Roosevelt HS Hosts Free Clothes Closet

Roosevelt Clothes ClosetOnce a month Roosevelt High School opens its doors to the community to host a community clothes closet, for free adult and kids clothing.

The next event is today, Dec. 10th, 5:30 to 7:30 pm. Please stop by to do some “shopping” if your family needs clothes.

Upcoming Dates

5:30 to 7:30 pm

  • Jan. 14
  • Jan. 28
  • Feb. 11
  • Feb. 25
  • March 11
  • April 8
  • Apr 22
  • May 13
  • May 27

The Clothes Closet is in the red brick building at the corner of N. Ida and N. Smith on the RHS campus, in St. Johns. Apparently a line forms early, so bundle up!

Holiday Craft Fair at Swapnplay

Open to All!

Open to All!

Saturday, December 14th, Swapnplay will host our third annual Holiday Craft Fair, featuring local handmade goods and food. Kids are welcome in the playspace! 10 am to 3 pm. 

Call for Crafters! If you would like to table at this event, please email Cost is $25.

Next Pancake Day – this Saturday, Nov. 16

Parents, young & old, will come together Saturday to network and eat. If you are interested in joining us, please email Amy Potthast, amy [at] for more information. Let me know your reasons for wanting to join us!

By Amy Potthast Posted in News

Costume Drive – pass along used costumes to help out local young parents

St. Johns Village Project is collecting costumes for boys and girls, in all themes.

Once again we are gearing up for our annual Halloween Party!

At the party, Oct. 23, we aim to give away costumes to kids ages 0-10 whose parents are teens or transitioning to adulthood.

If you have spare costumes, please consider passing them along to us!

Girls, boys, all themes.

How to donate

Please email amy [at] for details. If you are a member of Swapnplay or Red Sea Church, drop costumes in the St Johns Village Project donation bin in the Swap Room.

Thank you!

By Amy Potthast Posted in Requests

Safe Routes to School free community event 10 am to 2 pm, Sat. 4/6

Join Portland Safe Routes to School for the 3rd Annual Safe Routes to School Spring Kick-offSafe Route to Schools Kickoff

Saturday April 6th
Cesar Chavez School
5103 N Willis Blvd Portland, OR 97203

Celebrate walking and biking to school at the Safe Routes Spring Kick-off. This is a family-fun event that celebrates health, safety, and physical fitness.

There will be activities for parents, students, and younger children:

• Bike activities and walking games
• Walk and bike art projects
• Bike Rodeo
• Map reading and safe route planning activities
• Learn to ride a bike class
• Free bike repair
• Helmet fitting and giveaway
• Free healthy lunch
• Community bike ride (with bikes and helmets available to borrow)
• Raffle
• …and more, all for FREE!

For more information, email, or call 503-823-1189!

Free health fair — March 3rd @ St. Charles Church in NE Portland

You’re invited:

Photo of a young woman getting her blood pressure taken

Photo by Adelphi Lab Center, Flickr

Sunday, March 3rd, from 9 am to 2 pm
at St Charles Church, 5310 NE 42nd  — on 42nd, just south of Killingsworth.

A free health & screening fair is taking place in early March at St. Charles Church in NE Portland. Bring your children, parents & friends to chat with health practitioners about questions and concerns — and fun kids’ activities like a fire engine to explore & face painting.

To look forward to:

  • Free vaccines for ages 11 and up (Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia, Influenza)
  • Testing for diabetes, glaucoma, vision, hearing and blood pressure
  • Healthy living demonstrations with lots of new ideas for you and your family
  • Health education by experts
  • Referral information especially for people without health insurance
  • Free minor bike repairs
  • Bike helmets for only $5, fitted for you by professionals
  • Free acupuncture (it’s not painful!)
  • Fun activities include face painting, a city of Portland fire truck to explore, a visit from “The Nose”, relaxing massages and prizes.

Sponsored by the Northeast Neighborhood Nurses

For information contact:
Alice McCarthy, RN
503-282- 8828

Stay Fit for Free during the Winter

Asian woman doing exercise on gym floor with the help of a personal trainer.

Photo by familymwr, Flickr

Exercising for free during the winter can be a challenge. The following are some ideas about how to stay active!  

Fitness DVDs from the library.

Exercise along with the experts using pilates, yoga, aerobics, or other fitness DVDs from the library.

Search the website and put items you’d like to use “on hold” — select your branch for pickup, and when they are ready, you’ll get an email or phone call letting you know.

If space is limited, choose yoga or pilates — where you can do most things on the space of a mat.

Use phone apps.

For smart phone owners — a ton of free phone apps available in iPhone and Android  app stores feature videos of how to do toning and other exercises, including yoga poses and pilates. Also check out podcasts like Podrunner, which feature music with a stong beat to energize your running.

Walk in the mall.

Take your child and the stroller down to Lloyd Center and walk around each floor — without stopping to shop.

Walk or run on a high school track.

On days when the weather is tolerable, go for a walk or run on the nearest public track. If the track is well enclosed, you can let your little one toddle after you (or take the stroller!).

General exercise tips.

  • Whatever you choose, be safe, drink enough water, and wear the right gear.
  • If you’re exercising outdoors, meet up with a friend — both to help you stay motivated, and to stay safe.
  • Remember to drink water throughout the day, not just while you’re exercising.
  • Clothes made out of manmade materials (not like cotton) will tend to keep you dryer and warmer.
  • Wear supportive shoes that were made for action.
  • And wear bright or fluorescent clothes to stay visible!

Celebrate the holidays on a dime

Ways to celebrate the Holiday season affordably.homemade gift

Here are some ideas for giving gifts that are valuable — but not expensive.

Consider holding a White Elephant party for family and friends. At a white elephant party, everyone brings something they already own — often something funny like an old piece of clothing that is really outdated, or a silly photograph. This is also a great way to “re-gift” something that you received in the past but that you’ve never used. The time you spend together laughing is really the best gift you’ll give or get this year!

Agree to do something together.  Instead of wrapping a gift, share an invitation to go someplace special together. A walk in the park, a picnic, a ride around a neighborhood with Christmas lights. Decorate the invitation so it feels like a gift — you can even put it in a box or gift bag.

Hold a toy, clothes and/or book exchange for kids. Get together with friends and family to exchange kids’ clothing, toys and books. Limit the exchange to items that are “gently used,” and have some extra parents on hand to watch the kids in another room. Alternately visit the Garage Sale on NE Martin Luther King to find affordable second-hand gifts.

Create a personalized coupon or coupon book. Offer to watch a friend’s child, wash your mom’s car, paint your aunt’s nails, or give your niece a makeover.

Teach someone a new skill. Do you text? Use Facebook? Have an email account? Teach an older relative how to get started using modern communication! Show them how to create a profile, select a hard-to-guess password, and strike the right tone.

Make something.  Draw a picture, write a letter, bake a mini-loaf of bread. melt old crayons and mold them into candles, or a create heart-felt card. Find art supplies dirt cheap at Scrap on NE Martin Luther King.

Pancake Day – Sat., Nov. 17th from 11 to 1


Eden Pictures, from Flickr

Photo by EdenPictures, Flickr

This Saturday from 11 to 1 at Swapnplay, 7535 N. Chicago, St. Johns Village Project invites teen parents from North Portland high schools to eat pancakes and get to know other NoPo families.

If you want to attend, volunteer, or get involved, please contact Amy, amy [at] st. Register for Pancake Day at


Coping with Stress during the Winter Months

Parenting is stressful no matter who you are. Being a parent means giving, giving, giving — love, attention, resources,

By joeytklein, Flickr.

time. It’s very easy to forget to take care of yourself.

During the holidays, stress can get worse. It’s surprising — “the happiest time of the year” is not always happy.

Seeing family and friends can make you unhappy if they aren’t kind to you. Buying your children Christmas gifts is hard if you don’t have much money.  The sun — which helps us stay in a good mood — goes away, and the dark, rainy days can be depressing, day after day.

How can you cope with stress during the winter months?

  • Keep a journal or diary. Take notes each day about what caused you stress, how you felt, how you acted when you were stressed out, and what you did to make yourself feel better.
  • Identify the situations or people that stress you out, then avoid them (or accept them!) if you can.
  • Avoid drugs, alcohol & sweets — which make your life more difficult in the long-term.
  • Get sleep and exercise. It’s amazing how much better you feel when you get enough sleep and make a regular time to walk, run, dance, or do yoga!

Your stress affects your child. Your child is learning from you every day. If you respond to your child, another person, or a situation using a sharp tone or even violence, your child will learn to do the same. But if you learn to cope with stress in good ways, they will learn that too.

Read more in the St. Johns Village Project November 2012 newsletter.