A Year of Service

In past years Marylhurst has hosted a “Spring into Service” program during the month of April. This year focused on smaller projects and on consistently offering our community the opportunity to participate in those projects. A few of the things we’ve done:

  • We collected, along with the Sisters of the Holy Names, 3 carloads of “delicates” and bath items for women who have recently been rescued from trafficking.
  • We collected over $250 in cash and gift cards for the agencies who support this women to use as needed.
  • We hosted a blood drive in February and are preparing for a drive on April 2nd.
  • During the height of the cold weather we collected over 80 pairs of gloves for the homeless in our local area.
  • We’ve met with the good folks at the MacDonald Center in downtown Portland to explore how members of our community might be of assistance to their community.
  • We are beginning a relationship with “Our Father’s House” a shelter in Oregon City. We plan to serve a monthly meal to the folks who come to the shelter and to make sandwiches once a month here on campus to be taken to the shelter for the homeless in need of a meal.
  • Members of our community generously share with one-another through the student food pantry located in Marian Hall.

Blessings on you as you find ways to serve others,




Homeless Families: Changing Colors in Times of Adversity

As the crisp breeze of fall sneaks into the Northwest, the sun casts an orange hue on our lush folliage.  Beautiful autumn is here. Nevertheless our community faces challenges of the season. How do families keep warm, stay fed and maintain a roof overhead? 

    “According to the National Coalition on the Homeless (2002), the systemic or structural causes of homelessness, poverty and lack of affordable housing are on the increase… In every state, more than the minimum wage is required to afford a one or two-bedroom apartment at Fair Market Rent. The gap between the number of affordable housing units and the number of people needing them has created a housing crisis for [people with a low-income]… The increases in poverty are partly due to a decline in public assistance programs. Early studies from the Welfare to Work program have concluded that although the total number of individuals who are on government welfare programs has gone down, the number of individuals who are now attempting to subsist on below living wage jobs without medical benefits has increased significantly. These people are always one paycheck away from homelessness.” (My Father’s House, KA)

    “Homelessness is growing exponentially at a rate of 37% each year, and the average age of a homeless person is 9 years old. There are more homeless families than there are homeless singles, and in Multnomah County there are over 3,000 homeless families on any given night.” (My Father’s House: A Community Shelter, OR)

The many organizations throughout Oregon which strive to support families facing homelessness and poverty are reliant on their volunteers.  Through service events and activities, Marylhurst University students, faculty, staff and associates are partnering with different organizations to provide these families the services they need. These organizations include but are not limited to the Oregon Food Bank and My Father’s House: A Community Shelter.

Marylhurst University Food Drive and the Oregon Food Bank: Marylhurst has traditionally held a food drive during the alumni events of Homecoming Week. The University will be collecting non-perishable, protein-rich food items and cash/check donations October 13th-18th.  There will be baskets dispersed all over campus. To contribute non-perishable, protein-rich food, please bring your donation to one of the following drop off points: Flavia Hall,  Marion Hall, The Old Library, BP John entrance, Clark Commons. To contribute funds (Oregon Food Bank’s greatest need), please visit Amanda Baker, Service Program Coordinator at Marion Hall Room 109, call (503) 699-4063, or e-mail abaker@marylhurst.edu. You can also make a donation online. Just click here.

Marylhurst University and My Father’s House: Students, faculty, staff and associates are invited to serve with an extraordinary oragnization whose mission is to meet the needs of homeless families. To find out more about volunteering with My Father’s House, please click here.

As colors change in fall, so do the needs of the season. “We must be the change we want to see in the world.” (Ghandi)