Allan, We’re Proud of You!

Macdonald Center isn't one big story.  We’re made up of hundreds of smaller stories, many of them like this wonderful encounter from yesterday.

I was on my way to a meeting and stopped in the community room to visit with some of our members.  Allan, who is a relatively new member, looked up from his cup of coffee and said to me, “Hey Jon, guess what?  I graduated today.”  I asked him from what.  And he proudly said “I finished my GED—it took me three months but I did it—cap and gown, the whole nine yards!”  I congratulated him and commented that he must be proud of himself.  “It feels great,” he said “I do feel really proud of myself.”

Allan’s story is like so many of our other members.  A tough life punctuated by bad decisions, bad breaks and hard times. 

But today at 52, almost 35 years after he would have graduated, Allan has a GED and plans for the future.  His goals are to get a job and an apartment.  In the long term, he’d like to go to college to become a Certified Nursing Assistant.

And Allan’s advice to others? “Just go for it, it’s never too late to better yourself.  And hopefully it’s on to bigger and better things now!”

Congratulations Allan, we agree!

Pat Janik to Retire, Board Names Jon Ulsh as New Executive Director of Macdonald Center!

Pat Janik, Macdonald Center’s Executive Director, has announced her plans to retire at the end of 2014.  Pat, Macdonald Center’s second Executive Director, has served since 2007.  “The board is deeply grateful to Pat for her extraordinary leadership of Macdonald Center over the past seven years.  It would be difficult to overstate the many contributions she has made to the Center during her tenure as Executive Director,” expressed Susan Moscato, Board President.

Among her many accomplishments was the successful $12.5 million campaign to build our affordable housing apartment building.  Pat also developed strong partnerships with other community partners serving the poor, developed our professional staff and management team, stabilized the Center finances, and helped to build a robust, engaged Board of Directors.

The board of directors is pleased to announce that it has selected Jon Ulsh, the Center’s Director of Development and Marketing as Pat’s successor beginning in January 2015.

An experienced and respected nonprofit leader, Jon has quickly become established as a member of the Macdonald Center community where he has already demonstrated his commitment to the people we serve and the work we do.

“We’re pleased to welcome Jon as our next Executive Director.  His professional experience, passion for the work, along with the full support of the board and staff, make him the ideal person to become the Center’s next leader,” added Moscato.

The Power of a Voice

For many people, their voice is how they express themselves to the world.  

It's a way to say, I exist and I am worthy!  

But what happens when people loose their voice?  When their circumstances are so burdensome and their daily lives are so difficult, that their voice is lost.  How can they find their voice again?

That's where Write Around Portland comes into play.  By working with low-income and under-served populations, Write Around Portland offers 8-10 free writing workshops to people all around Portland, to help them find their voice again. 

Check out this video to see the story of Susan, a member of Macdonald Center who worked with Write Around Portland.  


Be an Elf for our 2014 Giving Tree!

Want to bring some cheer to our members? 

Each year, Macdonald Center provides a gift to each of our members and we need your help!  Be a solo elf, or gather a group of friends, coworkers or family members! 

You can help by purchasing individual gifts, valued at $25 or less.  Past Presents have included: twin sheets sets, cooking supplies, funny movies, warm socks and hats.

 If you are interested, contact our Outreach Coordinator, Sarah at

Sarah will send you the gift requests for each member (which has the size request too!)

Return the purchased gifts, wrapped, to Macdonald Center by Friday December 12th. 

Happy Holidays!!

"For it is in giving, that we receive"   St. Francis of Assisi

Hope in the Heart of Portland - the best one yet!

We thought you might enjoy getting some really great news—it sure made us happy! 

 Our annual fundraising event, “Hope in the Heart of Portland,” exceeded our expectations in every way!

 After all the paddles had gone up we raised more than $140,000 —or nearly 50 percent more than our original goal! 

 And the very best news is that we will now translate that success into what we do best:  serving many of Portland’s poorest and most isolated citizens through our visitation and pastoral programs, our assisted living facility, our affordable housing apartments, and our programs that help to educate the next generation of caregivers.

 A heartfelt thank you to everyone who was part of making the evening such a success!


It’s not too late to be part of bringing Hope to the Heart of Portland

Click on the Donate Now button to add your contribution to the effort with our thanks!


 And we hope you’ll join us next year!

Hope in the Heart of Portland 2015!

September 19, 2015

6:00pm at the Portland Art Museum