Jesus said to Roman Centurion, “Go; let it be done for you according to your faith.” And his servant was healed in that hour. – Matthew 8:13
When I’d heard that the Missions Committee was exploring a new partnership with an organization benefitting veterans and their families, I immediately thought of Fisher House. The organization St. Luke’s had previously supported in this category turned out to be less than an ideal fit, and the Missions Committee resolved that it was time to move on.
Last month Pastor Rob, Mission Committee members Craig Brandt and Roger Lyson, and I toured the two beautiful homes near the VA. The manager, Kimberly Binh, interwove the history of the Fisher House Foundation during our tour, and she listed specific material needs of the houses as well as opportunities to volunteer,
I’ve been associated with Fisher House for about seven years, ever since I was asked by my former employer … who did significant business with the VA and military hospitals … to research and recommend a cause worthy of the company’s philanthropic commitment to veterans. Naturally, I was delighted then that the company approved of my recommendation, and it was wonderful to see how proud our employees became over time of the company’s support for Fisher House.
I’ve had the opportunity to visit several Fisher Houses, arranging tours for colleagues and serving meals to residents. My passion for Fisher House comes from listening to the residents’ stories. The gratitude that they were able to freely express despite their overwhelming burdens is a true testament to God’s work.
As a proud Legacy Donor of Fisher House, I’m delighted now that my passion has been embraced by my faith community.
The Fisher House Foundation builds comfort homes where military and veteran families can stay free of charge, while a loved one is in the hospital. These homes are located at military and VA medical centers around the world, and the Minneapolis VA has two Fisher Houses on site. Fisher houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $547 million in out-of-pocket costs for lodging and transportation. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses, and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
The Fisher House is named after Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, who were builders, philanthropists and supporters of the U.S. Armed Services. They built the first two Fisher Houses on their dime and deeded them to Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1990 before starting the Foundation to build more houses. There are 92 Fisher Houses today, several more under construction, and even more on the drawing board.
Giving Opportunities: Volunteer and Financial Gifts
There are a number of ways to participate. Volunteers are invited to serve meals for the residents. This can be a one-time or ongoing commitment. If you like to work outdoors there is the Spring planting event and yard care opportunities.
Those interested in volunteering on site must first take the VA’s safety and security orientation. This requires a background check which includes a photo, fingerprints, and ID documents. Craig Brandt is researching and providing the details. For more information and inspiration, see the website: https://fisherhouse.org/ or call 612-467-2050.
The Fisher House Foundation welcomes financial donations for general support its as well as to specific locations such as the two houses at the Minneapolis VA Medical Center.
What a wonderful way to thank our veterans during their time of need, as they unselfishly served our nation caring for us in ways most of us could never imagine.
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