Potluck in the Park, Portland, Oregon

our first opportunity for volunteerism will be sunday june 16th for hands on greater portland — potluck in the park. more info here: potluck in the park. we’ll update the blog afterward with stories and hopefully a couple images from the event… check back next week!

We completed our first volunteering opportunity last Sunday with the amazing group of people from Potluck in the Park. We arrived at o’bryant square at 4pm and got to work helping to breakdown and clean up as the last groups of people were getting hot (very delicious looking) meals. Candice started with organizing and cleaning food waste from plastic containers so they could be recycled. I started by removing plastic nozzles from orange juice cartons, then we both joined forces to clean the giant cambros. We then cleaned, lifted, and met some really cool volunteers who shared stories and good recommendations for local hikes and waterfalls and camping till about 6:30. We both felt a supreme recharge from helping out in Portland, and all of the volunteers were extremely welcoming and friendly.

The two weeks prior we had mostly been concerned with: “where can we find a free place to camp or sleep in the car tonight?”… “maybe we can cook on a camp stove by the roadside instead of paying for park admittance to cook at a picnic area”… “how can we be helpful and still contribute to society or help people in a non-monetary way?”… Most of our questions these days revolve around the simple problems created by a decision to welcome joblessness and live out of a car. Our modern society isn’t set up to be friendly to those that operate outside the normal 9-5 workforce life, and you have to learn how to survive as cheaply as possible while trying to still obey the law and still have fun. We are still learning, but being able to help out people that don’t have as much of a choice about a similar lifestyle, or bad situation they hope to better, is a great feeling. We have met so many kind people on our journey that have helped us with just what we’ve needed along the way — from discounted camping to free donuts.  Seeing someone find absolute joy from a huge plate of food is always good. When you know that you have helped, even if it’s the smallest contribution, to create that smile, it makes you happy. Best of luck to Dave and all of the great volunteers at Hands on Greater Portland and Potluck in the Park.

Get out and volunteer!