JOINT BASE LEWIS MCCHORD -- An organization that provides free housing to the family members of injured soldiers says demand is running so high at its facility near Madigan Army Medical Center that it wants to build a second one.
The foundation behind Fisher House has donated more than 50 houses near military hospitals all over the nation since it launched in 1990. These homes are sometimes compared to Ronald McDonald House -- a home where families can stay free of charge for as long as they need while their loved one receives care.
The JBLM Fisher House can serve just 7 families at a time and, thanks to the ongoing war in Afghanistan, it has run at capacity for three straight years. Last year alone, the Fisher House served 300 families, saving them some $450,000 dollars in lodging exspenses.
Now the Fisher House Foundation is trying to raise money for a second, bigger house at JBLM. Some military bases around the country have as many as seven.
When a Fisher House is completed, the foundation donates it to the base, and money raised in the community and by the national organization covers each house's operating costs.
Fisher House gets its name from Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. Zachary Fisher was a successful real estate developer who began supporting charities in the 1970s that benefit military personnel. In 1990, they donated $20 million for the Fisher House project.
In 2010, President Obama donated $250,000 to Fisher House out of the $1.4 million he received for winning the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
Here's a link to information on how you can support the JBLM Fisher House.