DIVISION OF STUDENT SERVICES
SEEDS (Students for Education, Empowerment, & Direct Service)
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SEEDS Community Service Odysseys
Greetings! SEEDS set up this page to give incoming Reed students more information about what to expect on each of the different SEEDS Odysseys. Every year, we work with some of the same and some new community partners.
As in past years, this year you may choose from among four venues. All groups will sleep and eat together within the community, but each group of up to 10 students, led by two returning students, will have its own program of activities. Each group will also learn about other service opportunities available within Portland and surrounding areas.
If you still have questions, you can always feel free to contact SEEDS at seeds<at>reed.edu or 503-777-7563. We hope to see you in August!
Hunger and Homelessness
In 2012, this group started the weekend by planting with locals at the Seeds of Harmony Community Garden, which provides plots of land to grow food for those living in the Columbia and Tamarack housing communities. In the afternoon, they volunteered at the Bradley Angle House, an emergency domestic violence shelter, to help with cleaning and weeding. On Sunday, the group learned more about volunteering and activism at Reed during the student and alumni community involvement panel, which featured three alumni and four current students talking about how volunteering in the community and activism around social issues on campus shaped their lives and their time at Reed. After this, they headed to Potluck in the Park to serve free meals to homeless people living in the city. Over a thousand people came to this annual barbeque, and the group worked closely with fellow volunteers to provide food for all. Monday began with a trip to the Oregon Food Bank, where the group helped to package food to be sent to families in need. Volunteer service came to an end by planting at Dignity Village, a community of formerly house-less individuals and families that started as a tent city. (You can also watch see a video about Dignity Village.)
Education and Youth
The Education and Youth trip began at a local Fred Meyer’s to help with a drive for Schoolhouse Supplies, a nonprofit organization that provides free school supplies to public schools. They handed out reusable bags and provided information about the organization’s mission and collected donations. The group then planned activities, including games, sidewalk chalk, art and face painting for children at a local Human Solutions', which gives affordable housing and support services to low-income families in the area. After a community involvement panel on Sunday morning, these Reedies went to Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) and facilitated an evening of hands-on science activities at various stations, including spin art, dinosaur claw casting, and fingerprinting. On Monday, the group worked with kids attending Portland Parks and Recreation Summer Camp at local Marshall Park. The group ended their trip at The Children’s Book Bin, which collects and distributes donated children’s books for low-income families in the area.
In the morning, the Community Development group volunteered at Habitat Restore, which raises funds for Habitat for Humanity to build affordable houses and keeps usable materials out of the waste stream. The group sorted through donations and cleaned up the store. The Reedies worked with Free Geek in the afternoon, an organization that restores old technology, redistributes the products, and teaches internet and job skills in exchange for community service. After a Community Engagement Panel on Sunday morning, the group volunteered at Neighborhood House. This organization provides services such as food, housing, employment, and other short- and long-term needs, and relies completely on community support. On Monday morning, this group volunteered at Project Grow, which promotes independence in developmentally disabled adults through involvement in organic farming, music, yoga, and art. The group finished their trip at the Milagro Theatre, which aims to give a prominent voice to the local Hispanic community through artistic expression. The program reaches out to under-served youths to involve them in community and artistic activities.
Cycling and Sustainability: Cycle to Service!
The group started their weekend at nearby Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge with Reed alumna Sue Thomas from Portland Parks and Recreation’s Environmental Education program. They then headed to SCRAP, which accepts donated items that may otherwise become part of the waste cycle, and resells them for use in art or home projects. On Sunday, the group cycled to a local farmer’s market in the morning, and then volunteered at Bike Farm, a non-profit organization that guides people through bike repair while providing affordable parts that have been donated. This is a volunteer-run collective encourages bikers to pay what they can, and accepts volunteer time in exchange for service. On Monday, the group attended a community panel, and then cycled to the Rebuilding Center, which provides affordable used construction and home materials, as well as sustainable demolition services to people in the area.
Interested in learning about community-based wellness approaches to social justice issues? Join us for this new Odyssey where we will explore issues such as mental health, environmental health, access to healthy food, homelessness and more. Learn how these public health issues are addressed at the individual, community, and policy levels. SEEDS is excited to present this new Odyssey trip, and participants will receive more information about the relevant organizations over the summer.