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Colton True Life youth group took meals to homeless in downtown Portland last month

On Dec. 29, the Colton True Life youth group went to downtown Portland. They headed to Burnside near China Town and handed out more than 100 meals around several area blocks as well as under the Burnside Bridge.

COURTESY PHOTO: TIM BEHRENS - True Life youth group delivers food to Portland's homeless.

Before leaving for the trip to feed those in need, the group made 50 ham sandwiches, 50 turkey sandwiches and 25 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. They filled boxes with two napkins, a spoon, sandwich, banana, orange, granola bar, cupcake and potato salad or pasta salad, a candy cane, a bag of chips and bottle of water.

The boxes the group used were made from plant products; they were biodegradable and made to break down very fast. The group thought that it would be a great way to help keep litter off the streets.

The local group also handed out hoodies, coats, tarps and socks.

"It is touching to see these people," True Life pastor Tim Behrens said. "Whether by choice or by chance, each one had a story to tell. Being there with them on the streets exposes many issues. Many of them wanted to talk with us, and a few even asked for prayer. Regardless of the reasons, we are all called to love and serve. We were blessed just by being with them, reaching out, and listening. It is well worth the experience."

The youth group is planning another trip to Portland on March 1, leaving Colton High School at 1 p.m. They encourage people to join in. They also are asking for donations of tarps, coats, socks, gloves, hoodies, shoes and blankets and are requesting money donations for the purchase of food. For more information, contact True Life at 503-824-5433.

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