PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A local nonprofit is making sure that elderly homeowners can age in peace without worrying about yard work or upkeep they can no longer physically do.
On the day KOIN 6 News watched the H.O.P.E. organization in action, they were cleaning up junk and debris from an elderly homeowner’s yard in Southeast Portland, with assistance from Central Catholic High School students.
“It’s a very big handicap to be like, ‘I’ll just go out and rake up… oh, maybe I won’t,'” homeowner Linda Naslund explained.
Hen Truong started H.O.P.E. back in 2018. It stands for “Honoring Our Precious Elders,” which is a message Hen’s dad instilled in him and his brother growing up.
“He would march us down to [our] neighbor’s house to help with yard care, mowing, things like that and when I was in high school, that’s what we did for the elders in the neighborhood,” he said.
The idea to start this organization came to Truong while he was working on his own garden, remembering the joy it brought the senior citizens when he was younger. He says the fact they launched H.O.P.E. right before the pandemic didn’t really slow them down.
“During COVID, being indoors as a volunteer group is very limited, so our program is very unique in the sense that we’re outside,” Truong explained.
Truong and H.O.P.E. have visited Ms. Naslund’s house four times. She’s had a lot of health issues that have decreased her mobility.
She says her neighbors were in the street clapping the first time H.O.P.E. volunteers came.
“I just so appreciate them,” Naslund said. “They’re just wonderful and they do this for free… but we always give a donation to their organization because this is wonderful for them to do this for senior citizens.”
If you think you know an elderly homeowner who could use some help, visit H.O.P.E.’s website. Plus, they’re always looking to partner with schools — a great way for students to earn community service hours.