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Efforts to revive hospice care home in Hillsdale amplified with sizable donations

PMG PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Legacy Hopewell House is currently closed to patients, but a nonprofit group hopes to raise enough money to buy the site and reopen it as a hospice care facility.After a beloved residential hospice care home was shuttered in fall 2019, supporters were disappointed.

Disappointment soon turned to determination when word got out that Legacy Health planned to sell the property sometime in early 2021. A group of supporters formed a nonprofit called Friends of Hopewell House, joining forces with a goal of raising $5 million to buy the site and reopen it as a hospice care facility.

Over the past two months, Friends of Hopewell House has brought in over $1.6 million in donations with the help of major benefactors.

In October, the group got a boon in the form of a $500,000 donation from Priscilla Bernard Wieden and Dan Wieden of prominent Portland advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy.

Bernard Wieden used to volunteer at the hospice home in Southwest Portland.

"Walking in to Hopewell House changed my life. To be in a place of such deep compassion and loving kindness settles one's soul, even in the face of death," Bernard Wieden said. "Allowing families to be families and not caregivers as their loved one dies, is a gift beyond compare. Being present for death is an honor comparable to being present for birth. It is truly a gift to us, volunteers and staff, as much as a gift to families."

On Nov. 11, the group announced it had received an additional $1 million from the Marcia H. Randall Foundation.

Scott MacEachern of Friends of Hopewell House, said Marcia Randall, the foundation's board chair, visited a friend who died in the house a few weeks before it closed.

"Her experience moved her. She has quietly been observing Friends of Hopewell House for a positive sign of forward momentum and the $500k donation given by prominent Portland people, Priscilla Bernard Wieden - who used to volunteer at the house - and Dan Wieden ... inspired her to come forward with her donation," MacEachern said.

Legacy Hopewell House had served as a source of comfort through grief for so many families whose loved ones had lived out their last days there. Legacy Health, which owns the property, closed the facility last year, citing a lack of patients and a rise in home-based end of life care options.

The company plans to put the home up for sale in early 2021, but has agreed to give Friends of Hopewell House first dibs on the site before it hits the real estate market.

The nonprofit group has established a GoFundMe crowdfunding site to help bring in donations.


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