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Worthy Causes

Portlanders doing good

• Fighting homelessness through laughter

Street Roots is a nonprofit, grassroots Portland newspaper published every two weeks that assists people experiencing homelessness and poverty. Many of the newspaper's vendors are unable to secure any other type of employment due to addiction, mental illness, disability or circumstance, and welcome the opportunity to invest in themselves and a brighter, healthier future by selling Street Roots.

The Black Tie Comedy Troupe is a group of student actors, speakers and writers collaborating to create laughter through performance, while fundraising for a good cause. They will host a benefit - 'Speaking for Street Roots' - in support of the newspaper on May 27. The event will feature award-winning speakers Scott Shapton, Hannah Rice, Merlin Benneth, Elie Hoover, Chris Wang, Casey Wang and Thomas Shervey.

7:30-9:30 p.m., Friday, May 27; Purest Café, 115 S.W. Ash St.; info: http://streetroots.org or : http://btct.webs.com; $5 suggestion donation.

• Get involved in a foster child's life

Each May, National Foster Care Month provides a chance to raise awareness about the needs of the 20,000 children in the Oregon foster care system. With the help of dedicated people, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either reunite safely with their parents, be cared for by relatives or be adopted. Many children would not have to enter foster care at all if more resources were available to help families cope with crises earlier on.

On a local level, Kinship House in Northeast Portland has been working since the mid-1990s to close the gap between the delivery of child welfare services and meeting the mental health needs of children in foster care. Kinship House encourages Portlanders from every walk of life to get involved this month and beyond - as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.

To donate, volunteer or sponsor a child's therapy, visit http://kinshiphouse.org for more info.

• Choppers raise funds for children's cancer retreat

Motorcyclists around Oregon are revving up for the second annual Children's Cancer Association JoyRide on June 4 to help support the Caring Cabin, a secluded retreat home fueled by thousands of supporters and volunteers offering an escape for seriously ill children and their families at no cost. As part of CCA's program, Caring Cabin works to bring the healing power of compassion, music and friendship to children fighting cancer and other serious illnesses.

The JoyRide begins at Paradise Harley-Davidson in Tigard and ends at the Caring Cabin in Pacific City for a tour of the grounds, live music and refreshments from Portland's Koi Fusion. Last year, more than 100 riders helped raise more than $25,000 for the cause.

Registration is open to individuals and teams who are interested in fundraising and seeking sponsorships for their rides. A $50 registration fee includes an official JoyRide T-shirt. Fundraising prizes include the chance to win a $1,000 shopping spree at Paradise Harley-Davidson.

For more information about the JoyRide, visit CCAJoy Ride.org.

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