Mercy Corps officially opens for business in Old Town, new action center welcomes visitors

October 9, 2009

Mercy Corps, Mercy Corps Northwest, Mercy Corps Action Center and Lemelson Foundation all officially usher in a new chapter. New headquarters building creates efficiencies in urgent disaster response.

Portland, OR – Mercy Corps and its affiliates, together with the Lemelson Foundation, cut the ribbon today on its new global headquarters building in Old Town Chinatown. Situated adjacent to Ankeny Plaza, the 83,000 square foot building boasts a LEED Platinum rating, convenient downtown location and open doors for the public to visit, learn about and become engaged in resolving humanitarian issues worldwide.

Mercy Corps employees moved their offices in September and have been responding to the most recent disasters in Indonesia and Samoa from their new locations, seizing the new efficiencies in response and productivity. The organization’s staff was previously located in six separate buildings across the city.

The symbolic event, marked by Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Portland Public Schools’ Superintendent Carole Smith, officially opened the building, followed by a public open house to explore the brand new Mercy Corps Action Center - a comprehensive hands-on learning experience aimed at engaging the public in efforts to end world hunger and poverty. On Saturday, the open house will continue with a children’s musical concert in Ankeny Plaza.

The Action Center includes informational and interactive components, as well as a curriculum for students and a speaker series. In addition, it is also featuring Cooper-Hewitt Museum’s impressive exhibit, Design for the Other 90%. The exhibit features sustainable inventions designed to make life easier for the less fortunate 90% of the world’s population. The Action Center will be open Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information on the Action Center, please visit www.actioncenter.org/portland.

A $10M capital campaign to fund the new building is almost complete, with $500,000 left to raise. Significant donors supporting the completion of Mercy Corps’ new global headquarters include JELD-WEN, The Lemelson Foundation, Bill and Karen Early, Meyer Memorial Trust, Bob and Melinda Newell, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Melissa Waggener Zorkin and the Waggener Edstrom Charitable Foundation, Ray Hickey Foundation, Walsh Construction Co., The Collins Foundation.