Aug 302016
 

As we get ready for the last three home games of the regular season, it’s time to fire up the Match Day Drive again!

For this drive, we’re asking for tampons, pads, condoms, diapers, and baby formula. This may seem like an odd assortment of items, but all are listed as critical needs by the organizations we have been supporting all season. Most of these women’s health-related items are expensive and overlooked during your average donation drive.

The need for pads and tampons is high given that these items are not covered by food stamps and the annual costs for these items can be over $70 a year per person, as noted in a New York Times article in early 2015.

logo-janus_fbThe donations will be collected for Rose Haven and for Janus Youth Program, which has an Access Center located right above the Fanladen. Janus works with area runaway and homeless youth on emergency shelter,  job placement, access to services, and education assistance. Janus was founded in 1972 and today serves over 6,000 Portland youths and families per year.

This Match Day Drive will last through the next two home games. Please bring your donations to the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) before or after the Thorns matches on Sunday, 9/4 and Wednesday, 9/7. The Fanladen is open 2 hours before kickoff and for 1 hour after the team takes their lap.

Read more about our previous drives here.

Aug 032016
 

Everyone’s journey as a soccer supporter is unique. For me, the rhythm of the game has been the underlying beat driving my life. I have lived in a lot of different places, experiencing and being influenced by soccer in all of them. However, it wasn’t until I joined the 107ist and the Riveters that I felt like I had found a true home in the soccer community. We are a family that mobilizes our love for the beautiful game to help the community around us. “Spread the Love” has become synonymous with soccer support in Portland and in our other affiliated communities. It is an important part of being a Portland supporter, one which we take very seriously.

In the last few months, the Riveters have been driving this charitable ethos by supporting not one, but three organizations in our match day drives. These three worthy causes are Impact NW, Rose Haven, and Raphael House. These organizations were chosen because each one offers key programs and support to the most vulnerable populations in Portland.

Impact NW works to help combat poverty and empower people to better their lives. They help an estimated 36,000 people each year to break the generational cycle of poverty. They have programs that help a wide variety of people, including children, families, seniors, and adults with disabilities. These programs include everything from domestic abuse help, to parenting courses, to housing and food assistance. Impact NW works closely with other community organizations, schools, businesses, and governmental agencies to help as many people as possible.

Rose Haven focuses specifically on helping women and children who are victims of abuse, have lost their homes, or have had other disruptive life experiences. In 2015 alone they helped over 3,000 people. They are LGBTQ friendly, and they also accept pets of all kinds. They have a health clinic, a community center, and a place to “shop” for clothing on site. In addition to these services, they also offer food and financial aid, career assistance, help in transitioning to permanent housing, creative courses, and support groups. Here is what they said to us in a recent letter:

Photo Credit: Marrion Kaufman

Clothing rack at Rose Haven. Photo credit: Marrion Kaufman

“Thank you so much for supporting the lifesaving work of Rose Haven. We are so delighted to be in a partnership with your amazing group. The oral hygiene products recently donated as a result of your drive are so appreciated. We want you to know that you have played a significant role in helping the increasing number of women and children who are suffering from homelessness and abuse in our community. Because of you, we are able to maintain sanctuary for those who need it most.”

Raphael House also helps victims of abuse, assisting people of all ages, genders, backgrounds, and sexual orientations. On site they have an emergency shelter, a food pantry, a clothing closet, as well as an advocacy center to help people get back on their feet. They have career resources such as resume writing help, an interview style counselor, and computers and phones to help people with their job searches. Over half of the people they help are children, so homework help is available, as well as a safe space for children to play basketball and soccer. They also offer support groups, crafts, yoga, and therapy animals to help people heal from the trauma they have experienced.

Over the last few months we have collected a total of 1,571 oral care, bath supply, and pantry items for these three organizations. This equates to 394 pounds of supplies which have gone to help people in need. Out of these totals, 209 pounds of food were collected for Impact NW, completely filling their bare pantry. Those provisions have specifically helped people who needed emergency food assistance. We were also able to collect 937 travel-sized personal care items for Rose Haven and 178 full-sized personal care items for Raphael House. These donations have assisted the many different types of people who have come into these organizations needing assistance to get out of the difficult and sometimes dangerous situations in which they found themselves. Our support has helped people get back on their feet, allowing them another start at life and helping to break cycles of poverty and abuse.

Photo Credits: Marrion Kaufman

Impact NW pantry (before). Photo credit: Marrion Kaufman

Impact NW pantry (after). Photo credit: Marrion Kaufman

 

We will continue to collect more donations in our match day drives, so keep your eye out for additional opportunities to give. However, if you would like to find out more about these worthy organizations or want more information on volunteering your time, click the links below:

Jul 272016
 

The Reign may be coming to Portland this Saturday, but the heat is here to stay!!

Please bring donations that help members of our community as the temperatures rise. We are working with Rose Haven and Raphael House to collect sunscreen, reusable water bottles, sunglasses, hats, aloe lotion, or anything to beat the heat! Rose Haven works with women and children who are in need of daily resources but do not have stable housing. Raphael House provides transitional housing to victims of abuse and their families.

Please drop off your full-sized or travel-sized items before or after the match on Saturday. The Fanladen will be open from 5:30pm to 7pm and again after the Thorns take their final lap.

This is the FINAL match before the Olympic break, so hit up those summer sales while you still can!

Smiling Summer Sun with Suntan Lotion

Jul 012016
 

Can you believe we are already in the middle of the season?

For this Match Day Drive, we are asking Riveters to bring beauty and grooming supplies so we can donate them to organizations who are helping homeless women and victims of domestic violence throughout the Portland area. Our items will be donated to our partners at Rose Haven and Raphael House.

Many of those who are seeking the support of these two organizations do not have access to these daily comfort items that were a part of their routines. For many women, these are basic items to which they no longer have access. Being able to put on makeup or do your hair is not just about looking good, but also about emotional empowerment and being ready to take on the day! Many of the women served by Rose Haven and Raphael House are preparing themselves for events where they may need elevated confidence and support, such as job interviews, court dates, or children’s concerts.

Please bring new packages of makeup, lotion, hair product, hair supplies, hair brushes, combs, deodorant, and other beauty supply items to the Fanladen before you head into the match! Remember to keep all hair types and skin colors in mind while shopping. The Fanladen is located at 1633 SW Alder and is open 2 hours before the Thorns kickoff and for an hour after each match. This drive will be in effect for July 2nd and July 9th, so if you forget or are out of town this weekend, bring it to the next!

Jun 212016
 

The Thorns are playing Chicago this week, so we thought we would do a socks and underpants drive. If you squint, you can see the connection (white sox = sock drive).

Please bring packages of new socks, underpants, bras (and extenders!), and any other undergarments you would like to contribute. The recipients will be adult women (plus sizes are a plus) and children.

We will be contributing these items to three different organizations: two that we have worked with before and we know the people they serve are in need, and a new organization. The two existing organizations are Rose Haven and Raphael House. As a quick reminder, Rose Haven works with women and their children who do not have steady, consistent housing. They offer day services such as warm meals, new clothes, personal hygiene items, and community events. Raphael House serves those who are or have been victims of domestic violence. They have a undisclosed facility where these individuals and families can go and receive support as they make a transition from a violent environment. Candle in circle (2)

The new organization we will be collecting resources for is Rahab’s Sisters. This group serves vulnerable and exploited women in the Portland area. They are working to provide food and new clothing to the people they serve. We want to be able to provide them with socks, underpants and bras to help those in need.

Our mission at Rahab’s Sisters is to offer “Radical Hospitality” to vulnerable and exploited women in the Portland Metro area, especially those that have been impacted by the sex industry, domestic violence, poverty, substance abuse, and homelessness.

Their vision of living in a city where all women are safe ties in with what the Riveters stand for. They have an active social calendar with events and fundraisers about which we hope to help spread the news, and in which we hope to participate in the future.

The Fanladen will be open from 5pm – 6:30pm on Wednesday, June 22nd for donations. We will also be open for 1 hour after the match, from 9pm to 10pm, if you have anything you need to drop off.

 

 

May 252016
 

For the Thorns’ third home match, we have a new Match Day Drive.

This week, the items we’re pooling are small. They like to travel, and they are needed to support those who don’t have stable homes or are seeking shelter from domestic violence. These items clean up well and love a little shower time.

Stop by the Fanladen to drop off your travel-sized and full-sized sized shampoo, conditioner, soap, body wash, baby care products, and hair products including activator, relaxer, and hair grease before the match vs. Seattle. The Fanladen (1633 SW Alder) will be open from 2-3:30pm on Sunday, May 29th.

This Drive is for Rose Haven and Raphael House. We worked with Rose Haven for our Oral Care Drive in April and as a reminder, they provide support for homeless women and children in Portland.

Raphael House is a new one for the Riveters. They work with those impacted by domestic violence and provide a safe space to help start the transition to new housing in Portland. They also offer advocacy programs and operate a 24-hour crisis line. logo

We believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. The mission of Raphael House is to engage our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.

The items we are collecting will be used by the women and children who are seeking help in their Emergency Shelter. Raphael House has 11 living areas: 9 for families, and 2 for individual adults. Raphael House provides on-site access to food, clothing, household supplies, and toiletries. Every year the Emergency Shelter serves 130 adults and children.

Our drive will help Raphael House continue to support this underserved community.

May 212016
 

On May 18th, the Riveters’ Community Outreach Crew dropped off our Oral Care Drive donations at Rose Haven. During that visit, we got a tour of their facilities and developed a better sense of how they are making an impact in our community.

Rose Haven, located in NW Portland on 18th and Irving, provides assistance to 70-90 guests a day, or about 3,000 people a year. These guests visit a total of 15,000 times a year with holidays and busy periods. Guests can have warm meals, access to clothing, shoes, personal supplies, and medical care, as well as participate in community events. Rose Haven operates out of the basement of the First Immanuel Lutheran Church’s administrative building. We met up with Katie O’Brien, who is the Community Outreach & Development Officer for Rose Haven. She showed us around their modest facility, which is a safe haven for women and children.

We have an open door policy, and accept any woman in any condition who needs our help.  Staff and volunteers form a compassionate and supportive team for women who are traumatized by homelessness, abuse, and other disruptive life challenges. Rose Haven is a safe, respectful environment where change begins. We address basic needs, and help women build confidence and sustainable lives for themselves. Through reflection of trust and mutual respect, the foundation on which personal healing and healthy choice making begin.

Gabby Rosas, Katie O'Brien, and Marrion Skinner with the donations from the Rose City Riveters' first Match Day Drive for Rose Haven

Gabby Rosas, Katie O’Brien from Rose Haven, and Marrion Skinner with the donations from the Rose City Riveters’ first Match Day Drive

During the tour, we got to watch guests play Bingo as well as enjoy a hot meal served by volunteers. Rose Haven has several community partners who donate meals to their guests, be it full meals from Elephants Deli or sandwiches from a local shop. While Rose Haven does not have an on-site kitchen with the capacity to cook meals from scratch, they do have enough room to prep the donated meals. The ability to help with the basics, such as a healthy meal, allows guests to focus on their other needs.

Rose Haven also has a store on site full of clean, donated clothes, shoes, underpants, bras, and hygiene products. There are no cash transactions in the store, as each guest has access to “shop” and pick out new articles once every 30 days. They then can get advice as to how to make different outfits out of the choices they made, whether they are going in for a court appearance or visiting with their kids. The assistance Rose Haven provides is to help build comfort and make to take away some of the stressful parts of their guests’ everyday lives so they can focus on finding ways to improve their environment.

Women can come in with their children, too. They can also bring in their pets. Rose Haven works to always have a stock of pet foods, as they know that pets are some people’s companions.

It was a very inspiring visit. Rose Haven strives to create a safe place for any woman to come and seek out support. While the Riveters were able to donate over 35 pounds of oral care products (200+ toothbrushes, 90+ tubes of toothpaste), we were also able to experience how quickly they go through their donations. Helping 70+ women a day takes a lot of resources. We will continue to work with Katie and her team on future events and drives.

 


 

As a follow-up to our first Match Day Drive post, I want to provide some additional information regarding our Match Day Drives and other Community Outreach opportunities.

One area in which that the Riveters have wanted to do more, but have not been financially able to in the past, is outreach. Historically, we have engaged in ticket exchange and merch production/sales to help fund our tifo and game day operations.  Everything had been self-sustaining at the minimum; we’ve reused tifo materials until they had too many layers of paint for seams to hold in overhead pulls, or we reused the materials from past displays to keep costs low.

We had a very successful “Tifo Superhero” fund drive this spring where we were able to raise $3,400 from the sale of limited-edition pins. This funding, along with some other donations earmarked for tifo, will support all of our planned tifo activities for 2016. This means that we need another focus for the ticket exchange and merch proceeds aside from our operating expenses.

We plan to still generate revenue, but we have minimal operating expenses (smoke, flags, photocopies, upfront merch production costs) that need to be covered. There’s also a little trophy we like to hand out at the end of the season. But those are all costs that are easy enough for us to plan for. And we anticipate that the gear we put out this year will help us increase our capacity to do so much more.

Going forward, resources will be set aside to aid in community outreach. This year we are working with quite a few different agencies throughout the Portland area to get them the physical donations they need through the Match Day Drives. We want the capacity to provide them with additional support as well. We want to start being a bigger voice in the community, as well as take on small projects where we see a need. We want to be able to contribute our time, our energy, and our resources to helping those who need it the most. Buying Riveters merch is going to help us do all of this.

We also want your input on our merch line. We have set up an email address for you to send us your ideas, be it in the form of a description, a rough sketch, an item you would like us to make, or even a full-on design. If you want it, let us know! Email us at merchideas@rosecityriveters.org, and the design team will review your submission and send a response. Note that for copyright reasons, merch designs cannot include the word “Thorns” or any player likenesses.

As our focus pivots toward community outreach, we want to make sure that all of our members are aware of our financial shift as well.

May 182016
 

For the Thorns’ next home match on May 21st, the Riveters’ Match Day Drive will be to support the YWCA of Greater Portland and Impact NW. These organizations are already partners and are working together to help those in need in our community by providing a safe place for individuals and families to turn to when in need. They are not just an immediate resource, but also strive to create lasting opportunities for those they help.

The YWCA is a national organization with local chapters that are focused on improving their communities. YWCA of Greater Portland has been working in the local community for over 100 years. Today, the YWCA works closely with other organizations to help educate about oppression and create opportunities in our community for equality. YWCA_prefer_loc_persm_cmyk

The YWCA of Greater Portland’s mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 

 

Impact NW is a local organization that has been helping low-income Portland residents since 1966. Today, they have services available in Multnomah, Clark, Washington and Clackamas Counties and parts of Washington state. They strive to provide support to individuals and families in both the short term and the long term so everyone has a chance to achieve their goals.

Impact NW

By working with schools, businesses, faith communities, other community-based organizations and governmental agencies we create a safety net and springboard for community members to improve their quality of life and achieve independence.

 

 

Both organizations are offering immediate assistance to those in our community who are either homeless or in transition, and often those they are helping do not have access to food prep stations. When we offered our support, their ask was very simple: help them fill their pantry.

This weekend, please bring non-perishable pantry items to the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder St) before you head into the stadium. The individuals and families these organizations are helping may not have access to a safe home to go and cook in, so if your item requires cooking, please make it microwavable and easy to open. Often those seeking help are in need of very substantial foods, like peanut butter or tuna. Below is a complete list of the items we are looking to collect:

  • Oatmeal (packets)
  • Peanut butter (jars and single-serve cups)
  • Cereals (single-serve packages)
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Noodles and pasta (canned with pop-up lids, cups, or microwavable bags)
  • Rice dishes (cups, microwavable bags)
  • Mac & cheese (regular boxed and microwavable)
  • Fruit cups
  • Fruit leather
  • Granola/trail bars
  • Crackers
  • Rice cakes (Quaker)
  • Assorted nuts (single-serve packages)
  • Juice box packs
  • Canned goods (pop-up lids are best, please) – Soup, vegetables, tuna, chili

The Fanladen will be open on Saturday from 5:00pm to 6:30pm. Kickoff is scheduled for 7pm, so there should be plenty of time to get your donations in. Let’s help these organizations continue to provide services to our community!

***UPDATE***
The Fanladen will also be open on Sunday from 10am to 1pm before the Timbers match. You can drop off your donations then as well.

Apr 142016
 

This season, we’re going to try something new. For each match, we’re going to be collecting different items to donate to area organizations that help those in need. Our focus is on those seeking shelter from abusive relationships or have fallen on hard times who need a warm place to stay and basic supplies.

The first organization to partner with the Rose City Riveters in this effort is Rose Haven.

Rose Haven serves women and children experiencing the trauma of abuse, loss of home and other disruptive life challenges. Rose RH_logo_rgb_bgHaven’s mission is to maintain a safe, respectful community while providing our guests with support and services to assist them in regaining stability in their lives. – http://rosehaven.org/about-us/mission-history/

For the first event, we are asking our community to help us collect oral care products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss. These are items that Rose Haven is in dire need of, as they serve 30 individuals a day on average and provide these basic items to each person who calls on them for help.

If you are able, please bring new toothbrushes, unopened toothpaste, and sealed packages of floss to the Fanladen (1633 SW Alder St) on Sunday, April 17th from 5:00 to 6:30pm. The match starts at 7pm, so hopefully everyone can drop off their items and get to their seats with plenty of time!

We will be partnering with other community organizations for future drives. As we get those events confirmed, keep an eye out for a schedule for all matches!

 

Apr 072014
 
rcrbuttons

We’re only a few days away from the season opener in Houston. Safe travels to those heading to Texas. If you’re still making plans, be sure to check the forum for info on where folks are staying, when they’re traveling, how you can meet up, etc.

For those not planning to travel (and who are local to Portland), we will be hosting an away match viewing at Blitz 21 (305 NW 21st.) on Saturday. This is also a Timbers home match day, so parking will be at a premium. Take that into account if you plan on joining us. We’ll have merch available until at least the half (at which point some of us will need to scoot to make it to the Timbers Match – Soccer City, and all). If you’re a card-carrying 107ist, you’ll get a discount. If you’re not, you should seriously consider joining (info here).

This viewing will be 21 and over, but Bazi Bierbrasserie will also be screening the match and they welcome all ages. If you plan on going to Bazi, check their website for info on making a reservation in advance. Over the course of the season, we hope to host viewings across the city and plan on having at least a few of them at all-ages venues.

A little bit more about away travel: we’d love to have a presence at every match this year. If you plan on traveling, please let us know and if you’re a Riveter based in another NWSL city, give a shout. We’ve got a couple of banners we’d like to travel and we will happily send them to you to display at the matches. Check the forum for details.

We also have some non-soccer community stuff coming up. In May, we’ll be joining the Timbers Army in supporting the National Association for Mental Illness (NAMI). The combined TA/Riveters group has set a goal to fundraise $5,000 for the NAMI Walk here in Portland May 18. To join the team or to make a donation, you can go here.

And June 15, we’ll be joining the Timbers Army to march in the Portland Pride Parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m., a home Thorns match will follow at 2 p.m. We’ll have information on signing up to march sometime in the near future and will post here when we have it.

 

Any questions?