Posts Tagged ‘Volunteer’

August 17, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

REACH Build Day TeamPCRI, REACH and others came together recently to complete critical home repairs for four low-income seniors in NE Portland neighborhoods. PCRI staff and other volunteers joined REACH Community Development for Community Building Day on Saturday, August 15.

Ms. Johnson, a client of PCRI’s Senior Homeownership Retention Program, was one of the seniors whose home was cared for by the Community Building DSC_0020volunteers, including Retention Program Coordinator Lisa Williams (pictured at left). With fresh exterior paint and other improvements, Ms. Johnson’s house not only looks good, but will also ensure she can remain safe and stable in her home for years to come.

“It was so great to be working in community to help Ms. Johnson out,” said PCRI staff member Kirk Rea, one of the volunteers. “Her family, friends, plus folks from different agencies showed up, and we had youth to elders working and laughing together. The positivity and service I saw us all activate, just by painting a home, gives me hope that we can keep rolling back the barriers and hardships of our most vulnerable people.”

In addition to painting, volunteers installed two wheel chair ramps and completed plumbing repairs for the seniors who were selected for Community Building Day improvements.

REACH Build A Day 267The Community Building Day is an initiative of REACH with the support of Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI) and the Urban League of Portland. Two of the event’s beneficiaries were referred by PCRI and the Urban League. Special thanks to the event underwriters, The Grainger Foundation and Macy’s Community Giving, both of whom sent awesome volunteers! In-kind support was provided by Walsh Construction Co., Miller Paint, Pipeline Plumbing, M & M Contracting Services, LMC, Inc., Greg Clarke Photography and Mike Beeson.

DSC_0030The Community Building Day highlights the extensive free home repair work the Community Builders Program does year round. The Community Builders Program, a program of REACH, is dedicated to helping older adults and people with disabilities age safely in their homes by providing free home repairs. PCRI’s Senior Homeownership Retention program helps area seniors connect with programs such as the Community Builders Program. Through advocacy, referrals and financial support, the program helps seniors retain homeownership and age in place.

June 11, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

abnb8On Wednesday, June 3rd, five volunteers from AirBnB helped weed, mulch, and plant new vegetable starts for the community garden at PCRI’s Park Terrace Apartments. These community gardens give access to residents who cultivate individual garden plots. Common garden plots are open to the entire apartment community who can tend to and harvest from the plots.

Surplus food from the common plots is distributed through food pantries at Park Terrace and other PCRI community centers and the gardens also provide a space for youth education and engagement.

In addition to getting their hands dirty planting new vegetables (an abundant donation of veggie and fruit plants came from partner non-profit Growing Gardens), the volunteers helped turn a compost pile which is used to improve the soil in the garden beds. AirBnB staff volunteer in the community regularly, including previous support given to PCRI last autumn for a landscaping project.

PCRI extends our thanks to all the volunteers who help support our residents and to Growing Gardens for donating vegetables for the garden program.

May 29, 2015 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

irenePark Terrace Apartments resident Irene loves the fresh organic produce donated to PCRI by Organics to You. Besides baking, juicing, and making stews, Irene (pictured at right) is a master food preserver who has churned out jams and sauces in such abundance that after stocking her own pantry for the winter, Irene started donating back the preserved fruits to share with her Park Terrace neighbors.

For the past year, Organics to You, a local produce delivery business, has been donating organic fruit and vegetables that are distributed from PCRI’s three local community centers. PCRI staff or volunteers pick up the produce and distribute it to the centers, where it is available to residents thanks to Organics to You’s generous commitment to sustainability and community support. PCRI’s Margaret Carter Community Center also makes produce available to the greater public; typically produce is delivered on Thursdays by 11:00 a.m.

food processingProduce is also used for programs and events, from holiday pot lucks to youth cooking classes. Food justice activist Mo Lohre helps PCRI residents learn food preservation so they, like Irene, have year-round access to healthy foods. Mo (pictured at left, in the center) also works with students from Irvington Middle School who volunteer to support PCRI’s Healthy Food Access Program.

Residents interested in free fresh fruit and vegetables can visit the Margaret Community Center on Thursdays between 11:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., or contact Kirk Rea by email or by calling 503-282-1359. Two Thursdays a month include a lunch which demonstrates the diverse cultural traditions of PCRI residents. Volunteer opportunities are also available to support the Healthy Food Access Program.boxxbox

Fun fact: Mo Lohre and volunteers from the non-profit Creating the Alternative use a bio-diesel/solar powered RV to pick up some of the Organics to You donations. PCRI staff and volunteers also do their part to maintain sustainability, performing many pick-ups by bicycle.

PCRI extends our sincere thanks to Organics to You and to the program volunteers for their generosity and support.

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October 28, 2014 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

On Tuesday, October 28, eight women from Airbnb volunteered at PCRI’s newest rental home, prepping and planting new landscaping in the home’s front yard alongside Travis Phillips and Kirk Rea from PCRI.

IMG_1883Under the threat of downpours, the eight volunteers cleared debris from the yard, prepped the ground for planting and got their boots and shovels muddy planting ornamental grasses, trees and other plants. Home Depot’s Jantzen Beach store provided the plants and landscape material for the front yard, creating a colorful and low-maintenance first impression for the home’s residents and neighbors.

The volunteers excellent teamwork ensured the project was finished ahead of schedule–just in time to pack up before the day’s rains started coming down, giving extra moisture to the newly-installed plants.

The new home, being built by Albina Construction, is a 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom house that will soon be available to rent by a qualifying low-income family on PCRI’s affordable housing waiting list. In addition to below-market rents for future residents, the home features a wheelchair-accessible first floor, including bedroom, bathroom and all living spaces.

Home Depot’s contribution and the volunteer labor help stretch the project’s budget and ensure durable, healthy, high-quality materials can be used inside and outside of the home. Green building certification for the home is being provided by Earth Advantage; the home is expected to achieve Earth Advantage Platinum certification. Construction is anticipated to be complete in late-November.

Click on any image to enlarge.

March 7, 2012 · by Travis Phillips · Featured, PCRI

Last weekend, PCRI and Cascadia Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals organized a hands-on volunteer home improvement project in one of PCRI’s affordable rental homes.  The volunteers teamed up with Green Hammer Construction in mid-February to observe and participate in Green Hammer’s Home Performance assessment process, conducting weatherization testing, inspecting insulation and verifying safe operation of combustion appliances, like the furnace.

Armed with information gained from the testing, the crowd of nearly two dozen volunteers (pictured at right), led by PCRI, Emerging Professionals and Andrew Morphis of Green Hammer Construction, tackled projects to make the home healthier, more comfortable and more efficient.  Existing carpet was removed to expose wood floors that were ready for refinishing.  Old kitchen cabinets were deconstructed to make way for new, more usable ones.  Windows that were previously painted shut were once again made operable for fresh-air ventilation.  Insulation was improved and volunteers slathered mastic on the heating ducts to ensure they operated as efficiently as possible.  All of the materials that volunteers removed were carefully sorted to enable recycling and keep as much as possible out of the landfill.

PCRI’s Executive Director, Maxine Fitzpatrick greeted the volunteers before they started on the project.  She thanked them for their service, adding that their volunteer efforts are priceless in supporting PCRI’s ability to provide below-market rate rental homes to residents who rely on these opportunities to stabilize their lives and return to self-sufficiency.

In addition to the home improvement benefits realized by PCRI, volunteers utilized the day as an opportunity to learn more about efficiency, home performance testing and existing buildings.

“I think there were a lot of learning opportunities for energy efficiency projects as well as the real world variability of existing buildings and the challenges that they inherently represent,” said Emerging Professionals volunteer Jackie Kingen.

To reward the volunteers’ hard work, Parr Lumber rolled up to the work site with their BBQ trailer and grilled up a meal of burgers, hot dogs and veggie burgers (plus some chips and cookies for good measure!) to refuel the volunteers on the day of the event.

Click on any of the pictures below to view the full size image.

PCRI’s is a Community Partner with Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute for their upcoming Living Future 2012 Conference.  The conference, scheduled in May, will be the Northwest’s premier Green Building conference and expo.  More information about the conference can be found at the Cascadia GBC’s website.

February 11, 2012 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

PCRI and Cascadia Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals are teaming up with Green Hammer Construction for a hands-on volunteer project on March 3, 2012.

Register now to participate!

Volunteers of all kinds are encouraged to participate – no green building knowledge is necessary!  For the project, Emerging Professionals and other volunteers (you need not be an Emerging Professionals member to join) will utilize information gained from pre-improvement testing performed in mid-February to implement upgrades and other refurbishments targeted to improve the efficiency, health and durability of the home.

Does the thought of all that volunteering make you hungry?  We’ve got you covered!  Parr Lumber is generously grilling up a BBQ lunch for volunteers on the day of the event.

Please note: registration is required for the volunteer event.  Important information (including the volunteer site) will be distributed to the list of registered participants.  Please contact Travis at PCRI if you have any issues with registration.

PCRI is pleased to announce our alliance as a Community Partner with Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute for their upcoming Living Future 2012unConference.  This volunteer project leads up to the May conference.  More information about the unConference can be found at the Cascadia GBC’s website.

January 11, 2012 · by Travis Phillips · PCRI

We’re excited to announce a new partnership with the Cascadia Green Building Council’s Emerging Professionals!  In March 2012, the Cascadia Chapter of Emerging Professionals, with generous assistance provided by Green Hammer Construction, will join PCRI for a hands-on volunteer project.

For the project, expected to take place on March 3, 2012, Emerging Professionals volunteers will join PCRI staff and Andrew Morphis, Home Performance Division Manager for Green Hammer, to conduct home performance testing in one of PCRI’s affordable rental homes.  With the information gained from the testing, Emerging Professionals volunteers will implement efficiency upgrades and other refurbishments targeted to improve the efficiency, health and durability of the home.

Want to get involved or learn more?  Join the Emerging Professionals at their monthly meet-up, Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 p.m. at Portland’s Lucky Lab Beer Hall on NW Quimby.  PCRI staff and Emerging Professionals organizers will be on hand to share details and enroll volunteers.  We’ll also post additional details here on the PCRI News blog and on our events calendar.

PCRI is also excited to announce our alliance as a Community Partner with Cascadia Green Building Council and the International Living Future Institute for their upcoming Living Future 2012 unConference.  PCRI staff will join Living Future organizers for their inaugural event on January 24 at Hopworks Urban Brewery’s innovative “eco-brew” facility.  More information about the unConference can be found at the Cascadia GBC’s website.