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Celebrating Volunteer Appreciation Month!

In the heart of Portland, a beacon of hope shines brightly, emanating from the Portland Rescue Mission. As we celebrate 75 years of serving the community, we owe a debt of gratitude to the unsung heroes who have fueled our mission: our dedicated volunteers.

From serving meals to providing shelter, our volunteers stand at the forefront of every endeavor, offering comfort and support to the most vulnerable. For over ten years, Portland Rescue Mission Volunteer Walt has given his time at the Harbor, our men’s residential recovery program in East Portland. During his time with the Mission, Walt has dedicated himself to serving the men as a discipleship group leader, class co-leader, and, most importantly, a mentor.

“What is special to me about the Harbor is not necessarily a moment, but rather, the relationships I have enjoyed with the men and the staff,” explained Walt. “Most importantly, witnessing God’s work in the lives of the men. That has truly been a miracle to watch unfold.”

Founded as a volunteer-driven venture spearheaded by the love and kindness of our founders, John Van Diest, Sr., and his wife, Tress, the Mission started by offering West Burnside a big pot of soup and a warm smile in 1949. Their obedience has led to the comprehensive services offered today, and our commitment to transforming lives remains steadfast.

For Walt, volunteering has been an act of obedience as well. “There is no doubt in my mind that God has led me to men’s ministry and, specifically, to volunteer at the Harbor,” said Walt. “I have found that few things give as much value and purpose to your life as serving others in a capacity where God has led and gifted you. In doing so, you experience the fruit of the Spirit, joy, and peace. You also experience God working in your life – transforming and building character.”

Today and every day, we are thankful for the volunteers who help Portland Rescue Mission provide the services that transform the lives of those in our community.