Our Mothers

Blanchet House Mother's Day

Our Mission Began with Mothers

Since 1952, Blanchet House of Hospitality has offered meals to anyone in need thanks to the efforts and support of many incredible women. Women who volunteered to make food, donate clothing, and tend to children so others could serve in a communal effort to build a charity dedicated to alleviating suffering. Inspired by all womens’ works of mercy we created a way to celebrate and honor special mothers who have shaped our lives.

Read the full oral history of Blanchet House’s mothers.

Give in a gift to Blanchet House in honor of a mom in your life and we will add her name to the Wall of Mothers. You will receive a Mother’s Day card that you can print or email. Donate in the Name of a Special Mom

Hannah Cooper and her mom Traci Hambly serve meals at Blanchet House in Portland.

My Mom: “I Strive to Be as Giving as Her”

Hannah Cooper is a senior at Central Catholic High School and a Blanchet House Student Ambassador. She frequently volunteers in the community with her mom Traci Hambly.

“She taught me to always help out those around you because one day you may need their help as well,” Hannah says about her mom. “She also taught me to be kind and lend a helping hand to anyone because you don’t know a person’s background or struggles, so always be willing to help those around you.”

Hannah and her mom have been volunteering together since she was 7-years-old. She likes serving alongside her mom because it’s a way for them to bond and become closer.

 “Whenever we volunteer together she always adds a bit of spice to the activity and no matter what service we do, it’s a blast with her around,” Hannah says. “My mom helps out everybody around her in her daily. She is very much a giver, so every day I see her do small acts of kindness, like the other day she helped an older lady put her groceries in her car. She does so much for those around her, strangers and non-strangers, and I strive to be as giving and as helpful as her.”

Dorothy Day mother's day

Dorothy Day: Mother of a Movement

Houses of Hospitality like Blanchet House were hatched by Dorothy Day, a woman and mother of radical compassion. She co-founded the Catholic Worker Movement in 1933 to tackle issues of social justice and poverty. One of her guiding principles was to show hospitality towards people on the margins of society by offering food, clothing, friendship, and shelter. Day inspired the young founders of Blanchet House to open Portland’s own House of Hospitality as a beacon of compassion and hope.

Alisa Sinnott Family photo

Caring for Family, Caring for Strangers

For Alisa Sinnott, family is everything, and her family includes strangers served at Blanchet House. She sees her dad and his struggles in some of their faces. “We all have the good, bad, and ugly. It helped make us who we are. There is a lot to be learned from each other.” In honor of Mother’s Day, we’re shining a spotlight on incredible women who give their time so others can be lifted up. Read Alisa’s story on our website.

Mary Grace McDermott: A Lifetime of Service

(RIP 1931-2020) One of the many uncelebrated women in Blanchet House’s history is Mary Grace McDermott. From Machu Picchu to under the Burnside Bridge, Mary Grace spent her life caring for the outcasts, the poor, and the suffering with humor and love. Read her inspiring interview.

We honor the following incredible women.

Faye B.

Helen Balo

Rose Eileen Rosenbaum Baron

Julie Bedard

Betty Bell

Barbara Billmeyer

Jamie Anderson

Nancy Campion

Jean Carlin

Nora Casale

Helen Carter

Sally Christianson

Joanne Comella

Helen Dieringer

Lois Ann Eastman, 1926-1990

Barb Ehli

Pearl Martine Eisenman

Betty Feltz

Laura Fenner

Madelyn Bartholomew Ferry

Mary Elaine Garrow

Madeline Gefroh

Roxanne Goebel

Vicki Golda

Mary Veronica Gorman

Anne Marie Harrington

Madeline Harrington

Valerie Harrington

Patty Hatten

Carol Patricia Hayden

Sarah Heward

Maurine Hill

Ursula Honig

Cathy Horey

Jacqueline K. Hurford

Margaret Jacobson

Celina Jonca

Shirley P Kengla

Margaret Knoll

Helen Kennedy

Vincenta Lamb

Margaret Lee

Rose Mary Maertens

Imogene McBurney

Elizabeth McCabe

Kay McDonald

Vera McVein

Helen Meier

Dorothy Milo

Louise C. Moodie

Kate Moore

Mary Ellen Moore

Frances O’Hanlon

Terry O’Hanlon

M. Alice Lamb

Tricia Thompson Leland

Frances Norris

Joanne Margorie Merrick Owens

Betty J. McGrath

Susie Opal Pappas

Yvonne Young Ok Park

Mary V.H. Parker

 Peggy Pastor

Frances Kathleen Reagan

Vivan Ream-Dierksen

Sue A Reif

Rita Reiling

Sandra Reiling

Rose Marie Reilly

Joanne Ricci

Jeanne Rusko

Sandra Scheer

Ruth F. Scott

Marie Showers

Margaret Stevens

Sanne Stienstra

Evelyn Strange

Edna Thomas “ET”

Ruth Thornton

Mary Ulring

Margaret A. Watson

Betty Wheeler

Marie and Maggie White

Pat White

Kazue and Miko Yotsuuye

“The mothers who may be forgotten”