While it would be awesome to “appear” really cool and sophisticated on WordPress, I have to confess that I’m a true nerd. I’ve been floating on air this morning since making the decision to donate to a worthy cause. I am literally on a natural high and feel like I hit the lotto! What makes it so electrifying is the realization that I CAN actually follow through with it based on the intentional shift in my finances. I’ve done a small amount of charitable giving over the years through my paycheck at work, but was always afraid of being unable to provide for my own children. This was highly possible since I lived paycheck to paycheck and had an intimate relationship with credit cards. Deciding to become debt free changed my life and my family tree, just as Dave Ramsey predicted!
When initially deciding to become debt free, it was due to a serious medical illness my son was diagnosed with. It had the potential to bankrupt me as there was no cure. I literally felt like it couldn’t be done, but there were no other options so I had to at least try. My son was worth it. During the tormenting seven year journey, I realized being debt free came with other fringe benefits I hadn’t considered. Mainly quality time, never an option for me in the past. Instead, I provided “gifts” to prove my love, racking up thousands of dollars in credit card debt. When my brother was given 6 months to live, I wasn’t yet debt free but had obtained the financial means to to travel to my home state and spend quality time with him every month leading up to his death. When my mother suffered that final debilitating stroke last year, I took three weeks off to complete home hospice. I was never able to do that, and also didn’t have enough time on the books to get paid for the time off, but with budgeting, I could afford it! I was with my mother (as I should have been) when she took her final breath, just as she was with me when I made my grand entry into this world. None of this would be possible without taking Financial Peace University.
Something I was unable to do while in debt was donate to a cause, at least not at the level I wanted. The perfect storm finally materialized! I found a cause that touches my heart like no other, and finally have the means to follow through! Yesterday I heard families being interviewed at Fisher House on my local radio station. I recalled hearing these in the past, but they were always the week after Xmas when I was usually trying to pick up overtime because I’d overspent! I resonated with the relief (and gratitude) in their voices, felt because they have a place to stay for as long as they needed, while their loved ones are in recovery (as I did). No worries about the financial strain that can sometimes ride in waves along with good intentions. Quality time is the ultimate gift!
Fisher House as the agency I’ve decided to bless (I shared a little below). It’s an honor to provide assistance to VETS and military families! My opinion has always been that VETS should want for nothing in this society! It’s sad to see them homeless and unable to obtain the resources they deserve automatically for giving their lives for our county! It is in a small way, but I’m so glad I can make a difference!
Fisher House Foundation is best known for a network of comfort homes where military and veterans’ families can stay at no cost while a loved one is receiving treatment.
These homes are located at major military and VA medical centers nationwide, close to the medical center or hospital they serve. Fisher Houses have up to 21 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Foundation ensures that there is never a lodging fee. Since inception, the program has saved military and veterans’ families an estimated $360 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Fisher House Foundation also operates the Hero Miles program, using donated frequent flyer miles to bring family members to the bedside of injured service members as well as the Hotels for Heroes program using donated hotel points to allow family members to stay at hotels near medical centers without charge. The Foundation also manages a grant program that supports other military charities and scholarship funds for military children, spouses and children of fallen and disabled veterans.
By the Numbers
- Families served: More than 28,000 in 2016
- Daily capacity: 970 families
- Families served: More than 305,000 since inception
- Number of lodging days offered: Over 7 million
- 11,000 students have received $18,000,000 in scholarship awards
- Over 65,000 airline tickets provided by Hero Miles to service members and their families, worth nearly $100 million