Marriner's Park at Dawn (c) Cynthia Farr-Weinfeld

Our Inspiration

The idea for Simple Gifts arose out of its president’s work with a local hospitality house in Portland. This house provided lodging for family members who lived away from the Portland area and who stayed at the house in order to be close to a hospitalized loved one.

It became apparent that while the housing needs of these individuals could be met by the local hospitality houses, they had many other unmet needs that arose during this difficult time for which there were no readily available resources. Being far from home and any base of family and community support, they often lacked funds for transportation and food. Most apparent was the plight of young children whose parents or family members were hospitalized with a serious medical condition and who often were anxious and confused.

The hospitalized patients were often very concerned about the financial and emotional well being of their visiting loved ones. It was quickly realized that both visitor and patient alike greatly appreciated and were encouraged by the smallest gesture, such a gas card given to a family member or stuffed animal for a visiting child.

Additionally, hospitalized patients themselves (especially young children) were always encouraged and cheered when they received small gifts or tokens of kindness from caring well-wishers.