‘Look for the helpers’

A look at the various ways local citizens are giving back in our community.


Gigi Schweitzer

At the end of the pageant on Nov. 20, senior Faith Varga accepts the lions ears for Ms. West Linn. Varga was one of 11 students who raised over $2,900 for Clackamas County Coalition for Suicide Prevention.

We’re doomed. The world may as well be named the Titanic because our society is quickly sinking into the black abyss of the ocean and we have no chance of resurfacing as long as we continue our current approach.  

This is the way that a lot of people think. There’s so much going wrong in our world, and so much violence that It’s easy to focus on all of the negatives. Political corruption, poverty, gun violence, climate change, hunger, abuse and all the other things that occupy our thoughts are daunting issues that require action to end.

However in a world of over 7.5 billion people, we can’t assume that every person generates a negative outcome for our planet.

With the world’s situation, sometimes all we need is to take a minute to “look for the helpers.” Originating from the TV series “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” the phrase addresses the importance of recognizing those who are contributing positively in a society that likes to dwell on the negatives.

Here are a few of the ways that people are helping in our community:

Clackamas Women’s Services Donations: To help those who have been affected by domestic and sexual violence, Clackamas County is looking for donations for their Holiday Store. The annual tradition is a way for those impacted to find gifts for their children from among the donations.

Willamette Christmas Market: On Dec. 11 and 12 the Willamette Christian Church is offering a free place for those in need to pick up food, clothing and other support for the holidays.

Willamette Coffee House “Cookies with Santa”: In order to raise money for the Honduras Well Project and bring clean water to Honduras households, the Willamette Coffee House is holding their second annual “Cookies with Santa”. The event allows children to sit on Santa’s lap without the long lines at the mall, and is held on Dec eighth from 2pm-5pm.

“Adopt” a family through the Children’s Cancer Association: To help kids that have been diagnosed with cancer and their families, the Children’s Cancer Association is allowing for neighborhoods to “adopt” a family for the holiday season. As a group, the neighborhood is given a list with the various items that each family member is asking for, and they have the opportunity to purchase the gifts that the family might not be able to afford. Along with each family members wish list, the neighborhood is also encouraged to include basic necessities like clothing, food, toiletries and store gift cards to be used in the future.

Backpack Buddies: To ensure that all kids are allowed to eat over the weekend, Backpack Buddies is asking for donations that can be added to the bags they pack for students on the free and reduced lunch plans at school. The bags are filled with canned foods along with prepackaged meals and are given to any student who may be neglected at home.

West Linn Food Pantry: The West Linn Food Pantry is always looking for donations so they can offer their support to as many families as possible. Along with food, during the holiday season they are also asking for toys to help grant kids wish lists.

This list only skims the brim of the surface when it comes to giving back. While it might not always seem like it, our community is full of helpers and people who are trying to make a positive impact on the world we live in. Even though the holiday season often draws attention to these events, giving back is beneficial for everyone, during any time of the year.