PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – In the midst of chaos downtown, a homeless man provided a sincere gesture of kindness.
A protest became a riot overnight in Portland, as demonstrators pulled down statues of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in response to Monday’s federal holiday of Columbus Day. Monday is also Indigenous Peoples Day in Oregon.
As the riot continued, the crowd smashed widows at the Oregon Historical Society. They also stole a handmade quilt – which was later found outside soaked by the rain – and threw flares into the building.
The Afro-American Heritage Bicentennial Commemorative Quilt was sewn by 15 Black women from Portland in the 1970s. It will now be off public display to be evaluated by the OHS collections team.
Kerry Tymchuk, executive director of the Oregon Historical Society, was dismayed by the destruction, noting that rioters are mistaken if they believe OHS doesn’t honor Oregon’s Native Americans.
Tymchuk said they have seen new memberships and donations made online overnight, but “none have affected me as much as a gift from our neighbor, Oscar.”
Tymchuk shared a special note he received Monday morning. It was handwritten on a napkin and included a $1 bill.
The note was from a homeless man named Oscar, who said he saw the damage and wanted to help with some of his bottle-collecting money, because the Oregon Historical Society once gave him a free tour before the pandemic, “so this is a thank you!”
Be Kind. Be Grace. Be PEACE.