now available for St. Mary's patrons
A house directly across the street from St. Mary’s Hospital in Cottonwood on Lewiston Street has recently been made available for patients and families of SMHC. ‘The Neighbors’ is a three bedroom home that functions similarly to a Ronald McDonald House or the Carondelet facility in Lewiston.
Patients with early morning or late appointments or patients and families who have need of overnight or a temporary place to stay for other hospital related reasons are welcome to stay overnight or as long as needed. All reservations will be made through the nurses’ station at SMH. Members of the SMH Mission Committee are helping coordinate the furnishing of the home and its ongoing upkeep and use. The Prairie High School art and shop classes are designing and making a large sign for The Neighbors which will be installed later this spring.
“A very generous couple from the community are donating the use of ‘The Neighbors’ house for our patients and families,” said Sr. Corinne Forsman, SMH Mission Services Coordinator. “They will remain active in the planning and use of the house.”
The house was purchased from the Mary Reed family who has been generously supportive of the mission. The name ‘The Neighbors’ is based on Luke, Chapter 10 verse 29 which asks what a neighbor truly is and goes on to describe a Good Samaritan. “We are fortunate to have these good Samaritans in our midst,” said Forsman.
According to Stacie Jackson, SMH Mission Committee Member, many items including a recliner, dining room chairs and a toaster have already been donated but twin and double bed linens, towels, and a radio/ CD player are still needed. The house has three separate bedrooms with their own keys and a shared living room, kitchen and laundry room.
“We are also looking for people who would be willing to serve as contact persons. Their responsibilities would include tidying up when the family or person leaves, changing and washing the linens and preparing The Neighbors for the next guests,” said Jackson. “If we create a volunteer list then many hands will make light work.” Other volunteer duties could include summertime yard work or wintertime sidewalk shoveling.
According to Collette Schaeffer, Mission Committee member, the idea for The Neighbors originated when the donating couple first moved to Cottonwood. “They knew that some patients had to arrive very early for a surgical procedure or stay very late afterwards and a drive home would be a hardship. They also thought some families of ER or other inpatients would want to be close by,” said Schaeffer. “We’ve already had a couple with a sick child and a wife whose husband had a lengthy recovery period. This house is like a gift from some angels who knew there was a need.”
There is no charge for using the house but donations are accepted to help offset operating expenses. An account has been set up at the Cottonwood Credit Union for The Neighbors.
“The cooperative efforts of many people have already made this mission successful. We certainly want to thank everyone who has donated their time and provided furnishings for The Neighbors since January of this year,” said Forsman. “Having a facility like this in our community and finding local support truly defines what it means to be a Good Samaritan.”
To reserve a room in The Neighbors if there is a need, to inquire about serving as a contact person, to donate an item or for more information please call SMHC, 208-962-3251.