Homeless man leaves donation at damaged Oregon Historical Society

2020 Protests

Tymchuk: 'No donation means more to me and to the society than this dollar'

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Executive Director of the Oregon Historical Society’s Kerry Tymchuk shared a heart-warming story Monday following the destruction caused to the OHS building during Sunday night’s riot.

Tymchuk said a napkin was dropped off at the front desk of OHS with a handwritten note and a one dollar bill:

Hello, I’m homeless, so I don’t have much to give you. Just some of my bottle collecting money. But, I saw your windows got broken and I wanted to help. You once gave me a free tour before the pandemic. So, this is a thank you.

Oscar


Tymchuk spoke about the generous gift and said that though OHS was receiving several donations in the aftermath of the damage, Oscar’s gesture was priceless.

A homeless man named Oscar left this note and $1 after rioters damaged the Oregon Historical Society, October 12, 2020 (KOIN)

“We’ve been fortunate to receive many generous donations to OHS over the years–some upwards o a million or more dollars,” he said. “No donation means more to me and to the society than this dollar donation from Oscar.”

Ahead of Sunday’s protest-turned-riot, organizers had promoted the event on social media as an “Indigenous Peoples Day of Rage” — a demonstration against centuries of violence against indigenous populations.

Following the toppling and destruction of several statues, several protesters smashed the windows of OHS and tossed in lit flares.

Tymchuk said though a majority of the collection of artifacts and other historical heirloom items were not damaged, an African-American heritage, bicentennial quilt was taken and later found several blocks away. Tymchuk said the quilt was “very wet” but was hopeful it could be displayed again, calling it a “priceless piece of history.”

Not far from the Oregon Historical Society, the Heroes American Cafe on Park Avenue was also damaged Sunday night.

“I think downtown is the worst I’ve ever seen it,” said cafe owner John Jackson. “There’s no reason to damage property to get your point across. Matter of fact, I think it’s counter to getting your point across.”

At least three people were arrested following Sunday night’s riot.

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