6 Active Organizations Benefiting Oregon Communities

The people of Oregon care about one another, and when a community is lacking in necessary services, dedicated organizations pick up the slack. Whether it's recycling, shelter, health care, or spaces for citizens to congregate, these groups go the extra mile to make the state a great place to live. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

6 Community Groups Serving Oregonians

Organization Location Purpose
Recycling Advocates Portland Encourages recycling through community education and legislative advocacy
Bradley Angle Portland Helps survivors of domestic violence through support groups, a confidential crisis line, economic empowerment, and housing services
Pioneer Courthouse Square Portland Urban space that hosts events and encourages community interaction
Central City Concern Portland Provides aid for those struggling with addiction, homelessness, unemployment, poverty, and lack of affordable health care
Cherriots Salem Runs public transportation services covering an area of 76 square miles
Oregon Garden Silverton 80-acre green space featuring more than 20 gardens, a winter holiday market, and special events

Paint The Town At Pioneer Courthouse Square During The 2019 Festival Of Flowers

Oregon Facts and Statistics

Bradley Angle On The Necessity For Its Work

In Depth

Nestled between California and Washington in the Pacific Northwest, Oregon is home to an impressively diverse landscape, with sandy beaches, verdant forests, and other breathtaking wonders, and an equally unique population. Tending to the Beaver State's residents and natural resources are a number of groups dedicated to issues like access to housing, reliable transportation, and the preservation of outdoor spaces. If you are interested in learning more about their work, then here are, in no particular order, six active organizations benefiting Oregon communities.

At #1 is Recycling Advocates, established in 1987. A citizen-based grassroots organization, RA works to build a sustainable future by encouraging people to reduce, reuse, and recycle. It takes a multi-faceted approach in support of its mission, with an abundance of goals like advocating for environmentally safe policies on a legislative level, training volunteers to educate in the community, and collaborating with other nonprofits dedicated to waste reduction.

Specific initiatives that RA has undertaken include the B.Y.O.C. campaign, which urges Oregonians to bring reusable cups to coffee shops, and the promotion of zero-waste conferences. Other areas of focus for the organization are efforts to ban single-use plastic bags and to reduce the amount of e-Waste in the state. If you are interested in contributing to Recycling Advocates, you can donate online, volunteer as a community educator, or sign up to receive its monthly newsletter.

If you are interested in contributing to Recycling Advocates, you can donate online, volunteer as a community educator, or sign up to receive its monthly newsletter.

Coming in at #2 is Bradley Angle. Based in Portland, Bradley Angle helps survivors escape domestic violence and rebuild their lives in a safe environment. It strives to extend dignity, respect, and empathy to those who enter its doors. In 2018 alone, the organization was able to provide safe and stable housing to 76% of the survivors it served.

Catering to a variety of people, Bradley Angle runs many different individual services, each specializing in a specific portion of the population. Its Healing Roots Program, for example, offers support to Black and African-American survivors and their families, while its HIV and Intimate Partner Violence Services focuses on HIV-positive individuals or those who are at risk of contracting the virus. It also runs a confidential twenty-four-hour crisis line and numerous workshops throughout the Portland area. Those who want to support the nonprofit can become sponsors of its events, host benefits to fundraise, or donate goods from the group's wish list.

In the #3 spot is Pioneer Courthouse Square, which opened in 1984 as an urban space in downtown Portland that today hosts more than 300 events and welcomes over ten million visitors annually. As the city's most-visited park, Pioneer Courthouse Square promotes local events and encourages residents to get outside and interact with each other. A non-profit organization, it also periodically engages in consulting services with other groups working to develop successful public spaces.

As the city's most-visited park, Pioneer Courthouse Square promotes local events and encourages residents to get outside and interact with each other.

Visiting the park is easy to do, with public transportation operating nearby. Some of its regular offerings include Carts on the Square, which sell tasty foods like fried egg sandwiches and classic burgers, and live music shows. If you want to learn more about Pioneer Courthouse Square, you can sign up to receive its newsletter. Those who want to support the organization can purchase an engraved brick, which also entitles them to a signed certificate from the mayor.

At #4 is Central City Concern. Founded in 1979, CCC is a non-profit agency that helps members in the Portland metropolitan area who are struggling with homelessness, poverty, and addiction. Initially focusing on alcoholism, CCC has extended its reach considerably since its beginnings, and it now serves more than 13,000 individuals annually and has a staff of over 800.

CCC has targeted four main areas in its work to promote personal and community transformation: housing, healthcare services, healthy peer relationships, and reliable income. Announced in 2016, its "Housing is Health" initiative, for example, unveiled plans for a new community health clinic and 379 units of affordable housing. Elsewhere, the Employment Access Center provides clients resources as they search for jobs and develop their own skills. If you are interested in helping Central City Concern, you can volunteer your time or contribute in-kind donations.

If you are interested in helping Central City Concern, you can volunteer your time or contribute in-kind donations.

At #5 is Cherriots, a public transportation service. Formed in 1979, the public agency, officially a part of the Salem Area Mass Transit District, runs buses that operate over an area of seventy-six square miles. The name is a nod to Salem's nickname of "the Cherry City" and a play on the word "chariots".

Funded by local property taxes and other governmental money, Cherriots has a fleet of over seventy-six buses, as well as a paratransit service for passengers who are unable to use its regular transit options. Its website hosts a wealth of resources for savvy passengers, including a trip planner and Cherriots Trip Choice, which details different transportation options in the area. Those who want to get involved with Cherriots can inquire about joining one of its advisory committees.

Last but not least, at #6, is the Oregon Garden. Located in Silverton, the eighty-acre, pet-friendly green space boasts more than twenty specialty gardens that display the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest region. Open every day of the year, it welcomes visitors of all ages and runs an active educational arm, with programs like Garden University and Jr. Gardener's Club.

Gardener's Club.

The organization also puts on specific events throughout the year, many of which are open to the public. A Christmas market in December gets visitors into the holiday spirit, while events during the summer months provide opportunities to attend art installations, watch movies, or simply marvel at the beautiful sunset on display in the evening. If you want to support the Oregon Garden, you can purchase an annual membership or inquire about volunteer roles.