Apr 14, 2020 | COVID-19

Four nonprofits we are supporting during COVID-19 (and how you can help, too)


Each year, Beneficial State Bank donates a percentage of total purchases made by our Portland customers with our LOOP Visa™ credit card to a variety of nonprofits. Our customers select their favorite funding area: education, health and social services, the environment, the arts, and economic development, or choose all five.  A percentage of all LOOP Visa credit card purchases are allocated to the selected nonprofits representing each funding area.

We recently distributed last year’s funds to our LOOP Program Honorees, just as all three of the states in which we have locations were beginning to lock down for COVID-19. At this time, nonprofits need our support more than ever. In addition to donating to these organizations, we’d like to raise awareness of the great work they drive and support in our Portland communities. 

 

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Education: Q Center 


Q Center photobooth picture


Q Center provides a safe space to support and celebrate LGBTQ diversity, visibility and community building. Q Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization which offers multi-generational programs and services in four core areas: Arts & Culture; Education & Training; Health & Wellness and Advocacy. There are dozens of events and groups that meet there, some focused on specific topics (like coming out or gender identity) and others aimed at fun social interactions (like sing-along piano cabarets or craft nights). The cost of entry to most of these is sliding-scale and run by dedicated volunteers, keeping Q Center truly community-driven and accessible.

What they are doing to help with COVID-19:

Q Center is currently closed per public health guidelines, but is assisting a number of mutual aid groups by serving as a donation and distribution hub for supplies for those affected by COVID 19 and pandemic related closures. They are particularly involved in helping the HIV-positive community, which is especially at-risk to COVID-19 due to immunosuppression.

How you can help:

Donate to the Q Center directly on their website or through their Facebook fundraiser.



The Environment: Friends of Trees

 

Friends of Trees volunteers plant a tree together.


Friends of Trees inspires people to improve the world around them through a simple solution: Planting trees together. It was founded in 1989 by Portland resident Richard Seidman. Inspired by a national Global ReLeaf program, Richard wanted to create an organization that both helped the environment and brought people together through the act of planting trees in Portland neighborhoods and natural areas. Today, Friends of Trees is a nationally recognized, regional leader in improving the urban tree canopy and restoring sensitive natural areas—through programs delivered by thousands of volunteers. Since its founding, Friends of Trees has planted 800,000+ trees and native plants with thousands and thousands and thousands of volunteers in 120+ neighborhoods in six counties across two states.

What they are doing to help with COVID-19:

Hosting live streams of tree talks from Portland parks to help people experience and learn about nature while we are mostly stuck indoors.


A Friends of Trees staff member gives a park tour live on its Facebook page


How you can help:

Check out their “Ways to Give” page to see how you can donate directly, gift trees, and more.

  


Economic Development: Voz


Images of the Voz community members

Voz is a worker-led organization that empowers diverse day laborers and immigrants to improve their working conditions and protect civil rights through leadership development, organizing, education and economic opportunity. The only organization in Oregon working with the day laborer community, Voz has almost 20 years of experience organizing day laborers in Portland, and they are a founding member of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which includes over 70 Worker Centers around the country. Voz believes that sustainable and transformative social justice work must be led by the communities most affected. They also operate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Worker Center, which connects hundreds of workers each month with local employers.

What they are doing to help with COVID-19:

Voz has established an emergency fund to support the day laborers they work with during this time of economic uncertainty. As the COVID-19 pandemic intensifies, they have set up a preparedness plan that combines education, individual and collective preparedness planning, and access to direct services (including an emergency solidarity fund to ensure worker access to medical care, sick leave, good hygiene, mental health, housing, and food security.)

 

The Voz community members holding signs that say Please Stand With Voz


How you can help:

Donate to Voz’ emergency fund on GoFundMe.

 



The Arts: Cathedral Park Performing Arts Collective


A music class taught through Cathedral Park Arts


Cathedral Park Arts’ mission is to foster self-determination through the creative engagement of the community in the performing arts. They are a music and theatre arts education organization serving youth and adults in North Portland and surrounding areas. They operate on the belief that self-determination, a sense of freedom and motivation to do what is interesting, personally important, and vitalizing, is instrumental to the creative process and a key component to achieving one’s goals. This community-driven nonprofit was founded by professional musicians and teachers with a passion for the performing arts. Funds go toward scholarships for those needing financial assistance and their high school leadership program, which provides high school students the opportunity to join their pre-professional leadership training program for youth in the performing arts.

 What they’re doing to help with COVID-19:

During this time of physical distancing, they will be offering all online classes for Spring Term. They are hosting live streaming open mic nights monthly and putting all their videos of previous open mic nights on YouTube for the community to have access to be able to experience live performing arts, even during this time of social distancing.

How you can help:

Donate to the organization broadly or for specific programs, donate equipment, become a sponsor, or volunteer.


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