Jake Gleeson, Schoolhouse Supplies, 9.5.12
Photo by L.M. Parr

Q&A: Jake Gleeson on the fun of Stand Together Week

The Portland Timbers, Stand Together community partners and the city of Portland are coming together to put on Stand Together Week from October 8-14. The series of events and projects are a citywide initiative to support and promote over 30 local nonprofits focusting on youth and the environment in the Portland metro area. Fans are invited to join the volunteer efforts and team up with Timbers players, ambassadors, mascot Timber Joey and staff members on the various efforts throughout the city.

Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson, last year’s Timbers Humanitarian of the Year, has been an important fixture in the Portland community working with Schoolhouse Supplies delivering backpacks, running clinics with the Timbers youth soccer CenturyLink Adopt-A-Club program and much more. He spoke today after training about Stand Together Week, why people should sign up and how it will be fun to volunteer.

David Horst invites you to Stand Together Week

Why is Stand Together Week so important?
JG: It means a lot, obviously. The city of Portland gives a lot to the Timbers as a club fan-wise, and we want to give back to the people who support us. It’s a great feeling to be involved and to help these people out. It means a lot to me to give back to the people who give a lot to us.

What does Stand Together Week mean to you as last season’s Community Player of the Year?
JG: Going out in the community is something I really like to do. Helping people is a big part of who I am and going out for Stand Together Week is a great event to promote our club and promote our community.

We love this city. We play for this city week in and week out and do our best for them. We really appreciate what they give to us, and we want to give back as much as we possibly can.

What do events like Stand Together Week show about the Portland community?
JG: It just shows the true spirit of the Northwest people. Portlanders are really friendly and nice, and when the opportunity comes up to help someone else, everyone seems to put their hand up and come out and do it. We really appreciate the people who have volunteered to come out and help us for Stand Together Week.

You’re going to be spending time with Playworks next week which works to eliminate bullying and childhood obesity. Why is this important to you?
JG: Bullying is a horrible thing in the school system. It’s something that needs to be stopped. Kids who are victims of bullying really have a tough time, so I think going in there and playing games with the kids, and showing them how important it is to just be nice to one another will be a lot of fun.

I hear you’re going to be playing some games during recess.
JG: Hopefully I can hold my own against these kids.

Spaces for volunteer opportunities--including working alongside Jake at Playworks--are still available. Sign up now! Stand Together Week participants will also get an official Stand Together scarf and adidas drawstring bag as a thank you for stepping up to support volunteerism.