By Tom Vandel, NECC Board member
For the Hollywood Star, January, 2010
It may not be an actual scientific fact, but members of the Northeast Community Center (NECC) can attest that knitting is good for the mind and giving is good for the heart. And both are good for the community.
The NECC has been a center of community support in many ways this season. Members, staff and their families have given much time and energy to several different causes that serve the less fortunate.
“These are challenging times for many people, and we are doing what we can to help,” said Laura Seurynck, NECC executive director. “It’s not a lot, but it’s important – to those on the receiving end as well as those on the giving end. It’s just people helping people. And we’re helping make it happen, which is what a true community center should do.”
The NECC looks forward to expanding its role in the community through a variety of different programs:
Hats & Scarves Project. The NECC has joined with Albina Community Bank in this effort in which hats and scarves are handcrafted for people in need. Those who wish to knit or crochet something can pick up yarn at the NECC and then return their finished item to the front desk by January 31, 2010.
Albertina Kerr Giving Tree. This is NECC’s fourth year of support for Albertina Kerr Centers. In this holiday gift program, Albertina Kerr group-home residents listed a gift wish on cards that were placed on a tree in the NECC lobby. Members picked out cards and purchased the item listed. Many Santas took part.
Project Linkage. In an annual feat of inspiration, Kathy Foote of the NECC helps link members and others to Project Linkage, an outreach program in which people deliver gift baskets to (and visit with) homebound individuals during the holidays.
WomenStrength Self-Defense class. In March, NECC will once again provide free gym space to the Portland Police Department for its women’s self-defense classes. The classes are free and open to any woman over 13 years of age. Registration begins February 2, 2010. To sign up, call the Portland Police Department at (503) 823-0260.
No joining fee, less weight
One of the NECC’s New Year’s resolutions is to improve its health by staying financially trim and expanding membership. That effort is now underway. Anyone who joins the NECC in January will get the month of February free and (wait, there’s more) also get their very own earth-friendly water bottle.
The Northeast Community Center is located at 1630 N.E. 38th Avenue (between Northeast Broadway and Sandy Boulevard) in an 80-year old building that is a neighborhood institution. Newly revitalized, the NECC features a pool, gym, weights, circuit training, yoga, dance, and classes for all ages – plus many friendly people. Stop in for a tour and get a free, one-day guest pass. For more information, call (503) 284-3377 or visit necommunitycenter.org. Jolly good.