News & Events
Pulse of Longwood takes you inside one of the nation’s largest hubs of hospitals and biomedical research.
Kaylen Gaston and Mark Bell had no idea what was in store when they boarded a plane for the first time in their lives, rushing their 2-month-old baby from Texas to Boston for brain surgery. Through a bumpy medical odyssey and a startling cold snap, they had one thing to rely on — a free place to sleep in a spacious home in Beacon Hill.
Gaston and Bell are among a growing number of out-of-town families who, struggling to pay for expensive hospital care, are staying in strangers’ guest rooms during their visits.
The couple, a 23-year-old bank teller and a 24-year-old machinist, landed in town this month with their baby girl, Lynkin. They had plenty to worry about: Their baby was suffering from encephalocele, a rare neural tube defect that caused her brain to protrude in a sac outside her skull. Texas doctors had warned them that surgery might lead to fatal strokes, her father said. But after a second opinion, they decided to go through with the operation at Boston Children’s Hospital.
To read more visit: http://www.statnews.com/2016/02/22/hospitality-homes-host-medical-care/
Contact: Shanon Heckethorn: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Phone: 888-595-4678 ext. 3
Hospitality Homes Welcomes New Executive Director
Boston, MA – March 4, 2015
The Board of Directors of Hospitality Homes is pleased to announce the appointment of Marianne M. Jones as the organization’s new executive director. Jones, who recently served as the president of the Women’s Fund of NH/NH Women’s Foundation, brings over 15 years of leadership and management experience with New England-area foundations and non-profits to her role at Hospitality Homes.
Since 1983, Hospitality Homes has provided free housing in volunteer host homes for family and friends of patients receiving medical treatment in the Boston area, regardless of income, nationality, or the patient’s age, diagnosis, or treatment facility. Thousands of patients travel to Boston each year to receive medical treatment, accompanied by supportive family and friends. As a result of an acute medical crisis, many arrive in an unfamiliar city with no place to stay or lack the financial resources for lengthy hotel accommodations.
With the increased need for extended stay housing, Hospitality Homes receives dozens of calls daily from family members and friends requesting housing after visiting the Boston-area hospitals. In 2014, Hospitality Homes saved families nearly $1 million in comparable hotel fees. “Last year alone, we provided 519 guests housing in host homes. With the rise in extended and repeat visits to Boston’s area hospitals, the need to gain community support is at an all-time high,” says Marc Volpe, Chair of Hospitality Homes Board of Directors, and CFO of Fort Warren Capital Management. “We are thrilled to bring on Marianne Jones as the new executive director with her background in leadership, non-profit management and fundraising, along with compassion and vision for Hospitality Homes.”
“Having spent nights in the ICU with a critically ill infant and anxious hours in hospital waiting rooms in an unfamiliar city, I understand first-hand the intense needs and isolation of families supporting loved ones through medical crises or serious procedures. Hospitality Homes provides an incredible, compassionate service for an ever increasing need for temporary housing during medical treatment in Boston,” explains Jones.
Hospitality Homes reaches out to the community and graciously asks volunteer hosts to open their doors and their hearts to people who are coming to Boston at a critical time in their lives for medical treatment. Families interested in being a volunteer host and participating in the program are asked to provide a spare room and access to a bathroom. Prior to hosting, all volunteer hosts attend a training session and have a Hospitality Homes staff member visit with the host at their home.
For more information, review frequently asked questions and/or benefits of becoming a Hospitality Homes Host, please visit www.hosp.org.
About Hospitality Homes
Hospitality Homes is a non-profit organization that provides no-cost housing through volunteer host homes for family and friends of patients receiving medical treatment in the Boston area, regardless of income, nationality, or the patient’s age, diagnosis, or treatment facility. Recognized by the New England Patriots in 2014, Hospitality Homes received the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award for exceptional volunteerism. Since 1983, Hospitality Homes’ unique, home-away-from-home lodging option has provided a caring response as well as relief from emotional and financial challenges for these individuals and families. Hospitality Homes’ current host home network includes nearly 70 active volunteers throughout the Boston area.
For more information, visit www.hosp.org ###
Judith Chasin of Brookline wins award of $10,000 for hospitality homes
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation’s Myra Kraft Community MVP Awards place a spotlight on those who give their time to help others and exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving their communities through volunteerism. Annually, the Kraft family and New England Patriots Charitable Foundation host the awards program as part of the ongoing Celebrate Volunteerism initiative in honor of Myra Kraft’s example of being a lifelong volunteer.
On June 9, 26 volunteers were recognized for their contributions at a luncheon and awards ceremony at Gillette Stadium. Each Community MVP received grants for their respective nonprofit organizations. Fifteen New England based organizations were presented with $5,000 grants in honor of their volunteers’ work. Ten others received grants of $10,000 and one grand prize winner was presented $25,000.
“Every year, we ask New England nonprofit organizations to nominate one volunteer who they consider their MVPs,” said Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft. “This year, we received a record number of nominations from over 400 nonprofits. Their stories are heartwarming and inspirational and narrowing the field to 26 winners gets more difficult every year. As a lifelong volunteer herself, this was always Myra’s favorite event. I am so glad that her legacy continues to live through the great work of all the Myra Kraft Community MVPs.”
On hand to congratulate the award winners was Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, New England Patriots Charitable Foundation President Joshua Kraft, Pro Football and Patriots Hall of Famer and Patriots Executive Director of Community Affairs Andre Tippett, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo and Patriots alumni and three-time Super Bowl Champion Joe Andruzzi.
Judith Chasin of Brookline, Mass. was one of ten $10,000 second place winners.
“I can't think of anything that is more rewarding than helping others and Hospitality Homes has given me that opportunity,” said Chasin. “Hosting families traveling to Boston for medical care enriches my life in so many ways.”
Each year, thousands of patients and their families travel to the Boston area to receive healthcare and unfortunately, many of them are unable to afford accommodations while receiving treatment. Over the past four years, Chasin has hosted thirty-five guests and provided 133 nights of housing for individuals from eleven different states. She goes above and beyond, offering up her home to complete strangers and providing her guests with meals, transportation and assistance in coordinating medical care. Chasin provides comfort to patients and their families and through her generosity, she manages to turn complete strangers into life-long friends.
“Our Hospitality Homes volunteer host, Judith Chasin, epitomizes Myra Kraft’s legacy of engaged giving,” said Caryl Goodman, Executive Director of Hospitality Homes. Through opening her home, her heart, and donating generously, Judy eases the challenges faced by families traveling hundreds and thousands of miles to access specialized medical care in Boston. This award is vitally important to Hospitality Homes because it focuses attention on our need for more volunteer hosts and donated apartments. Today, we do not have volunteers to host 8 families traveling to Boston hospitals in the next 2 weeks. We hope others will be inspired to join Judy and our other 60 host families to carry on Myra Kraft’s legacy of engaged giving.”
The 2014 MVPs represent all six New England states, a variety of nonprofit organizations and range in ages from 13 to 93 years old. Nominations open each spring and for the most up-to-date information, visit www.patriots.com/community.
Patriots Chairman and CEO Robert Kraft, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, Patriots linebacker Jerod Mayo, Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Famer Andre Tippett and Patriots alumni and three-time Super Bowl Champion Joe Andruzzi congratulated the Myra Kraft Community MVP Award $10,000 winner Judith Chasin from Hospitality Homes for her outstanding volunteerism. During the luncheon, the Kraft family through the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation awarded $200,000 in grants to 26 New England nonprofits. Caryl Goodman, Executive Director of Hospitality Homes accepted the award on Chasin’s behalf.
For a 18-month-old girl, Lucy Schurman has very grownup tastes. It’s a cold, blustery December evening in Brookline, Mass., and the precocious toddler sits in a bright yellow child seat in a spacious, warmly lit kitchen, eating chunks of avocado.
“Chili is her favorite food,” her mother Jeana comments to Pam Lodish, who is tending to food on the stove. “But she’ll eat almost anything, kalamata olives or grapefruit. She even loves curry and handles spicier stuff better than her dad.”
As Lucy eats, a playful Bernese mountain dog saddles up beside her and the two enter a heated staring match, only broken up by Lucy’s dad, Mark, who leans in to feed her another piece of avocado.
The entire scene is enough to inspire a “home is where the heart is” greeting card, except the Schurmans’s house is 1,000 miles away. Though you’d never guess it from watching them interact, the Schurman and Lodish families have only know each other for a single year—one of the hardest years Jeana and Mark could ever imagine. Full story »
Two and a half old Naraa and her mother, Orkhon, made the journey from Mongolia to Boston in order for Naraa to be treated at Shriner’s Hospital. Hospitality Homes housed Naraa and Orkhon during their visit, helping to make the 4 month stay as comfortable as possible for their family.
It wasn't until about six months after reading the letter he wrote to our organization, that I actually had the opportunity to meet Geoff Smith. He had already stayed with one of our Hospitality Homes’ hosts six times, traveling here for a rare condition called dextrocardia. “I’m the guy with the backwards heart, if you recall,” he wrote, “and I would be sunk without the housing you arrange.” All I could think, having only worked for Hospitality Homes for less than a month, was: ‘Whoa. Here is this guy, who has lived with a congenital heart defect all his life, has traveled for treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital six times in one year, yet is able to speak so humbly and matter-of-fact about his condition.’ In my mind, this man had the makings of a legend.
When I finally had the chance to meet Geoff and his family, I realized that my instinct was correct. Geoff was in fact a legend. He sat comfortably in our small office, sharing stories and munching on pizza with our staff, son Silas and wife Terri. He didn't boast or brag about his legendary accomplishments as a ‘Ski to Die’ athlete, his travels to Israel with his wife, or work with the ‘Hoods to Woods’ program mentoring juvenile delinquents. Instead, he spoke about these experiences as gifts. Yet, all I could think was, what a gift for us to meet such an incredibly determined and fearless person.
When I learned more about Geoff’s success with rock climbing and skiing, pioneering as an athlete in the Adirondacks, I couldn't help but wonder where he found his strength. Despite facing a serious health issue at the age of 10, Geoff vowed to remain active, and did so until he was about 30. Even after, Geoff remained a legend not just an athlete, but also as a teacher and mentor in his community.
When we learned that Geoff had passed, all of us at Hospitality Homes felt a great sense of loss. We felt the loss for his family as a father, brother, husband. We felt the loss for his community as a teacher, mentor and legend. We felt the loss for the mountains that made his heart sing. I only met Geoff once, however, it’s clear from the lives he touched that not only did he view his life as an invaluable gift, but he himself was a gift to all he met.
Below is a tribute video about Geoff, created by a dear friend of his. It truly encapsulates Geoff's character and the impact he had on in his family and community:
This week of volunteer appreciation couldn’t have come at a more poignant time. On the day of the Boston Marathon, our staff was watching the combination of euphoria with determination on the faces of so many runners as they climbed that home stretch on Beacon Street. We cheered for all walks of life, each stride, every push forward. We cheered in encouragement, we cheered in awe, we cheered in appreciation.
We cheer now in the same fashion for our hosts. We cheer for each new host who has chosen Hospitality Homes as the recipients of their generosity. We cheer in awe of the strength, patience and sensitivity you have shown every family who you have welcomed into your home. And we cheer in appreciation for your steadfast presence and ongoing dedication to our program.
For every family traveling to Boston for medical treatment, finding a comfortable and affordable place to stay is much like that final mile of any race. They have made it almost all the way, they have hurdled over check-ups and tests, past insurance issues and travel arrangements, carry with them stress and exhaustion. Housing is that finally hurdle, that last mile, before they can get the care they need. Our hosts are what make that final stretch possible. They provide a home away from home. They are the finish line.
Sometimes it can seem like a scary world out there, but when we realize the community and camaraderie that surrounds us, it can shed light on just how fortunate we are. This National Volunteer Week, we remember and honor the power of our collective volunteer community. Volunteering takes courage and creativity. Imaginativeness and innovation. Patience and perseverance. Thank you to our hosts for every element of your thoughtfulness. We are stronger because of you.
To see the video that accompanies this text please visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZcXZjzkrjs&feature=youtu.be
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P.O. Box 15265
Boston, MA 02215
Call: (888) 595-4678
Fax: (617) 582-7980
United Way Number - 103393