Harvest of Services aims to inform local residents of wide array of services
Some local leaders are afraid there are too many local residents who do not know what types of help they can access.
An occupational therapist who has lived in the east end of Clackamas County for many years says there are many types of locally-available services that are not well known.
Even the people who offer services do not know all of the services available to help area residents, says Nunpa, who has only one name.
'We came up with an idea of how to engage not only the community, but also service providers,' he said. 'We want to go to one place at one time to share (information) and stories and begin the process of connecting as a community.'
That idea is to assemble an open house from 9 a.m. to noon April 9 at the Cedar Ridge Middle School gymnasium, 17255 Smith Ave.
That activity is being called a Harvest of Services, according to Alice Busch, Sandy fire prevention officer.
'Building community together has a multitude of benefits,' she said, 'healthier and happier lives, reduced crime, feeling connected and a more beautiful and resilient community.'
During the morning April 9, people will be walking around the gymnasium and talking with various service providers, picking up or viewing printed information or securing needed services.
Nunpa says the activity should interest anyone who might need services, knows someone who needs services, might be interested in volunteering, or is a service provider.
Examples of needs within nearby communities, Nunpa said, include an elderly person who cannot keep up with mowing their lawn or painting their fence. There are several organizations that have youth service projects that would fill this need.
Another example of an unfilled need is a parent trying to figure out how to deal with an uncooperative teenager. Nunpa says there are organizations able to help in that type of situation.
There is such a wide variety of groups, he said, that provide an even wider variety of services. Examples, he said, include a community theater, 4-H dog club, summer youth employment, mental health, truancy issues, garden club, health and fitness, women's services, medical insurance and hospice.
'We believe (local residents) don't know what is available,' he said, 'and we want to create an opportunity for people to come and get help or offer help and learn what is available.'
While doing a research project, Nunpa developed his idea about people living in a community without knowing what services it offers.
'I've been doing a research study through Spirit Mountain Community Fund for a year,' he said, 'to investigate the services of all of Clackamas County.
'What I've discovered is there are lots of services and coalitions, but the real issue is that people don't know about them.'
There are so many services available that even Nunpa, who has been researching the subject, has discovered services even he didn't know existed.
Registration to have a table in the open house can be accomplished by contacting Nunpa through email. Registration is being handled through Nunpa's organization, Ant Farm, a youth services group in Sandy.
But there is no need to register if a resident just wants to walk in the gymnasium April 9 to discover local services, volunteer or secure needed services.
'We just want to invite the community at-large to show up anytime from 9 to noon,' Nunpa said.