SMILE neighborhood association joins "Shop Local" campaign: The effort by the Sellwood-Moreland Business Alliance (SMBA), described in the last issue of THE BEE, to invite Inner Southeast residents to join the "Shop Local" movement this Christmas, found an enthusiastic adherent in SMILE – which in its November Board Meeting appropriated funds to buy from SMBA 25 of its 100 of its "Shop Local" lawn signs, and distribute them around the community. That led new SMILE Board Member Juliana James to create a Christmas diorama in the SMILE message board, on the corner of S.E. 13th and Tenino Street, using one of those signs as its centerpiece. Southeast merchants have seen huge declines in customers during the pandemic; and, for some, losing a successful Christmas Season might be the death knell. A number of previously-successful local businesses have closed permanently recently.
Doug Menely retires as State Farm agent; agency continues: Sellwood's Doug Menely is one of the best-known insurance agents in Portland, but at age 75, married to his wife Ruth for 54 years, he has decided to retire from his 44 year career with State Farm. Doug is noted for his service to the community in various ways; he was involved with the Boys and Girls Club Board in this area for 17 years, has served on the Board of SMILE and SMBA, has been a longtime Rotarian in the Southeast Portland and Milwaukie clubs, a volunteer with the SMART Reading Program at Grout School, and served as a Captain in the Marines in Vietnam after grdaduating from the U of O and the Lewis and Clark Law School. Doug's State Farm agency will continue on S.E. 17 th Avenue in Sellwood; Doug explains, "Two State Farm agents will replace me. Scott Brennan is a 6-year agent who lives in Westmoreland with his wife, who will also be in the office, after 10 years prior State Farm experience in Texas. Meantime, Belen Chavez will be working with her husband James – who both come with 5 years' experience at State Farm – in a State Farm office above the Relish Restaurant in Westmoreland on Milwaukie Avenue."
Westmoreland Windermere Real Estate agents in Christmas drive: Windermere real estate brokers in the Westmoreland office, together with others throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, are in the midst of the company's annual "Share the Warmth" campaign – this year, conducted online. For a few more days, through December 21, they are hosting a "virtual" fundraiser to help local charities purchase winter necessities for community members in need. In the Portland area, the donations will benefit Transition Projects, a local nonprofit that helps individuals transition out of homelessness to secure housing. To make a donation to Transition Projects, visit the Share the Warmth website – www.helpsharethewarmth.com
Sellwood's "Oodles4 Kids" toy store to be sold: In early November, popular Sellwood toy store Oodles 4 Kids in Sellwood was announced as having a "Christmas Clearance" sale. A couple of weeks later, owner Carolyn Miye Sheppard revealed that it was something more, in a postcard to her customers: "After a couple of years of consideration . . . I've made the bittersweet decision that it's time for me to move on from retail. I'll miss the joyful energy of the many families who have frequented Oodles. I'm hoping this last Christmas with you will be bigger than ever. I've stocked several of our best-selling toys, as well as many of our new favorites for you to choose from. Thank you for your support and kindness that have sustained Oodles and me these past eight years." In a KOIN-TV interview on December 2 she indicated she was planning to sell the store. Oodles' address is 7727 S.E. 13th Avenue in Sellwood; the telephone number is 503/719-7670.
OnPoint Credit Union to expand into Fred Meyer stores: OnPoint Credit Union, at one time known as "Portland Teachers Credit Union", not only has a stand-alone branch in Sellwood at 13th and S.E. Tacoma Street, but also has a small branch inside the Safeway Store in Woodstock. The in-store model appears to be working well for the credit union, because it announces, "OnPoint Community Credit Union will open 20 new branches located within Fred Meyer stores across Oregon and Southwest Washington in 2021. This is the largest branch expansion in OnPoint's history, and the news reinforces the credit union's commitment to its members and the Northwest region. As Oregon's largest credit union, OnPoint currently operates 36 branches, with four locations having opened in 2020 alone, and serves more than 415,000 members."
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