Goal: Volunteer

My March goal was to volunteer for two different organizations. There are probably one thousand great organizations in Portland and I chose PDX POP NOW! and SOLVE.


PDX POP NOW! (PPN) is a music organization which prides itself in supporting the local Portland music community. PPN supports local musicians by organizing music festivals, benefit and outreach events, and by putting together an annual compilation CD featuring local acts.

PPN is entirely made up of volunteers. During the month of January, I happened upon their song-entry contest where local acts could submit an original song for the annual compilation CD. Lo and behold, I found I could volunteer on the listening committee! I already listen to music, so I thought I might as well do it for the benefit of others.

I spent January and February listening and judging songs; just like my hero, Simon Cowell.

For those of you thinking, “Hey, wait! That doesn’t sound like volunteering. It just sounds fun and easy.” It was both volunteering and fun but do not assume this was easy. I devoted my full, unbiased, trained ear to each song I heard to accurately assess the musicality, lyrical content, and jam-factor. A weaker volunteer might have grown weary or based their judgement on song titles alone. But not this judge. I took my judgeship seriously.

Okay okay, it was fun and easy. My volunteering got me a free pass to the album-release party which I could not attend due to prior commitments. I plan on doing this every year!

SOLVE Oregon

SOLVE Oregon has been cleaning up Oregon for 50 years. If Oregon were a house, SOLVE would be the mother–cleaning up everybody’s mess.

I love Oregon and I hate messes so I hopped on the SOLVE train. My friend, Olivia, and I signed up for a beach clean up.

We headed out to Cannon Beach with our trash buckets and hearts full of love. From there, we cleaned up metal, plastic, and other garbage left on the beach.

Hundreds of others helped clean up Cannon Beach and many more took on the entirety of the state coastline that day. It felt good to take care of Oregon but I did get a little angry that so many people had trashed it. That’s it, Oregonians, no more parties. You’re grounded.

SOLVE does great work all-year round. I highly recommend joining in on the fun!

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