Portland church engages neighbors in donation drive

by | Oct 18, 2023 | Refugees & Immigrants

Portland’s Prince of Peace Lutheran Church recently held a donation drive and collected nearly 200 brown paper grocery bags full of mostly new items for LCSNW to distribute to local refugee families. 

These types of donations are critical because newly arrived refugee families start with very little — no furniture, cleaning supplies, groceries, or weather-appropriate clothes. Donations allow our staff to help families get situated with necessities free of charge, easing the stress of starting from scratch, often while they’re not yet able to legally seek employment.

Prince of Peace Pastor Dan Haugen has a background in mission work and he said after moving to Portland five years ago, one of his priorities was to lead his congregation in exploring service opportunities. 

Many paper grocery bags full of items that will provide for basic needs of refugees, most of whom arrive with nothing but the clothes on their backs.

Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Portland held a drive for donations for clients of our refugee services in Portland. Congregants engaged neighbors who filled nearly 200 bags of mostly new items! We are so grateful for this support from everyone involved.

Congregants, Dan said, developed the idea of a quarterly drive for donations, in which they select a nonprofit and place grocery bags on neighborhood doorsteps with a list of needed items. The idea is that residents can fill a bag and return it to their doorstep for collection by the church.

He and his congregation decided to do the drive to support our refugee services. They then placed about 500 bags on neighborhood porches. One week later when they returned to collect filled bags, they counted about 200, which Dan described as a great success.
He said church members found incredible joy and community in doing the donation drive.

The people of Prince of Peace, Dan said, now eagerly look forward to this quarterly event, which happens thanks to a robust volunteer community seeking people and connection in the course of making a charitable act their own.

We are grateful to Prince of Peace Church for this incredible effort organized and carried out by their congregation, leaders and other volunteers. Support like this reminds us of the strength of community and connection.

“God can do mighty things with a little bit of work; we see His fingerprints throughout all of this,” said Dan, who also said he hopes other churches will adopt the model of the brown bag neighborhood drop.

Contact Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at (503) 645-1211 to inquire about collaborating or participating with them in a future drive. LCSNW’s volunteer coordinator for Portland, Vancouver and Beaverton is Fiona Evans, [email protected].