Albertina Kerr’s 24-hour virtual gala helps kids in crisis


September 12 fundraiser includes an online auction

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — One of the largest non-profits in Oregon, Albertina Kerr Centers has been around for more than a century caring for the state’s most vulnerable citizens. They provide counseling, medicine and hope to people with developmental disabilities and in mental health crisis.

Albertina Kerr Centers serves nearly 1200 clients around the state with 60 facilities and outpatient services. About 700 clients are children and their families. Many kids suffering from mental health issues require 24-hour care in a crisis psychiatric facility as parents deal with increasing pressures from COVID-19.

Mack Beatty is one of the clients at Albertina Kerr (Courtesy photo)

“Coming to Kerr really provided that support network that wasn’t there before, and Kerr really is a family to me. They’re family to me,” said Mack Beatty, one of the clients at Albertina Kerr.

Suicide is a leading cause of death among adolescents in Oregon.

“They’ve had some sort of suicide ideation so they’ve tried to harm themselves or sometimes harm someone else,” said Jeff Carr, the CEO of Albertina Kerr Centers. “They suffer from anxiety and depression. When kids come to us, those are the things they’re struggling with the most.”

24 Hours of Kerr Virtual Gala

With COVID-19 forcing fundraisers to go virtual, the Race For The Roses to benefit Kerr will be a virtual gala on September 12 — “24 Hours of Kerr.”

This gala will help fill a growing gap for kids who need crisis psychiatric treatment. Around 90% of Albertina Kerr’s $50 million budget comes from state and federal reimbursements. The rest comes from people like you.

“There likely will have to be cuts because of the economic realities to the very kind of programs like Kerr and others, at a time when the demand is actually going up,” Carr said.

“Kerr really changed my viewpoint, not only on myself, but also on my opportunities, my future,” Beatty said. “I saw something that I didn’t see before.”

Albertina Kerr makes a difference.

So can you — by helping kids with a mental health crisis.

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