Thursday, December 15, 2011
I was named Knight of the Year for 2011 for Our Lady of the Valley Council 3591, in Tigard, OR. I do a lot for my council, including our website, running the St. Clare’s/St. John Fisher Roundtable (soon to be a council of our own), editing the newsletter. But I also give back to the secular community. I’m on the Board of Directors of Our Peaceful Place.
In April of 1998, our founder, Sr. Maria Francis Waugh, sfcc, had been ministering to the poor on the streets of Portland for nearly twenty years. For many years she had a yearning to offer a place of peace and rest to the homeless in Portland. She desired to furnish a sanctuary where all people could find belonging and family. Her dream was to provide a safe haven for the weary in an environment rich in welcome and acceptance. A comfort zone where people would gather and where healthy relationships would be established and flourish in an atmosphere of tolerance and inclusiveness.
Tragedy struck Our Peaceful Place during the summer of 2003 when Sr. Maria was killed in a car accident. As Maria’s friends and supporters pulled together for comfort; her Board of Directors sought help from them to keep the ministry going. They were able to continue her work and though her loss is still felt, her footprint is on the heart of this mission and her vision is its soul.
Our Peaceful Place continued to operate a drop-in center until October 2006 when the church building it was leasing was no longer available. This did not stop the work of Our Peaceful Place - it has since adapted to working on the streets - where volunteers walk the streets of downtown Portland carrying backpacks filled with items like over-the-counter remedies, socks, hats, etc that are distributed free of cost to the homeless. The organization also provides referrals for access to housing and other social services, assistance in filling out forms - in a nutshell - providing all the help it can with the resources it has.
Our Directoress, Barb Lescher, goes out every morning and evening, rain or shine, pulling behind her a rolling suitcase full of items often needed on the streets of Portland. We do this very cheaply- our overhead is quite low- 99 cents out of every dollar given to Our Peaceful Place, goes to our ministry.
Sr. Maria used to run the whole thing on 88 donors giving just $25/month. As the recession set in, the number of monthly donors we could count on went down, severely. We’re now down to less than 10 donors a month we can count on. We need desperately to rebuild our sustaining circle- and the dream is still there to eventually find an empty storefront and once again open and operate a day shelter.
Every fall, in October, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Beaverton and the Indian Church put on a dinner for Our Peaceful Place. Knights of Columbus has been involved heavily in this event- in 2011, 4 councils from District 3 sponsored tables, donating between $250-$500 each. In addition, Tigard Council organized a breakfast at St. Clare’s Parish in Portland giving $1088 to Our Peaceful Place. Sherwood Council organized a sock drive at St. Francis School for Our Peaceful Place. And several Knights are already on our donor list.
I urge you all to go back to your districts and councils and mention the good work that Barb Lescher does. On the back of this flyer is a list of ways your councils can get involved with Our Peaceful Place- including taking walks with Barb. It would be wonderful if a few more Knights could become part of our Sustaining Circle- or if more councils could sponsor tables for the Fall East Indian Dinner fundraiser. But even if you have no money- and can just organize a sock drive, it would be a big help to the work Barb Lescher does on the streets every day.
Please visit our website to give. The only real difference I'm planning for the final version at this time is that I expect I will soon know when the October dinner is scheduled for, and I'll be editing the document to include that date.
Monday, November 21, 2011
Monday, November 14, 2011
-Socks. Any Socks. Barb likes giving out socks.
-A $24 book of Tri-met 2 hour passes.
Freddy's always has a sale on socks on Black Friday- and Tri-met tickets- so would you please add the homeless to your shopping list? You can always contact one of our volunteers through:
Our Peaceful Place
P.O Box 3093
Clackamas, OR 97015
Ph : 503-295-7744
Email : OPP_Giving@comcast.net
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Monday, October 10, 2011
Sunday, October 2, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Sunday, September 4, 2011
One of our Board of Directors had a car that was reaching the end of it's useful life- a Mercedes with 300,000 miles on it and a broken transmission. Knowing that the car was worth at least several thousand in parts alone, he donated it to this family. Little did he know that as a mechanic, the father would repair the car, and start using it as his commuting vehicle! The father of this family is now commuting much easier down 205, spending 45 minutes for his commute vs the 2 hours each way Trimet would take. Thank you to Bill Mumford for donating this car!
$15 per person
$50 for a family of 2 or more (kids or teens or adults – we did not break it down by age groups for kids)
$500 for a table for 8
You can purchase a table by sending a check to P.O Box 3093, Clackamas, OR 97015, or for more information visit our main website at Our Peaceful Place
Sunday, August 7, 2011
Got word tonight that Freddy M. was found dead in her apartment this morning. Freddy had been homeless a long time before she got into housing. I met her in 2004. She was soft spoken because of a medical condition and generous. Loyal and tender hearted. She was talented. She had a warm and wonderful sense of humor.
Even though Freddy could have called on me any time if she needed something, I only heard from her when she wanted to let me know what was new, to check on my welfare and when someone else needed something.
An exception was last fall; she wanted to know if I could bring her a broom and dustpan. Someone had given her a tent... Finally she was warm and comfortable. She had been setting it up down town late at night on an out of the way corner and would take it down before the sun came up. She wanted to be able to sweep the corner so I took her a broom. I watched her as she swept the whole block.
I checked on her a few nights later and while we visited a neighbor came by who was walking his dog. Freddy spoke to him commenting on the cold, wet, weather and asked about his dog, Freddy was friendly, he was abrupt. I had a sick feeling he was going to call in a complaint about her tent. He did and she was unable to use it after that.
When I got that call earlier tonight I thought I would like to be able to say to that man, "Really? You couldn't have just let her alone that night? How was she hurting you?" But then I would want to confront every one who ever discounted or dismissed her in any kind of way.
Freddy was really something and she will be missed.
Saturday, August 6, 2011
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
We’ve hit 25 likes on facebook, so our new facebook address for Our Peaceful Place is:
I promise- this is the last technical post. At least until I figure out how to get Our Peaceful Place a Google+ circle……
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
If you would like to donate, if what you read moves you- Please visit our normal webpage: OurPeacefulPlace.org