Reaching out from our Front Porch
The people of Riverside, along with our much-loved historic building, are vital parts of many community service activities and events. Want to get involved?
FISH Food Bank
This non-profit, with locations in Hood River, Cascade Locks, Odell and Parkdale serves people in need of food assistance in Hood River County and Mosier.
The FISH Food Bank is a partner agency of the Oregon Food Bank. You can help several ways. You can make donations of cash and food supplies, which we gather at Riverside. We also staff the food bank one week each month. To sign up, contact Riversider Judith Poage.
Hood River Warming Shelter
Now in its tenth year in operation, the shelter is open every night from mid-November to mid-March. This past season, the shelter was open this year for 102 consecutive nights, and served 94 guests, with an average guest count of 19 people per night. For the last three years, the shelter has been located inside Riverside. It takes 140 volunteers each season to keep the shelter open.
You can help two ways. The shelter is run entirely on grants and donations, so please donate if you can, by mailing a check to: HRSS Warming Shelter, P.O. Box 656, Hood River, OR 97031 or bring a check to the church office. You can also volunteer. To receive training, contact Riversider Sandy Spellecy.
Our Immigrant Brothers and Sisters
The Northeast Oregon Regional Correctional Facility (NORCOR) houses immigrants detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at the jail in The Dalles. One way we minister to them is through visitation.
If you are interested in helping, please contact Pastor Vicky. We also regularly give through our Pockets of Plenty offerings to a telephone fund, since NORCOR charges a very high price-per-minute for detainees to call family or attorneys. To contribute, contact Kathryn in the church office.
You can also donate through the Immigrant Relief Fund, set up by the Gorge Ecumenical Ministries (GEM). This fund is designated to help our immigrant neighbors as they navigate the legal system, are struggling to make ends meet because of the pandemic or while their spouse is being held by ICE. This fund is also available to help Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients with renewal fees, which are $495 every two years, as well as help with legal filing fees for other immigrants with financial need. You can contribute on line .
Be the Beloved Community
Every month during Sunday service, we take a Pockets of Plenty offering to support the web of community connections.
The offerings are organized by our Justice and Witness Team.
In 2021, we took offerings to support: FISH Food Bank, Helping Hands Against Violence, Peace Village, NORCOR phone fund, Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, Rowena Wildlife Clinic and the Warming Shelter.
We also supported two national campaigns of the United Church of Christ: One Great Hour of Sharing and Strengthen the Church.
We regularly meet at the State St. Salmon fountain to share the pain, and sometimes the joy, of things happening around the world. We’ve stood up for Black Lives Matter, George Floyd and against Climate Change and Racism. Our young people are regularly participating in Fridays For Future vigils at noon on Friday.
Free Community Thanksgiving
Now in its fifth year, in a partnership with FISH Food Bank and Spirit of Grace Church, Riverside is home to a free Thanksgiving dinner. The team also supports a free dinner in Cascade Locks.
If you would like to help with the Thanksgiving dinner, we need volunteers to both prepare and serve food. Donations are needed to purchase food as well. Please contact Riversider Gean Rains. Our full commercial kitchen at Riverside gives us an opportunity to feed and nurture not only our congregation, but our community.
Royal Ewing Garden
Riverside’s back yard has been converted into a raised-bed vegetable garden that supports numerous food-related events at Riverside, as well as the Thanksgiving dinner. The garden needs volunteer planters, weeders, waters and harvesters. If you would like to help, please contact Kathryn in the church office.