FLORENCE, Ore. — Living in Oregon, we are surrounded by open nature and wildlife habitats, but not everyone can enjoy the outdoors. Jim Kaul, 89, has made it his mission to bring nature to those who are sick.
“I love the birds and the music that they bring,” said Kaul.
Three times a week Kaul fills the bird feeders at Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence. There are 23 bird feeders and each one is located in front of a patient’s room.
“I was too sick to read, too sick to watch television and so I just laid and watched and listened to the birds,” said Susan Johnson, who recently spent 15 days at the hospital.
Health experts say the birds, the atrium and the quiet environment are a form of alternative medicine called nature therapy and it can help patients get better faster.
It wasn’t just the birds which helped Johnson get better. She told KEZI 9 News it was Kaul’s selfish act that inspired her. While in the hospital Johnson learned that Kaul put up the feeders ten years ago after his wife died and he’s been filling them ever since and paying for seed out of his own pocket.
“I was so floored by that and touched and grateful…so grateful. He made me want to be a better person because who does that for people they don’t know. I just think it’s amazing what he’s done,” said Johnson.
According to Kaul, he goes through about 20 pounds of bird seed each week. In addition to building the birdhouses at Peace Harbor, Kaul builds them to auction off to benefit Habitat for Humanity.