As my blog tries to prove, there is a lot to be thankful for when you live in Lake Oswego. ‘Tis the season to not only reflect on that, but pay it forward. Here are five ways you can do that in the coming weeks.
1. Help disadvantaged women in our community who are trying to become more economically independent by supporting the Dress for Success clothing drive. Donations can be dropped off at any of the Hasson Company Portland Metro offices, including mine at 15400 Boones Ferry Road, from November 9-13. Items needed include gently used dresses, pants/slacks, blouses/professional tops, blazers/jackets/winter coats, professional shoes, handbags, jewelry, accessories (belts, scarves, gloves, umbrellas), new and packaged bras, hosiery and cosmetics. Financial contributions are also being accepted–$500 supports one woman’s services through the program for an entire year. Clothing is just one piece of the package that Dress for Success offers. Women also receive résumé, job search, and interview preparation as well as job success services. Dress for success is definitely not just a “help out” program but a “hand up.”
2. “Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart.” Brighten the holidays for clients of Clackamas County social service agencies. Pick up a handmade stocking or two at one of several city locations and fill with unwrapped needed items like socks, gloves, toothbrushes and shampoo. Once the basics have been met, you can add age appropriate extras like stuffed animals, art supplies, movie tickets, bus passes and store gift cards. Then return the stockings by December 11. Pick-up and drop-off locations include Lake Oswego City Hall at 380 Avenue, the Adult Community Center at 505 G Avenue, or the Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department at 1500 Greentree Road. In the past, at least a hundred stockings have been filled each year in Lake Oswego alone, and Clackamas County has distributed 2500 to 3000 stockings to over 20 different agencies. For many individuals, this is the only gift they’ll receive. For further information check out the website or call Diana Smith-Bouwer at City Hall at 503.635.0257.
3. Bring a smile to a child by donating to the Lake Oswego Fire Department’s Toy Drive. Starting in mid-November, you can drop off new, unwrapped toys to any of the Lake Oswego fire stations. Donations will go to the Elks Club who will distribute them to families in need. Drive ends December 16.
4. Support Clackamas Women’s Services by visiting the Giving Tree at the Lake Oswego Library (706 Fourth Street) and fulfilling someone’s wish list. Starting November 23, the Lake Oswego Mother’s Club will be coordinating the tree, decorating it with gift tag ornaments, and collecting donations. Select an ornament, purchase the item and then return the unwrapped gift to the box under the tree by December 15. Clackamas Women’s Services assists women and children trying to live a life free of domestic violence.
5. Contribute to the canned food drives at local high schools. Both Lake Oswego and Lakeridge High Schools will be sponsoring canned food drives during the holidays. Lakeridge’s runs from November 30 to December 11; Lake Oswego’s from December 7 through December 11. Contact them for drop-off details. Or if you know a student, send your cans in with them. Second period classes at Lakeridge are waging “Food Wars”–competing for most cans collected so your donations will be greatly appreciated on several levels. Lakeridge: 503.534.2319; Lake Oswego High School: 503.534.2313.
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