Portland Metro: meeting the needs of the community
by Teresa Engle
New backpacks and school supplies
Hundreds of kids across Portland Metro met the new school year head-on with backpacks and school supplies provided by The Salvation Army.
Washington County (Tualitin Valley Citadel, Corps Officers Lts. Emmanuel and Jennifer Masango) school-age youth received 300 filled backpacks. Five volunteers from Lifeworks filled the packs with items from Intel, Nike, Fred Meyer and other individual sponsors. Best Buy stores provided five volunteers to hand them out.
In Gresham (Majors James and Laura Sullivan, corps officers), 300 students received new backpacks filled with back-to-school goodies. The Gresham Center for Worship and Service worked with 30 partner public schools to help with distribution. Each school received 10 packs, which were dispersed to students based on demonstration of need.
Choosing to provide more than backpacks, the Portland Tabernacle (Corps Officers Lt. Raymond and Major Nancy Dihle) organized a “Fall Affaire” event. In addition to school supplies, each student received hygiene products, decorations and clothing. Their multipurpose room became a first-come-first-served open house with everything up for grabs. One hundred sixty-three families came through the line with 422 students receiving the giveaways.
After the bell rings
The last school bell in Portland Metro doesn’t mean the day is over as The Salvation Army offers several after-school opportunities.
The Moore Street Community and Worship Center (Corps Officer Barbara Sloan) provides two programs specializing in separate services. A warm meal program is available every Tuesday for boys and girls ages 7-12 and girls ages 13-18. After-dinner options include on site character-building programs such as Sunbeams, Girl Guards and Adventure Corps.
Fin.-Aid 4 is open to teens ages 13-18 every Thursday. Financial aid information, college admission advising and community service opportunities are available.
The Gresham Center for Worship and Service’s after-school program is open five days a week. Curriculum includes individual and group tutoring; computer labs and classes; a recreational program; character development classes; music lessons in piano, guitar, brass, drums, choir, timbrels, dance and contemporary music. Also offered are scouting oriented classes.
The Tualatin Valley Citadel opens every Tuesday for their year-round program. Dinner, games, Bible class, crafts and life-skills classes—such as safety training and gardening—are offered.
Majors James and Barbara serve as Portland Metro coordinator and associate Portland Metro coordinator, respectively.