Community forum to showcase volunteer service opportunities

Individuals, churches, businesses, and service organizations interested in serving struggling families in the community will learn about a variety of volunteer opportunities at an event sponsored by the North Clackamas Social Needs Roundtable. All are welcome.

The Oct. 16 event will take place at Beautiful Savior Lutheran Church, 9800 S.E. 92nd Ave., Happy Valley. Supper will be provided at 4:30 p.m. (donations accepted), and the forum runs from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

“The stories of the challenges people face in these hard times touch our hearts,” said Roundtable spokesperson Leslie Robinette. “However, one of the best things to come out of the economic crisis is the way that groups and individuals pull together to help others in need. We hope caring people across North Clackamas will come discover how they can get involved. So much good can be accomplished in an hour a week.”

Several presenters will be on hand to describe opportunities for volunteer service:

• Health Care Navigators: Helping at-risk families navigate the maze of health care resources was identified as a top community need in North Clackamas. Northwest Family Services will describe their program for dental health navigators, and an upcoming training opportunity for health care navigators, also known as promotoras.

• Emergency Food Pantries: Hunger is a large and growing problem in North Clackamas, with nearly one in five Oregonians experiencing food insecurity. Children are the largest group impacted by hunger. Emergency food pantries run by North Clackamas Schools and the Clackamas Service Center are seeking partner organizations who could provide durable produce one week a month in rotation, enabling families in need to have a more balanced and healthy diet.

• Mentor Programs: By providing one-on-one guidance and support, a mentor can make the difference for a child, a teen, or a young adult. Presenters will be on hand from the Teen Dad Mentor Program, Adopt a High School Senior, Lunch Buddies, and Northwest Family Services Youth Mentor Program to describe training opportunities and how to get involved.

• Backpack Buddies Nutrition Program: Children who are well nourished achieve better in school. That’s why churches, businesses, and service groups across the community have each adopted a nearby school, providing nutritious weekend food packages for at-risk children. Now the program, serving 800 kids in 20 schools, is expanding to provide middle schoolers with healthy snacks. North Clackamas Schools will describe how partners, donors, and volunteers can get involved.

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