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A Godsend and detergent

Fisher Houses are a blessing

Fisher House II, opened in 2015, is currently where visitors are staying as Fisher House I is being renovated. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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The two Fisher Houses on Joint Base Lewis-McChord are a Godsend.

Families that stay at the Fisher House are under stress, perhaps far from home, and always worried about the outcome of a loved one.

"Once the family truly understands that they do not have to worry about covering the cost of the stay, that we provide food and snacks, and that this home is now their home, I can see a great weight lifted," wrote Pamela Barrington, house manager, in an email.

"Our goal is to make the stay as stress free as possible ... and by understanding that life is fluid and situations can change unexpectedly."

Currently there are two Fisher Houses on JBLM. The original house (Fisher House I) opened in 1992, and the second, newer house (Fisher House II) opened in 2015.

The original house is currently undergoing renovations, so for the time being, families are staying at the Fisher House II, located at 90700 Gardener Loop, near the Madigan Army Medical Center.

For the past 27 years, Fisher Houses have served military families during times of medical crisis. Built by the Fisher House Foundation, they are then given as gifts to the military services and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Philanthropists Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher established the Fisher House Foundation.

The Army is the recipient of 17 of the 71 existing Fisher Houses.

Barrington wrote about one Army mother that highlights what these houses do.

"As she entered each room she had a story to tell, and her face would light up as she recounted their experiences," Barrington continued.

The woman said that the Fisher House had let her focus all of her attention on her husband while he received medical attention, and she described "their stay and the house itself as a blessing and Godsend."

One hundred percent of funds received through the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) are used to support the Fisher Houses at JBLM.

"CFC funds allow us to support the guests here by providing them everything they would need at home," explained Barrington.

"Something as simple as being able to use the same laundry detergent that you use at home can bring a sense of stability to a family."

The Fisher Houses' CFC donation number is 56608.

"We are here for you," concluded Barrington.

For more information on the Fisher Houses at JBLM, visit

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