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Vulching for Volunteerism in Portland

When you think of Portland, you invariably must think of the good that goes on within its limits–common good, individual good, personal growth, major change. And, it’s all free of charge.Well, sort of.  In most cases, you won’t get paid, and you’ll be asked to give of your time —and raise donations to boot. Yeah, we’re talkin’ volunteerism, here, in Resurgam City.

Among the challenges to a non-profit venture, is how to make a non-profit, and still make money.  OK, so far?  That brings us to fund-raising that will match the amount needed to either start up programs, or increase the reach of current programs.  So, B, S, & T is what it will then take to get those funds.  Your grandfather would have called it “elbow grease”.

Hold up your hand if you helped with or have been to a fund-raiser, recently.  Wow, look at you all.  Now, was it a gala, auction, concert, radio- or tel-a-thon?  Did you put money in a jar on a store counter to help someone? Did you Buy a Bale? Slide into an ice Cream social? Buy a Painting for a Purpose? Bid on a Purse for a Purpose? Do a 5K, a motorcycle run, restaurant crawl, head shaving, beard shaving, body shaving, tattooing, go to a clothing swap or play in a ball game?  All of these happened here in Portland.  And, you want to know the best part?  All it took to raise substantial funds in some cases was the willingness to try something different.

Like rappelling down the side of One City Center on a cruddy Spring Saturday, helmeted, harnessed in, with rock tuneage blaring–just to set the mood–ending up with 85 people super happy to brave the spring weather in Portland to deliver on their promise after asking others to sponsor them.  Each person had to raise $1,000 to get to go.  Not a bad take: 85K for the cause: Rippleffect, a 501c3 basically said to would-be rappellers, ‘we want your money, but we want you to do something for us.’  Drop 14-stories on OCC to bring attention to their outdoor experience programs and help expand those programs.  And, if you think 14-floors straight down can’t be fun, they had people in costumes that ran the gamut: 7 super heroes, a lion, a hockey mascot, a nun and a banana…and, an 84-year old guy and a 13 1/2 year old kid.  Adam Shepard, who directs Marketing and Adult Programs for Rippleffect says it was, “like catching lightning in a bottle.  It made sense culturally for our outdoor programs.  Without the community of Portland, we couldn’t have gotten it done.”

Time to catch your lightning.  Catch it!

Do you work for a non-profit?  What made you join in the effort?

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