When we recently started planning for our Community Trivia Nights at The Record Pub, we were so excited to partner with a lot of our favorite organizations from Sellwood-Moreland and from other neighborhoods in Portland. But we had no idea that we’d be helping people rally around a massive rebuilding project at one of our neighborhood’s most cherished buildings – Sellwood Community House – right out of the gate.

Each month, we are teaming up with a different non-profit organization to help raise money for their efforts. It just so happens that our first community partner – Sellwood Community House – really needed a boost this month, as a fire-suppression system malfunction during the recent ice storm flooded the historic building with thousands of gallons of water. Roughly 80 percent of the building sustained at least some form of damage due to the flooding.

The organization had initially hoped to get the building up and running again in short order, but it became clear it was going to be months, not days or weeks, before it would be ready to host any of the dozens of community activities it has become so accustomed to over the years.

Despite the challenges, the mission of Sellwood Community House to be a place of community building and social connection has not changed. The SCH staff has proved quite nimble, as they have been able to relocate many of their programs and classes to temporary homes and remain connected with the community even during this unforeseen upheaval.

Recently, the organization has been able to resume all of its littles classes, its preschool and afterschool programs and its adult classes thanks to temporary facilities provided by community-minded organizations, including Trackers Portland and Moreland Presbyterian Church. Updated schedules and locations are available on the Sellwood Community House website and through its social media channels.

SCH has set up an emergency relief fund that is helping the organization sustain its programs and staff while the building is out of commission. In addition to our Community Trivia Night, a number of local businesses have volunteered to host fundraisers for SCH including Henry Higgins Boiled Bagels, Makerspace Sellwood (with Gino’s and Corkscrew), Portland Bottle Shop, Reverend’s BBQ, Junbi and Oaks Amusement Park. Local children’s performers Red Yarn and Kelli Welli will headline a “kiddiepalooza” benefit show at Oaks Park Pavilion on Friday, March 8, and Sellwood Community House will hosts its spring fundraiser at Oaks Park on Friday, May 17, with a “Secrets of Sellwood History” theme.

The financial contributions and support have helped SCH continue providing services for hundreds of families and continue serving as a place to meet friends, make friends and build lasting connections – even if the “place” is undergoing a bit of a makeover at the moment!

We have two more Community Trivia Nights remaining in February, so make it a point to help raise funds and awareness for SCH. We will be featuring general knowledge trivia on Wednesday, Feb. 21, and a special music and pop culture theme game to round out the month Wednesday, Feb. 28. A portion of the proceeds from both nights will benefit this terrific organization. The trivia is free to play and begins at 7 p.m. sharp.

The history of Sellwood Community House if a fascinating one. The building and the organization – undergoing a few changes over the years – have been around for more than 100 years. So, safe to say it’s not going to let a little bit of water (or a lot in this case) change the important work they do for our community.