It’s probably obvious that 2020 has been pretty difficult across the board. The Portland area is lucky to have a variety of nonprofits helping fill the needs of our neighbors. With that said, nonprofits are having a harder year than most due to increased demand for services coupled with shrinking budgets.
The holidays (and Giving Tuesday specifically) are quickly approaching, so what better time to highlight some of our favorite PDX-area non-profits?
As parents, we know that the diapers, wipes, and creams we use to keep our babies clean add up quickly. Our neighbors living in poverty often have to make choices to purchase diapers over other essential items for their families. That’s where the PDX Diaper Bank comes in, providing no-cost diapering supplies to low-income and houseless families in our community.
There’s a reason breastmilk is also referred to as liquid gold. It’s full of nutrients and antibodies to help babies adjust to life outside the womb, especially medically fragile infants. NWMMB safely collections donations of human breastmilk, pasteurizes the milk and then distributes it throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Translated in English to “women rise up”, Adelante Mujeres supports an often overlooked segment of the Oregon population: immigrant Latina women. Through programs aimed at meeting the specific needs of the community including adult education, youth enrichment, small business development, and agricultural initiatives, Adelante Mujeres encourages low-income Latina women and their families to be able to fully participate and take leadership roles within their communities.
Battling cancer is hard for anyone. But for single parents, it’s even more overwhelming. There are treatments and bills, not to mention household needs and childcare. That’s where Michelle’s Love shines. They help provide meals and cleaning services, in addition to financial support, to single parents going through cancer so they have more time and energy to enjoy with their kids.
Baby Blues Connection offers judgment-free, no-cost prenatal and postpartum emotional support to families throughout the Portland area. It’s more than information; it’s connection and community, and it’s more necessary now than ever before. BBC offers recurring virtual meetups in addition to one-on-one support accessible by text, phone, or email. Anyone is welcome (you do not need a formal diagnosis to connect with BBC).
WomenFirst is a grassroots organization whose programs directly help change the lives of women in our community who need support.
We serve justice involved women, women in recovery, and women seeking a transformation in her life recovering from a traumatic experience. Our primary focus is African American women, because these women face a disproportionate amount of stereotyping and cultural prejudices in our society.
-Shannon Olive (founder)
Their programs aim to empower women through life skills and self-love. Services include career prep, clothing assistance, and self-care programs.
Based out of Oregon City, the Mary Rose Foundation provides funding for eating disorder treatment, as well as educational and empowerment camps for kids. For more details on Mary Rose Foundation, check out our interview with their founder, Julie Allen (owner of Mary Rose NW Boutique and body-positive champion).
I was first introduced to Hunter’s story when I watched Mixed Match, a documentary that beautifully explains the lack of genetic diversity in our current bone marrow donor registries and the struggles that people with unique genetic profiles face in finding matches. Hunter’s parents created the foundation as a way to spread joy to children fighting cancer. They coordinate and deliver care packages, toys, and hope to children in the midst of cancer treatment.
Please also consider becoming a potential bone marrow donor. Registration is easy (they’ll send you a cheek swab) at Be the Match.
Helping sex workers and survivors of sex trafficking, the Cupcake Girls originally started in Las Vegas. Portland now has a dedicated group providing resources such as trauma support, dental care, sex worker-friendly pediatricians, and safe house connections.
Portland is estimated to have over 14,000 people without homes. It can be difficult to find a nourishing meal and even more to have space to create a meaningful community. Sisters of the Road is a cafe that provides not only provides meals but hope for a future without poverty.
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.
– Sisters of the Road Mission Statement
This is by no means an exhaustive list. We know there are more non-profits that need support around the PDX-area. Let us know about them in the comments.