Jorgan Shaw named Sam Cox Humanitarian of the Year

Recognizing an individual who embodies a superior commitment to community service is frequently a difficult task, simply because someone who fits that bill rarely seeks public adulation.

But for the Troutdale Lions Club, choosing this year’s recipient for the club’s 16th annual Sam Cox Humanitarian of the Year was a no-brainer.

“Jorgan Shaw has a true commitment to helping others in need,” said Cindy Brown, treasurer and secretary of the Troutdale Lions. “She is an advocate for the human rights of children in her ‘apartment city’ of over 1,000 residents, over 300 of whom are children. She makes herself available 24 hours a day to meet the needs of those whom she considers her family. Those are her attributes that stand out most when reflecting upon her many contributions to her community.”

by: OUTLOOK PHOTO: LAURA KNUDSON  - Troutdale resident Jorgan Shaw has established numerous programs for children at the Troutdale Terrace Apartments, a complex for low-income families. Shaw is property manager for the Troutdale Terrace Apartments. She is also a familiar face as a volunteer during holiday toy drives and well versed in creative ways to link resources within the community to help others.

Essentially, Shaw knows a thing or two about community involvement.

Shaw has been the property manager at the Troutdale Terrace Apartments since the facility opened in 2002. The complex serves low-income families, whose needs have become a priority for her.

“My heart has always been with families in need, who need a stable place to live,” she said.

Over the past 12 years, Shaw has established a free preschool, ESL classes and other after school programs for children at Troutdale Terrace. And although there are more than 300 kids who live in the complex, she knows every one of them. Shaw said she has a wonderful owner who allows her to create new programs for the community.

“Its trial and error,” she said. “We find what fits the needs of the community.”

Shaw also serves as coordinator for the annual Christmas season toy drive for the Troutdale Police Department and the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office. She spends every weekend between Christmas and Thanksgiving standing alongside other volunteers to collect toys for the children in the community

On top of that, Shaw has been a member of the Troutdale Public Safety Advisory Committee for more than 10 years and initiated an annual bike rodeo that provides bike helmets to all of the kids in the complex.

By gathering local support from churches, businesses and other organizations, she is able to offer a variety of programs, one of which provides a free lunch to the community every day at 11 a.m. and another providing business attire to women. 

“You just make phone calls,” Shaw said. “Things are there; you just need to reach out.” 

Along with a full plate, Shaw is also a single mom. 

“Savannah stands right there beside me on everything I do,” she said. “Sometimes I feel like I am run ragged, but this is important. I teach my daughter that there are people who need us and our lives are so enriched by what we do.”

Named after longtime Troutdale Mayor Sam Cox, the humanitarian award is given to a local citizen who “practices and exemplifies the virtues of community involvement, promotes activities or actions for the better good of their community,” Brown said.

The Troutdale Lions Club will thank Shaw and present her with a plaque recognizing her contributions to the community at the Troutdale SummerFest on Saturday, July 19.  

“I don’t know that I am deserving,” Shaw said. “It’s a real honor, but I do what everybody should be doing. Helping our community.” 

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