FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 26, 2008
Contact: Alisa Cour, Bureau of Development Services 503.823.4017
City employees continue to show their generosity for those less fortunate. This year a friendly competition between two of Commissioner Leonard's bureaus was geared at promoting increase giving. As the competition drew near, the rivalry got more serious and interesting.
Spurred on by pride and a taunting picture of a Water Bureau dump truck filled with toys sent by Water Bureau PIO, Jennie Day-Burget, staff at the City of Portland's Bureau of Development Services filled food barrels for the Portland Police Bureau's Sunshine Division as fast as they could be delivered to help hungry Portlanders. Staff was still bringing in donations when our Commissioner, Randy Leonard, showed up on Friday, December 19th to count the fruits of our labor and declare a winner in this friendly competition between the Bureau of Development Services and the Water Bureau. Truth be told, BDS staff were only slightly disappointed to find out that the Water Bureau had collected 52 barrels of toys for the Fire Bureau's Toy and Joy Program to our 45 barrels of food for Sunshine Division. This was an amazing effort by both bureaus.
"There are no losers in this contest, only winners," said BDS Director Paul Scarlett. "The winners are the recipients of the gifts collected and the staff who poured their hearts into making this challenge a success. I'm so proud of our employees' generosity."
The Bureau of Development Services also held their Seventh Annual Silent Auction on December 15th to benefit the Oregon Food Bank. It is estimated that 200,000 people will eat from an emergency food box in an average month, 36% of which are children. It's statistics like these that prompted a few employees donate personal items from around the house to launch the Silent Auction seven years ago. The first year, it was a pink flamingo shower caddy that brought in the top bid. From candied pecans to housecleaning services, doggy daycare to knit scarves, you never can tell which unusual item will fetch big bucks for charity. This year's auction was once again organized by Leanne Torgerson and resulted in a donation of over $1,800.00 to Oregon Food Bank - a donation that will help OFB collect and distribute 9,000 pounds of food to Oregon's hungry.
Special thanks to Residential Inspections Manager, Jim Nicks, Compliance Services Section Manager, Mike Liefeld, and all the BDS employees who donated, shopped and organized food barrels and this year's auction. As 2008 comes to a close, the Water Bureau takes home official bragging rights for the Commissioner's Charity Challenge. But watch out - BDS is already getting ready for 2009!