Many West Roxbury residents and local volunteers provide a haven for military families at the Fisher House, which offers a home away from home to family members of patients staying at the VA Hospital.
The Fisher House serves veterans' families, allowing them to stay free of charge and runs on the backbone of the volunteers and the service they provide.
“I became involved because of Brigid,” said Cheryl Boemer, community volunteer. “She kept me inspired about the program.”
Brigid Boyle, president of the board of the directors, recognized, emphasized, and voiced the needs for help with the Fisher House project. That need would be all the Fisher House needed to garner volunteers locally and from neighboring communities.
With the awareness and amount of dedication put into the Fisher House, the Board of Directors, a volunteer group was formed to help facilitate groups who wanted to help raise money for the services provided.
Michelle Keating, President and CEO of Alder Foods led the all volunteer Board in the successful effort to raise $3m of matching funds to build the Fisher House Boston, working tirelessly despite a challenging economy. A local West Roxbury Volunteer, Brigid Boyle took on the task of getting the West Roxbury neighborhood involved in supporting the House.
Under the grassroots direction of Boyle, they raised money and awareness about supporting the Fisher House. Local merchants heard of the need for giving back to their communities. It was contagious.
If you visit Halls of Tara Florist and mention the Fisher House, they will donate 20 percent of the proceeds of your sale to the Fisher House. Halls of Tara is not the only organization planting the seed of giving back.
Lord’s and Lady’s Hair Salon provides free services to the guests at the house, which helps while Fisher House guests are visiting family in the VA Hospital’s care, they can stay at the Fisher House and feel like they never left home.
Dorris Hanlon is a massage therapist who volunteers twice a week for two hours. The mini-massage therapy is a huge success even though it is not a full body massage. With the help of other volunteers, the massages really relax and relieve the stress of many of the families who stay at the Fisher House. The massages make people feel like they’re at home.
Local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts come up with their own ideas to help and give back. Whether it is singing Christmas carols to families, baking pies, and bringing cookies.
Said groundskeeper and volunteer Raymond Anderson, “All the worries are left at the door.”
For families going through the daily stress of surgery and other hospital services, the volunteers are helping to comfort so families don’t have to worry about a thing.