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Lizards Helping Others: Blanchet House of Hospitality

For years volunteering monthly at the Blanchet House of Hospitality has been a cornerstone of Team Red Lizard’s community involvement. On the 3rd Saturday of every month about ten Lizards gather at Blanchet House, located in the Old Town neighborhood of Portland. Blanchet House serves as transitional housing for men interested in moving from living on the streets to a more permanent situation.

The residents of Blanchet House volunteer six days per week to serve hundreds of meals per day to others in Portland experiencing homelessness. Serving this many meals out of the ground floor of Blanchet House every day takes extra hands, however, and so community members step up to complete the team. Team Red Lizard Members have been volunteering on the serving line, serving plated food, busing and filling coffee and water jugs for years.

This past September Blanchet House, after a considerable fundraising effort and negotiations with the City, moved into a brand new facility just down the block. The new space is gleaming, with wide windows with views to the north and east, brand new tables, and a spacious indoor waiting area for folks lined up to get dinner. The new, larger space requires additional volunteers. It takes more time to run the food out, and there is more area to clean.

The next volunteer opportunity will be Saturday, November 17th. Consider coming out to lend a hand. Never volunteered in this type of environment before? No worries. Lead Lizard Linda Wabs does a great job of orienting novices to the experience so that it is not stressful. You can sign up on the message board; keep your eyes peeled in the Volunteer Forum.

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