By J.M. Simpson
There's no better way to support your community than supporting your neighbors in need, especially during the holiday season. We'll feature local charities on Spew throughout this holiday season with links to donate your money, supplies and time.
Give the karmic wheel a spin for today's charity focus:
9999 Wilson Ave., JBLM
"I came here because I wanted to serve my community," said Nikki Wasierski, operations assistant for the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) Fisher House. "I wanted to do something that makes a difference, and being here I know that I am."
A volunteer at the house for over a year before assuming her present position, Wasierski is clear about the importance of the house and its impact on the family members of soldiers.
"What we do here for families is important; we are more than just a hotel," continued Wasierski. "We are a community, and being here we help families who are with people who understand them."
The Fisher House at JBLM opened 18 years ago. It is "a home away from home" for families of patients receiving medical care at the Madigan Army Medical Center and the Veterans Administration (VA) Hospital at American Lake.
Overseen by the Fisher House Foundation begun by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher, the JBLM Fisher House is approximately one-half mile from Madigan at 9999 Wilson Ave.
During fiscal year 2009, the house served 122 families. Approximately one-quarter of those families' members had combat injury related loved ones at Madigan.
Professionally decorated with a Pacific Northwest theme, the house has seven rooms available. Families use a common kitchen, laundry facility, dining room and a living room with library.
The average stay is 20 days. In addition to the families staying at the Fisher House, 15 to 20 other families per month are accommodated at various local lodging facilities.
The Fisher House Foundation pays for all room fees for guest families.
Charitable contributions are vital to JBLM's Fisher House.
"Donations make it possible for us to not charge fees and provide for the house," said Wasierski.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski