Drive-Through ‘Service Fair’ returns to Parkrose

See how the volunteers from several non-profit organizations came together, once again, to help communities in outer East Portland …

Taking the temperatures of walk-in folks at the second Parkrose Social Service Drive-Through Fair, we found Steph’nie Hoffmann of FireHorse Reiki – who was volunteering as a parent of a Parkrose High School student.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

During three hours on April 24th, several nonprofit organizations gathered in the western parking lot of Parkrose High School to present a second Parkrose Social Service ‘Drive-Through Fair.

Canopies were set up in and around the parking lot’s perimeter for the providers of information, food, and services.

Community Network Services Executive Director Annie Lindekugel spends a moment with co-coordinator Safiyya Algellal, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Program Liaison at Parkrose School District.

“Although this is our second time here at Parkrose High School; it’s the 60th fair overall that the Community Services Network has hosted. We started doing this in 2018 here in Portland,” said Community Network Services Executive Director Annie Lindekugel.

As many as 34 volunteers were stationed at the canopies during the fair – serving people who, for the most part, opted to drive through instead of walking in on foot.

Vehicles drive from station to station during the Parkrose Social Service ‘Drive-Through Fair.

“At the beginning the pandemic in 2020, we had to shut down our service offerings,” Lindekugel told East Portland News. “So, in September of last year, we started up again by providing events in a small, organized and structured way, which have grown into larger ‘Community Service Fair’ events, working with other nonprofit organizations.

“When I see people coming through at the fair, it feels so great to see people’s faces, especially in the time of the pandemic,” mused Lindekugel. “To put on an fair like this in a safe and organized way, it’s huge.”

Catherine McMullen with Multnomah County Elections and Parkrose High student volunteer Damien Morin, provide information about the upcoming school board election.

PACS Associate Director Tim Zollbrecht joined the crew of volunteers in providing food to attendees of the fair.

As in the February event [CLICK HERE to read about that fair], Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) played a major role by providing both fresh and packaged groceries to attendees.

“We’ve come prepared to serve 275 families today, each who will receive about 80 pounds of food – including everything from fresh milk, yogurt, apples, onions, and potatoes to cereal and vegetable cooking oil, and even some pork and chicken hotdogs,” PACS Associate Director Tim Zollbrecht remarked, while moving boxes of groceries.

“We’re glad to be participating in this particular fair, as it’s right here in ‘our neighborhood’. While we help families all over outer East Portland, we’re glad to be in this neighborhood and school district.”

Community Service Network volunteer Lance Kamstra provides social services information to a fair attendee.

“Books today?” asks Multnomah County Library Librarian Rachel Short.

As a steady flow of cars moved through the event, an attendee, Shelly Greene, stopped to tell us, “I’m so grateful for the food we’re getting today; it will really help out our family.”

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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