Southern, Sweet & Sassy Coffee is passionate about connecting military families one cup at a time, and we are proud to give back to the military community through our #coffeeforacause initiative. This September, we are honored to feature the Fisher House Foundation.
Fisher House Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit that provides lodging where military and Veteran families can stay for free when a loved one is in the hospital due to illness, injury, or disease. Instead of living out of a hotel while their loved one recovers, families receive temporary residence in a custom built Fisher House. Designed to be more than just lodging, each home is set up to encourage a sense of community while giving private respite to tired families.
How Fisher House Began
The organization was started by Zachary Fisher, a builder and philanthropist who saw a need and the ability to fill it. In 1986, he received a call from the Chief of Naval Operations, whose wife had witnessed a family arrive at the National Naval Medical Center with nowhere to stay. From that one phone call, the idea for Fisher House was born. Zach and Elizabeth Fisher went on to donate over $20 million to the construction of Fisher Houses.
The Fisher House Environment
There are currently more than 90 Fisher Houses in operation in the United States and Europe, and each one is in close proximity to a military or VA medical center. In fact, most Fisher Houses are within walking distance to the hospital.
Fisher Houses are built with up to 21 private suites, each with private bedrooms and bathrooms. For safety and solitude, separate key fobs are provided to access the house and each family’s private suite.
All families staying in the home share a spacious common kitchen, laundry facilities, dining and living rooms, plus a library and toys for kids. Each home can accommodate 16-42 family members. Newer houses have elevators and are designed to be 100% wheelchair accessible.
How Fisher Houses Operate
After a Fisher House is built, it is given to the US government as a gift. Each Fisher house is then owned and operated by the Department of Defense or the Department of Veterans Affairs in association with the attached hospital. Depending on location, the operation and maintenance of each Fisher House is the responsibility of either the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or the service secretary of the relevant military branch.
How to Stay in a Fisher House
If your family needs to travel for the medical care of an active duty or Veteran family member, you may qualify to stay at a Fisher House. Requirements are specific to each location and established locally by the hospital or military installation. You can contact your specific location with any questions.
To view the entire list of current Fisher House homes, you can visit the directory here. Contact the individual house manager to inquire. All Fisher Houses are completely free of charge to stay.
Fisher House Impact
For more than 30 years, Fisher House Foundation has worked to improve the quality of life in the short term for injured service members and their families dealing with a medical crisis. Currently, 1,300 families can stay in a Fisher House on any given night.
Since 1990, Fisher House has:
- Served more than 430,000 military and Veteran families, saving them $547 million
- Provided 70,000 flights and 11.5 million nights of lodging
- Awarded 15,000+ scholarships—$2.3 million in 2021 alone
Coffee for a Cause
If you would like to support this important cause while drinking a great cup of coffee, we’ve got you covered! The S3 September #coffeeforacause is Pumpkin Spice. During the entire month of September, buy our medium roast, single-origin Pumpkin Spice coffee, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated directly to the Fisher House Foundation.
To learn more about Fisher House Foundation and the many ways you can help, please visit their website.