Portlanders doing good
• Preemie reunion celebrates tiny life
In 2010, more than 5,500 babies were born at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center - one of every eight babies born in Oregon - and 15 percent of those babies were admitted into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit for high-risk obstetrical care.
Providence St. Vincent's invites premature babies and their families back to the hospital for its annual reunion celebrating the lives of its tiniest patients. The event offers the opportunity for parents of preemies to meet and share experiences and advice with other parents, as well as reuniting NICU doctors, nurses and technicians with some of the babies they helped bring into the world.
• Help Sisters feed students during summer
Summer may seem like the time of year when soup kitchens see a drop-off in demand, but Sisters of the Road, dedicated to helping feed the homeless at its Old Town cafe, is starting a new fundraising campaign because of increased need from two specific groups.
In the summer months, children who receive free school lunches are out of school, and if their families are homeless they still need a safe place for lunch and to play. Erinne Goodell, development co-manager of grants for Sisters, says a number of children are regular patrons through the summer months.
In addition, Goodell says, seasonal workers who arrive in Portland to work on area farms and as day laborers often make use of the Sisters cafe for low-cost meals. Sisters allows patrons to work off the price of a low-cost meal by working around the cafe as a server, a dishwasher or as part of the cleanup crew.
The latest fundraising effort is called Operation Cornbread, and has a goal of raising $25,000 to help sustain Sisters of the Road through the summer. Major donors, including the Fred Meyer Fund, have promised to match donations at a rate of $2 for every $1 donated by the public.
Donations can be made online at sistersoftheroad.org or can be mailed or dropped off at the cafe office at 618 N.W. Davis St., Portland, OR 97209.
• Portland police respond to tornado devastation
2011 has been a record-breaking year for tornadoes, with almost 1,000 twisters confirmed in the U.S. alone. The massive tornado that leveled Joplin, Mo., on May 22 killed 132 people and left the community devastated. Many people, including 45 local first responders, lost all their possessions - their homes, cars and clothing.
Responder Life, a national group formed to support first responders and their families, is collecting donations to assist the families in the aftermath of the tornadoes at Joplin and elsewhere. Members of the Portland Police Bureau are contributing donations to assist their fellow police officers in Missouri, and they ask the Portland community to contribute as well to these families in need.
For more information and to donate, visit responderlife.com or contact Steve Chadwick, Portland Police Bureau volunteer chaplain and vice president of the local branch of Responder Life, 971-235-1604 or steve.chadwick@responderlife .com.