Setting aside personal vanity, here is the picture of the Inaugural Meeting of the Board of Directors. Some amazing people with even more amazing hearts have been willing to jump in and create a home where love, hope and grace can flourish. At least, that is our goal. We want to create a very low cost space where families with children in medical crises can be together. We want to offer grace to their body and spirit in every way that our brains can conceive. Can you conceive some? One woman wrote to share that she and her young teen daughter want to make quilts for the children who will stay there – even personalizing them with the child’s name. That’s what we are talking about! Loving lavishly!
Why not just stay at the Ronald McDonald House? That is a GREAT place to stay and a wonderful resource! But, it doesn’t always fit the need. They often have a waiting list – and, from personal experience, if you have a small child who is immuno-compromised, you don’t particularly want exposure to a small hotel full of people.
At The Alyssa House, we would like to provide meals frozen and ready. We’d like to offer help with laundry, transportation, finding your way in a new city. We’d like to offer emotional and spiritual support. We just want to try and help these families to have no additional worries other than the health of their child.
Lexie Divers, you see right up front, is sister to Alyssa and our Director of Children’s Hospitality. She wants to have stuffed animals and activity kits for each child who stays in the house. Behind her is Jeff Divers, member at large, who is Alyssa’s Dad. Karen Beiber is on the far left – our Board Chair. Beside her is our Board Secretary, Sarah Cooper, a social worker. Beside her is Ryan Jacoby, Vice Chair, knowledgeable about most things housing. In the tye-dye is Anita Olina, whose brain birthed the mission idea for The Alyssa House. Beside her, well, that’s me (and my mouth sore) trying to smile. I am the Board Treasurer and Mom to Alyssa. Lastly, on the far right is Alyssa’s oncologist. Dr. Kimberly Dunsmore, Chief of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at the UVA Children’s Hospital.
Together, we have energy and passion for making a difference in memory of our precious Alyssa. Wanna help? Come on. We have a lot to do to open on February 25th, what should have been Alyssa’s 14th birthday. But, as we discovered during Alyssa’s treatment, with the support of this amazing community, we can do just about anything!
Thanks for joining The Alyssa House Family…
firstname.lastname@example.org or find us on Facebook – The Alyssa House