Sen. Merkley presents flag flown over U.S. Capitol
Clackamas Service Center began 45 years ago with $1,000 that Anna Jones and two other women won from playing bingo.
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley recognized the center Saturday (Feb. 27) when he presented Jones with a U.S. flag that has flown over the Capitol in Washington, D.C.
She is the founding force and is still at it twice a week, Merkley said as he handed the flag to Jones and executive director Debra Mason.
Jones, who is 91, said the center started with the help of $1,000 from bingo winnings.
The money we made from bingo, we put into buying food, Jones said in a brief interview beforehand. We thought you could go to the food bank and get food for nothing but there is no such thing. That is how the center started.
This neighborhood has been poor ever since I can remember.
Since the end of 1975, Clackamas Service Center has been at 8800 SE 80th Ave. The phone number is (503) 771-7914.
In addition to distributing 5,000 food boxes annually, the center offers hot meals six days a week.
It is the base for medical and dental care provided through partnerships, and for a variety of other social services.
Jones runs the clothing room, which offers used clothing to people in need.
We are a small but mighty grassroots organization, committed to building trust with clients and providing a hand-up on the path to self-sufficiency, Mason said.
Merkley usually starts a town hall meeting this one was at Milwaukie High School with recognition for a community organization.
Among his positions before Merkley was elected to public office back in 1998 were director of Portland Habitat for Humanity and director of housing development at Human Solutions.