When you imagine the future of this region, what do you see?

If you are anything like me, you have probably donated to a bunch of nonprofits, community fundraisers, mutual aid groups, and maybe even some political candidates this year. 

Why do we do it?  

There are so many aspects of our society and culture that need to change right now—whether it’s systemic racial bias; the global pandemic that is, once again, spreading rampantly; a climate crisis that becomes more tangible with every passing year;  or countless other injustices too numerous to name.  

I think we give because we believe meaningful change is possible. We give as an act of hope and courage in the face of cynicism and despair. We give to help create the world that we want to see to come into being.  

Next week, Willamette Week will launch their annual Give!Guide Campaign to encourage a culture of philanthropy and "doing good” in the Portland Metro Area, particularly for residents under the age of 35. Bark is one of 172 local organizations selected to participate this year. Give!Guide encourages us as a community to come together and to reflect on the values we will prioritize as a city for the year ahead. What problems do we think are the most meaningful to put our collective contributions towards? 

While we certainly encourage you to continue to support Bark’s work, we also hope you explore the other local organizations that, along with us, are contributing to an active, regional ecosystem of community organizing. We encourage you to support anyone who is working to build a vision of the future that you believe in. The problems that we face are looming large, and no one organization can solve them alone. 

Financial support is important! Bark receives most of its funding from people like you who value our proactive and on-the-ground approaches and choose to invest in the future of Mt. Hood National Forest. Thank you! Your donations help us succeed in our organization’s long-term goals. We know also though that giving is only the first step to making change. 

We also need you to tell your friends about our work; to have conversations with loved ones about forest advocacy; to volunteer your time in the forest and in the city; to share our posts on social media; and to take countless other small but important actions. The forest needs you to stay engaged and involved in its future, our future. 

As always, I look forward to watching people come together in support of the things that matter. There are prizes, perks, and rewards that help light up the way, but what’s most important is that we will, collectively, be better prepared for the year ahead and be renewed in our commitment to what we value the most. 

Give!Guide launches in four days.  

Are you ready? 

         Nakisha Nathan, Bark Executive Director