CAREGIFTED is entering a new stage, as public awareness of the work of family caregivers continues to grow. Now in our seventh year, having provided respite care for some 50 families and having created and publicized a documentary film featuring the gifts and experiences of long-term family caregivers, we have decided to re-cast the overall CAREGIFTED program in a new way.

Approaching her 70th birthday, founder/director Heather McHugh will still make available the same hotel respite weeks and will continue spreading the word about caregiver experiences, but this time she will do so without the time-and-resource-consuming apparatus of nonprofit structure and formalities.

The governance, maintenance and metrics of such organizations, together with the marketing and fundraising foci needed to alert the eyes of donors already glazed over by avalanches of annual requests take too big a bite out of our programs and energies. We aim to redress that disproportion.

We have served caregivers right up to the decommissioning of the nonprofit structure, and the founder/director will continue to do so on her own, as long as she can, afterwards. Whatever amounts you wish to donate to help caregivers pay their way to the free hotel lodgings in Victoria will go straight to caregiver travel and substitute care costs, but it will not give you a tax break.

Pacific Northwest area caregivers who have done full-time heavy-duty home caregiving for at least five full years, and who are feeling desperate for a breather, may write No guarantees; we'll do what we can.

Anyone wanting a copy of the documentary film UNDERSUNG (a glimpse into the lives of four caregivers) is welcome to use the same email address for orders of those.

Inquiries about CAREGIFTED's closing can be directed to Meredith Sallee, our administrative manager, at

As we move into this new period, we wish to acknowledge the gifts and contributions of so many other kinds of caregivers—the ones who have made available their time and funds to help relieve the weariest family caregivers through CAREGIFTED over the past seven years. Our big-hearted and sharp-minded administrative managers (Rachel Welty, Bronwen Raymer, and Meredith Sallee) deserve permanent gold stars. They worked for almost no money, and daily saved our collective butts. The efforts of all our board members (over the years) and the amazing responsiveness of donors of all kinds of resources continue to send out supportive vibes to caregivers everywhere. We are grateful—and promise to keep up the work of publicizing and relieving the caregivers who give so much back to us all.  Society needs them more than ever.