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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Potluck in the Park

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Food, Soup Kitchens

Mission: Provide a free hot meal and community gathering place every Sunday to anyone in need without regard for race, religion, age, or gender. Treat each individual with dignity, respect, friendliness, and kindness to help build self esteem and enable guests to have a better quality of life. Provide resources and information that directs our guests to other resources in the community. Provide a setting for a Holiday Dinner where people who would otherwise be alone can come and feel they are a part of our large and caring family.

Community Stories

17 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was looking for a non-profit organization to volunteer with for quite a few months and then I finally came across Potluck in the Park. I was so excited to volunteer and have never been happier with the results from a volunteer project! The leaders of the project were so kind and helpful-- and they made sure every single person had a job to do and felt needed. I loved serving those who came out the OBryant Square for a meal and it was so lovely chatting with these gracious people. It was a great opportunity to help those less fortunate than myself and I will be back again soon to participate! Thank you for the wonderful opportunity!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been very fortunate to be associated with Potluck in the Park as a volunteer for a number of years. This incredible all-volunteer organization has fed those who need a meal every Sunday for 21 years. Additionally, a Christmas dinner is served each year on Christmas Day. Our guests do not have to 'prove' they are in need, they just have to show up. And, every one of them is treated with dignity and caring. It is a privilege to be able to serve our guests who frequently verbalize their gratitude or thank us for 'giving up our time'. Wow! They apparently don't realize that I probably get more from them than I am able to give back.

1 Jasmine J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Potluck for a little over a month now and it has greatly impacted my life. I feel more connected and invested in my community than ever before; I feel energized and inspired by the sheer initiative of all of the supporters; and I personally encourage anyone with a free Sunday afternoon to come down and check us out. It's a great thing when a diverse crowd of people can come together and sit down for a great meal!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to Potluck in the Park by a friend of mine and ever since, it has been a great opportunity to help people in need. It is really important for me to be able to give back to my community and Potluck in the Park has been an excellent way for me to do so. I’m fairly shy so having to interact with multiple people has helped open me up when talking to people I've never met before. The people we serve, the people who run the organization, and the other volunteers are wonderful to work with.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The people there were very nice and coordinated. While serving everyone was very polite and it was a very efficient system! I had a lot of fun.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Potluck in the Park is a fantastic opportunity for the young and old interested in volunteering and getting to know the city a bit better. I really felt they put my time to use while still making a difference in people's lives. I received numerous thank yous, which further proves how gracious and welcoming this project and community is. I highly recommend this program and i am proud to live in a city where this is possible.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was my first time volunteering with Potluck in the Park and I was a little nervous going into a new situation like that. But the people running it were awesome! They explained to me and the other volunteers what they needed us to do and why we were so important to the process. It was obvious that everyone who put this together really cared about the people they were helping, it was really inspirational. This was one man in charge, who's name i forget, would stop and chat with all the different people lining up to get food. He would call them each by their first name and ask how they were doing, it was wonderful to see such an honest display of kindness. I had an amazing experience with Potluck in the Park and would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to volunteer and actually help make a difference.

1 Douglas A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first volunteered when a friend suggested that I might like to see what conditions were like in a mid sized American city (I am a European ex pat.) I went along and was amazed at the number of hungry and or homeless folk who seemed to just appear on the steps at O'Bryant Sq in downtown Portland Oregon. Now I have been a volunteer for a while, currently serving as a liaison / volunteer co-ordinator between Potluck and a non profit from whom we draw many of our 60 volunteers, who serve as many as 850 hungry folk a week, and come to see what a difference a simple wholesome meal makes to those with food and housing insecurity. I firmly believe that food is a human right, and hunger a human wrong. Every week folk make an effort to right this wrong, to give aid in a fashion which prsereves the dignity of our guests whilst providing a model of civic engagement for our hardy volunteers. I cannot imagine a Sunday afternoon spent anywhere other than Potluck in the Park, watching folk care about each other a little more.

Joshua F.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been consistently volunteering with Potluck in the Park for almost 2 years now. Its the first time I have engaged for such a long time. I come back week after week because of the compassion the other volunteers show to the less fortunate and sense of community that permeates the organization. On a deep emotional level, feeding hungry people makes me feel better about an incredibly complicated and difficult problem. There have been numerous times when I knew, even if in a small way, I touched another persons life. To feel a real commitment to the well being of people in difficult circumstances is why I continue to dedicate my time and efforts to this Great Nonprofit.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After just having moved to Portland, OR to attend one of the Universities here, one of my biggest desires was to find community. Through Portland Community College I found out about this WONDERFUL volunteer opportunity with Potluck in the Park every Sunday and I continued to go every single week for months and months. It gave me the chance to meet loving people, help out with the food and planning, and have something to look forward to every Sunday. As I'm working 5 days a week now, it's harder for me to go each week but whenever I get the time to go, there's not a second thought. I've recommended this to many other people and would recommend it to anyone who wants to help others and meet new friends of all different ages.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for 4 months and it has been a fantastic experience. Every Sunday, our guests come in and are fed a warm meal, and many of them come to me to thank me for the work I do to help them out. It's heartwarming and touching. The entire all-volunteer community is full of amazing people who give their all every Sunday. I'm amazed at their dedication and I see the results of their work in the eyes and hear it in the words of our guests. Working for Potluck in the Park has been one of the best experiences of my life.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for Potluck in the Park for a couple of years now. I work, primarily, with the kitchen staff and can't say enough about what a wonderful experience it is!! The volunteers for the kitchen staff come in every Sunday, quite a few regulars, and some occasionally, to share the experience. It ranges from young to older...a few Sundays ago we had 9 kids sharing their time to feed the needy! It sometimes amazes us to understand how it all comes together :) and it always does...there are volunteers who prep the food on Thursdays, garner food from various sources around the area, set up the park, coordinate fund raisers...I've heard it called the miracle of Potluck...At the kitchen, we help get the food out to the park to feed anywhere from 400-800 guests, each Sunday, depending on which weekend of the month it is...I love the camaraderie. We laugh and play as we work to provide casseroles, fresh fruit salad (Julie's specialty she does not compromise and lovingly cuts every chunk by hand from what we garner from the food banks), baked chicken, sandwiches, milk, fruit, bread. Our goal is to provide a hot home cooked meal to those in need. At 21 plus years Potluck is one of the most rewarding ways for me to reach out to those less fortunate, and it's my honor to be a part of it!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Potluck in the Park has been feeding those in need in Portland, Oregon for 21 years. Every Sunday (without fail) for each of those 21 years our community has known that whatever is going on in their lives a hot meal can be found at O'Bryant Square park. This amazing group of volunteers is a true grassroots organization that continues, rain or shine, to help combat food insecurity in our city. As a Board member I get to see all the behind the scenes efforts that go into the acquisition of food, its preparation, delivery, service, clean up, and the constant fund raising required to keep up with growing demand. It is a huge undertaking that only works because of the incredible commitment put forth by our volunteers. I started volunteering 12 years ago when a friend brought me along to the park one Sunday. I never left. The miracle is that it continues to happen each and every week as new people, young and old, discover the joy of helping our guests enjoy a good hot meal. This is how positive change comes to the lives of both the givers and the receivers in the Potluck community. Please come and see. All are welcomed.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am most touched when families with children come through the line for a free meal. PIP serves a very broad community of people in need, seniors, veterans, families. As an individual, I can do so little, but teamed with Potluck, I feel I can make a difference.

Claresi

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Potluck in the Park believes that a hot meal can do amazing things for a person; that food is a human right and hunger is a human wrong. Their no barriers, no bureaucracy approach to feeding anyone in need is inspirational. The Potluck "experience" must be seen to be believed, come on down to O'Bryant Square Park any Sunday at 3 pm and see what caring citizens can do to enrich their community.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I enjoy serving on the board and bringing my accounting skills to this great organization. It amazes me we will serve close to 27,000 meals this year, never run out of food and never turn anyone away. Our limited financial resources are spread so thin, however we seem to continue to fulfill our mission for the past 21+ years!

Board Member

Rating: 5

My company has supported Potluck in the Park for over 20 years. As a caterer, feeding those less fortunate is a natural extension of giving back to the community. We donate time, resources, food and money to an organization that continues to see the need increase annually. Hunger is a global problem that continually seems to increase. I am proud to be aligned with an organization that helps these people weekly. Learn more at www.potluckinthepark.org