Tualatin, chamber, tap into innovative way to help those in need
Tualatin City Manager Sherilyn Lombos' neighbor wanted to know if there were any organizations or agencies that linked local businesses to programs feeding the homeless. Lombos said she didn't, but it got her thinking. Soon, she contacted Linda Moholt, CEO of the Tualatin Chamber of Commerce and the two came up with the idea of buying gift cards from local businesses and restaurants and in turn, donating those cards to Tualatin School House (Food) Pantry to help those in need.
Enter "Gift Cards for Good," a program where residents can buy a $25 gift card from a local restaurant or grocery store and drop it off in the book drop at the Tualatin Public Library. They in turn will be given to the Tualatin School House Pantry and handed out to those in need.
"Sherilyn is way too modest but this was her brainchild," said Moholt. "We're just helping promote a great idea to our entire community."
Mike Shiffer, Tualatin School House Pantry president, said the chamber will deliver the cards to the pantry in a unique program that he said he hasn't heard of being done before.
"We don't have an idea of how many cards will be delivered to us and how frequently," he said. "Our goal is to make this a totally random and unexpected gift to some of our clients."
The food pantry serves those who need a hand up in the Tualatin, Durham, Lake Oswego, West Linn and Wilsonville zip codes.
Meanwhile, Lombos said a banner announcing the program has been put up on Tualatin-Sherwood Road and Martinazzi Avenue.
"This really is a community effort and the chamber is willing to support it for as long as people are donating cards and the pantry has needs," Moholt said.
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