By Coach Mel

Before visions of sugar plums get too wild in your head remember that oh so many people/animals (that’s right) need our help now and all the time for that matter. It’s a stressful time of year… it always is. Maybe this year more than ever due to recent political events. I will say this, though - one good thing that has come of “recent events” is a lot people within my personal community want to know how the heck they can help. Donations are huge, volunteering is becoming a thing again, and when people don’t have money or much time to donate I have even seen hugs offered. Let’s continue this trend through the holidays and beyond.  I am so privileged and if you are reading this blog you probably are too. That is not meant to be a guilt-trip into donating, but I know I need the “I’m privileged” reminder sometimes so we can just call it a self-serving comment.  

If I’ve said it once I’ll say it again… I continue to be so thankful to have a community and platform from which to ask for help and get support. At POINT we are going to help you out by creating a place and options for donations and helping others this holiday season. It is pretty overwhelming right now to think of all the organizations and causes that need our help. Kimberly and I are both passionate about many different organizations so we have decided to choose a few we love the most so that you have an option to donate to one or all!

We will be donating to SARC (Sexual Assault Resource Center), OTAT PDX (One Tail at a Time Dog Rescue), and p:ear (Project: Education, Art, Recreation). Below is what you could donate for one or all. Please bring items to the gym and label the bag they are in with what organization you want them to go.

Here is a little about each, why they are important to us, and what you can do:

SARC - Sexual Assault Resource Center was founded by two sexual assault victims in 1977. We need more than ever to continue the war against rape-culture and promote equality. Helping women feel more powerful is something we are so passionate about at POINT. Anyone can be a victim of sexual assault but I will be so bold as to say 100% of women have to live day to day with the thought either at the back or front of their minds that “it could be her” that day.  Every time we walk alone, go out at night, or let’s be honest - just exist, we think about this and we worry how we might be the ones blamed for it. How ridiculous is that? And those who are never physically assaulted have most likely at some point been verbally assaulted. We want to do what we can to help those who have had it the worst and start preventing the culture that enables it.

This wonderful non-profit’s mission is to “promote social justice by eliminating sexual violence in our community through education, support, and advocacy.” SARC uses the word “survivor” and not victim. They work to empower the survivor and recognize that sexual assault is based in anger, power, and control. The survivor is not to blame. Their philosophy reflects the knowledge that sexual assault “has no boundaries of race, age, language, gender, economic class, disability, or religion. We believe that the survivor need not be alone during their healing process.”


Survivors need gift cards to places where they can get emergency resources, such as:
Fred Meyer
New Seasons
Trader Joes
Gas stations
Affordable chain restaurants

OTAT - One Tail at a Time is a local dog rescue in PDX headed up by a former POINT member. This organization is the reason you all know and love gym dogs Henni and Elton Joan. Henni and Elton will surely be donating a portion of their holiday toys to dogs in need just like they once were. Dogs need help too! The more supplies OTAT has, the more dogs they can rescue from the overpopulated high-kill shelters and place them into loving foster homes before adoption. If you want to donate to OTAT check the following list:


Become a member for just $10 a month! - Free gift included… a OTAT beanie! Ask us about this option; we’ll give you the deets.

$25 provides two weeks of healthy dog food
$75 covers treatment for kennel cough, parasites, or other common shelter illnesses
$150 offsets costs of routine spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, and vaccinations
$300 defrays treatment costs of extensive medical issues, such as for heartworm, pneumonia, or surgery
$500 assists with dental surgery for a neglected puppy mill dog

Food (unopened bags or cans only)
Etc… (just think “could a dog use this?”)

p:ear - There is a lot of controversy around homelessness in Portland. Youth can be homeless for a number of reasons such as being kicked out of their home due to sexual orientation, not enough income for the family to be housed, rent spikes, leaving due to physical or sexual abuse, and many other reasons. One of the most important things we can do is educate our youth no matter their circumstances. p:ear is a wonderful organization dedicated to just this.  

“p:ear builds positive relationships with homeless and transitional youth through education, art and recreation to affirm personal worth and create more meaningful and healthier lives. Each year our programs serve almost 900 homeless and transitional young people ages 15 to 24. To truly exit homelessness, kids must develop the internal strength, skills, and foresight to make healthy choices. p:ear provides a safe, non-judgmental environment in which youth are trusted to outgrow unproductive and harmful behaviors. We offer individualized mentoring and education programs in a safe, reliable setting designed to foster trust, build self-esteem and to teach homeless and transitional kids – who all too often are regarded by society as disposable, “hopeless cases” – that they are valuable individuals with a future who have something vital to contribute to this community. p:ear staff and volunteers serve as mentors, friends, and role models, while p:ear’s unique programs create opportunities for young people to grow intellectually, express themselves constructively, communicate in positive ways and engage in meaningful interactions with the larger community of Portland. This is not work that can be accomplished in the short-term. These are relationships based on trust that take years to cultivate and require enormous dedication to sustain.”




$125 for lunch for 50-60 youth
Bus tickets
="Kitchen items: any dairy (milk, cheese, cream cheese, butter), meat and eggs, fruit, tea, fruit juice, Emergen-C, flours, rice
Gift certificates to Rite-Aid, Ace Hardware, New Seasons, Whole Foods, Fred Meyer & True Value Hardware (to meet daily needs from milk to first-aid supplies to light bulbs!)
Feminine hygiene products: tampons (no pads or panty liners)
Hair clippers, combs/brushes and hair-ties
Disposable razors and shaving cream
Deodorant, shampoo, lotion
Betadine Antiseptic, travel-size hand sanitizer
Travel size toothpaste
Moist towelettes
First Aid: Antibiotic Cream (preferably single packs), Medical Tape, Ace Bandages, Instant Cold Packs, gauze wraps and pads


Sponsor a youth taking the GED at $125
Spiral notebooks/journals
Calculators, rulers, pens, compasses, etc.
Financial scholarships for further education
Gift certificates to Office Depot/Max, Ikea, Apple App Store and Powell's Books


Gift certificates to Michael’s or Dick Blick
Acrylic paints
New frames and canvases
Beading and sewing supplies
Scissors, glues, glitters
Paint pens
Guitar strings, Picks
Drum Sticks
1/4" Chords
Sheet Music
Gift Certs to Trade up Music, Musicans or Guitar Center.
Silk screening needs: 11" x 17" Screens Emulsion Stencil Remover /emulsion remover Blockout silk screen pens AWT Red Polyethylene Screen Tape 8.5" x 11" and 11" x 17" clear velum 11" plastic silk screen Squeegee, Table top silk screen printer.
11" x 17" -100 point cardstock in white, grey and black
8.5" x 11"- 100 point cardstock in varying colors
Black and white t-shirts in varying sizes (M, L, XL, 2XL) for silk screening


Bike stuff: 700x18-25mm presta valve bike inner tubes, patch kits and glue
Waterproof rain pants, jackets, shells (new or used)
Gift cards to REI, Sellwood Cycles, (bike or outdoor recreation stores)
Full finger cycling gloves
New Seasons gift cards for lunch on trips
Trekking poles


Cleaning supplies and basic kitchen items (soap: bar, hand, dish, bleach, glass cleaner)
$20 purchases a new Birth Certificate, $39.50 gets an Oregon ID
Baby wipes
Gift cards to H&M, Ross, Fred Meyer for clothing who youth have have job interviews or work needs

Thank you all so much for reading and for considering a donation to one of these three wonderful organizations. We know the holidays are busy and money is tight. You could look at this as a learning experience in social justice for any of your friends/family members and gift them a shiny donation to one of the organizations.

Happy Holidays! See you at POINT!