p:ear unveils new corporate menu of engagement with Sterling Bank donation
Pictured from left to right: Sarah Moran, Chris DuBose, Chris Antrim, Kim Handsaker, Connia Walker, Peter (p:ear student), Joyce Campbell, Pippa Arend
p:ear has at long last unveiled its new corporate engagement menu, replete with opportunities to volunteer (cook lunch for 35-45 homeless youth), sponsor the ‘safe space’, ‘education’, ‘arts’, ‘recreation’, ‘transition’ or ‘gallery’ programs, empowering employees to facilitate a supply drive, or sponsorship of the signature event, p:earblossoms.
First to latch onto this formal new process is Sterling Bank, who, as they open a new branch in downtown Portland, saw this as an opportunity to not only support their community-engagement mission, but also as a way to or support the transitional and artistic efforts of homeless youth. This investment in the lives of Portland’s homeless and parentless youth was quickly recognized as important for this downtown business as they realized that they can become engaged with youth on the streets outside their doors, or they can actively support an organization that is creating positive paths for growth for them a few blocks away.
In the words of branch manager, Chris Antrim, “Sterling Bank is dedicated to improving lives and strengthening communities. That’s why we’re thrilled to partner with p:ear. Sterling understands that it takes a village to support our community’s disadvantaged young people. We are proud to make a stand against poverty, neglect and abuse by supporting p:ear’s mission to engage with, mentor and educate Portland’s homeless youth.”
Specifically, Sterling Bank has donated $5,000 to the program - $2,500 to sponsor a two-month gallery show, and $2,500 to support three months of the ‘transition program’. Sterling Bank expressed interest in supporting these programs because they both teach a more mature relationship to money. p:ear’s on-site gallery exhibits the work of p:ear youth, who keep 90% of the proceeds of their art sales. The ‘transition program’ at p:ear helps youth with the various skills needed to transition from a life on the streets to a healthy adulthood, from learning about resume-writing, self-presentation, bill-paying and check-writing.