Tess Eyrich 2017-06-08 21:21:43
Fisher House Foundation’s nationwide network of 72 homes opens its doors to military and veterans’ families in moments of crisis. When members of the military are injured during service, it’s instinctual for their families to want to be near their loved ones during treatment. But the costs of traveling quickly add up, causing families’ stress levels to skyrocket exponentially in times of extreme tension and uncertainty. Zachary Fisher, a prominent real estate developer and philanthropist, built the first Fisher Houses in 1990. The Maryland-based Fisher House Foundation was established after his death in 1993 and provides no-cost accommodations to families of military service members and veterans seeking medical treatment for wounds, illnesses and other ailments. “If you think about what John F. Kennedy said—‘Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country’—that was what Zachary Fisher lived by,” says Fisher House Foundation President David Coker. “He was the kind of man who wanted to be part of the solution.” At Fisher House Foundation, the solution is multidimensional. Working in partnership with the Military Health System and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the organization has served more than 305,000 families since its inception, including 28,000 in 2016 alone. On any given night, up to 950 families can be staying at a Fisher House. Each of its houses is based near a military or VA medical center and managed by an employee of the U.S. Armed Forces—a role Coker affectionately deems “the best job in the world”—and it’s not uncommon for families to stay in more than one home as their loved ones receive treatments around the country. Since joining the organization, Coker has been instrumental in helping launch several auxiliary programs, including Hero Miles, which provides families with complimentary airline tickets purchased with donated frequent flyer miles. “So far we’ve used more than 3 billion frequent flyer miles in support of that program,” Coker says. “It’s one of those things we learned was a real need from talking to the families who graced our houses. We’re not interested in being all things to all people; we’d rather focus on areas where there are gaps between what the military or VA can provide and what a family’s needs are.”
Published by Firebrand Media . View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://trendmag2.trendoffset.com/article/Give%3A+Shelter+From+The+Storm/2809021/415960/article.html.