Chinmaya Mission Portland takes a leadership role in assisting our friends and neighbors in the community that we live in.
Charity is an attempt wherein I try to expand and bring into the ambit of my life, all others around me and grow to consider the other man’s needs and requirements as important as my own personal needs. To live seeking an identity thus, with at least those who are immediately around me, is to live away from the suffocating selfishness and the throttling grip of my body-consciousness.
- Food assistance –
We run quarterly food drives and volunteer at Oregon Food Bank and provide cooked food to homeless shelters every Saturday. The homeless crisis is exacerbated by the pandemic, which has led to food shortages, health risks, economic challenges, and loss of access to public facilities that the homeless previously used for electricity, water, showers, and shelter. We continue, even during the pandemic, to serve the needy with twice-monthly full meals to Transitions Projects, which help individuals work their work way back into independent lives in our society.
- Disaster relief –
We work with local agencies in collecting distributing and giving financial assistance to those who are affected by the disaster in the local area. As an example, we have been working with CORD USA in raising funds for COVID-19 Relief and so far distributed over $20,000 to local agencies and have done hands-on help. Recently during the Oregon fire, we have worked with local agencies in providing items required by fire evacuees and plan to assist in the rebuilding efforts.
- ELL (ESL ) tutoring –
For the last 5 years, we have been providing critical supplemental educational opportunities for elementary and Middle School students from less fortunate backgrounds to improve their academic performance in the core subjects of Math, Reading, and Science. As the nation shifts to online learning during the novel coronavirus outbreak, language and access barriers may shut many of the nation’s nearly 5 million English-learner students out of the learning process so we have expanded our free tutoring program to help more ELL students.
- Adopt-a-Roadway –
Adopt-A-Road Program is an anti-litter campaign intended to build civic pride in a litter-free Oregon. It allows citizens to work in partnership with the county by “adopting” a segment of the roadway and agreeing to keep it clean. We have sponsored 170th street in front of “Apna Bazaar” and do the quarterly street cleanup.
- Summer Camps & Innovative Fundraising programs –
During the Summer break, our high-school students conduct camps in Robotics, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, and Speech and Debate and offer them free of charge for those who have financial difficulties. Our Balavihar students also initiate innovative fundraising for disaster relief, like baking (“Cookies 4 COVID Care”), hand-made soaps (“Soap That Saves”), etc.
- Hands-on service through service visits –
Our students get a chance to go to rural India through CORDUSA, Chinmaya Mission’s humanitarian wing, and experience serving the needy first hand. Most of them come back needing to do more and start projects like ELL tutoring, camps, and other innovative programs to help the underprivileged in this Country.