Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hospitality House- Sounds fun, right?

Well a (Hospital) Hospitality House is actually a place were families can go to as an alternative to staying in a hotel while a family member is in the hospital. I think most people are familiar with the Ronald McDonald Houses. These are places that families stay while their child is in extended care at a children's hospital. Children's hospitals are usually centrally located in a big city or regional area. If a family does not live by the hospital, these Houses play a vital role. The Ronald McDonald House are limited to families with children in a hospital.

How these Houses work is that a family can stay in these places for little to no cost. I think the average contribution asked per night is $25. Not only do the families get a place to sleep, but they also get a place to eat. Home cooked meals are provided. They also provide space to watch television or do other activities.

But there are others.

Several non-profit houses like Ronald McDonald Houses also exists. Because Ronald McDonald Houses are only geared for families with sick children, there is also a need for Houses the can provide comfort to families that have adults that are sick. Hundreds of these unnoticed, overlooked, but critically needed Houses exist throughout this country.

In the Lehigh Valley, a mom and pop non-profit organization exists called Jenn's House. Jenn's House is run by Pat and Richard Dillman. They are the parent's of Jenn Dillman. She died in a bus accident almost 20 years ago. When Jenn was in the hospital, her parents stayed at a Ronald McDonald House. After Jenn passed away, the Dillmans realized that the Lehigh Valley had no such Hospitality House available. Since then, they have worked hard to create Jenn's House. They started with a small row home behind Lehigh Valley Hospital's Fairground Campus. Then they moved to a larger location on Cedar Crest, down the road from the Lehigh Valley Hospital's Main Campus.

Now they are in the process of opening their new, second facility in Fountain Hill, by St. Luke's Hospital. If you have the time to volunteer or would like to donate to this worthy asset to the Lehigh Valley, please do so by calling Richard at 610-965-1777.

Latest story by Morning Call about Jenn's House

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