Monday, July 23, 2012

Hospitality House Week


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By Diane Forrest

This past fall, a friend of mine's son was deathly ill, he was in ICU at a hospital away from home for nearly a month.  The doctors still do not know what was wrong with him, there was some speculation about West Nile Virus, but it was never diagnosed. His wife and my friend spent every day at the hospital, in the ICU waiting room praying for his recovery. My friend doesn't drive in the big city, and so she didn't have her car there.  The cost of eating out every day would have been terribly expensive, but they were fortunate enough to have local volunteers who delivered food to the waiting room daily to provide them a hot lunch and afternoon snacks.  That small act of kindness and generosity meant so much to her and her family during their time of need, and she hasn't forgotten it.

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This week is Hospitality House Week.  There are some larger cities that have an actual house where people with similar needs can stay for a night or too while waiting on word from a recovering family member.  There are also several Ronald McDonald houses that also provide these services. Thousands of families and patients of all ages and walks of life have found a haven within the warm home-like environments provided by our neighboring hospitality houses. Ronald McDonald House serves seriously ill children up to the age of 17, together with their families. SECU Family House provides lodging and support to seriously ill patients 18 and above. Across the country, homes that help and heal have become community assets, adding significant value to the medical centers and rehabilitation facilities whose patients and families they serve.

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If you have been fortunate to receive these services, and would like to contribute to the continued success, visit this site http://www.nahhh.org/ , if your community doesn't have such resources, why not start your own.  Check with your local hospital and find out what their needs are.  If there are families there watching over a sick loved one, offer to make some sandwiches or bake cookies, or provide a bag of apples.  One small act of kindness during a crisis is a huge blessing for everyone involved.

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