May 02, 2016
We have finalized plans for Michelle's funeral and memorial service this week. Michelle will be cremated and the memorial service will be at Holman's Funeral Service in the heart of Southeast Portland this Friday, May 6. Calling hours will be from 2-3pm with the service to immediately follow.
In lieu of flowers, we ask that friends and family do one of two things. If you would like to donate, we would direct you at Project POOCH and App Camp For Girls. We also have something different to suggest, too.
Project POOCH is where we got Ronny. It's an organization based just outside of Portland that pairs dogs deemed "untrainable" with young men in a correctional facility to help rehabilitate both of their lives. Many of the young men go on to careers working with animals and radically turn their prospects around. As for the dogs, if you know Ronny, you can see the effect that this program has on them.
Our first adoption test weekend with Ronny
App Camp For Girls was where Michelle was working in the past several years once she bravely decided to pause her Physical Therapy career and pursue more passion projects in her life. She was the operations manager for the organization from the start, shaping this incredible program which seeks to mentor girls in the critical phase of life when they often decide whether careers in science and technology are for them. It seeks to correct the gender imbalance in the computer programming field by hosting summer camps across North America where girls create, from scratch, iPhone apps under the mentorship of women professionals in the field as positive role models.
Michelle keeping things on track
The other option for contributions is a little different. At the time that she became ill, Michelle was volunteering her time with the traveler's hostel in Portland, with an organization called Dance for Parkinson's, and she even originally started with App Camp as a volunteer. In the past, she had volunteered at the Oregon Zoo in Portland, the National Zoo in Washington, DC, and many other places through the years. We ask that those who are able to donate at least an hour of their time to some organization that needs volunteers, both to help those organizations but also to try something new. As Michelle proved, you never know the eventual impact of the smallest effort and how it will radiate outwards to affect so many other people and causes.
As a reminder, we will be holding an East Coast memorial service sometime soon in Connecticut. We will post more details as they come together, but everyone is welcome to attend either or both services as they are able.