Fisher House Foundation is best known for the network of 54 comfort homes on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. The houses are 5,000 to 16,500 square foot homes, with as many as 21 suites, donated to the military and Department of Veterans Affairs by the Fisher House Foundation. The Foundation provides support to families of patients receiving care at the nearby medical center and has ensured that families of service men and women wounded in war are not burdened with unnecessary expense during a time of crisis.
Located in close proximity to 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. The home creates an instant community for its residents, united by their common mission of supporting a sick or injured loved one, but also provides each individual with a secure and private refuge after a long day at the hospital to rest and recharge.
There is no fee to stay at a Fisher House. Fisher House Foundation pays any fees charged by the military. Since inception, the program has saved military and veteran families an estimated $150 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation. It is estimated that each 20-suite home added to the Fisher House network provides the capacity to another 600 families per year.
Fisher House Foundation operates the Hero Miles Program allowing donated frequent flyer miles to be used to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members. To date Hero Miles has issued over 22,000 airline tickets to our military and their families. The Foundation also offers a grant program that supports other military charities and a scholarship fund for military children.
- Families served – approximately 12,000
- Average length of stay – 15 days
- Average length of stay for combat casualties – 45-60 days
- Saved families more than $17 million in lodging costs, plus food and transportation
- More than 75,000 hours of volunteer service
- Families served – more than 142,000
- Number of lodging days offered – over 3.6 million
- Saved families more than $167 million in lodging and transportation costs
Fisher House Foundation is a well established not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, we are nationally recognized as a premier non-profit with a four star Charity Navigator rating and an A+ from the American Institute of Philanthropy; of the 41 military/veterans charities rated in the December 2010 report, only four received an A+. President Obama gave the largest portion of his Nobel Prize award, a $250,000 grant, to the Fisher House Foundation, we are grateful for his support.
Our current list of homes include: Los Angeles CA, Palo Alto VA, San Diego-Navy (two), Travis AFB, Denver VA, Dover AFB, Walter Reed-Army (three), Bay Pines VA, Tampa VA, Eglin AFB, West Palm Beach VA, Miami VA, Ft Gordon-Army, Tripler-Army (two), Chicago VA, Fort Campbell-Army, Andrews AFB, Bethesda-Navy (five), Boston VA, Minneapolis VA, Camp Lejuene Marine Base, Keesler AFB, St Louis VA, Albany VA, Ft Bragg-Army, Cincinnati VA, Wright Patterson AFB (two), Dallas VA, El Paso-Army, Ft Hood-Army, Brooke-Army (four), Houston VA, Lackland AFB (three), Portsmouth-Navy, Richmond VA, Ft Lewis-Army, Seattle VA, Landstuhl-Army (two).
Currently under construction:
- Washington DC VA Medical Center
- Augusta VA Medical Center
- Elmendorf Air Force Base/Anchorage VA Medical Center
- Pittsburgh VA Medical Center
- Murfreesboro, TN VA Medical Center
- Salt Lake City VA Medical Center
- San Antonio VA Medical Center
- Gainesville, FL VA Medical Center
- Milwaukee VA Medical Center
Ft Lewis Army Base, WA (second house)
- Ft Bragg Army Base, North Carolina (second house)
- Long Beach, CA VA Medical Center
- Cleveland VA Medical Center
- West Haven, CT VA Medical Center
- Las Vegas VA Medical Center/Nellis AFB
Volunteers are highly desired and provide much needed assistance. Volunteer opportunities include: bringing in meals and snacks for residents, helping with general housekeeping chores, organizing goods drives such as paper product drives, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, etc. Also, there are often young mothers and fathers in the homes who may feel overwhelmed, our volunteers offer babysitting service and help play with the children to give the parents a break and some quiet time.
During the holidays we often have volunteers who will help with decorating, children toy drives, and gifts for those staying at the home through the holidays.
Each Fisher House has a ‘wish list’ of items that the manager would like to add and/or replace in the house. These wish lists have included large items such as children’s back yard play sets, barbeque grills, laptop computers for each room, outdoor tables and chairs, as well as smaller items such as books, DVD’s, and small appliances.
We also welcome volunteers to tend to the gardens surrounding the house. Although the homes and landscape are maintained by the military base and the Veterans Administration, both are limited in offering enhancements to the landscape. Our volunteers often step in and plant the seasonal flowers and shrubbery to make the homes an even more inviting environment.
FISHER HOUSE HISTORY
On June 24, 1991, the doors of the very first Fisher House opened to serve the families of patients receiving treatment at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. That first Fisher House was a model for the network of Fisher Houses currently in operation across the United States and overseas. Originally built during peace-time to serve the loved ones of service members and veterans facing medical crises due to illness, disease, or injury, these vital sanctuaries have now expanded their mission to provide a safe haven for families of heroes wounded or injured while serving in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
The Fisher House program was established in 1990 by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. Though he was prevented from joining active service during World War II due to a construction accident, Mr. Fisher drew on his building experience to assist the U.S. Coastal Service in constructing coastal fortifications. Elizabeth traveled in Europe as a member of the USO to entertain military troops. As steadfast supporters of the men and women serving this country, they asked what mission they might undertake to benefit personnel of all military services. Pauline Trost, wife of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Carlisle Trost, alerted Mr. and Mrs. Fisher of the need for temporary lodging facilities for families at major military medical centers. Today, Zachary’s grandnephew Ken Fisher is the Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, and he continues the legacy of caring and support for our military and veterans families in a time of need.
Fisher House Foundation, Inc
111 Rockville Pike Suite 420
Rockville, MD 20850
Cindy Campbell, Vice President for Community Relations and Media Affairs, 301-294-8560, firstname.lastname@example.org
Web site: www.fisherhouse.org
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