By Kirsten Jewel
Northeast Community Center volunteer
For the ninth year, the Northeast Community Center (NECC) was happy to host an Albertina Kerr Giving Tree in its lobby during the holiday season. Members of the NECC donated gifts for children and disabled adults to support the Kerr mission. Albertina Kerr partners with the community to support people with developmental disabilities and mental-health challenges so they can lead self-determined lives and realize their full potential.
Many NECC members have received their “wings” from Albertina Kerr for giving to the organization’s group homes. The gifts have ranged from a hard-to-find red colored razor (for an adult male) to bikes (for young children) purchased by participants of exercise classes.
Linda Rasmussen, who has participated in the giving project for nine years, said, “The work that Alberina Kerr does for adults and children with all types of needs cannot be matched by another organization, and we are delighted, proud, and honored to partner with them.”
The NECC also supports the local community by sharing its space with other nonprofits and by helping to organize community projects, including clean-ups, informational campaigns, workshops and collaborative projects.
The NECC partnered with the Hollywood Farmers Market and the Hollywood Senior Center to create the Gleaning Project, which secures fresh seasonal produce for needy seniors. Other community outreach projects include blood drives with the American Red Cross and the YWCA Yolanda House project, in support of which NECC members collected requested items for the women and children’s shelter during the holiday season. The NECC has supported the Hollywood Boosters and the Junior Rose Festival Parade by supplying monitors for the parade for the past nine years, and the Ross Hollywood Veteran’s Parade by providing volunteers to help “rain or shine” put up the flags and take them down on parade day. This year, the NECC co-sponsored the inaugural Veteran’s Mile.
Other partners in our community include Dress for Success, which NECC helped by asking NECC members to donate shampoo, body lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, hair brushes and other items that women preparing for a job interview might need. This past December the NECC partnered with Janus Youth Programs by holding a used/new coat and blanket drive at the center. The coats and blankets were given to Porch Light & Street Light homeless shelters for youth. Janus Youth
Programs provide safe shelters for homeless youth who are working to secure permanent housing or exit street life.
This March, for the ninth year, the NECC will support the Oregon Food Bank with a food drive. The NECC community has filled three to four 55-gallon food barrels every year and hopes to do so again this year. To support this year’s food drive the NECC will invite the public to drop off canned food in the NECC lobby in March and receive a free swim in our pool as a thank you. For more information about the event, visit necommunitycenter.org, stop by the Northeast Community Center at 1630 N.E. 38th Ave. or call (503) 284-3377.