Two buses pulled up that sunny afternoon to Shepherd’s Door. Men and women visiting from Parkview Christian Retirement Community were gently assisted out and welcomed for a tour of Shepherd’s Door. Most of them were over the age of 80. One woman was even about to celebrate her 102nd birthday.
A friend of the Mission, Parkview Christian Retirement Community has been building a relationship with our women and children. “They love Shepherd’s Door and want to be a part of us,” said Holly Hummel, our Donor Relations Specialist at Portland Rescue Mission.
Some of the women from Parkview, also part of the Red Hat Society, visited on Valentine’s Day where they exchanged valentines and made crafts with the kids. Holly and a couple Shepherd’s Door women visited the residents at Parkview recently. “We had cookies, coffee and testimonies,” said Holly. “I just love the people. They truly have a home [there]. There’s actually similarities in Shepherd’s Door: the size and the way they are a family.”
Parkview made a donation barrel available for the residents to fill over the span of the month. “During that month’s time, everybody there got really excited about coming to the tour,” said Holly.
“Our residents, they love the Lord and they love to give,” said Deanna Dierking, Activities Director at Parkview. Four-hundred and fifty pounds of donations came in during the month.
“There was some beautiful clothing put in there, including a beautiful handmade quilt that was finished about 20 years ago,” said Holly. The quilt looked brand new and the woman who made it wanted someone from Shepherd’s Door to have it.
The residents toured the facility and brought in their donations. They ended their visit in the Shepherd’s Door living room where a few women participating in our New Life Ministry led them in a spontaneous time of worship.
“I felt like the Lord really directed it,” said Holly.
Holly’s dream is to continue to take Shepherd’s Door women to visit other places. “We have thousands of donors that are in these retirement homes and they can’t come to the Mission and see the new things. They can’t get up the stairs, but they still care, they still want to see what’s new.” For those who can visit, Holly hopes to have tours available for the retirement community.
“Portland Rescue Mission has been around for 67 years and it is that older generation that built the Mission, launched the vision and still believes in what we do. We need them to continue and be engaged with us,” Holly said.
“And if nothing else, they pray for our residents. I told them if you can’t come here and volunteer, at least you can pray, and they were thrilled to do that for us. That’s the greatest thing I think they can do for us.”