation Nightwatch

I have had some truly amazing experiences at Operation Night Watch. ONW is a hospitality center downtown that aims to meet both the physical and social needs of Portland’s homeless population. I love playing board games with patrons while drinking hot coffee and hearing their story. Click here to learn more.

3) ReBuilding Center

“The ReBuilding Center, a project of Our United Villages, is a vibrant resource working to strengthen the environmental, economic, and social fabric of local communities.” Their main gig is reclaiming building materials and selling them at low prices in their store. You can find everything from scrap wood to fancy claw foot bathtubs to furniture in their warehouse and ReFind Furniture store. This is the way of our sustainable future! Sign up to do a shift in warehouse, sorting screws or pulling nails out of old boards, or check out their long-term volunteer opportunities.  Groups can volunteer Monday through Saturday 9 am to 6 pm, and Sunday 10 am to 5 pm. You can also sign up for “after hours” projects through Hands-On-Greater-Portland.

4) TeamWorks with Hands On Greater Portland

Interested in making a longer-term commitment to volunteering and going deeper into the issues? Then TeamWorks is for you! Teams consist of 10-12 volunteers who commit to a series of 4-6 projects over the span of a month or two. Projects are supplemented with articles, podcasts, video clips, and group discussions. To date, I’ve been involved with three different TeamWorks teams, once as a leader and twice as a participant.

This fall I participated in Hands On’s “Focus on Prisons” team that guided us through exploring the successes and shortcomings of the criminal justice system via service. We volunteered at letter-writing parties, visited rehabilitation centers, watched films, and even took a tour of Coffee Creek Correctional Facility, Oregon’s only women’s prison.

I also had the privilege of leading the “Discover Portland” TeamWorks this summer. It was designed to introduce our great city to recent transplants via community service. We did quintessential Portland Projects such as the Community Cycling Center and Zenger Farm (both of which I highlight in this post!) and got to spend some quality time getting to know one another.

Currently, I’m participating the “Intentional Holiday Service” team. We are working together to reframe how we experience the holidays – think less stress, more giving, and more joy. We made holiday cards for home-bound seniors and served meals to the homeless this week and will be volunteering at a party for LGBTQ Seniors and working at the Community Cycling Center’s Bike Giveaway this coming weekend. It’s been very centering during this busy time of year!

5) Zenger Farm

When it comes to urban farming, Zenger Farm is where it’s at! Originally a dairy farm purchased by Ulrich Zenger in 1913, Zenger Farm is now  “dedicated to promoting sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship and local economic development through a working urban farm.” They host a number of programs including field trips for schoolchildren, cooking classes, work parties, a chicken co-op, providing food for the Lents International Farmers Market, CSA pick up, and summer camps, just to name a few!

6) Art with Refugee Children at Kateri Park (Catholic Charities)

Want to give back to the community by fostering relationships with refugee children through art? Sign up to “Get Artsy with Refugee Kids,” a program run by Catholic Charities and Hands On Greater Portland. Every Friday afternoon, children line up at the doors of Kateri Park, a transitional housing unit, to take part in art projects organized by the wonderful folks at Catholic Charities. The most recent time I went, we spent the afternoon folding origami animals. It was great fun! It was also so rewarding to see a smile on a child’s face. Click here to read about “Get Artsy” on the Hands On Greater Portland Blog.

So there you have it. That’s my top six! I’ll be sure to share my new favorite volunteer spots as I discover them!

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Kelsey Domann-Scholz is the Program Coordinator in 3CE and also works as the TeamWorks Intern at Hands On Greater Portland. When she’s not busy volunteering she likes to take her dog, Puma, to the dog park and work in her garden. You can reach her at kdomann@lclark.edu

Start Making a Reader Today!

Start Making a Reader Today, or better known as SMART is a program that Lewis & Clark has partnered with for a number of years now and it has proved to be something that our students really enjoy participating in. 8 students are participating in the program this semester. They head over to Woodmere Elementary in Southeast on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons and spend an hour reading to the students there, help to improve their literacy and reading confidence. Here are some comments on their experience volunteering with SMART this semester from Jeff and Isabel…

“My name is Isabel Ball and I am a first year student at Lewis & Clark College. It has been an incredibly unique experience to get the chance to volunteer with the 3CE SMART program in just my first semester here. Getting off campus one day a week with my peers to read with elementary school students has helped me in feeling connected to the both the L & C community and the greater Portland community’s non-profits and school districts. Being welcomed with open arms by Woodmere Elementary staff and students has been both motivating and encouraging to me in ways that reach beyond just the experience. SMART is a small time commitment and an excellent way to share the knowledge we are fortunate enough to get here at L & C with kids who deserve all our opportunities and more.”

“My name is Jeff and I’ve worked with kids before, at a climbing gym and a summer camp. I’ve seen how much energy they can have when they get excited. Every time I volunteer with SMART the kids are as excited to read as any I’ve seen climbing a rock wall or playing tag. I feel truly privileged to be able to contribute to these kids’ development in a way that they so enjoy. I must say, their enthusiasm is contagious.”

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Natalie Dole is a Community Engagement Coordinator in 3CE. Jeff and Isabel are volunteers with 3CE’s on-going SMART program.

Operation Nightwatch

Now that November is upon us and Thanks Giving is only a few weeks away, it has dawned on me that the semester will shortly come to a close. Looks like it’s time for some end of the semester REFLECTION…

3CE has seen a great group of volunteers come through Albany this semester!

Our volunteers at down at Operation Nightwatch’s hospitality center are doing great! The hospitality center has been packed full of volunteers and clients throughout the semester. At the beginning of the semester volunteers were slightly harder to come by, and Gary Davis really showed his gratitude for LC volunteers giving us a round of 3 cheers (link). I would like to take the time to thank everyone who has made it down to the hospitality center.

Today I briefly spoke to Juliana DePietro, a LC volunteer that goes down to ONW every Thursday. Juliana had some great things to say about her experience volunteering down at the hospitality center. Despite her busy schedule she said she would never give up her Thursday night shift at ONW. It’s a great time for her to escape from the LC bubble and see a different part of Portland. She said it is an invaluable experience to get to know people from different backgrounds and in different situations. In her time playing scrabble, checkers and chess she’s gotten to know some of ONWs patrons and witnessed their optimism and compassion.

It’s not too late to get involved yourself! ONW still has some open volunteer slots coming before the end of the semester. Check out our volunteer page (link) for more information. Although there no time like the present to get involved, I encourage you all to make volunteering a part of your new years resolution and come into 3CE to see the ways you can get involved.

Great Internship Opportunities Available With the Cascade AIDS Proejct

The Cascade AIDS Project aims “to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma.” They are currently seeking four interns for the coming year. Internships are the key to getting your foot in the door of the non-profit world so if you are interested in health, public policy, or non-profit work, consider applying for one of these internships.

Please refer to the following information from http://cascadeaids.org/donate-or-volunteer/volunteer/internship-program for internship descriptions and contact information.

Internship Program

Thank you for your interest in Cascade AIDS Project’s internship program. We are excited to offer intern opportunities that match your skills and educational goals with CAP’s program needs. Although we’re unable to create internships specifically for your schooling or work requirements, we feel the jobs offered allow interns to grow and achieve in their field of study and work. You need not be a student to apply, just motivated and able to fulfill the goals of the intern positions. Information for available internships is below. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

The following internships are currently open:

 

Community Events Intern

  • Work with CAP Staff Kelsey Anglin
  • Assist with community or “3rd Party” fundraising events
  • Work with community partners to:
    • Develop event ideas and marketing strategy
    • Ensure event is managed in a way that is consistent with CAP brand
    • Re-cap event and lessons learned
    • Help partners through the application process
  • Attend events as CAP liaison
  • 15-20 hours per week; 6-12 month commitment.

 

Development Events Intern

  • Work with CAP Staff Kelsey Anglin
  • Assist with CAP fundraising events, including AIDS Walk Portland & Annual Art Auction
  • Serve as CAP liaison during events
  • Data entry and reports in SalesForce and Greater Giving databases
  • Communicate with vendors, artists and donors
  • Help participants register for events
  • Assist with logistical details in planning and act as point person during the event
  • 15-20 hours per week; 6-12 month commitment.

 

AIDS Walk Challenge Intern

  • Work with CAP Staff Kelsey Anglin
  • Coordinate high school & college/university challenge programs for AIDS Walk Portland 2012.
  • Outreach to area schools
  • Work with Team Captains & procure prizes to increase fundraising success
  • Develop tool kit for Team Captains
  • 15-20 hours per week.
  • 9/1/11-9/30/12 (13 month commitment).
  • Must be available weekends of AIDS Walk Portland: Oct 1 & 2, 2011 and Sept 22 & 23, 2012.

 

Positive Force Coordinator

  • Work with CAP Staff Shyle Ruder
  • Organize monthly events — both social and community service events
  • Develop PR materials, promote events, recruit participants, manage contact list
  • Attend monthly “All Staff” and Positive Directions meetings
  • HIV positive individual/fully disclosed
  • Experience with event planning, detail oriented, strong written/oral skills, self-directed
  • September 2011 – July 2012, 10-12 hrs. week, 9 mos.

 

CAP has relationships established for internships with the following schools:

 

For more information about CAP’s Intern program please contact:
Judith Rizzio, Manager Volunteer Resources
503-278-3813

Posted by Kelsey Domann-Scholz, Program Coordinator in the Center for Career and Community engagement at Lewis & Clark College