Free Community Health Fair in Vancouver

Sea Mar Community Health Center is hosting a free Community Health Fair; open to all families with students enrolled in Vancouver Public Schools. The fair will be held on Tuesday (Jan. 10) from 4pm-6:30pm at Fort Vancouver High School, 5700 E 18th St. in Vancouver. Services provided include free blood pressure screenings, dental amenities, community resources and assistance with Apple Health (Medicaid) enrollment with Certified Navigators. While on site, enjoy free goodie bags and a raffle giveaway. 

Posted on January 9, 2017 .

Information on How to Prevent Birth Defects

January is Birth Defects Prevention Month, and the Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center is featuring information that can help. For example, women of child-bearing age should take a look at these 11 items that can impact pregnancy: For more information, visit the Oregon Family to Family Health Information Center’s Facebook page:

Posted on January 9, 2017 .

Polk Community Connect in Dallas

The 2017 Polk Community Connect will connect those in need, homeless, or at risk of homelessness with valuable free local resources and services. The event, which will also include a free meal, will be held Jan. 25 from 9:30am to 3:30pm at Valley Life Center, 1795 SE Miller Ave., Dallas. Free transportation to and from the event will be available; all services are free and confidential.

Among the services offered will be dental care, basic health screenings, pet care, bike repair, haircuts, clothing, backpacks and camping items. Many will be first come, first served.

Resources available will include children & youth services, education information, job assistance, housing programs, veterans services, benefits information, behavioral health and community mail service.

*first come, first served


To volunteer at the event: email or call (971) 599-3845.

To serve as a provider, contact Alinna Ghavami at or (503) 623-9664 ext. 2457.

To donate to the event, contact Living Hope City Church, (503) 623-6890.

For more information, contact Heather Wright at (503) 507-4579 or go to Community Connect Flyer.

Posted on January 9, 2017 .

Clean Up Criminal Records in Oregon City

Participants must sign up by Dec. 9 for the Clackamas County Expungement Clinic. The clinic will show people how to remove one of the most common barriers to self-sufficiency—a criminal record.

To sign up, call Legal Aid at 503-224-4086 by Dec. 9. The clinic will be at 9:30 am Dec. 16 at the Clackamas Law Library, 821 Main St., Oregon City.

Posted on December 8, 2016 .

Healthy Cooking on a Budget

A free six-week course called Cooking Matters will focus on how to cook delicious and healthful meals, and how to shop on a budget. The classes begin in January, sponsored by Sea Mar Community Health Centers in Vancouver. Call health educators Elizabeth Perez, 360-213-1324, or Lauren D. Head, 360-947-2548, to register.

Posted on December 8, 2016 .

Free Class for Parents of Clackamas Teens

Staying Connected with Your Teen is the title of a free series of parenting classes facilitated by Northwest Family Services. The classes will be from 6-8pm Fridays from Jan. 27-Feb. 24 at Northwest Family Services, 6200 SE King Road, Portland.

The class, including a parent workbook, child care and dinner, will be provided at no cost to participants. To register, contact Judy Pearce, 503-655-8342, ext. 7128. Pearce is the skills group coordinator and facilitator at the Clackamas County Juvenile Department.

Posted on December 8, 2016 .

My Experiences as a Cooking Matters Volunteer with the Oregon Food Bank

By Becky A. Johnson, OHSU Dietetic Intern; Intern at Oregon State WIC Office

Combining my interest in nutrition education with a desire to help my community, in 2013 I started volunteering with the Cooking Matters program at the Oregon Food Bank.  Cooking Matters is a nationwide program that addresses hunger and food insecurity through a 6-week cooking and nutrition education course and through grocery store tours.

My first volunteer role was as “shopper” for a class at Independent Living Resources (ILR) in NW Portland. ILR provides services and training to people with disabilities to improve self-sufficiency. One of our participants was a young woman who had recently lost her sight and was trying to relearn skills to help her live on her own again. I am still amazed by her knife skills and the speed at which she was able to prep meals.

Shoppers are given around $600 in gift cards to buy groceries for the entire 6 weeks of the class. Not only are you shopping for in class meals to feed participants and volunteers each week, each participant (up to 15 in a class) receives a bag of groceries to take home to prepare the week’s featured recipe for family members. Needless to say you become rather skilled in finding the best deals on groceries in order to fall within your food budget. Participants are always eager to hear how much a meal cost, and are always impressed by the awesome meals that can be prepared for under $1.50 per serving. Being a shopper is also a great way to promote the work of Oregon Food Bank to other grocery shoppers, especially when the person in line behind you inquires why you are buying 20 eggplants.

After being the shopper for classes at Multnomah County Health Department and Oregon Child Development Coalition, I decided I was ready to try my hand as Chef Instructor. While many chef instructor volunteers are professional chefs, you definitely don’t need to be one in order to lead a class – in fact I learned most of my cooking skills from previous Cooking Matters courses! The best way I can describe the Chef Instructor role is as the class choreographer. He or she decides what’s on the menu for the week, plans the lesson, and keeps the team on track because there’s a lot to cover in a 2-hour period. The participants and other volunteers do the rest.

Cooking Matters uses a facilitated dialogue model to teach cooking and nutrition education to its participants. Each week’s lesson has a theme, such as MyPlate, whole grains, or healthy fats. In facilitated dialogue participants learn from each other and are free to ask questions. From my experience, participants have lots of nutrition-related questions. Often there’s a registered dietitian on the volunteer team who can answer tough nutrition questions based on scientific knowledge.

Interested in volunteering? It’s typically a 3-5 hour/week commitment for a 7-week period and well worth your time.

Interested in taking a course? If you’re already receiving WIC or SNAP benefits, you will likely be eligible to enroll. Some classes are also open to children and families, or are geared especially to people with diabetes.

For volunteer or enrollment questions, contact OFB’s Cooking Matters Coordinator, Eddie Arellano at or 503-583-8735.

Also be sure to check out Cooking Matters’ great selection of recipes. I make them at home all the time and especially recommend the vegetable lasagna, pumpkin muffins, and mango salsa.

Posted on November 30, 2016 .

Food Contributions Needed for JOIN Thanksgiving

JOIN Thanksgiving

Sunday, November 20th | 4-6pm

Rose City Park United Methodist Church

5830 NE Alameda (near 57th and Sandy)

It's time for JOIN Thanksgiving!  This is a wonderful community event that brings together hundreds of people to enjoy good food and loving community.  But we can't do it without your tasty food contributions!

Sign up to bring a classic Thanksgiving dish - gravy, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, pies, or any favorite dish from your own family tradition!  Our greatest need is pies and hams, as well people willing to cook turkeys that have already been donated. 

 In addition to bringing a potluck contribution, we welcome you to stay and enjoy the meal with our community and/or volunteer with set-up, clean-up or other tasks.  If you can't make it to the meal, no problem.  You can arrange to drop off your dish before 3pm at the church.

 Please contact organizers Courtenay and Callie at or 503-701-3027 to sign up to bring a dish!

Posted on November 17, 2016 .

World Diabetes Day


In celebration of World Diabetes Day, 211info is showcasing local resources throughout Southwest Washington that invite folks to take charge of their health and wellness.

-          Washington State University – Vancouver and the YWCA Clark County offer diabetes prevention programs. Join a small group and work on your personal lifestyle goals in order to offset the risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes.

-          Sea Mar Vancouver offers a free class, “Living Well with Diabetes”, where participants learn how to manage their diabetes, and make positive lifestyle choices to live a healthier life.

-          Ready to get active? Join a free or low cost fitness class offered by Clark County Public Health, or Skamania County Community Health. Offerings include yoga, Tai Chi, Zumba, and Tae Kwon Do.

-          Looking for a free blood pressure screening? 211info offers listings of sites located through Southwest Washington where you can check your blood pressure:

-          Are you or is someone you know at risk for pre-diabetes? Take the risk test to find out:

-          Hungry for more? Clark County Food Bank partners with local community organizations to offer free nutrition education classes using healthy, low cost foods.

For more information on program eligibility, class dates and time, contact a 211info specialist:

-          Dialing 2-1-1

-          Texting your zip code to 898211

-          Emailing

Posted on November 14, 2016 .

Black Parent Initiative presents parenting symposium

“Sustaining the Village: Preserving Our Roots” is the theme of the Black Parent Initiative’s seventh annual parent symposium. It’s an all-ages event, with workshops geared toward parents of children ages birth through teens, and a youth track featuring STEM activities and topics facilitating youth discussions. Lunch and childcare are provided.

The symposium will begin at 9:15am Saturday, Nov. 12, at the Portland Community College SE Campus, 2305 SE 82nd Ave., Portland. Keynote speaker is Dr. Joy DeGruy, author of Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome, who will discuss how African American history affects people and behaviors, and how to enhance parenting interactions.

For details, email

Posted on November 8, 2016 .

Piecing Community Together in McMinnville

Piecing Community Together, an event designed to bring together community members and people impacted by homelessness, will be 5-7pm Thursday, Nov. 10, in McMinnville. The monthly event is designed to bring the humanity of a complex issue to the forefront of discussion and using art to capture how homelessness affects the community.

There will be free dinner, live music, and art media available. The event, which is sponsored by Oxford Houses of Oregon Chapter 3, will be at McMinnville Cooperative Ministries, 544 NE 2nd St., McMinnville.

Posted on November 8, 2016 .

Clark County Commission on Aging focuses on home design

Ideas for designing a successful living environment aging in place will be presented at the Commission on Aging’s meeting at 4:30pm Nov. 15 in the sixth-floor hearing room of the Public Service Center, 1300 Franklin St., Vancouver. The meeting is open to the public.

Architect Aaron D. Murphy, an author and certified aging-in-place specialist, will discuss how home design can facilitate longer, happier lives for those who choose to age-in-place.

For more information about the Commission on Aging, visit

Posted on November 8, 2016 .

TriMet: Be Seen. Be Safe. Dress bright morning and night

As daylight saving time ends Sunday morning, Nov. 6, TriMet and our partners want to remind everybody to turn clocks back an hour, change the batteries in smoke detectors and increase safety when walking and biking.

 During the darker months, TriMet encourages our riders to “Be Seen. Be Safe.” Wear light or bright colors, add reflectors and/or reflective accessories and use safety lights. These steps are proven to increase safety. Also, make sure you can see as well. Look up and don’t let hoods, scarves or umbrellas block your view as you scan both ways when safely crossing streets and tracks. And for drivers, use extra caution in dark hours and rainy conditions, and always be on the lookout for cyclists and pedestrians. TriMet and partner street teams will be out and about throughout the region the week of November 7, handing out safety lights to riders.

 Safety is everyone’s responsibility. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released data showing traffic deaths rose in 2015 by 7.2 percent over the prior year, ending a 5-decade long trend of declining fatalities.

Be Seen. Be Safe. Tips

Wear light or bright colors
Research shows a pedestrian in dark clothing will not be seen by a driver until they are 55 feet away, giving the driver less than one second of reaction time. When walking or biking in the dark hours, go with light-colored or bright coats. Or, light or bright accessories such as scarves, hats, gloves, shoes and backpacks can help you be seen.

 Add reflectors/reflective accessories
According to the Federal Highway Administration, studies have shown that the risk of being hit by a motorist in the dark is eight times lower when wearing a safety reflector. Companies make hats, coats, bags and other apparel/items with reflective elements. Or add reflective tape, stickers or reflectors to your backpack, coat or bike. Reflective vests can be found at local construction supply stores and can be an inexpensive alternative.

 Use safety lights
Safety lights are the best way to see and be seen. Use lights freely whether on a bike or flashing blinky lights attached to clothing or bags. Many products, such as armbands, hats and vests, come with lights in them. Carrying a flashlight can be helpful too.

 For more safety tips go to Visit for Be Safe. Be Seen. videos.

 Help our bus operators spot you

Before you head out for the bus stop, think about your visibility. At some stops during the dark morning and evening hours, it can be difficult for our bus operators to spot riders. Wave a reflector, wear a safety blinky light, have a small flashlight or use your cell phone display to alert the operator as a bus approaches. Some mobile devices and mobile apps, including the free TriMet Tickets app, have a strobe or light feature for this purpose. Please do not shine flashlights or bright lights in operators’ eyes. It can also be helpful to wave as the bus approaches.

 Night Stop gets riders closer to destinations after dark

TriMet’s Night Stop allows bus operators to drop riders off along the route between bus stops — if it’s safe to do so. Here’s how Night Stop works:

·         Between 8 p.m and 5 a.m., in neighborhoods outside Portland City Center and Lloyd District, ask your operator if it is possible to be dropped off at a non-designated stop along the route.

·         Make the request a block or two ahead of where you would like to get off the bus.

·         Your operator will determine if there is safe spot to deboard; if unsafe, the operator may drop you at an alternate spot, if possible.

·         If the bus turns left in the same block as the requested stop, the drop-off will be after turn is made.

Posted on November 3, 2016 .

Living Well in Wahkiakum County

A free community resource fair for Wahkiakum County residents is scheduled Thursday, Nov. 3, from 10am-3pm at the Grays River Valley Center (Johnson Park), 30 Rosburg School Road, Rosburg, WA.

Topics will include:

·         How to prepare for the future

·         The Retirement Years

·         Medicare/Medicaid

Participants will include Wahkiakum County Health and Human Services; Area Agency on Aging & Disabilities of Southwest Washington; Wahkiakum Department of Emergency Management; the state Department of Social and Health Services; Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors; the West End Food Pantry; Family Health Center; and 211info.

A light lunch will be sponsored by The Duck Inn.

Posted on October 31, 2016 .

Leadership Workshops in Vancouver

Community Mediation Services is presenting a four-part leadership workshop with sessions from 8-9:15am Thursdays beginning Nov. 3 in the community room at Pacific Continental Bank in downtown Vancouver. The series costs $89; individual sessions are $25.

Register at

Sessions are:

·         How to work with different responses to conflict, Nov. 3

·         How to work with difficult behaviors, Nov. 10

·         What it takes to build effective workgroups, Dec. 1

·         Take the guessing out of communication and communicate your intentions clearly, Dec. 8.

Posted on October 31, 2016 .

Free haircuts for veterans

On Nov. 11 only, customers who stop in for a service at any Great Clips salon can receive a free haircut card to give to a veteran. Also, all veterans and service members who visit a Great Clips on Nov. 11 will receive either a free haircut that day or a free haircut card.

Free haircut cards are redeemable by all current and past members of the military including active, inactive, retired, disabled and reserve members from any branch. The free haircut cards are redeemable until Dec. 31.

Posted on October 31, 2016 .

Free craniosacral therapy for veterans in Portland

Free craniosacral therapy, a gentle form of bodywork designed to enhance sleep and well-being, will be provided free to veterans and their families by members of the Northwest Cranial Association. The event is hosted by the East West College of the Healing Arts, 525 NE Oregon St., Portland, and co-sponsored by the Returning Veterans Project.  Sessions are offered at 12:30, 1:45 or 3pm Nov. 13. To register, call Patrick Steininger at 503-298-5213 or email touch.cranio@gmaillcom.  

Posted on October 31, 2016 .

Early Learning Fair in Hillsboro

Hillsboro School District’s Early Learning Fair is designed to enhance a child’s first five years. The free event will include learning activities and raffles. Families from throughout Washington County are invited, and participants will include preschools, children’s advocacy organizations and businesses that focus on early learning. The fair will be Nov. 19 from 1-4pm at Lincoln Street Elementary, 801 NE Lincoln St., Hillsboro.

Posted on October 31, 2016 .

Free Dental Services in Clackamas County

Healthy Smiles is a cavity prevention program for children ages 0-5 and pregnant women in Clackamas County. Free oral health screenings, dental information and fluoride varnishes are provided to pregnant women and young children at WIC Nutrition Fairs. 

Participants do not have to be enrolled in WIC to receive the Healthy Smiles services, which are available in English and Spanish; an interpreter line is also available. For details, ask a WIC staff member or call Susan Berns-Norman at 503-742-5948.

WIC Nutrition Fairs will be offered at these locations:

·         Oregon City WIC, 999 Library Court: 11am-6:30pm Nov. 15, Dec. 13 and Jan. 10.

·         Wichita WIC, 6031 SE King Road, Milwaukie: 9am-4pm Nov. 16, Dec. 14 and Jan. 11.

·         Canby WIC, Ackerman Center, 350 SE 13th Ave, Canby: 9am-4pm Nov. 17, Dec. 15 and Jan. 12.

·         Sandy WIC, 38872 Proctor Blvd., Sandy: 9am-4pm Nov. 18; 9am-4pm Dec. 16; and Jan. 13.

·         Happy Valley WIC at Sunnyside Health Center, 9775 SE Sunnyside Road, Suite 200: 9am-4pm Nov. 14, Dec. 12 and Jan. 9.

·         Gladstone WIC, 18905 Portland Ave., Gladstone: 8:30am-3:30pm Nov. 4, Dec. 9 and Jan. 20.

Posted on October 19, 2016 .

Free Family Caregivers Conference on Nov. 18

“Resilience: Yesterday. Today. Tomorrow” is the theme of the 13th annual Washington County Family Caregivers Conference. The conference will be Nov. 18 from 9am–2:30pm at Tuality Health Education Center, 334 SE 8th Ave, Hillsboro. The conference is free for family caregivers. Lunch is included.  

Topics will include legal considerations for caregivers, finding joy and connection through the journey, communication and memory impairment, emergency preparedness, and paying for long-term care when funds are limited.

Author Bonnie Nester will present the keynote “Self-Care is Not Selfish.” Nester, once a caregiver for her mother, wrote Moments This Good: The Softer Side of Alzheimer’s.

This event is sponsored by Washington County Disability, Aging and Veteran Services Family Caregiver Support Program and Tuality Healthcare, with support from the Law Offices of Nay and Friedenberg, Adeo In Home Care, Home Instead Senior Care and PDX Elite Care Inc.

Registration is required by calling 503-846-3089.

Posted on October 19, 2016 .