By Scott Huddleston
The national Fisher House Foundation is celebrating a “holiday surprise” — an anonymous donation of $1,500 in cash, sent by mail from Austria.
“We are at a loss to guess as to whom might have sent in this heartfelt contribution,” Ken Fisher, Fisher House chairman, said in a release.
But Inge Godfrey, who manages the Fisher Houses at Fort Sam Houston, where recovering wounded troops and their families stay, said she's accustomed to seeing random acts of kindness.
“We get letters from all over,” she said. “It's amazing how people think of the troops and open their hearts near the holidays.”
The foundation has 53 houses in the United States and at Landstuhl, Germany. Its U.S. locations also include Lackland AFB. A new Fisher House is planned near Audie Murphy VA Hospital, where a major polytrauma center is being built.
Foundation officials in Rockville, Md., opened an envelope this week with no return address and found a note saying “From Friends in Vienna, Austria” wrapped around 15 $100 U.S. bills.
“We are touched that someone from outside the United States is thinking about and doing something to support and honor our American military families,” Fisher said.
Godfrey, who is from Germany, said she's seen that same spirit in San Antonio. Thursday, wounded troops and their families at Fort Sam got a visit from Santa, who gave gifts to children and gift cards to the adults. Much of the holiday goodwill has come from volunteers, businesses and community groups, Godfrey said.
The families will spend quiet time today and Saturday, and can prepare their own meals with food provided through the foundation and sponsors.
“At Christmas, family should be with family,” Godfrey said.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski