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The food carts are coming.

March 23, 2011 Leave a comment

The 2011 Eat Mobile Food Cart Festival by Willamette Week

Foodies rejoice. Tickets are now on sale for Willamette Week’s 2011 Eat Mobile Food Cart Festival to be held on April 23rd. A mere $15 gives you access to 40 food carts featuring diverse cuisines and styles. Now in it’s fourth year, Eat Mobile promises to be bigger and better than ever, and will showcase Portland’s enormous and diverse community of gourmands operating out of mobile carts.

Proceeds from the event will support Mercy Corps Northwest and our business development programs. Your admission will be an investment in what we do best: supporting local entrepreneurs. Just like the ones that will be serving up delicious treats for you at the festival. So mark your calendars and get ready for a righteous feast.

What Willamette Week has to say about Eat Mobile:

“With more than 400 food carts selling their tasty goods within our city limits, Portland has become a destination for mobile eats. In July, Portland was named the No. 1 street food city in the world by CNN Travel, and according to Gourmet.com, the Pacific Northwest is “doing for street food today what it did for coffee in the 1990s.”

With an annual attendance of over 2,000, Eat Mobile showcases the food, music and people that make Portland’s food scene so special. Part food festival, part cart competition, Eat Mobile allows attendees to sample from 40 of Willamette Week’s favorite food carts as vendors compete for the coveted Carty Award.”

Get your tickets here.

The Lineup

A big win for LIFE

March 13, 2011 Leave a comment

On March 12th, Mercy Corps Northwest held it’s inaugural fundraiser to support business and life skills education for women in the Coffee Creek Correctional facility. The gala was a huge success, and apart from being a great time, raised $16,000 for the LIFE program. That’s enough to fund an entire 32-week class for 25 women, with more to spare towards another class.

In LIFE (Lifelong Information for Entrepreneurs) women inmates not only learn about business fundamentals, but other core concepts like financial literacy and goal setting. This training helps to build a base for a successful transition outside of prison. Once on the outside, Mercy Corps Northwest teams up with the ROAR Alliance (Reentry Organizations and Resources) to provide a continuum of support for ex-offenders ready to get on their feet again. With a full house, we were humbled by the strong vote of support from our community.

Even if you weren’t able to attend, take a look at the photos from this memorable night and watch the video by John Waskey, New Sky Productions.

This would not have been possible without the contributions and tireless effort of countless people. Special thanks to the LIFE participants who came, the auction item donors, the wineries and cooks, the performers, the volunteers, the guests, and so many others that touched our hearts with their generosity and spirit. Our most sincere acknowledgement goes to Rose Gerber, the volunteer superheroine who turned this dream into a reality.

Felton Howard, MCNW Staff Honored at Luncheon

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

Our own Felton Howard (Navigator, Reentry Transition Center) was honored at a benefit luncheon for Central City Concern (CCC), who produced a beautiful video telling Felton’s story.

Before joining Mercy Corps Northwest, Felton was originally a CCC client. He gained employment via the CCC Employment Access Center and lived in CCC housing, eventually completing the Recovery Mentor Program. Today, Felton has been reunited with his family, lives independently, and makes incredible contributions as a member of our team.

Watch his journey in the video below.

The Book Party

October 21, 2010 Leave a comment

Mercy Corps Front

What. Portland Bottom Line Book Release Party
When. Wednesday, November 10th 5-8pm, Program at 6
Where. Mercy Corps HQ, 45 SW Ankeny St.
How much. Free! (…just buy a book)

Cool Stuff
Serendipity has it that the Give!Guide and The Portland Bottom Line launch on the same day – we’re so excited. Be the first to pick up your Give!Guide at the event.  In addition, one hundred copies of “The Portland Bottom Line” will be available for sale ($16.95, cash/check only, 2 laptops will be available for online purchases). The contributors to this book have generously selected Mercy Corps Northwest as a beneficiary of book sales. The more books we sell, the bigger the donation, so buy the book!

Also, enjoy some tasty snacks and beverages donated by the book’s contributors and other local businesses.

We’re in for a treat
The contributors to the book (small business owners striving towards the triple bottom line), will be at the event to share their experiences and forge new relationships. Enjoy a short presentation about the making of the book and the challenge of doing business in a sustainable manner.

About the book
Co-edited by Peter Korchnak and Megan Strand, and organized into 12 sections along the triple bottom line of People, Planet, and Prosperity, “The Portland Bottom Line: Practices for Your Small Business from America’s Hotbed of Sustainability” explores how small businesses can effectively and efficiently shift toward sustainability and thrive. In their short essays, 51 Portland small-business people share their experiences with sustainability in their companies.

2010 Ecodistricts Summit Keynote Speaker Announced

October 15, 2010 Leave a comment

(Reposted from Portland Sustainability Institute, a partner of Mercy Corps Northwest)

John Knott, President and Co-Founder of the Noisette Company has been announced as Keynote for the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit at 7:30 p.m. on October 26th at PSU Smith Center Ballroom. Additionally, Kevin Hydes, President of Integral Group and former chair of the US Green Building Council and the World Green Building Council, will give opening remarks at the Summit on October 25th, 2010. The EcoDistricts keynote speech is free and open to the public. For more information on additional events, visit www.ecodistrictssummit.com.

A highly esteemed member of the sustainable building and planning community, Knott will headline a diverse and accomplished roster of speakers at the three-day summit, held at Portland State University, October 25-27, 2010. His organization, the Noisette Company, leads groundbreaking redevelopment work in North Charleston, South Carolina.

The Noisette Project is one of the best case studies of sustainable, district-level redevelopment in the United States. Taking into account the social needs, environmental responsibility and economic vitality of the Noisette Community—formerly a deteriorating area, encompassing 3,000 acres of former naval yards in North Charleston’s historic urban core—the Project has worked to uplift the neighborhood beyond mere structural renovation and environmentally friendly infrastructure.

Under Knott’s leadership, additional focus was placed on addressing equity in equal proportion to environmental and economic concerns, using innovative policies and programs to meet this goal. Notable successful programs include neighborhood involvement in defining the scope and plan for the Noisette Project, job training integrated through well-supported non-profits, a pilot prisoner re-entry program (Lowcountry Civic Justice Corps) and several social justice initiatives.

As the 2010 keynote speaker, Knott, who is an outspoken advocate of leveraging the power of neighborhoods to catalyze positive change, reinforces equity as a key topic of dialogue at the 2010 EcoDistricts Summit. The EcoDistricts Summit also features equity proponents Twana Hall-Scott, Assistant Director and Outreach Manager of Kansas City Green Impact Zone—a nationally recognized non-profit focused on concentrating and integrating resources to enact drastic and comprehensive neighborhood-level transformation—and Alan Hipólito, Executive Director of Verde—a Portland non-profit that connects low-income people and people of color with the economic benefits of protecting the environment through social enterprise and outreach.

Read Previous Post for more Information on the Ecodistricts Summit

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