The Power of Place: through volunteering

Cheryl and Dave Richardson have been married for almost 49 years and have three children. They have lived all over the world and settled in Northwest Portland 15 years ago. Each, though, spends a great deal of time volunteering in Southwest SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cheryl and Dave Richardson.

The Richardsons co-own Baker & Spice Bakery and SweetWares (a baking supply store) located in the Hillsdale Town Center with their daughter, Julie Richardson, and son-in-law, Matt Kappler.

Volunteering allows Cheryl and Dave the opportunity to make a difference locally and globally. They do that by following their passions. For Cheryl it is music; for Dave it is managerial and financial expertise.

Over the years they have volunteered at their children’s schools, the Vermont youth alpine ski-racing program, the Scouts and little league baseball. They have helped with music, financial fundraising and food ministries outreach programs for eight different churches. Today, they are involved with the food pantry at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Northwest Portland, handing out food bags and cooking a hot meal once a week.

For eight years they have been working with a Liberian family, helping with asylum status and then assisting remaining family members to relocate to Beaverton. Their volunteer efforts continue as they help the family with citizenship issues, as well as college search for the brothers who will graduate next year. Both believe that their involvement has been critical for getting the much-needed services that this family needed.

The Richardsons also volunteer with Hillsdale Main Street. Dave is on the board of directors and Cheryl is chair of the organization committee. They have been instrumental planners/volunteers for several Hillsdale Main Street events in the community, including Hillsdale Paella Dinner, Wine About Winter and Springfest Health & Wellness Fair.

Dave is also the treasurer and on the board of Lift Urban Portland, formerly known as Northwest Portland Ministries.

Actively engaged with family life, their businesses and volunteer work, it would be easy for the Richardsons to say they are too busy to get involved, but they believe it is important to make the time. They aren’t willing to think that someone else will do it.

“Today it matters even more than ever that you make the time to help in some small way, to be there for someone through a passion you might have,” says Cheryl Richardson.

Cheryl and Dave Richardson recently received a “thank you” card from dear friends. The card has a quote from Helen Keller and they think it sums up their feelings about what volunteering means to them: "Alone we can do so little — together we can do so much!”

Every day, hundreds of volunteers make our community a better place to live. This column features volunteers whose energy and commitment promote a sense of community and inspire us.

Do you know a volunteer who deserves some recognition? Send the name and contact information for the volunteer with details about his or her work to Linda Doyle at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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