Expanded ‘Resources Fair’ returns to Parkrose

INCLUDES VIDEO VIGNETTE | See how they’ve added to the resources they provided at this, their third drive-through fair in outer East Portland …

As this year’s Parkrose Community Resources Fair gets underway, vehicles are lined up along SE Shaver Street, eastward to 122nd Avenue.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Following up their previous Parkrose Community Resources Fairs, held in February and then in April, the organizing groups returned to the west parking lots of Parkrose High School on November 20 to host another drive-through fair.

>> To see our coverage of the April 24 fair, CLICK HERE.

Checking in the participants, here’s event volunteer Khalia Jabbie, a Parkrose High School National Honors Society student.

“We were going to host our Community Resources Fair in September, but we were able to reschedule it for today; and, so far, we have a pretty good turnout,” remarked Safiyya Algellal, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Program Liaison for the Parkrose School District, as she gazed at the stream of vehicles snaking around the lot.

“If fact, it’s definitely a much bigger turnout than we had in April, when it was steadily raining! Actually, this is the first fair at which we’ve had good weather, which is probably why more people are showing up your today.”


Taking a moment for a photo before going back to their event management duties are co-coordinators Annie Lindekugel, Community Services Network Executive Director, and Safiyya Algellal, the McKinney-Vento Homeless Program Liaison for the Parkrose School District.

Another reason for the increased participation was that many of those who arrived also made it a point to come by to receive a vaccine shot, Algellal pointed out.

“We’re set up to be a drive-through event, although we have had some walkers come in,” Algellal commented.

Offering free books is Multnomah County Library Chinese Regional Librarian Toan Lam-Sullivan.

“Located here, between inner Portland and Gresham, there aren’t a lot of resources for the community,” observed Algellal. “To be able to have an event like this, where the community can get together, collaborate, organize, and provide these important resources – it’s always a good thing!”

See what it was like to attend
this edition of the Parkrose Community Resources Fair
by watching our Video Vignette:

About their food box provider, Algellal told East Portland News, “Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) is great; they been here at all three of our fairs at Parkrose High School. It’s an amazing organization; Not only do they distribute packaged and fresh foods, they also bring their own group of volunteers to help!”

“We’re happy to volunteer, because our food pantry is very close by, in the Gateway District,” confirmed PACS’ Pantry Manager Tim Zollbrecht.

PACS volunteer Mark Westcott is ready to deliver another food box to a waiting vehicle.

Supervising the free food distribution is Portland Adventist Community Services Volunteer Coordinator Gerelisa Eisele, and also Executive Director Laura Pascoe, with Associate Director and Food Pantry Manager Tim Tim Zollbrecht.

“Part of what’s wonderful about this is that here we have two denominations coming together, Community Services Network, a Catholic charitable organization, and PACS, sponsored by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, working together to help our community,” remarked Zollbrecht.

“We both do this because, as people who attempt to follow the teaching and example of Jesus Christ to the best of our abilities, this is one way that we can show love to our neighbors,” he added.

They’d prepared food for about 200 families; but – 90 minutes into the fair – they’d already distributed about half of it. “If we run out, we have flyers directing people to the PACS Food Pantry, where they can also receive food help,” Zollbrecht told us.

Being directed through what amounted to a maze in the parking lot, those who drove in can avail themselves of information, services, and food.

At this Parkrose Community Resources Fair, the attendees received:

  • Resource packages for employment opportunities;
  • Healthcare information;
  • Personal hygiene kits;
  • Family food boxes;
  • COVID-19 vaccines with incentives; and,
  • Free books being given away by the Multnomah County Library.

 

At the “Vaccination Station”, Eleanor Lindekugel helps check in patients as Safeway pharmacists Kelly Nguyen and Tina Huynh prepare to draw up vaccine shots.

So far, the organizers haven’t announced the date for the next Parkrose Community Resources Fairbut when they do, we’ll have it listed in our Community Calendar.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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