ABC11 Together highlights the strength of the human spirit, good deeds, community needs, and how our viewers can help
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WTVD) -- While we might be tired of staying at home, at least it's familiar and safe, but what if your child had to be hospitalized for weeks more than two hours from your home? Where could you find a safe place to stay that's affordable?
Kathy Mears of Lumberton found the Family House in Chapel Hill.
"If it weren't for them I don't know what I would do," she told ABC 11.
Mears' 31-year-old daughter Jenna Branch has been at nearby UNC Hospitals for nearly six weeks after a bad car crash in late-June. Thanks to the nonprofit she does not have to make a nearly two-hour drive back and forth from home.
"It's been so tremendous. The staff here is absolutely wonderful. They're some of the nicest people I've ever met," she said.
Mears and members of other families and even some recovering patients who stay at Family House pay only a small portion of what a hotel would cost. Normally that helps support the non-profit lodging facility but then the pandemic hit.
"We closed for a couple of months. So that directly affected our income," said Janice McAdams, the executive director of Family House.
She says now that it has reopened it, like a lot of other non-profits, it's struggling financially because of COVID-19.
That's why when the State Employees Credit Union and its foundation came through with millions in grants for non-profits statewide, she celebrated.
She recalled the reaction she got from the leaders of other non-profits that received SECU grants saying, "I spoke to several of the executive directors and we were all just thrilled."
So now her non-profit, thanks to the SECU which already sponsored it, can be what it's supposed to be to its guests.
The facilities house manager, Claudette Whitted, put it this way, "It's called Family House and at Family House we are family. Once you walk in here, you are a part of us."
But it takes more than just money to keep the operation going.
"Family House could not run without its volunteers," said volunteer coordinator Georgie Clemens. "Our volunteers: they fold laundry, they sit behind the desk, they take calls, they come in, they prepare large amounts of food, they just do a huge amount of work here to keep the house running."
And right now during the pandemic there just aren't enough volunteers, so Family House and other non-profits could use your support too - now more than ever.