Spread the Love

Help The Telling Room empower more youth in 2020!

Every gift we receive will help us keep our programs free for kids and their families. Your donation ensures that our students' voices will have a significant impact on our community--now and in years to come. 


Why Support Us?

The Telling Room began as a grassroots group of volunteer writers and educators fueled by a belief in the power of the written word to change our community for the better. Your belief and financial support makes it possible for The Telling Room to be what it is today: a thriving nonprofit organization with a paid staff of twelve, three interns, a volunteer teaching artist in residence, and 175 volunteers serving over 3,700 students each year. We are a registered 501(c)(3) organization, so all donations are tax deductible. Tax ID # / EIN: 74-3136956


Check out our Annual Report here.


To see a list of our generous donors, click here.


Help us write our story:

$50 allows one high school senior to attend an intensive college essay workshop.     

$100 gives students an afternoon of afterschool programming in Writers Block.

$250 gives a teacher two classroom sessions of customized creative writing programming.

$500 provides for the professional publishing of our Young Emerging Authors’ books.

$1,200 gives a teacher access to an in-depth writing residency for an entire class.

$2,200 sponsors one student in our award-winning Young Writers & Leaders program.


Why Support Arts Education?

All of our core programs are 100% free to students and their families, ensuring that the students who need our services most – the students who are least likely to have a voice in the community – can participate. Your support is crucial to keeping those programs alive. Through skilled, creative, and resourceful program delivery, we minimize overhead and maximize impact. The majority of our programs cost less than $200 per student annually, and formal assessments of our programs show that Telling Room students show significant improvement in their writing, social, emotional, and academic skills. Thank you for your generous support of The Telling Room.


Giving Stories

  • Chrispo Niyokwizerwa, Student

    Chrispo Niyokwizerwa has been in our afterschool Young Writers and Leaders program for two years. It’s free for him to participate, and being in the program means that, for nine months each year, he is able to gather with a strong, supportive peer group of other English Language Learners from all over the world. Together, they write, create original works of art, and become published writers, all while receiving one-on-one mentorship, job skills and leadership training, and college readiness support. At The Telling Room, Chrispo has written about growing up in Rwanda and his passion for soccer and music; he has been published in two of our major anthologies and two chapbooks. He’s also performed his original songs on stage at the St. Lawrence Arts Center, written and starred in his own film as part of our Whole World Waiting project, presented his work at countless sold-out events in Portland and beyond, and more.

    When asked what being a part of The Telling Room means to him, Chrispo says, “I have never had this kind of opportunity. The Telling Room means a lot to me. It helps me discover my talent and it helps me experience other people’s lives from different countries. It helps me know what other people have been through and give them respect. My writing has improved a lot. We write about stories that have affected our lives. We also write about our future. We go outside and write about anything that we see – whatever comes to our mind. We write about what we love – music, art. I have discovered my talent as a singer or a rapper. It’s pretty amazing. I didn’t know I could do all of those things until I came to the TR. I want people to hear about The Telling Room and to know how good it is and how helpful it is to people who have experienced it.”

  • Patty and Cyrus Hagge, Donors

    We contribute to The Telling Room because we are suckers for good stories and know that good stories change lives for the writers and the readers. The Telling Room does a great, creative, and intelligent job implementing their mission to foster storytelling and writing skills in children ages 6 to 18.  We also support The Telling Room because we believe that creativity, the arts, and educating youth all contribute to the vitality and well being of the entire city of Portland.

  • Pie and Lulu Rasor, Students

    From Mitch Rasor, Pie and Lulu's Dad: The Telling Room is not just about writing stories and it’s far more than a room in a building. For our family, Telling Room workshops have been nothing short of magical.  The city is the room, a laboratory, where our daughters learn about different cultures, architecture, and the bustle of the street. They now see everything in a different way and articulate this through empowered conversation, prose, and poetry. But perhaps even more important than seeing a new world, the Telling Room has given our daughters a more grounded sense of their place in the world. The Telling Room has helped our daughters express their own individuality while also deepening the bonds they share as twins. They have found communities of other bright, funny and articulate writers whose opinions matter and whose stories come alive.

    Life is about change and the Telling Room is nothing but transformative, providing Pie and Lulu with new tools to navigate the world.

  • Charlie Miller, Donor and YWL Mentor

    Being a mentor in the Young Writers & Leaders program changed my sense of how I want to be a part of what The Telling Room does. The question I always ask myself is about integration – how do we get refugee and immigrant youth integrated into Portland society? I’m always looking for ways that kids can jump the barriers that are there if they care to. So my interest in The Telling Room is certainly personal. I’ve had a wonderful, wonderful experience with the two kids I’ve mentored. They wrote about how their families came to be here and what it was like when they arrived. A lot of these kids don’t have a lot of interplay with the mentors we have here, and that’s what excites me about the YWL program, because I think The Telling Room does cross those boundaries.

    And, I simply believe in the process of writing, I believe in the process of sharing what you are writing with other people, and I believe in the process of learning from what other people are writing themselves. To me, giving kids the opportunity to do this, and to come look around the corner or get outside of constraints-religious, cultural, spiritual, geographical, whatever, is important. And I think what happens here is powerful.

  • Meeghan McLain and Joel Antolini, Donors

    We support the Telling Room because we believe in the transformative power of the written and spoken word. As technology nudges children to communicate in faster, more fleeting ways, the opportunity to cultivate meaningful narratives provides them a powerful lens through which they can broaden their view of themselves and the world. While our adolescents increasingly communicate electronically, we believe that truly compelling stories are rarely told via text or twitter so providing them alternative ways to express their truth is essential. The Telling Room offers students a new set of tools which allow them to discover the stories deep within themselves and to experience the wonder in watching them unfold. For this and so much more, we are deeply grateful for what they contribute to our extended community.


  • Madeline Curtis, Student

    To be able to come to a place where the sole purpose is creative expression is something amazing, something that not every kid like me had growing up. I think I took it for granted sometimes. Now, looking at it with the nostalgia that seems to color everything, now that leaving I'm for college, I see just how lucky I was to have a place like this, and people like you all. The Telling Room helped me find my voice as a writer. It made me confident in who I am and what I can do. It introduced me to people from all walks of life, with all manner of experiences and stories. Coming to The Telling Room has made a stronger writer, but also a more compassionate person who values the power of stories above all else.