From Season Ticket Holder John
Well, where to start! My experience at the Harvest Dinner was an eye opener. Going down to the Rose Garden, I figured they were just serving a holiday dinner for the less fortunate and I was so excited to get to help. When I got there, I could not believe that it was so much more.
There were areas set up for haircuts, dental work, foot care, and even family photos. Plenty of things for the kids to do, too. Their pets were also included with veterinary care and pet food!! There were plenty of services offered including services for our veterans.
I was totally amazed at the amount of people coming in to eat, but was even more amazed at the number of volunteers there giving back to such a great community (Portland). If it wasn't for them, the less fortunate wouldn't have anywhere to go. And I thought just how easily more of us could be out there in their shoes.
I talked with a lot of the people as I cleaned tables, getting some of them their requests: one more milk, or another piece of pie, and really enjoyed listening to their stories. You knew that for most this was the first good meal in some time and probably the last that they will have in a while. You could tell that they savored every bit. It was really nice to talk and laugh with them. I met quite a few people and hopefully made a difference for them.
Before I left the Rose Garden, I walked around a little more, just watching everyone, and you could see the smiles on their faces and I just had to smile again myself!! I watched the news when I got home and there was a couple that had just moved here from Las Vegas and they were down watching the tree being delivered downtown and commented on the great energy in Portland and its TRADITIONS. They didn't have that there.
We have our problems just like every other city, but we have our TRADITIONS, and most of those TRADITIONS are helping each other. It shows just how much the people of PORTLAND really care about their CITY and their PEOPLE. I have marked my calendar and am making the Harvest Dinner one of my TRADITIONS next year!!
From Season Ticket Holder Jeremy:
When Kathleen (my account service rep) called me and told me about the Harvest Dinner I did not know what to expect as I had ever been to one and I had never volunteered for anything other than school functions for our kids. Just so happened that my parents and brother were flying in from Kansas City the same day, so after getting things set up through Kathleen we all got to volunteer.
After getting a description of what we would be doing and a tour of everything set up for the families it was about 2 p.m. and the doors were opening. It was amazing to see the happy looks on the faces of the men, women and children that just wanted a nice warm meal. But there was so much more offered. There were haircuts, medical screening, dental checks, pets could be examined, live music and much more.
As I was bussing tables and handing out pieces of pie I could not believe how much joy this few hours was bringing to so many people. We really do wish that we could have stayed the whole day just for the gratitude of seeing so many happy people but we did have to leave.
I really would like to thank the Portland Trail Blazers for inviting us to help with this event and I am looking forward to helping out where I can with any and all up upcoming events that they will be a part of.