The Grauer Back-To-School Project
“Grauer BTS” is a volunteer, non-profit cooperative partnership of faith organizations, social service agencies, and businesses created to respond to the back to school needs of low-income Southwest Portland children. Each year our goal is to provide low-income children with new winter coats, shoes, T shirts, and backpacks filled with school supplies for the school year. The project began in 2002 and now serves more than 700 children each year.
The Grauer Story
Grace Grauer learned the spirit of giving and helping as a child of The Great Depression.
Her parents ran the store in Lafayette, Oregon, where a pot of soup simmered at the back of the stove, providing a hearty meal to hungry neighbors and travelers passing through. Neighbor helped neighbor survive lean economic times. That’s just how it was done.
Grace and Marion Grauer were married 52 years. Their lives were full of family, friends, work, and giving to their community. Grace raised three children and, in her mid-40s, returned to college, earning a degree from Portland State University at age 50.
“The ultimate volunteer”St. Luke Lutheran Church
Grace was described as “the ultimate volunteer.” Marion whole-heartedly supported Grace by helping at her side. Children’s issues concerned them deeply, but their kindness and caring extended to countless others—from homesick foreign students to the homeless and unemployed.
• Local school volunteer
• Volunteer Coordinator, Girl Scouts of Columbia River Council Day Camps
• Board member, LIFE Center
• Transition Projects volunteer
• Social Concerns Committee member, St. Luke Church
Grace and Marion Grauer lived in Southwest Portland from 1969 until their death in an automobile accident in 1998. They were long-time members of St. Luke Lutheran Church.
After their death, a bequest was made to St. Luke in their memory. At the request of the Grauer children, the bequest creates the foundation for the Grauer Back-To-School Project.Grauer Back To School 2014