Hands & Voices was originally founded to unite people within the deaf community who had chosen different methods of communication. It began when a parent-support group in Colorado witnessed a national debate over the merits of oral versus ASL communication within the deaf community in response to an exhibit at the Smithsonian. Aggrieved by anger that resulted in the exhibit being shut down, the parents worked to create an entity that would represent and aid all deaf and hard-of-hearing people.
A local autonomous chapter of this national movement, Hands & Voices of Oregon helps new parents of deaf and hard-of-hearing children. When children do not pass the newborn hearing screening, Hands & Voices of Oregon contacts their families with information about follow-up diagnostics and educational and communication services. Each family also gains access to a guide who can provide emotional support, connect parents to resources and other families, and attend developmental planning meetings at schools.
When the First Presbyterian Church founded Friendly House—then named the Marshall Street Community Center—in 1926, it was dedicated to a spiritual mission. But when the 1930s gave rise to the Great Depression, its focus quickly shifted to social concerns out of a desire to help those affected by the economic catastrophe. Friendly House’s scope and reach continued to expand over the next few decades, and today it enriches the lives of community members from every age group with educational, recreational, and life-sustaining services.
The neighborhood center and social-services agency help prepare children for school through playgroup and preschool programs. Friendly House also provides housing assistance and transportation for seniors and homeless families and brings the community together through martial-arts classes and other workshops.
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For low-income, undocumented, underserved, immigrant, LGBTQ, gang-affected, and otherwise at-risk youth, the path to prosperity can seem impossibly arduous. No one understands that viewpoint better than the crew at Momentum Alliance, a group composed entirely of youth who have faced down and conquered dire circumstances of their own. They leverage a number of tools at their disposal?namely a guiding cadre of coaches, a network of allies, and each other?to inspire their peers to become leaders themselves. Through programs such as summer camps and workshops, the team instills leadership skills in its charges and prepares them for the transition from vulnerable individuals into effective community advocates and decision-makers.
Whether they're dangling from a tree, a club's ceiling, or pull-up bars inside the studio, A-WOL's cohort of dancers dazzles with a unique combination of dance and aerial fitness. Classes range from aerial yoga to trapeze, helping participants fly through the air like projectile cream pies. Instructors ensure that each participant soars safely by building a strong foundation before testing out skills and tricks.
Each year, more than 300 vendors and 10,000 lovers of food, wine, beauty, and charity assemble for the annual Portland Women's Expo. In the vendor area, companies with specialties ranging from fitness and spiritual healing to home decor and financial planning share their products and expert advice with attendees. But visitors needn't worry about weary feet and sore backs after exploring the expo, as pampering and relaxation is the name of the game. The Massage Garden connects attendees with a dozen massage therapists who ease tension for a modest donation, and the Beauty Bar brims with complimentary hairstyles and makeovers. Visitors can also kick back to watch the Love Yourself First fashion show, which features creative apparel from up-and-coming Portland designers. On top of everything, guests can sample free chocolate, charcuterie, cheeses, and other gourmet edibles along with wine and spirits from a bevy of local establishments.
Tickets don't just support each guest's beautification efforts, however. The expo serves as one of two yearly fundraisers for The Portland Women's Expo Foundation, an organization intent on building a temporary housing and assistance facility for homeless families.
With more than 60 million albums sold, the dynamic duo of Daryl Hall and John Oates has amassed an army of fans via their ageless anthems, silky ballads, and dance-floor staples since the mid-1970s. In this special benefit for the youth-mentorship organization Friends of the Children, the formerly pompadoured Daryl Hall and the estranged moustache of John Oates share prized selections from their box set, Do What You Want, Be What You Are, which encompasses their ceaseless career. Armed with a songbook packed with perennial favorites such as "Maneater" and "Rich Girl," the fireproof voices and unabashed showmanship of Daryl Hall and John Oates leave devotees and newfound fans happier than a kid in a hardware store.