About Embrace Oregon

Embrace Oregon connects caring community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. We are dedicated to the flourishing of every child.

Embrace Oregon began with a big question: What if the community re-engaged with the government agency tasked with caring for the most vulnerable children and families? What if the crisis shortage of foster families and the dire reality of what this meant for children sparked action?

In 2011, Jillana Goble, a foster and adoptive mom in Portland, Ore., had an idea to demonstrate hospitality to children during the most vulnerable time in their life—when they were first taken from their biological family and sitting in a child welfare office awaiting a foster placement.

The Welcome Box emerged with the help of a grant from Imago Dei Community, and community members began to fill box after box after box for child welfare offices in the Portland Metro area.

Radical hospitality became our language. We wanted to tell DHS that we stand with them.

The Welcome Box sparked deeper community interest and involvement. By 2012, hundreds of volunteers motivated by the teachings of Jesus in the Tri-County area began to humbly care for the staff at their local child welfare offices. Cookies were delivered. Walls were painted. New furniture was purchased. Hot dogs and hamburgers were grilled.

Quickly, the stream turned into a river, and the river turned into a flood as community members, businesses, and faith communities began to get involved. The community re-engaged with children and families in crisis by tangibly caring for children and by supporting the staff at DHS who worked with children and families every day.

In May 2013, this movement finally had a name: Embrace Oregon. And it was only the beginning…