FROM THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR
Sometimes it takes a true loss to find out who your friends are. The guests we serve probably understand this concept more than you or I. We recently lost a regular guest who has been frequenting our SE Hospitality Centers for years he was beloved and will be missed by many. He is survived by his wife, who is deaf. When I first heard the news, I was worried about her future. Who will be there for her? Who will make sure that she is safe in a world where hearing can be so im- portant, especially when living on the streets? How will she cope with the loss of her husband?
Guests told me that the week after his passing, she could be found wailing and pounding bongos on the bike path as she grieved. One guest said that she witnessed multiple folks riding or walking by her and laughing at the sight. As she is deaf, she was unaware of the mockery, but many guests told me that they watched over her and scorned those who laughed at her pain. Every single guest I talked to about his passing echoed the same message“We all loved him, and we all love her. She is part of our family, and we’re gonna take care of her.” I heard this message over and over again that eventually, I stopped worrying so much. It has now been over a month since his passing, and I have seen his wife multiple times since then. Alt- hough she is undoubtedly still hurting, she is safe and surrounded by those who love her. Every day I’m thankful for the guests that we serve, and for the life lessons they have to offerlessons about friendship, and lessons about humanity. Thanks for the reminder of what it means to be a true friend.
ARE YOU A FRED MEYER SHOPPER? EVER ORDER ANYTHING FROM AMAZON?
Did you know that with every purchase you could also help Nightwatch?
Here’s how it works at Fred Meyer:
- Sign up for the Community Rewards program by linking your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to Operation Nightwatch Portland at http://www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards. You can search for us by our name or by our non-profit number: 84650.
- That's all you have to do! Now, whenever you shop at Freddie's and use your Rewards Card, a donation will automatically be sent to Nightwatch!
- You still earn your Rewards Points, Fuel Points, and Rebates, just as you do today.
- If you do not have a Rewards Card, they are available at the Customer Service desk of any Fred Meyer store.
And here’s how it works with Amazon:
- Go to smile.amazon.com.
- Select Operation Nightwatch Portland as the charitable organization you wish to support. Now shop. A donation will be made to Nightwatch for every purchase you make.
- On subsequent occasions when you want to buy something from Amazon, log in through smile.amazon.com (not the regular Amazon site). This site remembers that you want to support Nightwatch, so you don’t have to enter that preference again. Just shop away, and Nightwatch will then benefit.
In both cases, once you make the initial registration, you don’t need to do anything more. Make the purchases you would ordinarily make; it costs you nothing, and Nightwatch benefits!
With the retirement of our chaplain, Roger Fuchs, we lost two nights of programming at our Downtown Hospitality Center—Sunday worship and Tuesday Bible study.
We haven’t yet plugged the Sunday night hole, but we wanted to not leave our guests in the lurch on Tuesdays as well. While we don’t have a replacement chaplain, we wanted to do something.
“Nightwatch Tuesdays” have become the alternative. It’s not Bible study, but it’s not simply “hang out” time, either. Our aim on Tuesdays is to provide our guests with something more stimulating in an intellectual or aesthetic way, because after all, such opportunities to challenge their minds and sensibilities are often out of their ability to access, too. Thus, what we may do on a Nightwatch Tuesday is show a classic or foreign film, a TED talk, or a documentary or concert.
We welcome volunteers to help out. You’ll find us at the Downtown Hospitality Center on Tuesdays from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
VOLUNTEERS OF THE YEAR
We are pleased to announce our Volunteers of the Year for 2016.
Page Sanders and Ashley Garber responded to the needs they saw among the women we serve and founded the Portland Panty Project. Over the past year, the PPP has raised several thousand dollars and also secured in-kind donations to provide our women guests with new undergarments. The PPP distributes at our Downtown and SE Centers each month.
Troy Ennis wins the award for "Barista Extraordinaire." When our previous downtown coffee-server retired after many years of good service, Troy immediately stepped up to fill the position. Every night the Downtown Center is open, Troy is faithfully there, setting up, serving, washing cups, and cleaning up.
Trevor Debord has served at our SE Hospitality Center for several years. The SE Center would be nothing without its meals, and Trevor can be found dependably in the kitchen preparing the food for the many hungry souls we serve there.
Theresa Swett has faithfully organized members of her congregation at Revolution Church to serve regularly at our Mobile Hospiltality Center. Theresa also brings her enthusiasm to the Christmas Party and the several Boutique Nights we're held at our SE Hospitality Center.
Congratulations to them all!
OUR IDEA OF HEAVEN: AN UNLIMITED SUPPLY OF BLANKETS
And we may soon have exactly that vision realized.
There is a federal law that allows for any agency involved in disaster relief--including those working with the homeless--to apply for free blankets from the Department of Defense. These are the same blankets manufactured by the factory from which we sometimes order blankets at $8 per item.
In coming from the government, these blankets arrived in quantity of 3000 or more. That of course, creates a storage issue, as 3000 blankets can fill over 1300 cubic feet. But through the good graces of Resurrection Lutheran Church, we have a spot where we can plant a 20-foot shipping container to store the large mass of blankets when they arrive.
Our application to the DoD is in. We thank Commissioner Nick Fish for adding his endorsement to the project for us to add to the application.
Now we wait to receive acceptance of our application, and when our guests ask for a blanket, we won’t have to turn them away ever again.