HAVING FUN


SHIFT


 


WHAT THEY DO: Shift, a loosely knit group of two-wheeled transportation enthusiasts linked by an e-mail list, takes a lighthearted approach to coaxing commuters out of their cars and onto bikes. That attitude shines through in Pedalpalooza, a 17-day, bike-oriented citywide festival this summer that included 140 events (from the Pedal Potluck Picnic to the Biking Viking ride), and Breakfast on the Bridges, a last-Friday tradition wherein Shift volunteers dole out free coffee and doughnuts to bike commuters cycling over the Hawthorne and Broadway Bridges. Then there’s Move by Bike, a Shift program that dispatches a convoy of pedal-powered moving vans (volunteers equipped with heavy-duty bike trailers). Think of it as We-Haul instead of U-Haul, a community effort that transforms the prospect of changing addresses from a dreaded chore into a celebratory parade. As Shift spokesperson Jonathan Maus puts it, “It’s all about bike fun.” —EG

WHAT THEY NEED: You, on two wheels.
TO GIVE: www.shifttobikes.org; 503-542-6900


Most Extraordinary Donor


Al Jubitz


WHY HE’S EXTRAORDINARY: Lauren Tietsort, development manager of Morrison Child and Family Services, calls Al Jubitz a “quiet champion” of the organization, which provides mental health, substance abuse and other services to more than 5,000 children and their families each year. Besides supporting the organization himself, Tietsort says, Jubitz “does a lot of work to make sure we’re connected with people who might feel the call to donate.” According to Morrison chief executive Tia Gray Stecher, Jubitz’s substantial financial contributions have “literally saved various programs as well as the organization as a whole.” When it comes to getting credit for his help, though, Jubitz wants to give that away too—to his wife, Nancy. “She did the heavy lifting, with three kids of our own and two foster daughters,” he says. “I get the recognition, because I’m the one who had the time to sit on boards. I wish this award were going to her.” —EG


WHAT THEY NEED: Art supplies, sports and outdoors equipment; volunteer mentors
TO GIVE: www.morrisonkids.org; 503-258-4200


Best-Kept Secret


Financial Beginnings


WHAT THEY DO: Melody Thompson and Kari McClellan founded Financial Beginnings in 2005 with the aim of educating Oregon middle, high school and college students about personal finance. The inspiration for Financial Beginnings came, ironically, at the collections agencies in Portland where they both worked before founding their nonprofit. McClellan explains, “We got to see it go wrong when young people didn’t understand finance rates and credit.” Together, the pair tours Portland-area public schools, offering a free class in “financial literacy” that teaches students how to balance a checkbook, read a credit report and calculate compound interest. McClellan recalls one demonstration of the ruin that can result when a person makes just the minimum payment on a high-interest credit card. She knew the message was getting through when a hand went up and the student asked: “Why would anyone do that?” —EG


WHAT THEY NEED: Volunteers to teach in local schools; cash donations to offset program costs
TO GIVE: www.financialbeginnings.org; 503-201-9717