Dec 24, 2014|
AN INTERVIEW WITH PAUL COLE, DIRECTOR AT PORTLAND ADVENTIST COMMUNITY SERVICES, ABOUT THE PROGRAMS THEY OFFER TO PEOPLE IN NEED.
AN INTERVIEW WITH JASON SWYGARD AND JOHN MCCALLUM WITH PRIME SPORTS NW ABOUT THE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT AND THE BENEFITS IT GIVES BACK TO THE SCHOOLS THAT PARTICIPATE.
AN INTERVIEW JEFF MASON WITH THE AMERICAN RED CROSS AND MACY BISHOP AND STEVE SQUIRE WITH STAR WARS OREGON ABOUT THE GALAXY BLOOD DRIVE, WAYS TO DONATE BLOOD, AND THE WORK STAR WARS OREGON DOES FOR CHARITY.
AN INTERVIEW WITH NICOLE HOWE WITH IMPACT NW AND CRISTEN LINCOLN WITH LIVING ROOM REALTY ABOUT THE WORK IMPACT NW DOES WITH HELPING PEOPLE IN THE COMMUNITY, THEIR HOLIDAY HOPE DRIVE, AND THE COAT DRIVE SPONSORED BY LIVING ROOM REALTY.
AN INTERVIEW MYRNA JENSEN, PUBLIC RELATIONS WITH OREGON FOOD BANK, ABOUT THE WORK THEY DO GETTING FOOD OUT TO PEOPLE IN NEED.
Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This is match was open never come radio Portland public affairs program money's during blocks of intent today we're going to be talking with the Portland Adventist community services and director Paul coale welcome to let's just go hey how are you today very well and doing just great W. That's not bad at all excellent so you guys have been doing this for about eighty years hello we start off by telling our audience what the Portland Adventist community services are. Okay it's a social services. Agencies that has several ministries trying to reach and help the community. It's sponsored by nine seven dead in this churches that are on our constituent in our constituency. But it's not for church members is to help the community. We have several different ministries that we're involved in. To what sort of community work are you doing. Well we have a large for free food pantry. Largest single location. These free food pantry in the state of Oregon according to be Oregon food bank. Then we have a clinic medical clinic and we have a thrift store actually two but on the same campus. Okay. He often go by pax is a correct. We often used that acronym taxes and are well known by that Verisign HL front. Has PA's CSI on it. How did you get mobile packs. Well I hit re tired. Six and a half years ago. And thought I was really retired at a wonderful night he gave retirement. In ninety degree oh yes we went to the coast we went to the mountains with a motor home or what's sailing with our sailboat. Visited our kids in California we had a wonderful retirement and I got this call. Think Paul has something I'd like you to do for the next three to six months what fat. Medium term director at packs he accept the yes you. Oh well I looked at all over talk to people and excited you know I could do this for three to six months. Well it's been six years now I just. Hopefully I thought. A little extended an extension there. And I'm having I'm really enjoying it for so early it's just it's been a wonderful thing for me to do I've worked three quarter time so I do get to be semi retired. That's tough actually when I'm here I'm here fulltime and then we take weeks away and go do some of our fun things. What sort of fulfillment does this give you being involved in this organization. I you know it's I've been a pastor also all of my life. But this is different it's really on the front line helping people with personal needs. And I find that very fulfilling. And so immediately something that I really have. There's a need to just be a service and I've been tried to beat out all my life that this is a unique area for me. So you briefly touched on the programs that are involved may be let's go into a little more depth with though the packs food pantry. Okay. The food pantry is something that's started here a bit unique in that we used to give out food boxes so we no longer do that. We had a director here they're really made tax what it is today and she began to wonder if we were really treating people with dignity. When we just handed them a box of food to go out to the bus stop a majority sorted it left output you know my kids would be that I don't know what this is I won't be that. And so there was a waste of food and she just kept playing where that idea is there's some other way. And so she and two retired volunteers that work here. Two gave them the assignment to develop a plan. So we have a shopping style of food pantry where the people that. Come through for food. Get to pick out. Out of the various. You know like categories such as. Does that sort of carbohydrates are the proteins are the bits fruit vegetables. They have the different characters there are areas that they can take food out they get further size of families so many points worth. The food and each of those areas and they get to choose because. We have Hispanics here we have. Russians are Romanians. Lot of Asians and now we're getting folks coming in from Africa from Somalia and other countries there. And they don't always the same kinds of foods. And so we packet up to the box or give it to them. It's not all going to you used it when they pick it out for themselves and choose what they're going to take. They feel more respected. And more appreciated it more appreciative of what they get. And I would imagine the food they in that case gets used a lot more too and there's a lot less waste. That is our belief rights have been worse serving. Worse serving well over a hundred families every day five days a week here. Where does the food for the food pantry come from. OK excellent question. About 60% of what we get comes in from the Oregon food bank which we considered the to wholesaler. Of of food that comes from USDA and other resources. And they. They are very generous with us and we get 60% of what we get from them and to the rest comes from stores such as safe ways Brett Myers Trader Joe's. Various bakeries. Trader Joe's I just have to say. They go up over boarded a boat to give us quality fresh things. But all of the stores are wonderful to work with the we have three. Vehicles are van and two trucks that are out six mornings a week picking up food from the various locations. And bringing food into Starker food pantry. What is so important to have fresh food is that if we boxed food and only goes so far and indeed it's a much more nutrient from from fresh food. Yes and one of the things that I hear from our clientele is that they appreciate the fact that they don't have to sort through hours to pull out the garbage stuff. We do a pretty our volunteers do very good job of keeping it looking nice and keeping it fresh. And even blood warmer serving people we still are putting things fresh on the shelf that just came in on the track. As we were very anxious that they get a balanced diet and that they have good fresh things these. If someone is in need of your services how'd they go about acquiring those. Well if they can come here to our location. Any morning Monday through Friday between 9 and 11 o'clock. We only opened the door for two hours because we used to stay open until twelve that people would find out. They could come and attend minister told those who serve and our volunteers work from nine to one in a four hour shift could. They've that we were there at the numbers grew during the hard times here's the last four or five years. We just couldn't couldn't keep our volunteers late enough to handle something they get in by eleven and we get them taken care of that. Were on Halsey. 111 and Halsey. And anyone can come here during those hours and they will get served food. Have you seen an increased need over the last few years like you said. Dramatically. When I first came here about six years a little over six years ago. We were seeing seventy families today. Sometimes forty sometimes lady that. Sixty to seventy families today now we're averaging well over a hundred. On the other hand let me state to be absolutely honest. And the organs food bank director of the Oregon food bank has said the same thing this past year we have noticed a leveling off. The reason our numbers stay up is because we're getting quite a few new immigrants that come for some time. That apparently. Apparently the economy and Oregon has improved enough that some people don't need to be coming for food don't work. We're not hearing the I've just been laid off from work we're hurting stories as much as we used to. Things are definitely changing the economy is turning around but it does take some time kid it's a slow process. The so many other programs you offer let's talk about the tax health clinic. Okay we've had a clinic now for a thirteen year 23 years thirteen per 123 years and it's a small clinic. It's we have one employee that's a nurse that works three quarter time and one. Medical assistant to work halftime but the providers the doctors and nurse practitioners are all volunteers. And it's it's not a walk in clinic they become our patients and we take care of themselves we've had for a number of years. And some uplift our rules have been up to this point that. You could not have insurance of any time any type and your income has to be. Below twice the poverty level. Stated by the government. In order to qualify to come here. That is changing and by the way we had so many patients that we had to trim the area down so that we're only. Working accepting patients from a part of east Multnomah County. With the Affordable Care Act it's changed our whole situation here because many more people have insurance. They used to. And once they have insurance they are assigned to another clinic. And so. We lose them as patients. And so we are moving in the direction it's beginning to do some billing do billing for insurance become involved live. We have the Oregon health plan and the other insurance programs. Which has not been our niche that since we've been losing our patience quite quickly and many others say please get involved we wanna come back looks like this service you provide forest. So we are working on that. OK you know would you say it's all volunteers. All the volunteers the providers are all volunteers and we have nurses we have. Pharmacists and that's volunteer she's retired but keep Serb pharmacy license for up and comes keep all of our pharmacies sell for pharmaceuticals up to up to date and an airline will always regulations. How's all that. Well we do a couple of things for a lot of people just write this check every month and that's amazing to watch those checks come in. Secondly we have a very large. Auction and dinner in October. That lets us somewhere around 807580000. Dollars a year. But has so far income here comes from the thrift stores. And maybe we can bridge to that Sarah Fisher. We used to give everything away. That's furniture clothing shoes anybody we got we gave it away. And the director of those during those years began to question just like she did with the food. When we give people something. Do we really. Helpful or do we take away their self respect in their dignity. To begin to watch it you know we feel good here I've got this you need it I give it to you I really does something good bit. How do you feel like a bigger you want it more you want a different. And she noticed that people were unhappy with us because they could come once a month to get clothing or furniture and some wanted to come more often. And some of them were mad at each other because she got that table I want at that table they were almost it's just because I felt the parking lot over things that were given to them. And she's I don't think we're really treating people with dignity and giving them self respect. And so he's studied the possibility of going with a thrift store. Archived story is a ministry of itself it's not just a failed but it does bring in about half of our annual income. I happen to be wearing this shirt right now. That I bought here. It's a panel to ensure. The very nice wool shirt. Yeah pills and stuff well it's one of the top brands and local. And yes and I bought it for five dollars will be inspect it and I'm not a very good shopper but when I see something like ethnic churches I attended by it. Our prices are low and we keep them that way on purpose. But as soon as we started this restore we no longer had the complaints that I wanted more wanted different or she got that I didn't. They can come every day and some do. And we do another thing was the first start that is very interesting. Things coming out between the first and the fifteenth. Our full price but that on the sixteenth comes we do what we call price change for the first in the sixteenth her price change states. And after two weeks. The value dropped to twelve by 25% after four weeks of drops by 50% to 50%. And after it's been here six weeks. It's 25 cents an item. And the last two weeks that I just before the two months are up the last day. All of that color price stake. Just pulled off officials put up front themselves for ten cents. Our average sale item last year was a dollar ninety. Which means that we had a lot of things that sold for ten to 25 cents an invite a good teacher for two dollars full price or if you wait. Little oil has dropped so we had a couple of cars less sure that we sold so when you figure an average price of the dollar nineteen years no we sold a lot of big for the very. There are reduced price right. This is to restore and somebody comes in skis and it'd mean Derosa doesn't have been. And they find something in the prices they can afford and they pay for it that you feel good about themselves and about us. And that's part of what we're here force to help them feel good about themselves have self respect and dignity it and move up in life a little bit. Where's the through store located. Okay it's on a whole C and a 111 right on the corner. So right near you the food pantry in the first rural rural on this all on the same campus but sometimes they joke and say. And taking that well known phrase here were the one stop shopping place that's what's so you can come get your food you could see your doctor you can shop at the same time a that's been testing is through store opened to the public. This stripped to their stories very open to the public and it's open Monday through Friday. 8:9 AM to 5 PMX and Freddie we do close at 230 we're also open on Sundays from eleven to four. And so people are able able to comment shop even if they work all week they can still come on Sunday. You know. If someone wanted to make a donation to the thrift store out of legal by doing that. Well they can do one of two ways they can bring it here we have a receiving area. There's signage there are saying receiving. People are donating literally all day. Coming through. Donating to without donations of clothes and and furniture consider we wouldn't be able to fund these. The clinic or from the food pantry we just couldn't do it without that so we appreciate donations. Also hold a number of people call and say you know. Grandma passed away we've gotten what we want out of things is fox stepped arrest could you come get it. And we have a truck that goes out two or three afternoons a week just picking up that kind of thing we do ask for a fifteen dollar donation to cover the diesels. To go out and get it that. Oh we do that quite regularly so they're two different ways people could make donations of things furniture store. Are you looking for particular items or what what sort of items do you except in May be some items you don't accept. Well we accept most anything that we do summaries quite a bit of recycling. Of things that we can't use it even clothing that we all put out on the Iraq we're able to sell to an organization. And metal things that we can't use we still recycle and so we get some other. The things that we don't take very often are the old TVs. Or mattresses that are stained or torn. We have an order otherwise we are pretty ultimately take most things here. Well that's great. Really infer anything in particular where what's the one of the most popular as maybe maybe food clothing items. Probably clothing items that have. Coaches and just rocking chairs and tables. Dishes. We have at all here axis. What building is just we call it the whole store because it has all sorts of things for the whole ball away from sporting. Supply is. I bought for 25 cents a pair of nice ski boots that my grandson uses just keep whip. And usually it's here than in the apparel store we have clothing and shoes and sometimes some number of paintings and pictures up on the wall that are for sale. We have a book section that our books. The hard facts started two dollars a book isn't that what does that paperbacks or one dollar book. And then they go down every two weeks the same way until finally their ten cents a book. This is likely to store I think you need to consultants you need to come happens tour and the topics. And number anyone that's listening feel free to caller number and ask for a tour or just come out here. And they ask for a tour will that's one of my favorite sport is taking people too are packed and showing them what we do. And that's really a great way to introduce everybody tunes to your organization. It is that's great and I their reaction I get is well I had no idea if that's the and the mornings are probably the best times the comfort tour because that's what the food. Services functioning and you get to see it actually happening. And kind of exciting to see. The number of people waiting that you did in the number of people going through and getting their food picking up their own food in their little carts to get a lot of food for no matter how big their family is. Now we're talking today with Paul Cole he's the director of the Portland Adventist community services or pacs. End up ultimately wanted to volunteer with your organization how can we do that. And they can look at her bottom line if they wanna do it says the easy way which is tax Ph.D. S online dot org. And there is an application for volunteers there they could fill that out and send it back to us that way. Or they can call our number here and ask for our volunteer. Coordinator. And shall set up in the play well with them to come in until interview them and take them on a tour facts shall have always do and see what they'd like to be involved with. And Emma so I'm assuming a volunteer can do all sorts of things. Oh my they do everything from the nitty gritty of sorting clothes and decided what could not to go out on the on the shelves further acts. Two. Sorting food. I was serving in the food pantry we have in the food pantry of people that. They go there and interviewing process. We use we have three interviewers and reception. Receptionist and then they go into the food pantry which is like a little store. And we are volunteers are welcome from there and make sure they understand the system but we have shopper helpers. The work with them as they go through to answer questions and tell some big help there's things. And then there's a check out there's one man who is his job that he is is wonderful volunteer is to help with the brits. To daily review before loaves of bread each fairly that came through yesterday it was sixes. The food is really supply and demand apple we have as we put out for people. But they're volunteers to help. Repair things a little bit we have several work in the books sections sorting books. And the price putting those stickers on the back governments that are so if there's there's these very he's a truck drivers we use the number of people they don't have to have a CDL. But our trucks are out six mornings a week and in the afternoon we have the truck going out to pick up furniture and household items that people want to donate to us so. Volunteers there are lifeblood without the we have about 225 volunteers in the given month. One is simply a great place to volunteer packs at the while lets them do you sell you great organization. Well I humbly I can say I'm really impressive I work here every day now stands. Both are volunteers who love that we even have Easter seals is an interesting organization and there are a couple of others very similar that we work group that. They they get government grants to help people train or get ready to get into the workforce. And that we usually have 345. They become volunteers for us that they get paid minimum wage to come to a job and work at it. And I think every single one of them sitting hate when I finish can you hire me out here I love it clear that the it's nice to hear that. Of course we don't have that many job openings to be able to hire people for person our staff pretty much stays pretty steady with us. What plans do does except for the future. Well that's rather exciting. We got pushed into something and I say pushed it. This is I believe god that this is his work we just get the privilege of being involved in it. I have a dentist friend who actually is responsible for me talking with you right now and he. Has been pushing me for the whole time that have been here all need to get dental going to tax nice smiles. Very expense heave to don't have space we can't do it. Lady came to see me awhile back and chase at all I looked back so a lot of what's going on here everything about it the clinic is great. Which you need dimple the patients in the clinic don't have dental they need dental and I smiled real big east. And I setup at all. And chases and I'm gonna put my money where my mouth speaks. I'm going to give you a check for 50000 dollars. To wanted to anonymous. I respected that she said. And I so what do we don't have a dental clinic sees fit well you can put it elsewhere but I'd like to be involved in that decision for two days later. I get a call for me young lady. Chases in our church we have a lot it's a Korean church we have a lot of young professionals we have nine dentists. We've talked about how we give back to the community but we never get it done is talked about setting up a dental clinic with packs be interested in working with us. And I have to say I looked up at the ceiling for gutter used to compute business for. And it just goes on I mean I could take another half hour and tell you the other things we have a house that we purchased next door. The largest provided the funds to purchase it we're now in the process of working with the cities to get it approved for it it's already commercially don't. Which is hard to get accomplished with a minority done years ago before we were involved with a and we're going to remodel that and had 400 square feet hood we're going to move our medical clinic over there and there's just too. Exam rooms and have three we're gonna have three opera Tories for dental and we're going to cover room. For optometry protecting not necessarily prescribing glasses but sticking eye diseases so I'm diabetic and that type thing. And this to me is just an exciting thing to watch it happen has had God's fingerprints all over it and I just have to publish thinking lord get me out of your way just do what you want Doug. The future looks very bright for packs. I think it and I'm excited about it cripple molest little minute we have here let's talk about how people can get a hold you in in and access your your programs. Okay our phone number. Is 503. 25 to. 8500. We're located on the corner of halt 311020. Northeast Halsey. And a 111 streets right on the corner we've got a big sign there that says acts GA CSF pharma marquee. And if people wanna check this out on line it's really quite simple if you can remember packs. It's tax on line that dot org or if you wanna check out the dental. It's access to dental dot org so we're pretty easy to find. Or they can just drop via and visit us and go shopping and and ask for Paul will be glad to talk with you and chillier out. Oh that's great hope all called director of Portland Adventist community services thank you so much for being a microscope today even very informative and it's been fun interview. Thank you much enjoyed myself. Yeah mantras go it was an Entercom communications public affairs program. My name's Gary and if you have a nonprofit or public affairs organization that you'd like let others know about you can email me at macro Scopes @entercom.com. Remember inter com starts with a B four you can go directly to the station's website and click on the community link and submit your information there. Also we like to hear this program again you can visit our podcast page at microscope PDX dot com. Thanks for listening to microscope and enjoy your weekend.