July 8th, they're de-paving a parking lot at Woodmere Elementary School, and you're invited to come help out

DAVID F. ASHTON - Ngoc Nguyen, with Aland Dinh, show their purchases at the Woodmere Multicultural Education fundraising Garden Plant Sale. On a typical Saturday, Woodmere Elementary School is dark and devoid of people. But on April 29, the school was teeming with activity inside and out, as "Gather for Wellness" took place inside while the Woodmere Multicultural Education Garden Plant Sale was underway out in the courtyard.

"This event that we're calling 'Gather for Wellness' is about sharing ideas with the greater community about wellness – of both mind and body," explained organizer Kendall Palmer from the organization called "Gather Portland" – the same group that presents the annual everyone-welcome Thanksgiving Day "Feast for Southeast".

Like the "Feast", free food was plentiful, Palmer pointed out. "We think that food brings people together, so that is always an element of our events."

The health fair came about due to community interest, Palmer told THE BEE. "And, it's for more than just Woodmere; it's open to the entire community, even beyond the borders of the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood."

Ten health and wellness providers participated, each giving ideas for wellness as they promoted their practice or organization. The event was mounted with the help of the Woodmere Parents group and other volunteers, Palmer observed.

"The purpose of 'Gather Portland is helping people connect with each other, and having no barriers between them," Palmer said. "It doesn't matter who you are, where you live, or your social status."

Learn more about "Gather Portland" activities online:

Plant sales point to 'Depave' event

Meantime, outside the school, the sale of plants and T-shirts was brisk, in support of the Woodmere Multicultural Education Garden.

"This garden is important because it reflects and honors the many different cultures, religions, and nationalities of the families represented in our school community," explained parent volunteer Erin Seitz. "All of the proceeds are supporting a 'Depave' project, wherein volunteers will help rip out about 1,200 square feet of asphalt to expand our school's learning garden and created a green space for the community."

Upcoming, on the morning of Saturday, July 8, they're asking for at least 100 community volunteers to check in by 9:30 a.m. and begin breaking up pavement, and also to help out with child care and entertainment. "We are looking forward to our community coming out to support this great community-building event that helps our school."

For more information, and to sign up, go online to the "Depave" website: -- then click on the "EVENTS" tab at the top of the page, and scroll down to July 8.

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