The Mission team is comprised of many members who are busy throughout the year working with the congregation on several local mission projects. One of our main missions is the Backpack Buddies Program which Jim and Louise Anderson coordinate throughout the year. People help pack and deliver the food to the schools a couple of times per month. The end of last year we were serving about 80 children per week, and this year we are serving 100 children per week. The schools we support are Lot Whitcomb, View Acres, and Oak Hills’ Head Start Program. The food that we pack for these children help give them the extra food and nutrition they need for each weekend of the school year. A fifth grade teacher told us, “Thank you for bringing Backpack Buddies to our school. It makes a difference. It really makes a difference for the children.”
Jay Knauss coordinates Red Cross Blood Drives quarterly at the church. Jim Anderson leads the monthly neighborhood Prayer Walk. Jim and others walk and pray for the neighbors in the Oak Hills’ neighborhood. Don Gissel coordinates the serving of communion to our members who are homebound. Susann Smith and Cathy Searles co-chaired the annual Christmas dinner that was served at the Clackamas Service Center in December. Dinner was prepared and served to about 80 homeless/low-income people in the North Clackamas county area. Volunteers were also organized to serve a Sunday meal at Feed the Hungry located in the Milwaukie Episcopalian Church. Sylvia Totzke has been researching ways Oak Hills can assist the refugee/immigrant community. She organized an event for our church to donate household goods to a local refugee program.
Through Missions, the church contributes to Portland Rescue Mission, King’s Cupboard, Love INC, Shepherd’s Door, and Medical Teams International. The church continues to support Wycliffe Bible Translators’ missionaries, John and Jody Wilson and Kent and Kim Rasmussen.
This year over 1,000 refugees will be resettled into the Portland area. Some of them will come from Iraq and Syria. We at Oak Hills want to help some of those being resettled into Clackamas County. Most refugees arrive in the United States with next to nothing, but you can help them rebuild their lives by helping us put together restart kits. Choose one or more items from the list below, purchase them (new items only) and bring them to church Sunday, June 19. Thanks for helping us welcome refugees to Portland!
If you have questions about this project or if you’d like to learn more about helping refugees, please contact Sylvia Totzke, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose twin, full, or queen
- Sheets and Pillow cases
- Pillow (1 for twin or full, 2 for queen)
- Flour (5lb bag)
- Sugar (4lb bag)
- Rice (large bag)
- Pasta (3 packages)
- Pasta sauce (3 jars)
- Biscuits or cookies
- Dried fruit
- Tea, coffee and hot cocoa
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Salt and pepper
Kitchen Kit 1
- Dishes (plates and bowls for 6)
- Cups/glasses and mugs for 6
- Silverware (forks, knives, spoons for 6-8)
- Silverware tray/holder for drawer
- Dish towels (2)
- Potholders (2)
- Paper towels and holder
- Hand soap
- Trash can (11-13 gallons)
- Garbage bags
Kitchen Kit 2
- Mixing bowls (2-3)
- Plastic Tupperware or storage containers
- Frying pan
- Small pot with lid, large pot with lid
- Baking dish (glass or ceramic)
- Cutting board
- Large carving knife, smaller paring knife
- Can opener
NOTICE: The last food-packing session to serve the children at Concord Elementary for the school year was Tuesday, May 21, at 7 p.m. THANKS to all who serve the children at Concord Elementary School by providing weekend food for those in need. Thank you to the shoppers, the packers, and the delivery team! We will begin again in the fall.
OHPC History of Backpack Buddies
We became aware of this program in the North Clackamas School District when the Adult Spiritual Nurture (ASN) committee asked the Mission Team for suggestions for the Advent Conspiracy in the fall of 2009. Advent Conspiracy, a class led by Susann Smith on Monday evenings, was a series about giving to help others, rather than Christmas gifts with little or no meaning, merely contributing to materialism. Emma Fortier brought information about Backpack Buddies to the attention of the mission team and the Advent Conspiracy group. We agreed to give it a try. Sandy Osborn created a promotional poster, and Christmas cards to explain the alternative gifts to family and friends. The alternative cards were sold to develop the fund.
Ten people came to the first planning meeting in November 2009, funds were raised and food was donated. We began supplying weekend food for about 30 children at Concord School in January 2010. The bags of food go home with children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, if the parents have signed a permission slip. For most of the 2012-13 school year Oak Hills has served 93 children. Each bag contains two protein items, two servings of fruit, two 100% juice boxes, and two snack items with protein.
Many people at Oak Hills are involved as donors, shoppers, packers, and delivery crew.
Program page at North Clackamas Schools
In the News at Oregon Food Bank