About WSP

Mission Statement:

The White Shield Project was established to preserve the history of the Salvation Army White Shield Home in Portland, Oregon, by telling the stories of the women who lived and labored there, the children who were born there, and the dedicated souls who served there.

What is The White Shield Project?

White Shield has been serving unwed mothers and other young women in need for more than a century; almost since the day Captain Mary Stillwell and her Salvationists first set foot in Portland in the fall of 1886.  Since then, White Shield has made a difference in thousands of lives, and its story is one that needs telling.

The ultimate goal of The White Shield Project is to publish a comprehensive anthology of historical data, stories, photos, creative work, etc., that accurately and compassionately reflects the history of White Shield through the experience of its residents, employees, and children (i.e., a real book, with pages.)

Needless to say, this is a project that will take some time to complete.  In the mean time, in the interest of addressing the overwhelming need that has been expressed by so many to have their stories heard today, this blog is offered as a forum. Submitted stories will be posted on “Our Stories.”

How can I share my story?

For some, telling your story will be easy; for others, it will take amazing courage.  To submit your story, please refer to our SUBMISSION GUIDELINES.

♥ Read My Story Here. ♥

Please note that most comments to the blog – especially those that deal with life at White Shield, reunions, and searches – will be converted to posts.  For those searching, please understand that answers don’t always come from direct places, and even the smallest detail can make the difference – a little piece of information that you might consider irrelevant may be critical.  Also, if you feel comfortable, maybe you could share a bit about what your search means to you or your family.  This kind of information helps people connect – it nudges them a little more to try to help.  If you’d like to share a picture, that would be great, too.

Is the White Shield Project affiliated with the Salvation Army or the White Shield Center?

No.   I have the greatest respect and admiration for the work of the Salvation Army and the White Shield Center, and they have been infinitely helpful in providing non-client related background materials (archived news clippings, etc.) for this project.  However, I am an independent writer, and neither employed by, nor accountable to the Salvation Army or its affiliates.

7 thoughts on “About WSP

  1. Renee,

    I just read your lovely story and was very touched….as I too am a WS child.

    Actually, I believe I was kept there are the home longer than any other….I stayed there until I was 17 months old…until my birth mother’s family ‘finally’ took me home. I was then raised by my Grandparents.

    I have my complete file from WS….all the letters and documents of history of my birth…all very compelling.

    Why I was never adopted out I will never know…but I stayed there in that nursery for nearly a year and a half.

    Your description of how you felt by going there is exactly mine….I was 58 years old. I am now 73 and the year of my birth was l936.

    The place still haunts me. I have forced myself not to go back. I too was given the boxes of old things to look through….I too made copies.

    Then my birth mother died and I presented her death certificate to WS and they sent me the complete file…even in the old folder….all of which I treasure.

    I was raised to believe my birthmother was my sister.
    She was just 16 when I was born. Oh the letters she wrote from there which I now have….so very heartbreaking.

    There is so much to tell I don’t know where to begin.
    It was at a time when things were very hush hush….and to make matters worse…my grandfather was a minister….so the whole thing brought shame upon the family.

    I will leave it there for now.

    But, I am so very grateful to be one of the WS children….they did so much for me.


  2. I was born at the White Shield Home in Portland, Oregon August 17th, 1948, was adopted 12-16-1949 I have my adoption papers but need a birth certificate, vital records is having problems with finding the information I was named kathleen estelle todd at birth, when adopted it was changed to kathy jeanne bousquet, is there any way that there might be some record, or any thing that you can e-mail to me. at my e-mail address: kat_817todd@hotmail.com. I am kathleen estelle todd, again, after a divorce I took my birth name back! I was a kathy jeanne bousquet,dec. 16, 1949 then married, it became kathy jeanne mollman on 10-05-68, then married again, and it became kathy jeanne beckwith, on 9-22-1970, then after a divorce I took my birth name of kathleen estelle todd, back! so now at 64 years old the dmv wants a birth certificate to get a I D card, so if you can help please let me know!

    • Having been born in Oregon, you may get a copy of your original birth certificate from the Oregon Department of Health.

  3. Pingback: Westside wonders | Rough and Rede II

  4. Hello,
    We are seeking paternal ancestry for our grandmother who was born at White Shield in 1932. Her mom was able to keep her. Not sure where to start or if records are available. Thank you for any info you can provide.

  5. Hi, I am also seeking paternal ancestry for my grandmother (who has passed on). She is believed to be born in 1927 and successfully adopted out from White Shield in 1930. I am unable to find any other records. We have no idea of her ancestry and if it is possible to find anything out. Thank you!

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