Thank you very much for the support you provided for me in the form of gas cards. I was traveling between Brighton to Scarborough  five days a week for cancer treatments over a six week period in addition to other appointments as well  - you can imagine how much this support helped. Thank you for the work you do in helping others during very difficult times. It is appreciated!

- Gail M.

My husband John was in the hospital several times. I want to thank you for the help during our difficult times. John passed away Christmas morning. I hope to send you a donation when I get back on my feet.

- Kathy H.

Thank you! Two small words express the feelings in my heart! God bless!

- Cristina P.

I just received my gas cards and the hospital meal vouchers for my husband. We want to thank you so much for helping us out with some of our expenses. God bless all the workers there. You guys are very special people.

- Elaine and Dave D.

Jen's Story

Last year you helped me and I wanted to thank you from the depths of my soul for the generous loving help you gave me.

My husband Dave, passed away from cancer 02.28.2014 after a very long four year battle. He was my soul mate and the love of my life. He was only 44 years old and we closely approaching our 5th wedding anniversary when he passed on. I had to quit several jobs throughout the years to care for him. Several times he got better and even beat it once, but when the cancer came back it came back with a vengeance. I had to quit a job in December of 2013 to care for him in his final months. I had hardly any money in the bank, just found out he was given a few weeks to a month to live and had no idea how I was going to take care of myself.

My heart was breaking and I was only able to move forward with the loving guidance of God. Several times a day I asked God to be the force against my feet and the wind on my back to keep me moving forward and do what I had to get done. You came into my life, like angels sent from Heaven. Mrs. Irace came to the hospital and gave me gas cards and food cards. Tears come to my eyes every time I think of it. She even got Dave some comfortable jammies and shirts to wear in his final days in his favorite color: blue. The name of your foundation is Simple Gifts, but the gift you gave me then was so much deeper than that. You helped me keep going,to look for the light and keep the hope.

I got a job in April of last year and I love it. I love helping other people in the mental health field and that's what I get to do each day. Not if, but when, there comes a time in my life, when I can donate I will. I want to be able to give hope and love to another who feels so much despair.

Thank you for coming into my life.

Jen D

Aiden's Story

Two-year-old Aiden’s father was hospitalized at the Maine Medical Center and had been in a coma for several weeks. Aiden was staying with his grandparents in Portland at a hospitality house to be near his father and was too young to understand his father’s very serious condition and why he could not be with his father.

But Aiden loved trains. Every day his grandparents would take him to watch the trains at Rigby Yard or the Narrow Gauge Railroad. They could not afford to take him for rides on the Narrow Gauge. A big-hearted manager of the Narrow Gauge Railroad, after meeting Aiden and hearing his story, purchased a full season pass for Aiden and his grandparents to use during his father’s lengthy recuperation. This act will always be warmly remembered by the family.

This single act, and Aiden’s family’s appreciation, became an inspiration for the creation of Simple Gifts.

May's Story

While carrying my second child last year I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, diastasis syphisis pubis, and a placental abruption. At 22 weeks I was admitted to the Prenatal Care Unit at Maine Medical Center for hospital bedrest. With NICU specialists visiting every few days to educate my husband and me, ultrasounds every other day, consistent monitoring of my vitals, regulate bloodwork, a barrage of medications and implantation of a P.I.C.C. line, my fear was greater than it had ever been. With me as a work-from-home mother her whole life, my two-year-old daughter was now displaced, confused, and scared. My husband was forced to travel between Belfast, POrtland, and Biddeford for childcare, visiting me in the hospital, and maintaining his 60-hour-per-week work schedule. After weeks of being on hospital bedrest we were quickly running out of money for everything needed.

In August, I received a phone call from Mary Irace, who spoke to me about Simple Gifts, a new charitable organization just beginning its work with Maine Medical Center. Their gift of two gas cards made an incredible difference in my life. At a time when I felt completely alone, a hand reached out to me in support of my family's difficulties and provided a way for my husband to get to work, and to get our daughter to her grandparents' house for care.

My beautiful baby was born at 36 weeks. Her original APGAR score was 3, and she was rushed to the NICU. After her 18 days in the hospital, we were at home, together finally as a family. However, I had ongoing medical complications, continued to be out of work, and we were struggling. Once again, like a guardian angel, Simple Gifts reached out to us, this time providing a gift card for groceries.

We are forever grateful to Simple Gifts for helping our family in a time of crisis. Because of their support we were successful in bringing our family back together again.