Social Services ‘Drive-Thru Fair’ hosted in Parkrose

You’ll be fascinated by how this event was hosted – as well as by the number of providers who helped out, at this unique outer East Portland fair …

Vehicles line up along Parkrose High School, as the first-ever Parkrose Social Services ‘Drive-Thru Fair’ gets underway.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

On February 6, and all in one place, “people in need” were able obtain Personal Protection Equipment, hygiene kits, resource packets from several different service providers, employment opportunities, food boxes bags, and educational resources –from the comfort of their vehicle.

“We’re calling this three-hour event our ‘Parkrose Social Services “Drive-Thru Fair”,’ here at Parkrose High School,” smiled co-coordinator McKinney-Vento Homeless Program Liaison, at Parkrose School District (PSD), Safiyya Algellal.

The chief organizer, Community Services Network Executive Director Annie Lindekugel, spends a moment with Safiyya Algellal, from the Parkrose School District.

When we asked how this idea came about, Algellal explained, “The PSD and I have been organizing along with Historic Parkrose [Neighborhood Prosperity Initiative] a lot this year, and recently they introduced me to Community Services Network (CSN) Executive Director Annie Lindekugel.

“Since we’ve been wanting to hold an event like this for a while, here at Parkrose High, this was the perfect opportunity for all of us to collaborate, and give back to the Parkrose community,” Algellal told East Portland News.

Volunteers pause to wave, while packing food boxes to be distributed at the “Drive-Thru Fair”.

The fair took outdoors, in the Parkrose High’s west parking lot; so, vehicles queued up along NE Shaver Street to be checked in. There was also a “walk-up station” near the entrance on the sidewalk for those on foot.

“Masks are required; and, we’re doing COVID-19 screenings and temperature checks of all visitors,” assures CSN Intern Erika Clark.

There’s always a need for this kind of event, Algellal acknowledged. “But now, because of the pandemic, these needs are even greater.

“Many of us have been impacted in some way or another, due to the COVID-19 coronavirus; so, it’s important that we provide as much as we can for the community, especially during this time,” she explained.

Here helping distribute food boxes are PACS Marketing Director Dan Howard; Executive Director Laura Pascoe; and volunteer Andrew Vaughan, a senior at Portland Adventist Academy, and also with Crosswalk PDX.

At the event, as many as 30 volunteers helped the fair run smoothly as drivers moved through the stations set up around the parking lot. Some helpers were PSD staffers, and others were affiliated with the sponsoring organizations.

“Our partners include Historic Parkrose; CSN, and their partners including Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS), CareOregon, The DPI Group; and the Oregon Food Bank,” acknowledged Algellal.

At the free book station’s giveaway table we found Historic Parkrose NPI Community Outreach Coordinator Annette Stanhope.

Creating long-lasting relationships
In addition to helping members of the Parkrose community, Algellal said, “I hope to continue our partnerships with CSN and Historic Parkrose, and also hope to hold events like this in the future.

“Working together, and combining efforts and different resources, is essential so that we can help as many people as possible.”

One by one, vehicles drive through the stations during the ‘Parkrose Social Services ‘Drive-Thru’ Fair’, getting food, and valuable resources.

“I also hope this Fair brings a small feeling of togetherness during this challenging and isolating time,” Algellal went on. “We’re still in ‘distance learning’, and many of us are struggling right now; but, hopefully, events like this will inspire us to keep helping and supporting each other, and building and strengthening our communities.”

By the time the fair ended and participants started packing up, 149 cars, and 400 people had been served at this well-organized and helpful Fair.

>> On our Front Page: Giving away personal care packets is Maria Velador, with the Latino Network.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

 

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