Giving Back During the Pandemic
How Soderstrom Architects Distributed Hand Sanitizer to Domestic Abuse Survivors in Portland During the COVID-19 Pandemic
On March 16, 2020, Soderstrom Architects made the decision to keep employees and clients safe by supporting the “Stay Home, Save Lives” campaign by Governor Kate Brown.
We practiced social distancing by working from home and meeting with one another virtually. During one of our meetings, we asked ourselves: “What else can we do to help our own community stay safe?”
We brainstormed ideas that would give back to the community. Many ideas were pitched, from volunteering at the local shelters, to delivering food to healthcare workers. It was important for us to show our appreciation to those tirelessly working to keep people alive, such as nurses, doctors, firefighters, and those keeping the community sustained such as grocers, food servers, and construction workers. In the end, we focused our concern on the marginalized areas of the community that were overlooked and needed much help.
With a nation-wide shortage of safety supplies, we decided to support a local nonprofit with a much-needed, scarce resource: hand sanitizer. Luckily for us, having worked with the wine and spirits industry, we knew that distilleries pivoted quickly to start producing this product. We contacted our distillery clients to see which ones were producing enough hand sanitizer for mass distribution.
We found that Straightaway Cocktails was able to respond quickly. They had shifted their business model and started producing hand sanitizer to support others in need.
Immediately, we purchased over 22 gallons of 80% alcohol antiseptic topical solution. Also, in a greater effort to help the community, for every gallon sold, Straightaway Cocktails would give a matching donation of hand sanitizer to another local non-profit.
Bradley Angle had put out a call for help. They knew that domestic abuse survivors would be affected by the stay at home order caused by COVID-19. Bradley Angle is a nonprofit organization that supports persons surviving domestic violence by providing safety and assistance to every survivor. For domestic abuse survivors, remaining at home can cause increased levels of violence and abuse. Abusive partners may exert control over the household and could withhold necessary items, such as hand sanitizer, disinfectants, and medicine.
Dan Van Calcar, Soderstrom’s Managing Principal, picked up gallons of hand sanitizer from Straightaway Cocktails and delivered them to the doors of Bradley Angle. “We are very happy we are able to support Bradley Angle. We are a longtime supporter of this organization and try to find ways to be a resource, especially during this moment in our lifetime where personal safety equipment and supplies like face masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers are difficult to come by,” said Van Calcar.
Leslie West, Development Lead at Bradley Angle, helped coordinate the delivery. “We received the hand sanitizer successfully. We are so grateful to Soderstrom Architects for this donation! I know a lot of our participants are worried about their health right now, so we are excited to be able to provide them with the tools to keep them safe.”
For more ways to support Bradley Angle, please visit: bradleyangle.org/give-support/donate.
And if you would like to purchase hand sanitizer or exceptional cocktails, visit straightawaycocktails.com.