Here's how you can make a difference on "Giving Tuesday" in Portland

Rose Bak

Small acts can make a big difference for those who are struggling in our community.

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Photo courtesy of Giving Tuesday

If you've been on social media over the past few days, you've likely seen multiple posts asking you to support organizations on "Giving Tuesday".

There are many great ways you can support "Giving Tuesday" right here in Portland. But first, a little background.

"Giving Tuesday" is a day that asks individuals to show a little kindness and help others in their community. The official "Giving Tuesday" website describes the event like this:

On November 30, 2021, we’ll unite for a worldwide celebration of generosity. GivingTuesday is an opportunity for people around the world to come together through generosity in all its forms by sharing acts of kindness and giving their voice, time, money, goods, and advocacy to support communities and causes. 

Ideas for "Giving Tuesday" include everything from making a monetary donation to volunteering to paying for coffee or parking for the person in line behind you and more. Here are some great ideas for how you can help out right here in our Portland community.

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Photo courtesy of Street Roots

Help the Homeless

There are several great organizations in Portland serving those who experience homelessness. These organizations provide a variety of services from shelter to food to helping people get a job and get into housing. Volunteers are always needed, as well as donations of supplies or cash. Help the homeless today by contacting one of these organizations:

Other great ways to help the homeless include:

  • Buy a newspaper from a Street Roots vendor. Be sure to add a tip.
  • Give someone experiencing homelessness the gift of cash or a hot meal.
  • Pass out hygiene kits to homeless residents. In addition to staples like a toothbrush, toothpaste, and soap, you can add things like socks, gloves, hand warmers, bottled water, and granola bars.

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Photo courtesy of SOLVE Oregon

Clean up litter

You can help make Portland beautiful again by helping clean up the trash that's littering the streets. This is a great activity to do with older kids, church groups, or work teams.Contact SOLVE Oregon or Neighbors Helping Neighbors to find a work party and clean-up day or make a donation.

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Photo courtesy of PDX Free Fridge

Help the Hungry

Food insecurity is at an all-time high, and that includes many people who are working full-time as well as college students and senior citizens. You can volunteer at a food bank in your area or support the Oregon Food Bank with a donation, or help stock up one of the Portland area's many PDX Free Fridge sites.

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Photo courtesy of NW Pilot Project

Help senior citizens and the elderly

People over age sixty are one of the fastest growing segments of the homeless population, and poverty rates among seniors are skyrocketing. The gift of cash or time to support Northwest Pilot Project will ensure that more seniors in our community are saved from falling the cracks. You can also help seniors and people with disabilities receive deliveries of nutritious food by supporting Portland's chapter of the Meal on Wheels People.

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Photo courtesy of City of Portland

Help refugees

The State of Oregon is expecting up to 2,000 Afghan refugees to come to Oregon over the next year, as well as 1,000 or more refugees from other countries. You can help our newly arrived neighbors by volunteering to host a family in your rental, making a welcome kit, or donating money to help refugees afford rent and living expenses while they are obtaining employment. Oregon has three main refugee resettlement agencies you can help by clicking the links below:

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Photo courtesy of Howard's Heart

Help Kids in Foster Care

Kids in foster care are only provided the basics: food, housing, and basic clothing. This means there's no funding for things like extracurricular activity, laptops, culturally specific hygiene supplies, and clothes that are not from a donation bin. Howard's Heart serves teens in foster care, taking special requests from the kids themselves, sponsoring back-to-school and holiday gift drives, paying for camps and extracurriculars, and more. You can learn more here.

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Photo courtesy of Giving Tuesday

What is your favorite way to support the community on "Giving Tuesday"? Share your suggestions in the comments.

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Rose Bak is a freelance writer who lives in Portland, Oregon with her family and special needs dogs. She writes on a variety of topics including local news, homelessness, poverty, relationships, yoga, and aging. She is also a published author of romantic fiction. For more of Rose's work, visit her website at rosebakenterprises.com or follow her on social media @AuthorRoseBak.

Portland, OR
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