PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With Thanksgiving just a week away, the Youth Charity League (YCL) is looking to “sweeten” the holiday, with their second annual pumpkin pie drive for the homeless.
“We’re just trying to do our part to help those in need, who for whatever reason may be homeless,” explained Youth Charity League co-founder Arlene Unverzagt. “We hope that they can find a way out or at least feel supported while they are at their lowest-potential point.”
Chef Brophy at the Oregon Culinary Institute started the pie drive back in 2008. The tradition has continued by Lincoln High School culinary arts students, who brought YCL on to help last year.
Partnering with Lincoln High school again, YCL hopes to increase last year’s 900 pie donations to over 2,000, before delivering them to 11 local nonprofits in time for Thanksgiving dinner.
“We’re really excited, because we’re going to double down on the number of pies we want to get, cause we’re doubling down on the number of nonprofits we’re supporting,” Unverzagt said.
YCL plans to distribute this year’s pie donations to the following nonprofits: Blanchet House, Clay Street Table, Do Good Multnomah, Feed the Mass, First Baptist Church, Friends of Seasonal and Service Workers, HomePlate Youth Services, Meals on Wheels People, Our Giving Table, Ronald McDonald House Charities, and Transition Projects.
“It’s important to feed our homeless community, to give them hope and dignity,” stated Unverzagt. “We want them to get a nutritious meal from any of these organizations that are out here helping them — whatever the circumstances may be. And we’re just so thrilled that our organization can support all the different non-profits out there.”
This year, YCL has adopted several measures to ensure the “drive-and-drop” pie donation is safe for everyone.
“All of our members will be masked. Donors can stay in their car, pop the trunk, and we’ll grab the pumpkin pies and put them in our receiving area,” Unverzagt explained. “We do specifically ask for store-bought pies, just for the safety of and health of the clients who will be receiving these items.”
Donations of store-bought, sealed pumpkin pies will be accepted at the Youth Charity League Headquarters: 10950 SW 5th Suite 245 Beaverton 97005, from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Nov. 20.
Unverzagt told KOIN 6 News these donations can go a long way to bring a sense of normalcy for those who need it most.
“Anyone and everyone please donate to this cause,” Unverzagt said. “It’s really important that all these people feel like they’re cared for and get that slice of pie and that thankfulness that we are all going to have in a couple days.”