Adventist Foundation honors group for outstanding community service

Barry and Suzanne Birch, founders of Birch Community Services in East County, are among the Adventist Health Foundation's Hereos of the Heart honorees, which is recognition given each year for outstanding public service.

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Barry and Suzanne BirchBarry and Suzanne join fellow honorees Andrea Cook, president of Warner Pacific College, and Ardina Wang, a volunteer with Living Hope Street International.

“The honorees have had a significant impact in our community through the generosity of their time, talents and philanthropy,” said Lynn Snodgrass, governing board member of Adventist Health. “These individuals are heroes because they have tangibly improved community standards and demonstrated innovation and creativity through community service resulting in measurable results.”

The foundation will honor these community heroes on Oct. 29 at the Heroes of the Heart Gala, which is a benefit for Adventist Medical Center’s new and innovative Heart to Home Transitional Care program. The project is designed to support patients through their recovery by providing meaningful, personal support upon returning home from their hospital stay.

For information about table reservations and individual tickets call the Adventist Health Foundation at 503-251-6197 or visit

Barry and Suzanne Birch, Birch Community Services

Birch Community Services, 17780 N.E. San Rafael St., began with Barry's and Suzanne's desire to help less fortunate families through major personal or financial crisis.

They believe that people experiencing difficult times, are able to have healthier outcomes when they focus on others more than their own circumstances, according to a press release issued by the foundation.

Since 1992, the organization has served more than 600 families a week in the metro area.

Their community service model has been so successful, that it is duplicated throughout the nation. Families benefiting from Birch Community Services are required to serve as program volunteers to and participate in providing others food, clothing, financial mentoring, cooking classes and moral support during a difficult time.

Dr. Andrea Cook, president of Warner Pacific College

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Dr. Andrea CookDr. Andrea Cook was recognized for her work with marginalized students by providing access to higher education, and by giving hours of individual mentoring, inspiration and encouragement.

She has created the college’s partnership with Act Six Leadership and Scholarship Initiative to provide full-need scholarships for underrepresented students.

Ardina Wang, Living Hope Street International

by: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO - Ardina WangArdina Wang travels every Sunday morning to O’Bryant Park in downtown Portland to feed the homeless. It's something she's done since 1997. Together with people from Living Hope International, they set up portable stoves and tables and prepare full, hot meals for the hungry. As many as 600 people come every Sunday to be fed.

Wang is a tireless advocate for her Sunnyside Seventh-day Adventist Church members to contribute food and clothes for distribution to the homeless.

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