Balch Hotel
40 South Heimrich Street
Dufur, OR, 97021, USA
(541) 467-2277

Helping Hands at the Balch

Connections with guests turn to lifelong friendships.

I can’t be there personally but I can do something!

One of the best benefits of owning the Balch has been the amazing people we’ve met. When guests come back and stay with us it can be akin to welcoming family back home for a visit (not THAT part of the family, the OTHER part that you’re happy to see – ha ha).. One of these amazing guests has become a good friend over the years and now I find that she’s in need of some help and, if I were able to be there physically, I would be. To keep her privacy I’m going to give you a very brief sum up and ask for your help.

She is a remarkable single woman, running her own business, living in Vancouver while most of her family is in Oklahoma. She and I (Samantha) are a bit alike in that we’re both fairly independent women who prefer to give rather than receive. Forget about asking for help. By the time we need to ask for help we’re usually waist deep in working like a banshee to get the job done. This, at times, can be a hindrance to those around us who want to bless us with their gifts of service. I’m working on it. . . . With this blog I’m working on it for her unbeknownst to her!

About two months ago her father was needing more assistance with his health than his wife was able to provide. He has Parkinsons. It’s the kind of Parkinson’s that affects the swallowing reflex causing great difficulty to the daily, usually pleasurable, act of eating. There has to be retraining of how to actually swallow. Imagine, EVERY bit you take with your meal, you have to concentrate and will your muscles to react differently in order to keep that one bite of food, and all the previously eaten bites of food, down. He wasn’t having much success. He was not able to keep food down, therefore not getting nutrition he needed. Along with other ailments compounding his health has been on a rapid decline and roller coaster lately. His care was becoming more and more intense an, imagine not only the food issue, but medications, doctors visits, etc. all around getting older and having a progressively invasive disease.

She decided to move her parents here to Oregon to help them navigate during this period of time. Things have not gone well.

Being moved into and out of medical facilities, working to diagnose needed treatments, and most importantly missed administration of prescribed treatments while in a facility have caused major trauma these last few months.

During the last month my friend and her mother spent 29 days of 30 “sleeping” in a chair or couch at one facility or another. When I saw her I was shocked. Her already trim frame was thinner from lack of eating/ sleeping, stress, etc. She’s a fighter and amazing advocate. I would want her on my side when navigating disease, health, and treatment. She has a background in the medical field and also is a bulldog when researching the full extent of options when it comes to care, healing, the body, and treatments. She is a blessing to her parents.

They are at a stage where her dad is on a feeding tube because he cannot swallow and both she and her mother are caring for him 24/7 at her home. He now needs assistance with the most basic of functions. Particularly during the last 30 days her father’s care has been so all consuming that she has not been able to take a breath to even inquire and research about some respite care. She’s been so consumed with simply taking care of her father that both she and her mother were not really feeding themselves (besides the stress that takes its toll on the body).

This is where I can help.

I know MANY fantastic individuals that have stayed at the Balch who are very giving in spirit.

I’ve connected with her fabulous boyfriend and another amazing woman I met through the Balch, Beth Harrington. Beth has offered to be a “deliverer” on Tuesdays or Thursday for meals for my friend and her mother. I’ll be organizer.

Would you be up for a meal once or twice in the next month? She’s gluten and dairy free. Not a vegetarian (-:.

Since it’s only the two of them, she and her mother, gigantic meals aren’t needed. Even just making an extra bit of your own dinner salad and putting it aside for delivery would be amazing.

If you’d be willing to make a meal or two and deliver to Vancouver on a prearranged Tuesday or Thursday in the evening to Beth’s house (I’ll coordinate this for y’all) then please email me personally at

I’d be most grateful and I’m sure she would too. The caretakers are in need of some care and I have met some amazing people that I bet would jump at the chance to do just a little that would mean a lot.

Even if you cannot contribute something please pray or send good thoughts their way.