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The Fisher House Foundation: Watch Your Dollars Work

The Fisher House Foundation: Watch Your Dollars Work

 

Contributed by Kris Baydalla-Galasso

 

9 Million days of lodging

 

86 Houses in operation

 

368,000 Families serviced in the past 30 years

 

$451,000,000 in savings to families of injured soldiers

 

 

It’s about to be the most wonderful time of the year – a time for holiday parties and get-togethers, for making lists and checking them twice. In your holiday planning this year, take a moment to remember the organization that gives 93% of every dollar raised back to our servicemen, women and veterans: The Fisher House Foundation.

 

It is always a pleasure to talk to Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of The Fisher House Foundation. A native New Yorker, just the sound of Ken’s voice brings me back home. Just a few minutes into our call, he has my mind racing and my heart pounding with excitement, as his own excitement is contagious to anyone who takes a moment to listen. 

 

Our call this week was specifically about adaptive sports and their importance in the world of healing. Our house is a hockey house – and several members of my family are involved with sled hockey, an adaptation that gives the sport a seat – in a specially designed sled that allows participants to play the game without needing legs. 

 

There is no arguing the benefits of adaptive sports for wounded veterans. These men and women spent most of their careers in top physical shape and a profound injury is life-altering in so many ways. Adaptive sports can provide not only a path to healing – but an outlet for relationship building and friendships with other people who have faced the same physical limitations, difficulties and severity of recovery. 

 

Adaptive sports are just some of the many services available through the numerous Fisher Houses across the country. All of the services available through the Fisher House Foundation have the same goal: improve the life of the wounded warrior so that warrior can heal.

 

The Fisher Houses across the country ensure that the families of the wounded can be near them while they heal. Having the loving support of family nearby is proven to help with the healing process. 

 

There are six Fisher Houses under construction right now – New Orleans, LA, Ann Arbor, MI, Omaha, NE and Huntington, WV are all getting their first Fisher House. Denver, CO is getting their existing Fisher House replaced and Richmond, VA is seeing a second Fisher house built to help address the needs of the population in that community. These houses are being built now – but there are more on the horizon as the Fisher House program continues to grow. Togus, ME and Albuquerque, NM have houses planned for the near future. 

 

The integrity of the Fisher House Foundation is unquestionable. The services provided are invaluable. It is inarguably worthy of your charitable dollars this holiday season, and any other time of year. Giving to the Fisher House Foundation is easier than you think – in fact, there are many ways to give. I personally set up my Amazon Smile account to benefit The Fisher House Foundation – and while my personal contribution hasn’t been outrageous just yet, the organization has received nearly $90,000!

 

You can help make an impact this holiday season. Visit the Fisher House Foundation website to see how you can make a difference in the lives of our healing veterans!

Warrior Games in Chicago Spotlight Wounded Athletes

warrior games

By Debbie Gregory.

The Warrior Games, taking place this year for the first time in Chicago, spotlights wounded, ill or injured service members and veteran athletes as they compete in Paralympics-style sporting events.

The Warrior Games were launched in 2010 as a way to encourage veterans’ participation in adaptive sports and celebrate their achievements.

Emcee Jon Stewart, formerly of the “Daily Show” hosted the opening on July 1st.  Offering opening remarks was Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation.

The games are not only important for the athletes, but also for their families. For many competitors, this is the first time their family is seeing them after rehabilitation and recognizing that there is life after injury.

Besides the U.S. athletes, teams from the United Kingdom and Australia are also competing.

In 2008, Congress directed the Department of Defense to establish wounded warrior programs across each of the service branches

Navy Capt. Brent Breining, director of the Games, said  “The country is looking for heroes right now, and these Americans are true heroes,” Breining said. “They served their nation, put their lives on the line, and now this is an opportunity to come and support them.”

Breining added, “All these service members and veterans are pulled out of their teams on the front line because of their illnesses and injuries, and we put them back on a team.”

To qualify for the Games, athletes must be enrolled in one of the Department of Defense’s wounded warrior programs.

The competition runs through July 8 at locations including McCormick Place, United Center, the Museum Campus and Lane Tech College Prep High School.

Military Connection salutes and proudly serves veterans and service members in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve,  and their families.

Fisher House Comes to the Aid of Our Military Kids

fishmilkids

By Debbie Gregory

When Ken Fisher, Chairman and CEO of Fisher House Foundation, recently heard on the news that Our Military Kids had to cut its grants to military children due to lack of funding, he knew he had to help.

And help he did! Fisher House Foundation presented Our Military Kids with a check for $250,000, and challenged Americans across the country to step up and help, too.

Our Military Kids’ supports the children of National Guard and Reserve service members, as well as children of active, wounded and fallen warriors, by paying fees associated with athletic, fine arts and tutoring programs.

Gabby Douglas, the Gold Medal Olympic gymnast was a past grant recipient.

Since April 2005, the organization has delivered more than 54,000 grants totaling $22 million.

Unfortunately, in 2014, all of Our Military Kids’ federal funding was cut. That left the non-profit reliant upon private funds.

“Our Military Kids does incredible work to support military families when they need it most,” said Fisher. “We feel that supporting them is a natural extension of our mission at Fisher House, and believe that we have to work together to wrap our arms around military families – especially young people – in times of need. We both understand that not only the service member serves, but the entire family sacrifices.”

“We’re so grateful to Fisher House,” said Linda Davidson, executive director of Our Military Kids. “Not only does their donation come at a time when our funds are not keeping pace with the need, but their generous act signals a door opening to better collaboration among military support organizations.”

“Taking care of our military, veterans and their families is everyone’s responsibility,” said Fisher. “I challenge Americans everywhere to reach into your hearts and pockets and help Our Military Kids sustain the wonderful support they have given military children since 2004—these children deserve this and so much more.”