by Violeta Rubiani, NWJP Program Administrator
Photo by Paloma Dale, NWJP Volunteer
On Thursday, October 1 at 5:30 p.m., nearly 150 people crammed into Buchan Hall at the Eliot Center to eat good food, visit with colleagues and friends, have a glass (or two) of wine, and commune with fellow low-wage worker advocates. We expected that. We also expected a few donations and silent auction bids, and for everyone to have a good time listening to the inspiring presentation by Rebecca Smith, Deputy Director of NELP, about workers in the new “gig” economy, and the heart-felt speech by the Urban League of Portland’s President and CEO, Nkenge Harmon Johnson, about obtaining justice for those re-entering the labor market after serving time.
What we didn’t expect at all was to run out of food, sell nearly all of our auction items, receive a record number of donations, or receive a $10,000 donation from the Doug Swanson Memorial Fund that will allow us to launch our long-awaited Injured Workers Project. But we did, and we exceeded our fundraising goal for the night! We owe it all to you, the phenomenally committed folks who have been supporting us for the past 12 years.
We believe our work is important; we see it in the faces of the clients we help every day. To experience the love and support of a huge number of Oregonians who feel the same way we do is beyond touching.
So THANK YOU to all our partners, allies, friends, family, volunteers, staff members, boards, clients, and funders; your generosity, and your commitment and dedication to worker justice are truly inspiring.