Eighteen staff members may keep the Family House open 365 days a year, but YOUR presence – as a donor or volunteer – is felt every hour of every day!
7am: Director of House Operations, Melissa, arrives at the Family House in her Hyundai “Snowflake”, with a McDonald’s coffee and a smile on her face. She admires the fresh flowers planted by a BB&T service group.
8am: Guests grab a banana and hop on the shuttle to the hospital or pack up to check-out. Guest Services staff, Mary, arrives and starts to make calls and assign incoming guests into rooms. Some days it can be a tricky puzzle to squeeze in as many people as possible who need a room.
9am: Smells of bacon and eggs waft through the house as guests in robes and slippers prepare their morning breakfast from the supplies provided by the Milk Money Fund.
Morning volunteers arrive and brew several pots of coffee.
10am: Executive Director, Kathy, goes to meet a longtime donor for coffee. Meanwhile, Director of Development, Tracy, gives a Men Who Cook chef a tour of the Family House so he learns the impact of his participation.
12pm: Anything you do at your house (or SHOULD do at your house) we do at ours! Noon volunteers arrive to help guests with directions, sweep the kitchen, write notes, and so much more. Everyone knows how to fold a fitted sheet before they leave!
1pm: Uh oh! A guest comes down because she forgot her hairdryer and toothbrush in her haste to pack. No worries! A volunteer shows her the bin of donated wish list items from which to choose.
2pm: Pam sits down with a new guest to get them oriented to the house and takes them on a tour. They’re worried about how they’ll pay, so she lets them know they qualify for a reduced rate of $15 a night, all possible because of donations to our Family Assistance Fund. She shows them their food locker in the kitchen and settles their nerves.
4pm: Volunteers Stan and Sue Morgan, Gary and Carol Griffith, and Tom and Sharon Kenny arrive carrying armloads of food. They heat up the ovens to bake their ham, slice their pies onto plates, and fill cups with ice to serve for dinner.
5:30: Dinner is served! Several guests are already waiting in the dining room for the go-ahead. They eagerly serve themselves and sit down at the table for a good meal. Jes, our volunteer piano player, plays a few tunes.
6pm: While guests are back from the hospital, volunteers come in to provide various support services.
A guest who deeply misses his home companion sits and pets one of our therapy dogs.
Chaplain Tunde leads some guests in a devotional.
Soon, Sawtooth Art will be here to lead guests in an art activity such as paper marbling.
7:30pm: The Family House is quiet again as guests head to their rooms or return to the hospital.
11pm: Overnight Guest Services staff, Sandra, checks in a late arrival and before locking the doors for the evening. She is available all night to open the door for guests returning from the hospital late, or to chat with a guest who can’t sleep.
2am: Two guests are down in the dining room. They need a late night snack and coincidentally they learn they’re both from from Watauga County. You find them chatting about their favorite place to eat in their town.
4am: The guest in room 310 receives a wake up call. Her loved one has an early morning surgery so she grabs a bowl of cereal and heads to the hospital.
Whew, you did a lot today! Without a doubt, the Family House would not be more than just a place to stay without you.
Thank you for all that you do!