Rose Haven brings holiday joy to hundreds of families in need
PORTLAND, Ore. — Author: Brittany Falkers
The holiday season is here. While this year’s celebrations will look a lot different in the COVID era, some local families are worried about having a holiday at all. That’s where Rose Haven comes in.
“We are, of course, providing basic need services. Yes, we are giving you something warm to eat, clothes to put on your back, a clean safe place to shower, but it’s those extras that really make us feel human,” Rose Haven Development Director Liz Starke said. “The holiday gifts are something [that] a child doesn’t just feel like a kid if they don’t get.”
Rose Haven is a day shelter in Portland. It serves women, children and others who are homeless or recovering from trauma. More than a hundred women get help every day with essential services and assistance from social workers, according to Starke.
“Sometimes, just a little bit of help from Rose Haven can literally be the difference between a family having heat in the winter or not, or staying housed or not,” she said. “While we are helping a lot of people who are currently experiencing homelessness get out of that and regain stability, we also are a place where we can help prevent families from falling into that.”
The pandemic has heightened the need, even more so as we head toward the winter months and the holidays.
“For many of the kids that come to Rose Haven, this is literally the only holiday gifts they receive, and our phones were already ringing off the hook earlier in the summer asking about Christmas,” Starke said.
Rose Haven can once again answer the need for gifts with donations from the KGW Great Toy Drive.
“That stability of knowing that Rose Haven is here and knowing that the KGW partnership is still alive, no matter what challenges have come to our city this year, really, really means a lot to our families,” Starke said.
Rose Haven hopes to put gifts under the tree for about 500 kids this year. Once again reminding us of the reason for the season: to give, especially to those who need it most.
“I wish every single person that gave to the KGW Toy Drive could see the looks on these kids’ faces when we pass out the toys because it’s just, it’s magical,” Starke said.
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