Get Ready for Giving Tuesday!!!


It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to stuff yourself silly, then be pressured to spend lots of money on stocking stuffers and kitchen gadgets. Well, thank the stars that Giving Tuesday is upon us! Always the Tuesday after Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a movement to shine a light on generosity when most people are focused on consuming.

There are so many great organizations to give to. In honor of Giving Tuesday, here are my top three that I wanted to tell you about. These specific organizations are special to me because of the work I’ve done with them, and their mission to include girls and women in the world where they’ve been told they don’t belong. Let’s build a more just and generous world together.


Darkness to Light

Who they are: Darkness to Light is  is a non-profit committed to empowering adults to prevent child sexual abuse. They believe that it is an adult responsibility to protect children, and know that prevention is possible. They offer trainings that teach adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse.

Who they help/What they do: It’s challenging to talk or think about child sexual abuse. Too often, domestic violence and sexual assault remain hidden in the shadows, riddled with shame and stigma for the victims. Darkness to Light helps reduce the stigma around child sexual abuse, giving everyone the encouragement and empowerment to have honest conversations about child sexual abuse with our partners, caregivers, kids, and anyone else in our community. 

Why they’re important to me: I’ve worked as campaign brand designer with the Ford Family Foundation’s Protect Our Children initiative, which offers the Darkness to Light training throughout Oregon and SW Washington. When I started the project, I felt uncomfortable to even say child sexual abuse. Working with the team taught me that it’s ok to be clear and straightforward. I learned to directly challenge the assumptions and stigmas surrounding the topic of child sexual abuse. Instead of designing something that looked victim-blaming, or shameful—often what’s done—I worked with my client to create a look that conveyed empowerment, empathy, and encouragement. 

How you can help: For this year’s Giving Tuesday, Darkness to Light is promoting their Bright Box. I’m so in love with this. It’s a holiday gift box with wonderful treats. It includes fresh roasted coffee by Childhood Fractured, a coffee mug with an inspiring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote, and specialty candle by Charleston Candle Co. This box is perfect for so many people! Corporate gifts, your mother-in-law, your bestie. When you purchase The Bright Box as a gift, you’re saying “I care about you and I care about our community.”



Who they are: Since 2005, Betties360 has provided under-served girls in the Portland community access to outdoor activities and life-skills training for free. In 1972, Title IX opened the door for women and girls to participate in sports, free from discrimination. However, many girls in Portland lack access to sports. Betties360 carries the torch forward and provides opportunities for girls to try sports and outdoor activities and step out of their comfort zone in a supportive female environment. Activities include mountain biking, rock climbing, hiking, camping, skateboarding and more.

Why they’re important to me: As a cyclist, snowboarder, and mom of a full-of-fire 2-year-old girl, I’m so happy Betties360 exists. I didn’t grow up with any outdoor sports since it wasn’t a part of my Italian-born family. It wasn’t until my 20s that I tried out biking, and my late 30s that I started snowboarding. These activities quickly became life-changing for me, teaching me to be confident in my body, and adventurous in the outdoors. 

Action sports, such as snowboarding, biking, and hiking, can be activities that are only accessible to people who make a comfortable wage, or live in a certain place. Betties360 makes these action sports a possibility for girls who might not otherwise get the chance (like little Italian girl me). I can’t wait for my kiddo to be old enough to participate!

How you can help: You can support Betties360 in many different ways, including giving money, in-kind donations, and volunteering. How cool would it be to ride bikes with a bunch of rad girls!!!


Oregon Tradeswomen

Who they are: Oregon Tradeswomen offers a free 8-week pre-apprenticeship training program that changes women’s lives. Their goal is to provide women with economic self-sufficiency by pursuing careers in the construction, manufacturing, mechanical, and utility trades while helping and encouraging the trades industry to build a diverse workforce. Last year, they introduced more than 3,000 women and girls to this lucrative and debt-free career pathway.

Oregon Tradeswomen not only brings more women into the trades, but raises the awareness of equity and inclusion. They have programing such as the 2020 Diversity Summit which brings together subject matter experts, advocates, and practitioners working across the community to advance diversity in the construction industry.

Why they’re important to me: My husband works as a carpenter. He comes from a place of deep respect and awareness towards other people. He had hoped that when he started working in the trades he’d get to meet people with different upbringing, learn from folks, and share stories about their lives. However, most of his interactions have not been favorable. He meets very few women, and very few people of color. There are often jokes and comments that are bigoted, racist, sexist, and homophobic. The norm of his coworkers are conservative white male, even in a liberal city like Portland. The notion of construction workers catcalling a woman is unfortunately not outdated.

How you can help: There are many ways to give, including donating, becoming a member, and volunteering. A monetary gift to Oregon Tradeswomen ensures their program remains free to the women seeking their training. A donation of $100 helps them replace tools and equipment as they wear out to ensure each cohort of incoming students have safe and functional tools to learn their new trade. Build a better more prosperous future for women!


PS: have you heard of Freddie’s Rewards Program?
Hey local people, did you know you can link your Fred Meyer card to their Community Rewards program??? Fred Meyer donates $550,000 per quarter to nonprofits in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in proportion to the number of customers who link their Fred Meyer Rewards Card to their favorite nonprofit. If you’re a Fred Meyer shopper it’s a few simple steps to link your Fred Meyer Rewards Card to benefit the organization of your choice. Giving couldn’t be any easier than shopping for almond milk and toilet paper!

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Client Kudos

Working with Maria has been a wise investment. We were presented with 3 great looking concepts. It was very hard to choose our favorite design; however we were able to fine-tune our favorite which captured our product and its unique use, in a vibrant and engaging way. If you are a growing business, and need a logo, brand identity, and collateral, I would highly recommend working with Maria.

Cindy C., Marketing, Advertising & Branding Professional