BEAVERTON — On August 2, Keith Palau, regional development director for Beaverton-based Luis Palau Association and son of international evangelist and author Luis Palau, was elected 2017’s Major League Soccer Works Community MVP and awarded $25,000 for Embrace Oregon on live television during the 2017 MLS All-Star Game in Chicago, Ill.
Embrace Oregon has connected active community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Oregon Department of Human Services since being founded in 2012.
The award recognizes leaders in the community who utilize soccer to help make a positive impact in the world.
All 22 MLS clubs across the nation submitted a nominee, placing Palau against 21 other representatives during a three-week voting spree through MLS Works.
Each representative supported a nonprofit of their choice and the winner was awarded $25,000 in donation to the organization.
Palau, longtime supporter of the Portland Timbers soccer team, has been an active leader and influential member of the Timbers’ Army 107st Organization, most recently working with fellow army members and local organization Embrace Oregon to create Portland Timbers- and Portland Thorns-themed visitation rooms at the Oregon Department of Human Services offices.
Over the course of two days, Palau raised more than $8,500 and ignited a significant donation from La-Z-Boy furniture. More than 93 volunteers were involved and 800 hours of work went into the revitalization of the rooms in Beaverton, which give estranged or divided parents and children a place to come together under DHS supervision.
“It was an honor to be part of the revitalization of family visitation rooms for foster children and families at Beaverton’s Department of Human Services,” Palau said. “The rooms have been in use since June, and are a big hit with foster kids and their families as they spend time together. I’ve made amazing friends and have been blessed beyond what I could have imagined by doing so myself,”
Palau plans to continue work with the Timbers Army and Embrace Oregon in the immediate future and hopes to further help his community through mutually beneficial relationships and the love of the game.