Fisher Houses are like Ronald McDonald Houses for military. They provide free housing for military or veterans and their families going through prolonged illnesses or injuries.
The best medicine known to mankind is LOVE! Most of us will agree that staying in the hospital is not fun! Frankly, it can be down right scary! Having a loved one there, can make things a bit easier! The support family can give is priceless! Most VA Hospitals are in big cities and some specialize, which can make commuting back and forth impossible.
The Fisher Houses are typically built right next to the hospital. There are currently some 72 Fisher Houses across the United States. They have community kitchens, laundry, dining and family areas with private rooms, and sometimes suites for families. Having all the amenities of home in one safe place is huge! Add the fact that the staff will grocery shop for you and your family is amazing! You get to eat food that is comfort food for YOU! Maybe you prefer Coke over Pepsi. Cheetos over chips, Reese cups over Butterfingers…….they get what YOU want.
What if it was under emergency circumstances! The staff will supply whatever is needed: toothbrushes, soap, shampoo, tennis shoes, boots, a sweater??? How many times have we travelled with a child and a shoe has gone missing! They are amazing! Whatever you need, they will make sure you get it! It is all done by donations. Some Fisher Houses are NOT allowed to ask for donations, but they CAN accept them!
In the short time that we had to visit with residents, it reminded me of similar situations and how it felt to be in their shoes. All they care about is their loved one! They are exhausted, scared and tired! They are hopeful and some too insightful! All the worries and fears I’ve ever felt sitting in a hospital with a loved one came rushing back in! We’ve all been there….or at least most of us have. There were amputees getting rehab, cancer victims fighting to be survivors…..there was one man who was badly burned, lost his fingers…but so happy that he still had his hands. He was so strong, brave and full of spirit! I remember asking if I could give him a hug and when he said yes………terrified I would hurt him! He had come so far………..and with the love of his life right by his side the whole way. There was a couple worrying over a premature baby. You name it……we saw it! And for that brief time, nothing else mattered! It is the most amazing feeling I’ve had in a long time!
Some just sat and enjoyed the company, others talked and talked. Sometimes about what they had been through, others just about anything and everything! And it didn’t matter….they just needed someone to listen!
Fisher Houses are amazing places! They are as close to home as any of us could pray for in those situations! They will even loan out laptops, so families back home can keep updated!
If you are ever looking for something, a purpose, just a need to do something……..go spend an hour at a Fisher House. It doesn’t matter how little or much you have to offer. Give time! Some people volunteer and cook a meal once a month. Some bake cookies the 1st Thursday of a month. It is unlimited! Donate reward miles or points, send a card once a year……..believe me, you WILL make a HUGE difference to someone! No Fisher Houses near you….lucky for you the post office will deliver anywhere! Send a $5 Walmart card……it really doesn’t matter…..all that matters is someone cared!
So, in a nutshell………….Fisher Houses are magical homes away from home, where the greatest medicine on earth is nourished, rejuvenated, supported and grown!