Community Outreach in the Time of Pandemic
The following is a post from Rachel Greenough, Community Outreach committee member.
This past Saturday, May 16th, would have been a home game for the Thorns against the newly rebranded OL Reign. I can just imagine the tifo that might have gone up that day. How many choruses of build a bonfire we would sing. Fanladen would have been open, and we were planning to collect match day donations for Grow Portland, a great organization that plants school gardens and does a ton of work with food resources and gardening in our communities. I can almost feel what it’s like to be in the stands for a game such as this.
As Sheba and Gab have recently written, in much more eloquent words than my own, we miss that stadium and all of you — but the attention of the Rose City Riveters and Timbers Army are currently focused elsewhere. The “town” of “team, town, and TA/Riveters” is currently where our focus lies.
A few weeks ago, I started reaching out to organizations to help gather information for mask distribution and grant applications. Every organization I reached was in need. Every individual spoke of the increasing needs in our community: how many more meals they’re serving, how hard it is to find shelter beds for women who need them, and how some populations are being left out of the resources offered by our city, state, and country. They all spoke of the importance of donations and support from the community.
When we talk about community outreach from the 107IST, a frequent question is, “What can we offer?” Thanks to the generosity of our members, and the success of our merch teams, we can often support organizations with money or material donations. The biggest asset we possess, however, is our membership — a whole lot of people who care about the well-being of others in our community and are willing to help out when they can.
You. You are the most valuable part of the 107IST.
We are all in different spots right now. If you need help, we hope you will reach out to us via email or social media. We might be able to find help. If you are in a position to help others, we are here to facilitate that. When I reach out to organizations about masks or grants, I am also asking them what else they need. Do they need volunteers? How will those volunteers be kept safe? Do they need items? Do they have an online wishlist of vital needs? Do they need money to continue doing what they do in the community? The answer is yes.
We have added pages to the 107IST and Riveters websites to list these needs and spread the word. As needs come in, we will post them on these pages. The idea is that this is a place you can go if you have time, money, or other donations to offer. All of these organizations are doing great work. They all need help. May would have been a big month for both teams: two home games for Timbers, four for the Thorns, rivalry games for both teams … Maybe some of those beer, cider, parking, transportation, or pizza dollars can go to one of these organizations.
Thank you for joining us and doing what you can.