3 More Portland GRASSROOTS Organizations

Portland is full of fantastic organizations and nonprofits for youth and family services. Here are just a few special organizations in Portland and some simple ways to volunteer or get involved. Sometimes, just learning about an organization so you can pass it on to someone in need is a great way to show support and give back.

Native American Youth & Family Center


Did you know that Portland Metro Area represents the 9th largest Native American community in the United States? Out of every 100 Native American students who begin as freshman in high school, only 34 will graduate from Portland Public Schools their Senior year. Of those 34, only 17 will receive a standard diploma. Furthermore, half of the Native population lives in deep poverty.

NAYA’s mission: “to enhance the diverse strengths of our youth and families in partnership with the community through cultural identity and education.”

Get Involved with NAYA! Volunteer Opportunities include:

  • Tutors: Help students complete their homework and school related projects by becoming a tutor in our Learning Center. Monday-Thursday, 3pm-6pm.
  • ASPIRE College Mentors: NAYA is looking for College Mentors to provide one-on-one advising to help our ECA students continue their education beyond high school. Every Tuesday and Thursday, 3:30 – 7 p.m.
  • Sports Coaches: Help coach our youth sports teams practices and games throughout the year. Sports programs include volleyball, basketball, soccer and lacrosse.

You can also attend one of Naya’s events,

  • Culture Night – Mondays from 5:30pm – 8:30pm. Culture Night is a time for families and community members to come together to share a meal, craft, learn traditions and practice inter-tribal powwow drumming and dancing. Everyone of all ages is welcome to attend.
  • December Marketplace – Saturday, December 7th from 10-3pm. Join Native business vendors and artisans from around the Pacific Northwest as they showcase their goods, including beadwork, jewelry, pottery, regalia, woodwork, flower arrangements, naturopathic items and traditional foods. The marketplace will feature Native artist and flutist Katherine Quartz (Northern Paiute) who will perform at the event.

Caldera Arts


Caldera’s mission: “To be a catalyst for the transformation of underserved youth through innovative year-round art and environmental programs.”

Volunteer Opportunities at Caldera

Volunteers are crucial to our mission. We are specifically looking for help with special events, youth program support, administrative projects and artists with youth experience.

If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please fill out the application below and email to elia.unverzagt@calderaarts.org. Call 503.937.7594 or email if you have any questions.

Outside IN

This video gives a nice summary of the work & impact of Outside in.

Their mission: “Helping homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.”

Current Volunteer Opportunities include:

  • Learning Lab Tutor Provide tutoring in GED level math, writing and reading comprehension skills to students enrolled in the Urban Ed Alternative School.
  • Virginia Woof Dog Attendant – Assist with a variety of tasks including registering dog clients, tending to the welfare of the dogs, picking up after the dogs, answering questions for customers and assisting with dog activities.

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