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Nonprofit organization spurs community donations to youth sexual abuse survivors

COURTESY PHOTO: RESTORE HOPE - Volunteers with Restore Hope stuffed 600 stockings for at-risk children and teens. Spurred by a local, small nonprofit organization, dozens of community volunteers rallied together to brighten the holidays for Gresham youths who are at-risk of or have survived sexual abuse.

Volunteers with Restore Hope stuffed 600 stockings Saturday, Oct. 23, at First Baptist Church as part of the "Fill Us with Hope" campaign. Those stockings were delivered to the Oregon Department of Human Services last month where they will be distributed on Christmas to at-risk children and teens, with about half going to youths in Gresham.

"We felt that during the pandemic it was critical to support our local at-risk youth and let them know they are valued, loved and supported by the Gresham community," said Eric Jones, president and survivor support director of Restore Hope.

COURTESY PHOTO: RESTORE HOPE - Pam Congdon, left, is the executive director of Restore Hope. Each stocking includes about 10 items that vary based on the age and gender of the recipients. While it was a huge project for Restore Hope, which is a small nonprofit organization, many other groups helped make it possible.

The city of Gresham, Windermere Foundation and Goodwill donated funding via grants. Columbia Sportswear donated socks. Willamette Dental gave 600 oral care kits — toothpaste, toothbrushes and floss. Local churches including First Baptist, East Hill, Mountainview Christian and River Hills donated items and time. The Mt. Hood Quilt Guild sewed the stockings at no-cost.

All together 50 volunteers helped stuff the stockings.

In addition to the stockings delivered to DHS, Restore Hope gave 40 stockings to the Good News Community Health Center in Rockwood. The organization also donated leftover stuffer items to East Hill Community Church's Joy of Christmas project and La Petite Academy in Fairview. Extra gloves went to First Baptist Church, which will pass them along to SnowCap Community Charities.

COURTESY PHOTO: RESTORE HOPE - The stockings will be distributed to children in Gresham and the surrounding communities by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Across the world 10% of children are sexually abused, and more than 90% know their abuser. Gresham's Restore Hope is dedicated to preventing, recognizing and reacting to child sexual abuse. The nonprofit organization offers training workshops and education, survivor support, and other resources, including ways to report potential abuse.

Learn more, donate, or schedule an abuse prevention training online at restoretheirhope.org


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