Tag Archives: volunteer

Summer Tips: 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer

June 10, 2015

 

Summer Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

With finals over and summer getting underway, make the most of your sunny days. Need some summer tips? We’re here to help! Check out these suggestions, and prepare for an epic summer vacation. Continue reading

Cash4Books Employees Volunteer To Clean The Tualatin River

October 4, 2011

Cash4Books Employees Volunteer Event with The Tualatin Riverkeepers

 

On Saturday, September 23 more than 20 Cash4Books employees, friends and family members helped the Tualatin Rivekeepers clean the waters and banks of the Tualatin River. This was our second year participating in a cleanup event on the Tualatin and we were more than happy to help out again this year!

Although the day started out foggy and overcast, the instant we hit the water the clouds parted and the sun shone down upon us. Which was a very good thing, as the large amount of rain we received this year made the water of the Tualatin the color of dark chocolate milk. Without that sun illuminating the murky depths of the river we never would have seen the shopping carts, lounge chairs, couches, the back seat of a car, a teddy bear, an exercise ball, a sawhorse, etc.

 

 

As you can see from this photo, there was plenty for us to do. And this is only from about a mile stretch of a river that runs 83 miles!

We want to thank The Tualtin Riverkeepers for their efforts in keeping the river clean and usable for all forms of life (including humans!). We are happy to support them, and if you live in the area we highly recommend you head over to their website to check out and support their current projects.  If you don’t live near the Tualatin, there’s no need to feel left out; there is probably a river near you that needs help too!

Cash4Books Employees Volunteer at Cathedral Park

July 11, 2011

As we mentioned in a previous post, Cash4Books employees recently participated in a clean-up of Cathedral Park in Portland, Oregon. You may be asking “Why is it called Cathedral Park?” Glad you asked….

Cathedral Park Portland, OR

The view of the underbelly of the St. Johns Bridge as seen from Cathedral Park. Photo credit: Joan Stevens

The original plan was to clean up the riverbank running on the west-side of the park.  However, thanks to the wettest spring on record in Portland, there was no riverbank.

Park Bench Submerged

Something's not right here. Photo: Joan Stevens

Fortunately, not all of the park’s residents were upset with this situation:

Ducks Swimming

"Quack, quack" Photo: Joan Stevens.

So instead of cleaning the riverbank, we headed over to the nearby Baltimore Woods restoration project. We spent several hours cleaning trash and debris from the area. Despite occasional scrapes with blackberry bushes and shrubs we had a great time clearing the area and we were glad to be able to help! Our haul (see below) included a tire, shopping carts, about a dozen articles of clothing, a shovel and for some reason a “for sale” real estate sign.

Cathedral Park/Baltimore Woods Clean-Up

The Clean-Up Crew! Photo Paul Schertz

A big thanks to SOLV for coordinating this event, as well as many other volunteer events in Oregon. If your’re in Oregon, check out solv.org for more about the organization and for information about other volunteer opportunities. For those living outside of Oregon, visit volunteermatch.org.

Cash4Books Employees Outfit Children in Need

March 30, 2011

Two shirts, a pair of pants, pajamas, boots and a warm jacket. Cash4Books employees dedicated their Wednesday evening to Northwest Children’s Outreach, packing care bags teeming with items like those above for children in Portland and the surrounding communities. Each Cash4Books employee had the pleasure of sifting through donated clothing items, to choose outfits for girls and boys. Each child was also gifted with several books and toys. It was particularly fun to reminisce over titles and games of our pasts.

Theresa, our Accounts Payable Specialist, has been volunteering with the Northwest Children’s Outreach over the past year, and brought this wonderful organization to the attention of Cash4Books employees. “I initially volunteered at NW Children’s Outreach to expose my children to doing something for others,” said Theresa of her initial involvement with the organization. “I was shocked to learn how dire the need was for so many children locally, and how my efforts made a direct impact. The organization is 100% volunteer run and all donations go directly to the children.  What a great idea!!”

Northwest Children’s Outreach works with local care providers who identify, meet directly with, and prescreen children in need. Arrangements are then made to acquire supplies through purchase and donations, which are sorted and packed by volunteers weekly.

“The other day I was lucky enough to get a child whose birthday was coming up.  They save the nicest donations for birthday gifts.  Knowing I was preparing a gift for a child that probably wasn’t getting anything else was incredibly rewarding.  This organization is doing so much for those most vulnerable, and I’m so happy to do my part,” recounts Theresa.

As part of their mission, Northwest Children’s Outreach “stands in the gap” between poverty and caring agencies with resources to help children and the needs of their families. Serving children from infants through teenagers, they are always looking for donations of the following items:

  • Diapers
  • Formula
  • New or gently-used clothing (newborns to teens)
  • Hygiene Products for Infants, Children and New Moms
  • Feeding Products for Infants and Children (bowls, bottles, cups, eating utensils, bibs, etc.)
  • Nursery Items (blankets, new cribs, crib sheets, changing pads, changing tables, infant towels, nursery furniture)
  • Children’s Safety Products (new car seats, household safety products, childproofing equipment, etc.)
  • Gift cards to grocery stores and/or stores with children’s products
  • Toys and Books

For more information on the Northwest Children’s Outreach, its mission, or how to get involved, please visit their website at: http://www.northwestchildrensoutreach.org

Volunteer Match is a great resource to find charities and organizations that serve children in your area!

 

 

 

Free Geek: e-cycling to the Nth power

December 1, 2010

Take a moment and think about that corner in your office, you know the one I’m talking about. Or maybe it’s in your basement, closet, attic, perhaps some other dark, dusty place in your home. You’ll try to ignore it, but how much more old technology is going to fit there? It’s overflowing, becoming a health hazard. Are you really ever going to use that enormous CRT monitor again? Come on, now.

Recently, I decided to tackle the corner; which is when I discovered Free Geek, a nonprofit organization that “refurbishes technology to provide computers, education and job skills in exchange for community service.”

Free Geek Portland

Photo cred. top row:Joan Stevens, bottom row:Carly Dennis

Here’s the deal with FreeGeek, they’re a multi-pronged operation where you can:

  • declutter. Drop off old electronics—computers and nearly anything that can be plugged into them.
  • volunteer. Spend some time helping out Free Geek, and get sweet stuff in return. Volunteers get free classes on building computers, tech support, and using a computer. Volunteers who have racked up a total of 24 hours or have built five computers get a free refurbished computer loaded with Ubuntu, an open source operating system.
  • donate. Non-profits in need of a technology upgrade can receive hardware grants. So far, the Portland location has granted out more than 2,800 refurbished PCs to schools, religious organizations, community centers, and the like.
  • purchase tech on the cheap. Free Geek runs a thrift shop, with all purchases directly supporting the Free Geek Community Technology Center.
  • recycle ancient tech. Outdated materials are “demanufactured” by volunteers and recycled responsibly.

Going through my corner-of-technological-shame, I came up with a full car trunk of old tech. Everything from a heavy, old-school e-mac to the coffee-pocalypse laptop, and the ever-present overflowing box of miscellaneous wires and plugs. All together, we’re talking 5 square feet of sanity returning to my little abode. Priceless.

Here in Portland, we’re lucky to have the original FreeGeek location, aka “the Mothership.” However, satellite locations are opening in urban areas around the country, and can be found at the Free Geek Intergalactic Page. Other certified e-recyclers can be found through e-stewards.org or your local government’s recycling website.

We’re all green here. We know not to dump old tech with our curbside garbage, or trust shady e-recycling programs. Appease the e-waste guilt. Recycle your electronics responsibly, if not creatively.