The motto and heartbeat of Melody’s Angels is, “Stay humble, be kind, and spread love.”
Melody is a long time friend of Portland Rescue Mission, and more importantly, a friend to those we serve.
You’ll find her serving a Sunday meal each month with a smile, greeting every guest at the Burnside Shelter. And she is not alone.
An army of angels surrounds her.
Launched 3 years ago “Melody’s Angels” started with Melody, her son Kalani and a couple friends, as an outreach to the community. Their primary focus is on preparing and delivering “Care Kits” to Portland men and women facing homelessness.
“I was thinking, let’s name it something people can remember like the ‘Care Kit Project PDX,’ or ‘Keep Portland Warm,’” said Melody. On a cold day, while they were driving around town to hand out care kits, one of the women in the backseat said, “How about ‘Melody’s Angels? kind of like Charlie’s Angels!’”
Last year, Melody’s Angels met together and prepared 400 goody bags for the annual Birthday Party for the Homeless at Portland Rescue Mission, including treats and hygiene items.
On a recent Sunday, the angels hit the streets with sack lunches.
“We’re doing sandwiches, and then fruit snacks, water, napkins, mayo and mustard packets,” said Melody.
Before packaging their kits, Melody’s Angels meets in the the conference room at Beaverton Toyota where Melody works. They spread out notecards, markers and stickers and got to work making sure each bag includes an inspirational and encouraging note.
“It’s all handwritten, we don’t print anything out. It’s from us for them, because we want them to know that we care.” They attach the notes, along with information about Portland Rescue Mission, to each care kit.
The Angels can be found walking around the city sharing food and encouragement, or serving dinner at the Burnside shelter.
“The best part about volunteering here at the Mission is that while you are serving food, the guests are all smiling and happy because they are getting a meal,” said Kalani, Melody’s son.
“Happy bellies, happy hearts,” said Melody.
“We don’t just give you the lunch, we talk to you, ‘Hey, how’s it going? What’s your name?’” said Melody. “We’ve met so many people, and it’s not me––it’s my team that’s so great.”
“I wanted to volunteer [At Portland Rescue Mission] to build a foundation and make friends, so that when we do go out and hand out lunch, they’re familiar with me,” said Melody. “I’m not there to judge you, I’m there to be your friend.”
And it’s worked. Melody remembers meeting Ajax out on the street. “How I remember him was his shades,” she said. “I didn’t know that he went to the Portland Rescue Mission until I started serving,” said Melody. “He lights up the room when he’s talking to you.”
“When I see him, all the time we talk about football,” said Kalani.
Melody makes sure her, her team and her son focus on seeing and valuing people.
Kalani takes after his mom—inspiring and recruiting. His classmates and teammates also come to serve. Melody is so proud of her son.
“I always want him just to stay humble and just be kind to anybody and everybody. He has so many friends,” said Melody. “It’s not about what you have, it’s who you have.”
“I want our guest to know that there are a lot of people that care for them,” said Kalani, “and to keep your head up, because things will get better.”