The Resource Access Center: Construction Update

RAC Aerial

The team from Walsh Construction has been hard at work since the groundbreaking of the Resource Access Center in November. These months have been spent preparing the site for our new building, which will be on the left half of this lot, along Broadway.

A Bunch of Lunches!

For nearly fifteen years, Transition Projects has had a very special winter tradition to look forward to every December: a visit from the Bunches of Lunches team. This group sets aside a Saturday each year to prepare 250 sack lunches, for each of the residents of our three transitional shelters.  Bunches of Lunches

"The holiday season needed to be more than wrapping up presents and mailing them off to friends and family for me," says Jody Murphy, who started the Bunches of Lunches project seventeen years ago. "I also wanted to do something community oriented to get my son involved at an early age. He was 7 at the time. My idea was to gather people together to hand out sacks of food and socks to homeless people on the streets. But it transformed into something more organized and much bigger than I thought it would become."

In their first year, they made eighty-five lunches. The only issue they were up against, says Murphy, is that even in those early years, they had too much stuff for any one shelter to accept - until they came across Transition Projects.

"Once we learned of TPI and their cause, we decided that this was an ideal place to contribute to. It had 3 shelters to go to and making 250 lunches was very doable."

Murphy's sister, Stephanie Jolley, got involved thirteen years ago.

"This was our best year, absolutely!" she said after last month's lunch delivery. "People really seem to want to help - we're an outlet for people who want to do something but don't know where to go. And for us, it's such a feel-good day, and everyone really seems to appreciate it."

The team collects donations throughout the year for this one-day project, from friends, coworkers, and businesses. Jolley's employer, New Seasons, has been a long-time supporter, providing 250 cookies and a case of fruit for the lunches each year. Hollywood QFC, Costco and Lamb's Thriftway in Garden Home all donated gift cards this year, and Broadway Physical Therapy provided a monetary donation which allowed the group to buy socks and other items to add to their lunches this year.

What started as lunches so long ago has turned into full care packages. The Bunches of Lunches group check in with Transition Projects each year to see what the most needed "wish list" items are, and set about trying to provide them. This year they were able to include not just socks, but also bus tickets, hygiene supplies, and gift cards.

"The process of putting this all together has become a wonderful part of our holiday season celebration," says Murphy. "We plan on doing this for a long, long time."

Wrapping up the Coat & Blanket Drive

This year's coat and blanket drive just came to a close, and was hugely successful in getting warm winter gear to those who needed it. Thousands of coats, blankets, hats and more came in through the drive - enough that we still have barrels full of coats to pick from in our clothing rooms.

Transition Projects is lucky to have partnered with Windermere Realty for another year, whose agents to an amazing job of getting the word out and bringing donations in. We also welcomed many new partners this year - in all, forty-five collection sites across the city!

The success of this drive is also dependent on the wonderful volunteers who commit to adopt each site and collect and deliver the donations. This year, seventeen volunteers committed to regular trips to empty these collection barrels and bring the much needed donations right to our shelters.

Thanks to everyone who helped make this year's drive so effortless for us, and so rewarding for our clients. Interested groups are encouraged to organize drives for us throughout the year, for clothing, hygiene supplies, or other needed items.

Tickets "Fore" Transition Projects

For all the golf fans out there, Transition Projects is participating in the Tickets Fore Charity program, sponsored by Safeway and West Coast Bank, for this year's Safeway LPGA Classic. The tournament will take place August 16 - 22 at the internationally renowned Pumpkin Ridge Golf Club. Come out to watch the best in women's golf, and support Transition Projects at the same time!

When you purchase tickets to the event, you can designate Transition Projects to receive 100% of the proceeds.  Visit www.safewayclassic.com to buy tickets, and designate Transition Projects as the beneficiary. Since its inception in 1972, this tournament has provided over $14 million to Portland-area nonprofits.

 Safeway Classic

Where I Slept Discussion Group

Where I Slept will be the centerpiece of a discussion group and service project organized by the Multnomah County Library, Hands On Greater Portland, and Life by Design NW. Hands On Greater Portland's Books to Action initiative aims to deepen volunteer understanding about relevant social issues in our community through common reading, discussion and service. This Books to Action group will meet on February 1st at 6pm at the Hillsdale Library to read and discuss Where I Slept and homeless issues in Portland. The discussion will be followed by a community service opportunity.

Space is limited - to sign up for this discussion group and service opportunity, visit Hands On Greater Portland and sign up!