This month marks the 20th anniversary of Fisher House on Fort Bragg. Founded by real estate mogul, Zachary Fisher and his wife, Elizabeth, the home provides housing for servicemembers, veterans and their Families who receive care at any military or Veterans Affairs medical center.
During 2012, more than 260 Families were served at the home, with an average stay of seven days, said Lorie Southerland, operations assistant.
Illnesses such as cancer, heart attacks and jump, motorcycle and vehicle accidents, bring Families to the Fisher House, Southerland said.
A servicemember who lives in his or her hometown has the support of Family members and friends, but someone stationed thousands of miles from home may not have that same support system in place, explained Southerland. The benefit of Fisher House is that Family members of a sick servicemember can come to Fort Bragg and live in Fisher House expense-free.
“The most expensive thing about traveling is the hotel,” explained Southerland. “This (Fisher House) takes a big burden off them (servicemembers) and it helps them to get well quicker because they have their Families here to support.
The home depends on donations from others. Almost daily, someone will drop off bottled water or coffee. Other frequently-donated items include toiletries such as shampoo and conditioner, toothbrushes, lotion, and travel-size hygiene products, she said.
But, Fisher House accepts any donation that a Family member would need away from home such as food and snacks, toys for children, grill tools, dish detergent and washing powder, and writing tablets.
Companies also make donations, as well. Subway on Pope Field provides a tray of subs at least once a week, said Southerland. Home2 Suites by Hilton (an extended-stay hotel) recently donated towels and linen.
Financial donations can be made through the Combined Federal Campaign No. 65512.
The house, which is located within walking distance of Womack Army Medical Center, provides accommodations for Families in need, offering smoke-free rooms with a full bath. Residents share a common kitchen, living and dining room and a laundry area.
Families who have lived at Fisher House and posted the following website testimonials:
“I came to Ft Bragg to be with my grand-daughter Amanda whose husband Travis was injured in Afghanistan. The Fisher House is truly a blessing and our family will be forever grateful.”
“As he got better we ended up here, we have been treated well and hope that your stay will be the same. Thank you Fisher House.”
“My wife and I are very grateful that the Fisher House provided everything we needed and allowed us to help our soldier get well on her way to recovery.”
Fisher House homes are donated by the non-profit Fisher House Foundation and are given to the U.S. government as gifts.
Since its inception in 1990, more than 180,000 Families have been served, saving Families more than $200 million in lodging and transportation cost at 61 Fisher houses nation- and world-wide.
The Fisher House on Fort Bragg is located at 12 Bassett St.
Hours are by appointment.
For more information, visit www.fisherhouse.org or call 432-1486.