Our Stories

2016 Walk of Faith Honoree: Chris Pingchris waiving from car

Family care givers have a challenging job that runs 24/7. Respite care—allowing the care giver an opportunity to step away from their ongoing duties for some personal time—is so important in helping people with chronic health challenges remain independent and in their own home for as long as possible. That’s why each year Faith in Action honors an individual or family that has experienced the challenges and rewards of care giving.

This year at the annual Walk of Faith, Chris Ping was honored for her many years of service as both a Faith in Action volunteer as well as nurse with Wellspring respite day center. On September 18, 2016, Chris graciously received the recognition and then waved cheerfully from the lead car as walkers and their dogs covered the 1.3 mile loop to raise awareness and funds for respite care.

bill and bill Remembering a Life Well-Served

Faith in Action volunteer Bill Browne (Bill B) was happy to accept the assignment when asked to volunteer with Bill Fiddler (Bill F), a resident of Garibaldi for more than 50 years. Bill B visited Bill F about once a week and enjoyed listening to stories Bill F shared of his life.

The two Bills had met earlier at a U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, Flotilla 63, Tillamook Station Christmas Party, where both were members. A member for more than 25 years, Bill F held the Commander position four terms. He holds a record of over 700 vessel checks in one year. He also was proud to have been Sea Scout Leader of the local Garibaldi troop for over 30 years. He enjoyed reminiscing of those days and sharing stories and pictures from his photo albums with Bill B, a four-year member of the auxiliary who holds the position of Lay Leader (Chaplain) and also Staff Officer Human Resources.

Bill B also enjoyed listening to stories of Bill F’s time in the Marines. Bill F served our country 7 years as a paratrooper 1st division. During his time of service he was part of a 5-man recon mission behind enemy lines. While Bill F was very sad he lost two buddies during the mission, he was very proud two POW’s were rescued and returned to safety.

While Bill F is no longer with us, we would like to thank him and all veterans for their service to our country. Bill B shared, “I was honored to be Bill F’s volunteer and I was blessed by the time we spent together.”

Faith in Action Volunteers Reach Out to People in Their Homes:

  • Mary* is living alone, no longer drives, and is unable to get out on her own. One of our Faith in Action volunteers, Helen*, goes to see her weekly. The two spend afternoons going for drives or for a cup of coffee and just spend time visiting. Mary now has something to look forward to each week and the two have forged a great friendship
  • Sarah* has been caring for her father Bill* in her home for almost 2 years. While Sarah is committed to full-time caregiving, she found the job can be quite challenging. Volunteer Karen* came and stayed with Bill one afternoon a week for 6 weeks, so Sarah could attend a class designed for caregivers. Now Sarah has the tools to care for herself, which helps her continue to give excellent care for her dad.
  • A sweet elderly couple, John* and Lois*, have a FIA volunteer who comes to visit several times each month. The volunteer stays with John, who has Alzheimer’s, which gives Lois time to run errands and have time for herself to help her be able to continue caring for her husband at home.

*Names have been changed to help with confidentiality

Helping Each Other at Wellspring

One Wellspring guest, Bob*, was having a difficult time dealing with his inability to do things that he used to be able to do. He said his mind just would not cooperate with him. He felt depressed and useless. Another guest, Bill*, became agitated, worried that his family had forgotten to pick him up. Bob went over to Bill, patted him on the back saying he understood how he felt and that he would sit with him while they waited together for their families to pick them up.

At the end of the day, Bob proclaimed he’d had a wonderful day and was happy to find he could still help others. Bob now enjoys seeking out ways to help other guests at Wellspring, from helping someone get up or letting one of the volunteers know something is needed. At Wellspring, all are given a chance to feel needed and welcomed!

*Names have been changed to help with confidentiality

three foundation membersWellspring: A Special Family That Cares

Click here to watch a video about Wellspring.

The Wellspring Respite Day Center group becomes like a family. Guests as well as volunteers look forward to sharing time and notice if someone is missing. There is excitement when the missing one returns. It is a joy to hear a guest with limited verbal capabilities join in the group singing or watch another one with limited motor capacities play the piano during music time. These dear ones grin with delight to be able to participate. And their families are amazed when told of these accomplishments.

Carolyn Betlinski, Wellspring Nurse, shared, “One guest related that at Wellspring she feels loved and accepted. It is the one day of the week she does not feel like a burden to her family. When she is not able to come, she knows that we are praying for her and that we miss her. That really makes her feel special.”

For more information or questions about any of these giving opportunities, please call the medical center's foundation office at (503) 815-2302 or email us.

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