Support Local Journalism!        

Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.

FONT & AUDIO

MORE STORIES


Learn more about the D31 Foundation, Todos Juntos and the Center for the Arts Foundation

PMG FILE PHOTO: BRITTANY ALLEN - D31 staff hosted a mini parkour lesson at the city of Sandy's kids' bike derby the week of Sandy Mountain Festival this year.  'Tis the season when people often turn to self-reflection and — whether in the holiday spirit or to get a tax deduction — seek out the best destinations for their monetary donations.

Fortunately, East Multnomah and Clackamas counties are full of good people and organizations doing good work, which appreciate your donations.

Serving boldly in Sandy

Sandy gained a new nonprofit last year — the D31 Foundation — which brings community members together with projects and parkour. Over the past year, the family-run nonprofit has facilitated service projects, hosted free community events, and taught parkour lessons to youths and nutrition classes. Offered mechanic classes and facilitated lessons in much more areas.

"It may sound like a mishmash of opportunities, but God has placed talented individuals in our path to help us love on the community around us in a vast way," founders Amy, John and Tristan Hardesty say on their website.

COURTESY PHOTO:  D31 FOUNDATION - The Hardesty family founded the D31 Foundation in Sandy.  Amy Hardesty is a Sandy High graduate, and her son Tristan is now graduating this year. After school, Hardesty lived in Gresham for a while, then in September 2021 she moved her family back to Sandy.

Though the nonprofit D31 has only been around for a short time, the spirit and inspiration for the organization has been flowing through the Hardesty family for years.

D31 is an abbreviation for Deuteronomy 31:6, an important biblical verse to the family, saying, "Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Hence the foundation's "Be Bold" slogan.

This verse was especially important to Tristan after a mountain biking accident ruptured his spleen and ended his competitive career in 2014.

After that, the family began making D31-branded shirts, selling them and donating the funds to other nonprofits, and thus the impetus for D31 the foundation was born.

The Hardesty family's mission is to, put simply, "live boldly" in the community.

Parkour lessons are in part a way to serve the community and in part to fund projects and efforts in the community.

"Our hope is that being in the community out here is creating community," Amy said. "I feel like I have a gift of connecting people together."

In the past year, aside from parkour, D31 has hosted numerous community events, partnering with other nonprofits like Echo Ranch, Transitional Youth, the Hull Foundation and Learning Center, Shop w/ a Cop and more. These events have included an Easter egg hunt in April, National Night Out in August, and several others.

The foundation also partnered with AntFarm to distribute ARPA funds, an experience Amy said was "honestly the most rewarding thing I've ever done."

That said, moving forward, Amy said: "Parkour kind of became front and center, which is not really what D31 is (entirely) about, so next year we'll be pushing more free community events."

The Hardestys and the D31 board have a plan to hit the ground running in 2023 with at least one free event every month and one service project every quarter, still facilitating community opportunities like cooking classes, bingo, women's self-defense classes and crafting events.

"The service projects are really to bring community members to link arms and serve," Amy said. "Our goal is really to find people in the community to donate their time and share their talents, so we can facilitate these classes. Digging deep and offering consistent things for people to engage in is really our focus."

However, Amy added: "Increasing our offerings increases our expenses."

There are several ways to contribute to the D31 mission, from participating in classes, to donating regularly to volunteering your time to help with events and projects.

You can even passively give by choosing the D31 Foundation as your charity of choice on AmazonSmile or Fred Meyer Community Rewards.

"Our big needs are getting people involved," Amy said.

COURTESY PHOTO: CENTER FOR THE ARTS FOUNDATION  - Greshams Music Mondays brings the community together with a series of free concerts that are putting the city on the arts map.Center for Arts

This past summer, during a series of free community concerts that created a musical party for all ages, Sue O'Halloran had to sit back and smile.

"You look out into the crowd and see feet tapping, bodies moving," she said. "Then you get small children who are just totally immersed in the music."

"It fills my heart," she added.

Gresham's Music Mondays is just one of many events that are supported by a local nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a foundation of arts and culture in service of bringing vibrancy to the city.

The Center for the Arts Foundation hosts summer Music Mondays and Wednesday Music in the Park; maintains The Little Theatre, an event space that is home to the Readers Theatre Gresham; is a supporter of events like Third Thursday, Safe Trick-or-Treat, Gresham Arts Festival, and Spirit of Gresham; commissions public art projects; and serves as a supporter for anyone with an artistic dream in East Multnomah County.

"We founded this because we wanted to emphasize arts and culture experiences in Gresham," said O'Halloran, one of the founders and current board president. "This is to breathe life into the center of the city."

It all began in 2005 with the creation of the Gresham Arts Plaza, a few blocks from Main Avenue. Now a staple for community gatherings and a popular destination for kids wanting to beat the heat at the Children's Splash Pad, the Arts Foundation spurred its funding and development, including the public art statues, "Fine Tuned Tulle."

"That was just the beginning for the foundation," O'Halloran said.

From there the nonprofit organization got its fingers into a dizzying number of events and projects, serving as a resource to both host and facilitate experiences that brought together the community. That mission has been bolstered by the Little Theatre, which has paired nicely as an indoor venue alongside the Arts Plaza. There have been town hall meetings, dance recitals, stage performances, classes, and private events.

There is also a new partnership with the Rockwood Center, which will mean broader exhibits and new places to showcase local talent.

"We want to keep forming these connections and contacts," O'Halloran said.

Because of the work of the Center for the Arts Foundation, alongside the partner organizations and many volunteers, Gresham is finally being recognized as a viable arts community. Before all of this began many regional artists and musicians would overlook East Multnomah County.

"Now they see that Gresham cares about arts and culture," O'Halloran said.

For those who want to help, the organization is always in need of volunteers or donations, which help spur their artistically minded projects. The Center for the Arts also wants to help build up ideas/events, so anyone who wants to showcase their work, or host a cultural gathering, can reach out for logistic support or a space to gather.

"People have been consistently there for us over the years — too many to name," O'Halloran said.

COURTESY PHOTO: TODOS JUNTOS - The Todos Juntos Estacada team helps students during and after school as well as providing counseling services.  Empowering Estacada Students

Todos Juntos (or "all together" in English) is a school focused nonprofit that partnered with the Estacada School District to enhance local resources and services for youths and families. The organization operates out of all Estacada schools and provides students and families with after-school programs, clubs, student advocacy, summer camps, parenting courses and student guidance.

"I provide a lot of daily academic support, helping to keep students on course for academic success and graduation," said Andrea Huffman, Todos Juntos High School Success Coordinator. "At Estacada High School we have a triple diagnosis for students' overall academic success. Grades, attendance and behavior. I help students track these three areas to ensure they can meet their academic goals."

On top of the academic help Todos Juntos provides, the Clackamas County centered organization also helps in the social/emotional aspect of its students, as well as parenting. For Ashley Jarvis, the Estacada Middle School coordinator, Todos Juntos does everything it can to fill in some of the gaps between the school district and other public services.

"Ultimately, Todos Juntos provides programs, services, resources, and support where it is lacking in the school district," Jarvis said. "Estacada School District is absolutely amazing, but public funding only allows for so much staff and support."

A normal day for Jarvis and company is anything but normal, from helping young girls build up their self-esteem during Girls Circle meeting or working with social services to better serve families, the Todos Juntos team covers a lot of ground.

"Todos Juntos is filling a need and space to cover the odds and ends, the unfunded, and the needs of the community we are serving," Jarvis said.

Giving local

Donations made to these local nonprofit organizations are tax deductible. Give back to those giving their time and talents today.

D31 Foundation:

D31bebold.com/donations

If you'd prefer to donate with a paper check, you can contact Amy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Center for the Arts Foundation:

greshamcenterforthearts.org

Todos Juntos - Estacada:

Cash Gifts can be made by check to: Todos Juntos, PO Box 645 Canby, OR 97013


You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.


Have a thought or opinion on the news of the day? Get on your soapbox and share your opinions with the world. Send us a Letter to the Editor!

Go to top