On December 8, 2018, members of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office volunteered at the Sunshine Division to help sort thousands of pounds of donated canned food.
“We had a great time bonding as a team and preparing food boxes for community members in need of support,” said Multnomah County Chief Investigator Paul Weatheroy. “During these challenging times, small acts of kindness can help make a difference.”
“We serve families with children, veterans, seniors, individuals with disability and those on social security income as well as hundreds, if not thousands, of people who are referred to us by other social service organizations and law enforcement,” said Kyle Camberg, Executive Director of the Sunshine Division.
The Sunshine Division relies heavily on volunteer efforts to support its efforts, Camberg said.
“They really are an extension of us and we wouldn’t be able to do what we do without them,” Camberg said.
“I’m tremendously proud of this office,” District Attorney Underhill said. “There never seems to be any hesitation from our team to give up their valuable time to come out and support our community.”
The Sunshine Division operates two locations where the public can walk in to access food and clothing resources. Between the two locations, more than two million pounds of food and clothing are distributed to the public.
Camberg highlights the partnership the Sunshine Division maintains with the Portland Police Bureau. A sworn officer is assigned to the non-profit to help serve as a liaison between the community and the organization. Camberg said each police precinct is stocked with emergency food and clothing in the event that an officer needs to help someone in the community, particularly on patrol shifts when the Sunshine Division is closed.
“We had an officer here about a week ago and she was working with a woman who needed to testify in court,” Camberg said. “She was in temporary housing while the case was going through and needed appropriate clothing for court. She also needed some food and her kids needed school clothes and so that’s where we stepped in.”
“Our community is better because of the work the Sunshine Division does each day,” DA Underhill said. “This is an organization that remains committed to helping the lives of individuals and families whatever the situation.”
The holiday season is a busy time for the Sunshine Division but as Camberg often stresses that “hunger isn’t seasonal.”
The demand for food typically goes up in the summertime because free and reduced lunches aren’t available when school is out of session.
“The problem doesn’t just magically go away … so we want people to remember that this is not a seasonal issue and we can really use those efforts and that support,” Camberg said.
Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director