Fisher House Foundation

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Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House logo.JPEG
Founder(s)Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher
TypeNon-Profit Organization
Founded1993
HeadquartersRockville, Maryland - U.S.
Key peopleKenneth Fisher, Chairman
FocusUnited States military members, their families, and American military verterans
MethodConstruction of comfortable temporary lodging facilities near military hospitals
Employees15
Motto"Fisher House – because a family’s love is good medicine"
 
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Fisher House Foundation
Fisher House logo.JPEG
Founder(s)Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher
TypeNon-Profit Organization
Founded1993
HeadquartersRockville, Maryland - U.S.
Key peopleKenneth Fisher, Chairman
FocusUnited States military members, their families, and American military verterans
MethodConstruction of comfortable temporary lodging facilities near military hospitals
Employees15
Motto"Fisher House – because a family’s love is good medicine"

Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of comfort homes built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. The Fisher Houses are 5,000 to 16,800-square-foot (1,560 m2) homes, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs, where families can stay while a loved one is receiving treatment. Additionally, the Foundation ensures that families of service men and women wounded in Iraq or Afghanistan are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.

Located near the medical center or hospital it serves, each Fisher House consists of between 8 and 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room and an inviting living room with a library and toys for children. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is no fee to stay in a Fisher House. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $165 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.

Fisher House Foundation operates the Hero Miles Program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. To date Hero Miles has provided over 22,000 airline tickets to our military and their families. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.

Contents

Military care

The Fisher House program was established by Zachary Fisher and his wife Elizabeth. The first "Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House" was opened in Bethesda, Maryland at National Naval Medical Center on 24 June 1990. President George H. W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush opened the second Fisher House at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.[1] To date, the program consists of 54 houses located near Veterans Affairs hospitals and military installations across the country and at one United States military installations in Europe. From these locations, Fisher House serves more than 12,000 military families per year. The Fisher House program plans to build several more lodging facilities to complete its nationwide support network.[2]

Fisher Houses are given to the United States Government as gifts by the Fisher House Foundation. Each house is designed to provide eight to 21 family suites. The houses accommodate 16 to 42 family members. They feature a common kitchen, laundry facilities, spacious dining room, and a family style living room with a library. Toys are provided for the younger children.[2]

The Fisher House at Keesler AFB built in 1992

Fisher Houses are a temporary residence, not a treatment facility, hospice or counseling center. They are normally within walking distance of a military or Veterans Affairs hospital. They are designed to be comfortable temporary home, manned by caring volunteers who help family members endure the stresses associated with serious long-term medical conditions or injuries. Fisher House enables families to stay together, cook meals, do chores, and relax in a home-like environment. The nominal service fee charged Fisher House guests is always lower than other military lodging facilities and much lower than commercial hotels.[1] There is no charge to stay at any of the Fisher Houses.[3]

Since Federal law prohibited the military from paying for the personal travel of service members and their families, Fisher House expanded its support to include airline tickets. Through a program call Operation Hero Miles, Fisher House now gives away free airline tickets to help military families reunite with hospitalized service members.[4]

Foundation

The Fisher House Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1990 by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. The Foundation funded construction of Fisher House facilities near military hospitals and Vertans Affairs medical centers. In addition to building new houses, the Foundation educates the public about the Fisher House program, raised funds to support and expand the Fisher House network, and helps individual military families in need. For example, families of patients at any military hospital can receive up-to-the-minute reports on a loved one by going to the patient's own customized web-page available through an on-line system called CaringBridge which is funded by the Foundation. The Fisher House Foundation and many individual Fisher Houses receive financial support from the Combined Federal Campaign.[2]

Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher

Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher

As a young man, Zachary Fisher was severely injured in a construction accident. When Japan attacked Pearl Harbor on 7 December 1941, he tried to enlist, but was rejected by the military due to his injury. Since he was unable to join the military, he decided to help the war effort by building coastal fortifications for United States Army Corps of Engineers.[1]

After World War II, Fisher built a successful construction business. He also continued to look for ways to support America and its men and women in uniform. In 1988, in response to the attack on the USS Stark in the Persian Gulf, Fisher and his wife Elizabeth established the Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher Armed Services Foundation, to provide financial assistance to needy members of the Armed Forces and their dependents. Since then, the Foundation has provided substantial direct payments to families of service members killed or injured in the line of duty. The Foundation also provides college scholarships for dependents of military personnel.[1]

In 1990, the Fishers decided to build a comfortable home-like lodging facility to house families of patients undergoing treatment at a military hospital. The home was located in Portsmouth, Virginia, and was called the "Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher House". The Fisher House was designed to accommodate eight families and was fully furnished as a comfortable home. The current Fisher House program and its network of houses grew out of that initial project.[1]

Fisher died on 4 June 1999, but the Fisher House Foundation continues to build Fisher Houses and carry on the Fisher legacy of helping military men and women and their families.[2]

Locations

Currently, there are 54 Fisher Houses located on military installations and near veterans hospitals throughout the United States plus two at an American military base in Germany. The Fisher House Foundation plans to increase the number of facilities as resources become available.[2]

Fisher Houses are located on military installations and near veterans hospitals to support military families and American veterans

References

  1. ^ a b c d e "Fort Hood Fisher House", Darnell Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, Texas, 16 January 2008.
  2. ^ a b c d e Fact Sheet, Fisher House Foundation, Rockville, Maryland, 8 September 2007.
  3. ^ Jontz, Sandra, "Fisher foundation seeks new sites to house the wounded and their families", Stars and Stripes, European edition, 4 March 2005.
  4. ^ Sample, Doug (Sgt 1st Class), "Fisher House Explains Rules for Free Airline Tickets", American Forces Press Service, Washington, DC, 5 February 2004.

External links