“Ladies and Gentlemen, Children of all Ages….Welcome to the Greatest Show on Earth!" and so began Red Dress Party 2015 – Red Top! This year the event was held at The Old Freeman Factory and several hundred people were in attendance – some in theme, and some without a lot to the imagination!
This was the 15th annual event for Red Dress Party which started in 2001 with 75 people in attendance. Having established both interest and demand, organizers began to plan a bigger and better event in 2003 that would help raise money for our friends and neighbors who were living with HIV and AIDS, and for children who were affected by AIDS. Our House’s programs (Esther’s Pantry and Tod’s Corner) have been previous beneficiaries for Red Dress Party events; Our House, as an organization, was chosen for the past two years. This year, Red Dress Party’s beneficiaries were Our House and Cascade AIDS Project. We are waiting to hear news on the amount that Our House will receive for the event and appreciate all of the years of support that the Red Dress Party board, committee, and volunteers who have provided support over the years.
There's a line in a Bob Marley song that says "Sun is shining, weather is sweet, make me wanna move my dancin' feet" That's what Thursday’s feel like around here as the Community Garden Group works with their our own rhythm outside all afternoon. Several new garden volunteers and interns have joined us, and we received compliments from the interim medical director from Health Share!!!! We’ve also sent out several request letters to local garden outlets and organizations to help us with the garden and have received, so far, a gift certificate for 12 4" vegetable plants arrived in the mail from one of the outreach letters we sent out last week!!
The Our House Garden provides sustenance and creates a place of serenity and healing. Residents and volunteers plant and maintain the garden to provide produce for the kitchen and peace for the mind.
The Holidays have come and gone and we welcome in a new year and staff. We have new staff which includes a new Social Worker for the NHCP program, a new NHCP Occupational Therapist, a primary social worker for Our House residents and an Occupational Therapist for Our House Residents.
The NHCP Self Compassion Group learned how daily messages of gratitude can bring caring, insight and the awareness that we are not alone. It’s been over a month since they started sharing what they are grateful for in a daily email. It’s not like writing a letter, as they aren’t obliged to respond to the contents of the other person’s message. They are witnesses to each other’s experience. That’s all.
One of them wrote in regards to the experience: “I am grateful for: this practice… The Wisdom Of My Sponsor… doctors who have my best health at heart… my friend Chris who at any hour drives me to late medical appointments when I am not able… Reminders to breathe… My son's integrity… Not going to bed with the demons I awoke with…”
Residents and clients receive a monthly newsletter that is created by the Administrative Assistant for NHCP. The newsletter is a resource for activities, outings, recipes, etc. The newsletter also includes a monthly calendar.
On Wednesday, December 17th we had the Our House Holiday party where clients, residents, staff, and volunteers where invited to celebrate the holiday season. Several of the Oregon Symphony members came and played holiday carols.