Kids that find themselves in foster care often need to be in a place where they feel loved and comforted, and thanks to the help of some Timbers and Thorns supporters, a pair of visitation rooms at the Department of Human Services building in Beaverton now have a welcoming Soccer City vibe.
Visitation rooms for the DHS Child Welfare program are where children can spend time with their biological parents for weekly or monthly visits. They also serve as playrooms while caseworkers seek foster placement.
The two new sports dens at the Beaverton office came courtesy of the charitable assists of time and money by the Timbers Army.
Keith Palau led the initiative by the 107IST, the independent supporters trust of the Timbers Army.
Palau said the group was spreading the love of the sport for the second year in a row after previously furnishing rooms in the Hillsboro DHS building.
“Not every supporters group in MLS does this kind of stuff quite the same way,” he said. “So to be able to do it and hopefully, maybe over time, encourage some others over the time to do some similar things, is the goal."
Timbers star Diego Valeri said the teams and their fans know how much being comfortable can help kids through what can be difficult times.
“To be behind kids, which they are the victims of this situation. They need that love from some people,” he said. “Soccer is more than a game and everything connected which makes more sense in the human part so that's beautiful."
Valeri and his family joined forces with the fans and grabbed a paint brush, though he said he was not as skillful with a brush as he is on the pitch.
“I am not very good on it with my hands but I try,” he told FOX 12. “I painted the Thorns room, most of the parts with the red ones, the big parts, the more things like letters because I am not precise with my hands.”
More than 90 members of the Timbers Army and the Rose City Riveters put in 800 hours designing, painting and decorating the two Timbers and Thorns-themed visitation rooms.
It took 11-days to make over the rooms. In addition to Valeri, players for the Thorns and head coach Mark Parsons also assisted in painting.
DHS Child Welfare Program Director Laurie Price told FOX 12 she believes the rooms will bring hope to children and families facing challenges.
“I think of what children's faces are going to look like when they come in this room, and it feels like home,” she said. “The positive statements on the walls are going to be something that lifts these families up in probably their very toughest times.”
The Thorns are back on the pitch Saturday against North Carolina, while the Timbers return from Major League Soccer's international break next Wednesday against Real Salt Lake.
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