Saturday, November 17, 2007

Going Hungry

When I was growing up in Texas, particularly in the seventies, I knew we were not even close to well-off. I started baby-sitting at the age of twelve to be able to afford new school clothes, as did my brother. My mom raised my brother and I alone, and I remember living in Section 8 housing for a couple of years. I don't think she ever had less than two jobs until I was in high school. I remember times when we didn't have the world's most exciting food and I hated vegetables throughout my childhood because all I knew was the canned kind. I remember only liking them when we went to my grandparents' house for a holiday. I just figured that my grandmother was a much better cook than my mom was! I learned differently when I was introduced to frozen, and then fresh vegetables.

I remember alot of not always having what I wanted, or new clothes, or living in the not-so absolute best parts of town. But there is one thing that I do not remember ever experiencing, as a child. I don't ever remember being hungry. My mom made sure of that, even if it meant she didn't get to eat sometimes. I know that some part of me must remember a fear of going without food because even now, no matter what I'm going to the store to get, I absolutely will not walk out of there without an extra can of chili, or box of rice, or whatever. I need the security of knowing that if something happened, I would be able to eat for probably the next month without actually running out of food.

Now, I realise that the seventies are a far cry from today. I honestly don't think my mom would be able to do, today, what she did for us back then. While the formula that determines the poverty level hasn't changed in its 50 years of existance says that housing should take about 30% of a household's income, in reality, today that figure is closer to 50%. That means things like food lose out, as a priority. That means people go hungry. That means that organizations that exist to provide relief have to stretch their resources to the breaking point and beyond.

I'm posting some information and events that are coming up to benefit the Oregon Food Bank and Sisters of the Road. If you need their help get in touch with them. If not, than give your help to them.

The Oregon Food Bank is in particularly dire straits, as I've posted previously, and are really attempting to recover from a severe shortage of food. The OFB has several events planned over the next few months. Here are just a few:

Fill the Bag Food Drive
November and December, 2007
Watch The Oregonian for a special paper bag in November.

Fill the bag with nonperishable food and drop it off at a participating
Jiffy Lube or U.S. Bank. Sponsors include Jiffy Lube, U.S. Bank,
Weyerhaeuser, The Commerce Company, PODS,
Community Newspapers and

*Last year, community members donated more than 100,000 pounds of food during the Fill the Bag Food Drive.

*Contact Raven Camara at

or 503-439-6510, Ext. 209.

Secret Society Craft Sale
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007
Secret Society Ballroom
116 N.E. Russell St. in Portland
11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Find the perfect holiday gift at the Secret Society Craft Sale. Thirty-six artists will feature unique, locally handmade gifts including jewelry, accessories, handbags, crocheted hats, clothing for adults & children, reconstructed apparel , soap & candles, glassware, clayware, plushies, cards & original artwork. Meet the artists while shopping and enjoy snacks and drinks.

*In addition, event organizers will hold a silent for a night at McMenamins Edgefield Bed and Breakfast, premium art supplies from Collage and many other items.

If you want to sponsor an event here you go:

To help sponsor the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival,
presented by First Tech Credit Union,
contact Clay Fuller,

To sponsor other events, contact Christine Hames at
503-282-0555, Ext. 221

Sisters of the Road is a fantastic organization with several fundraisers coming up:

*Sisters’ Holiday Matching Grant Challenge will help expand your giving. November 1 through December 31, all donations to Sisters are matched 50 cents per dollar through the help of a generous group of individuals and businesses, and new donors will be additionally matched one-to-one.

Save the Date for Winterfolk’s 20th Anniversary
The event is on Saturday, February 2nd at the historic Aladdin Theater.
Including: Peter Yarrow, Tom May, Chris Kennedy, JimPage withDickWeissman, Misty River, David Rea, Sky in the Road, and Rite of Spring.

*Tickets will go on sale Dec. 15th in time for holiday gifts; they will cost $33 advance and $35 on the day of the show, and will be available at: the Aladdin Theater 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.(503) 233-1994; Music Millennium East 3158 E Burnside (503) 231-8926; Ticketmaster outlets (503) 224-4400/ 866-448-7849; and Artichoke Music 3130 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. (503) 232-8845. Doors are at 5:30, show is at 6pm

Guitar Raffle Tickets on sale now!
Get tickets at our office at 618 NW Davis, or at Artichoke Music at 3130 S.E. Hawthorne Boulevard; thank-you so much Artichoke! The guitar is a beauty. Todd Mylet of Portland Fret Works has hand-crafted a new steel string acoustic Mylet Concert Model guitar.

Retail value is $2200. The guitar is made of Sitka Spruce and Indian Rosewood with Ebony appointments. Its ebony fingerboard is inlaid with an oroboris (snake eating its tail). Comes with a hard-shell case. Todd builds only one or two guitars a year, and we are extremely lucky to have his support this year – thank you Todd.

In addition to the guitar, raffle participants can win 1 day (10 hours) of recording time at Billy Oskay’s Big Red Studio, valued at $750!

1 comment:

Trouble said...

I know what it was like being poor when i was young, my mom also raised us kids alone, with one boy and 4 girls mom struggled to keep us fed and clothed. most of our clothes were hand-me-downs, I didnt mind as long as they fit. I knew there was always someone somewhere that was worse off than we were. I do know that my mom was one of the strongest women I have ever known, and still is at 72 years old. we dont always see eye to eye, but she is my hero.