Editorial: Community building is more important than ever in Season of Sharing 2021
Mary Ferrell, founder of The Maslow Project, wanted to help homeless children and families.
José González and Dañel Malán, the couple behind Milagro, wanted to build a community through the arts.
Pam Pearce, Tony Mann and Brent Canode opened Harmony Academy to make sure recovering teenagers can complete high school.
Civic leaders worked together to establish the Washington County Family Justice Center to make it easier for people experiencing domestic violence to get help.
They all started nonprofits that are making a difference to many Oregonians today. The stories of these and eight other nonprofits, which you can read at oregonlive.com/sharing, are at the heart of this year’s Season of Sharing campaign, which highlights the strengths of our communities.
Season of Sharing was born out of a desire to make a difference within the community. In 1931, during the Great Depression, the Oregon Journal began hosting Christmas parties in which an employee dressed as Santa Claus gave stockings full of goodies to those in need. When the Oregon Journal and the Oregonian merged in 1982, the Oregonian carried on the Season of Sharing tradition. Today, the campaign is administered by the charitable arm of the Oregonian Media Group, Oregonian Public Benefits Inc., the information company covering most of the administrative costs. The money raised through Season of Sharing is distributed among the nonprofits featured for them to use as they see fit.
Nonprofits that participated in Season of Sharing say the campaign is making a difference for them beyond financial aid. Donors contact them about long-term relationships. Volunteers show up to donate time and energy. New audiences are discovering their community development work.
After a year and a half in which we’ve seen how easily our bonds can be severed, this community building looks more compelling than ever. This can be seen in Transition Projects helping bring homeless people into housing, in North Pole Studio’s creation of a space where artists with intellectual and developmental disabilities can become active in Portland’s art scene. , in affirming and supporting LGBTQ people through Options Counseling and Family Services. youth and in the artistic partnerships of Young Audiences of Oregon and SW Washington to rekindle students’ interest in learning.
A donation to Season of Sharing is all it takes to connect with this work. A $ 21 gift means ecumenical ministries in Oregon can support an unaccompanied student in their Second Home program for another day. For $ 50, the Urban League of Portland can provide a backpack full of school supplies for a child in a mentoring program. Donate $ 100 and Growing Gardens can help a family create an elevated garden to grow fruits and vegetables. Equitable Giving Circle can turn a $ 250 contribution into a month’s worth of locally sourced food for a family.
And it’s easy to donate. Simply visit the Season of Sharing 2021 GoFundMe campaign, where you can choose to direct your support to the Season of Sharing General Fund or to specific nonprofits. Or mail check, payable to Oregonian Media Group Season of Sharing, payable to Oregonian Season of Sharing, care of Oregonians Credit Union, 336 NE 20th Ave., Portland OR 97232.
However you donate, you too will make a difference.
-Amy Wang for the Oregonian / OregonLive Editorial Board
Wang, who served on the 2019-20 editorial board, is the editor and board member of Season of Sharing.
The editorials reflect the collective opinion of The Oregonian / OregonLive editorial board, which operates independently of the newsroom. Members of the Editorial Board are Therese Bottomly, Laura Gunderson, Helen Jung and John Maher.
Board members meet regularly to determine our institutional position on topical issues. We publish editorials when we believe our unique perspective can provide clarity and influence an upcoming decision of great public interest. Editorials are opinion pieces and therefore different from press articles.