Meet the Retired Flight Attendants Helping Portlanders in Need this Holiday Season

Dec 10, 2021

holiday need

When Marylee from LifeWorks NW’s Prevention Services was first recruited in 1996 to help with LifeWorks NW’s teen parenting program, she brought the Clipped Wings donors with her.   

“I was at Oregon Human Development Corporation, and Clipped Wings had been donating gifts every December since before I started in 1990,” says Marylee. “This is a wonderful group of older women, some now in their 80s and 90s, who are retired airline attendants. They do a variety of charitable projects each year, but the main one for the Portland Chapter is the Sharing Tree.”  

The Sharing Tree is a wooden structure with pegs to hang hearts with the names of individuals or families. LifeWorks NW parents or their clinicians write down their needs (with a pseudonym) and Marylee makes sure that the Clipped Wings get the hearts. The tree stands during the holiday season at the Washington Square Mall. Donors choose a gift heart for an individual or family, make their purchases and return the gifts to the Sharing Tree. In addition to other organizations Clipped Wings supports, they give to 13 of programs supporting families, children and adolescents, and LifeWorks NW staff from these programs take turns volunteering to work at the tree.   

“This is a fabulous program and we’ve done it every year for the last 25 years,” says Marylee. “Thanks to the Clipped Wings and the many generous donors who are making this holiday brighter for so many.”