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Funds will support the nonprofit shelter's diploma class and help people find jobs

PMG PHOTO: CHRISTOPHER KEIZUR - 100 Women Who Care East County presented My Fathers House with a check for $12,500.Last month, a 57-year-old woman who had been struggling to find stable housing had reason to celebrate.

She had just graduated from My Father's House's diploma class, completing a milestone she never thought would happen after dropping out of high school decades ago.

"The first thing she did was go to her grandchildren and say, 'Look what grandma did,'" said My Father's House Executive Director Cathe Wiese. "She had so much pride, she was beaming."

On Thursday evening, April 25, a group of more than 100 women came together to make sure more stories like that could be told. 100 Women Who Care East County presented a check for $12,500 to My Father's House during their quarterly meeting to support the diploma class.

"This means so much to us," Wiese said. "We will use this donation to help our adult residents get better jobs."

The gathering took place at Migration Brewing, 18188 N.E. Wilkes Road, and was sponsored by Christina Price of Edward Jones, 1342 N.W. Civic Drive.

"We are passionate about giving back to the community — and we are making a difference here," Price said.

100 Women Who Care is a group of forward-thinking community members who gather four times a year for one-hour meetings. The women learn about local charities and donate $100 to the nonprofit organization selected through a popular vote. The combined donation makes a real impact, without any time-consuming fundraising events or planning.

The other two organizations nominated were Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center and the Gresham Salvation Army. While neither was selected, they both can be selected in future meetings.

The donation from 100 Women Who Care came at the perfect time for My Father's House, as the organization had just depleted the grant money funding the diploma class. Wiese was worried about how they were going to help the people signed up to take it next month.

The class helps vulnerable people in the community find stable employment by having them earn their high school diploma. Every other month, 10 students complete the course.

During the meeting Wiese told a story about one of the men staying at the shelter, who was excited because he had just been hired to a great position.

The problem was he had lied on his application about having graduated from high school. When he was up for promotion, the business learned about the deception and fired him.

"With this class, we can stop that from happening and keep people employed," Wiese said.

My Father's House is a nonprofit shelter ministry that works to meet the needs of homeless families. They provide alternative housing to the men, women and children who otherwise would find themselves sleeping in cars, crashing on friend's couches or surviving on the streets.

The shelter supports 30 families, while programs allow the residents to further their education, build skills and receive counseling.

Visit www.familyshelter.org if you want to learn more or donate to My Father's House.

In just its first year, 100 Women Who Care has more than doubled in membership, which equates to larger donations to local nonprofit groups. Right now there are 125 members, but organizers want to keep growing.

"Any woman who wants to join is welcome to our meetings," said Sue Piazza, one of the founding members.

For more information about 100 Women Who Care East County, or to become a member, visit www.100womenwhocareeastcounty.org.


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