Christina Bertalot

What does it mean to “Live Better?” For some people, it may mean cutting back on calories (goodbye, Christmas cookies!) and getting a little more physical activity. To others it could mean working a little less and spending a little more time with loved ones. Or possibly cutting back on a bad habit that prevents us from being our best selves.

But for the immigrants and refugees from war-torn countries, the notion of Live Better has a far different meaning. The thought of packing up and fleeing your homeland in search of a better life and a safe place to raise your family is something that is so far from our own daily experience, it can be hard to imagine. But for more than 64,000 refugees currently living in Oregon, this is their reality.

macys #3Starting over is not easy. Thankfully, there are many organizations in the Portland Metro area to assist newly arriving refugee families with shelter, furnishings, food, and clothing. Last Friday, Coates Kokes teamed up on behalf of two of these organizations and spent the morning filling our shopping bags with everything from sheets and towels, to toaster ovens and pots and pans. Many of us even went “shopping” macysin our own homes and brought in a few belongings to donate as well including, dishes, bedding, couches and even mattresses.

These donations are a small offering, but they will go a long way in assisting our new neighbors as they begin their new life in the City of Roses. Knowing their families basic needs are taken care of, allows them to focus on other intangible priorities such as English-language learning, employment, and education.

This time each year, Coates Kokes seeks out a different organization in our community to support. Because to us, Live Better is more than a positioning line, but rather a matter of intention. Whether it’s helping our clients advance their cause or helping our neighbors in need, we believe our work should be a force for good.