The Idea is Simple: Restore the beauty of Christmas by substituting Compassion for Consumption. Then give generously to affect change in our city. This year’s opportunity engages vulnerable children who desperately need support and to be shown kindness.

The Plan: Many of us are unaware of the extraordinary number of children in the foster care system right in our Portland Metro area. These children, through no fault of their own, have been removed from their parents due to issues of substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence and taken into state custody. Approximately 3,100 children are currently in foster care in the tri-county area. Many of these children “age out” of foster care without a family, a plan for permanency or stable housing. Many children end up homeless.

Where would the money go?

1. Oxford Homes for Foster Kids Aging-Out

  • Start up costs for two, gender based “Oxford” type houses (independent, democratically run, supportive living environment homes) in downtown Portland, in partnership with other community agencies.
  •  Funds for books, cleaning supplies, and work supplies as well as emergency funds (as foster youth don’t have the family resources to ensure they stay on a stable, secure path).

2. DHS Child Welfare

  • Beautification of the nine DHS child Welfare offices in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. Beautification would be for primary spaces in the child welfare office, specifically focusing on the needs of the visitation rooms where children visit with their birth families on a weekly basis. The current dismal and shabby condition of these offices communicates to families that they are not valued.