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$200,000 awarded to Life by Design Northwest

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The Life by Design Northwest program has been awarded $200,000 by Meyer Memorial Trust to develop a model for engaging older adults in volunteer and non-profit work.

The program has earned more than $1 million in grant funding from Meyer Memorial Trust and The Atlantic Philanthropies in the last month. In February, the Life by Design Northwest program was awarded $825,000 by The Atlantic Philanthropies to establish services and workshops for older adults. Workshops began at PCC in February.

Life by Design Northwest is a major initiative in the Portland area that provides a community-wide resource for older adults in, or thinking about, retirement. The partnership improves individual lives while strengthening their standing in society through civic engagement, employment (paid or unpaid) with nonprofits or lifelong learning through higher education.

The program is a collaboration of nine partners, each a major local institution chosen for the contribution they bring to the project. The partners include AARP Oregon, Express Personnel Services, Hands On Portland, Multnomah County Library, Morrison Child and Family Services, NW Natural, Oregon Public Broadcasting, Portland Community College and Portland State University. The CEO’s or leadership representatives of each organization sit on the governing Leadership Counsel, a demonstration of their commitment to the project.

Life by Design is built around three stages for its participants, or visitors to its web site ( – Discover, Design and Engage. In Discover, participants, explores their interests, finances and health to set the stage for planning. In Design, they use this information to develop a life path. In Engage, they connect with educational institutions, new careers, community organizations or pursue other interests. At every step in the process, Life by Design Northwest provides a variety of resources to help participants identify and reach their goals, either through its Web site or on-site workshops and coaching.

For more information, contact Karen Shimada,, or (503) 731-6650.

Meyer Memorial Trust was created by the late Fred G. Meyer, who built the chain of retail stores bearing his name throughout the Pacific Northwest. When Meyer died in 1978 at the age of 92, his will established the trust, which began operating in 1982. Meyer Memorial Trust is a private, independent foundation representing Meyer’s personal philanthropy. The Meyer Memorial Trust makes grants to qualified tax-exempt applicants in Oregon and Clark County, Wash.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »


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