In celebration of the Holiday Season, VCU Music students and faculty perform in
the 27th Annual Holiday Gala benefitting Richmond’s Hospitality House on Friday, December 6, 2013
at 7:30 p.m.
Ensembles represented at the event include VCU’s Jazz Orchestra II, Guitar Ensemble and
Community Guitar Ensemble, Trumpet Ensemble, Vocal Chamber Ensemble, Symphonic Wind
Ensemble, Percussion Ensemble. Acclaimed soprano Dr. Lisa Edwards-Burrs will perform “Santa
Baby” as a tribute to Eartha Kitt with the VCU Guitar Ensemble and Community Guitar Ensemble. To
end the event, VCU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble will lead a cheerful audience sing-along. What a
way to catch the Holiday spirit!
The Hospital Hospitality House (HHH), founded in 1984 is an independent 501(c)(3) and the premier
Richmond-area provider of lodging and non-medical services. Promoting the healing process in a
caring, emotionally supportive, home-like environment, HHH is one of the oldest hospitality houses in
the U.S. and the largest in the country to operate on donations alone.
Each year, the Hospital Hospitality House serves thousands of guests who are patients and families
of patients receiving medical care at the VCU Medical Center and at eight other Richmond-area
medical centers. To help continue providing a “home-away-from-home” for families in medical crisis,
the HHH relies on community contributions, including the 10,000 hours a year provided by eager
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children ages 12 and under. All proceeds benefit the Hospital
Hospitality House. Donations are greatly appreciated.
How was your Halloween?Â Are you looking forward to Thanksgiving?Â And your Christmas shopping?
Imagine trying to manage these things while dealing with a medical crisis.Â Worse yet, imagine trying to deal with the flood of emotions that comes with being away from your home and family while others are gathering with loved ones.Â That’s what our guests do as the holidays approach.
A large part of our mission is providing a place of comfort.Â As much as possible, we try to furnish our guests with enough that they can have some sense of normalcy and “home.”Â But that work is hard.Â It’s difficult to act normally when you’re a child and undergoing chemotherapy.Â It’s hard when you’re hoping that tomorrow is the day that you receive your new heart.Â It’s hard when your mother or husband or child is lying in a bed, sick and frightened, and far from home.
As we get into the holiday season, we do our best to try and brighten things up around Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.Â We decorate for each and every season.Â Local groups come in to sing holiday songs and play instruments (our favorite concerts of the year!).Â We’re fortunate to have several local groups who have brought in wonderful holiday meals.Â We arrange for some gift giving, and for the past several years, Santa’s dropped by.
As you think about your own gift giving this year, perhaps put us on your list.Â You can visit our Volunteer page to arrange for your civic, social, or business group to spend some time with our guests.Â The holidays can be a hard time of year for any person, much less one who is going through what some of our guests are.Â Volunteering at the House may just change the tide of emotion for one person, and uplifted spirits are the sort of infection that we would certainly encourage.
Most immediately, we are seeking volunteers for Thanksgiving Morning.Â We have arranged for all foodstuffs to be donated, so it will be basic preparation and set up.Â There will be around 150 guests and their families who would be forever thankful for your gesture.Â If you are interested, contact Katie at the House at 828-6901.
And thank you.
We were excited to recently welcome two new groups of Volunteers to Hospital Hospitality House: Western Henrico Rotary Club and James River Insurance Company.Â They each chose an evening to come by the House and prepare wonderful dinners for our guests.
While many of our guests take advantage of our kitchen facilities to prepare their own meals, and perhaps get some sense of normalcy, having Volunteers come in to prepare meals means so much more than just preparing food.Â They are a link to the rest of the world, and provide smiles and fellowship – two things that are often lacking when one is experiencing a medical crisis.Â We’re fortunate to have so many groups and individuals who are regular volunteers, but it’s always wonderful to welcome new ones.
That being said, holidays are always a tough time for our guests.Â Our biggest holiday season is coming up and we would love to fill our evening activities calendar as much as possible. If you are a member of a group that would love to prepare a meal and/or hold an activity one evening at Hospital Hospitality House, contact Katie at 804-828-6901.Â There are many ways to give back during the holiday season, and we’d love to hear from you!
The date is almost upon us!Â Weâ€™re less than a week away from one of our biggest events of the year, our annual SAVOR dinner.Â If youâ€™ve been away, weâ€™ve held this event each fall for the last five years, and itâ€™s a mouth-watering good time.Â In addition to both a silent and live auction, this event brings world-class chefs together with the stars of Richmondâ€™s culinary scene to provide a memorable meal and the setting for a wonderful evening.Â The best part is that funds raised at SAVOR go to the benefit of us, Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.
This being our Fifth Anniversary and in celebration of the Thirtieth Anniversary of HHH, weâ€™ve made a few small changes.Â While we are still excited to welcome some out of town chefs, weâ€™re also welcoming back some of our chefs from years past.Â Joining our returning chefs will be Chef Todd Gray of Washington, D.C.â€™s Equinox, Food Network Star and Iron Chef champ Chef Cat Cora, and Richmondâ€™s own Chef Walter Bundy of Lemaire.Â Chef Bundy will be on familiar turf, as this yearâ€™s event will be hosted at Richmond landmark The Jefferson Hotel, home of Lemaire.
If youâ€™re curious about what you may be missing, here are some highlights from past years:
- Chef Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes
- Top Chef Masters stars like Thierry Rautureau, and Susan Finiger
- James Beard winner Michelle Bernstein
- Chef Martin Yan from the hit show Yan Can Cook
- Former White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier
Again, this annual event is a benefit to raise crucial funds for Hospital Hospitality House.Â Our inaugural year raised over $200,000, and the event has gotten better with each SAVOR dinner.Â So we hope that youâ€™ll be able to join us on Saturday, October 12 at The Jefferson Hotel in Downtown Richmond, Virginia.
To get more information about SAVOR 2013 or to purchase tickets, click here.
As one of the largest Hospital Hospitality Houses in America, and especially as the largest that exists solely through donations, we rely on the generosity of our friends and our community to provide for our guests. And they’ve certainly been generous.
In the Spring, hundreds joined us for our Hats Off and Fancy Hat parties. Held over two days, the two events provided great fellowship, were an exceptionally great time, and raised thousands to help keep things going at Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond. Just a month or so ago, many of our friends joined us for a Restaurant Walk, organized by the wonderful folks at Gilbane, and in a single evening raised over $16,000 for our organization. In a few weeks, on Saturday, October 12, we’ll gather at The Jefferson Hotel for our 5th Savor Dinner. In addition to it being our 5th, it’s the 30th anniversary of the Hospitality House, so we’ve invited back many of our award-winning chefs from previous years for a Reunion Dinner.
But do you know what we consider the largest gift that we receive from our family?
On any given day at Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond, and bear in mind that we’re a 24/7/365 operation, you can walk through our building and run into a volunteer. Someone will be painting something. A group will be delivering a new piece of furniture or a truckload of supplies. A cluster of volunteers will be laughing in the kitchen while preparing a meal for our guests. Our volunteers cook, clean, spruce up, engage our guests in games, lead them in song, and so much more. What began as a small effort has grown by leaps and bounds as our mission has expanded. Last year, our volunteers logged over 12,000 hours of selfless giving.
And that’s priceless.
Some of our volunteers are individuals, like Alejandro Andrade. This young gentleman was trying to achieve his Eagle Scout Project, and reached out to us. His idea was to create a system of wooden crates and boxes to help us sort foodstuffs in our pantry. He not only built them, he delivered them fully stocked. He gathered donations of non-perishables, so that when he delivered his finished product, we had a pretty well-stocked larder. Thank you Alejandro, and congratulations on becoming an Eagle Scout.
Midlothian Christian Fellowship joined us recently. Their members brought all of the fixings and prepared a wonderful dinner for our guests. They then cleaned up the dining room, made the kitchen spotless, and capped things off by getting everyone into a few games of Bingo.
When you’re sick and away from home, a home-cooked meal and some laughter goes a long way towards making things a bit more normal, and calling Bingo after a hot meal took some of our guests’ minds off of their situation. So Thank You, Midlothian Christian Fellowship.
Games are always fun. CatholicRVA did their part with Bingo, more games, and tons of snacks.
Casseroles and baked dishes can get boring.Â The Richmond Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators mixed things up with a taco bar full of great meats, fresh vegetables, and delicious toppings. A few nights later, Bowman and Brooke showed up with a Mexican themed dinner.
We don’t really carry a huge staff to run Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond. We’d prefer that our resources go directly to the folks that need it most: our guests. So it’s the selfless giving of time that we see every day from folks like this that really keeps our train heading down the right track.
We thank you for that.
We’ve grown a great deal over the last decade. The volunteer program, a vital HHH component in serving guests, has grown to over 12,000 hours a year.Â Amenities continue to improve, including social workers who help guests deal with problems ranging from insurance coverage to transportation.Â During Babsâ€™ tenure the 5th floor, housing transplant patients, and the 8th floor, dedicated to pediatric patients, became reality. In addition a recreation and workout room â€“ anything that make guestsâ€™ lives a little easier while they are here â€“ has also been established.
Much of this we owe to the leadership of our CEO, Babs Jackson, who took the position in July of 2000.Â When she came aboard, any night with 50 guests was considered “full” and kept us busy.Â Thanks to her efforts, and those of our amazing staff and volunteers, we now see over 150 guests per night.Â They are the reason you frequently hear her say, â€œHHH has the best staff of any non-profit organization anywhere.â€Â Running the Hospitality House is a team effort, and together with the time and talent of the amazing Board of Directors, the HHH team has established the Houseâ€™s excellent reputation in the Richmond community and beyond.
That being said, it is with some sadness (and a great deal of gratitude) that we share with you the news that Babs will be retiring at the end of the year.
â€œHHH has been a major part of my life for over 13 years but it is time for fresh ideas and energy to take The House to the next level. I know the Board will find a new CEO who loves it as much as I and that the future for this critical service is very bright.â€
Larry Jackson, Babs’ husband and CEO of Jewish Family Services, will also be retiring, and Babs says they â€œplan to travel and enjoy each otherâ€™s company then come home and clean out closets!â€Â Our deepest thanks and love go out to Babs and Larry as they embark on this exciting new chapter in their lives.Â While she’ll be missed, we’re certain that she won’t be a stranger to Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.
The Board has retained Ms. Lee Wood, a professional search consultant, to conduct the search for Babs’ successor, and be forewarned that they will be large shoes to fill.Â Submit your resume to email@example.com.Â Use the subject line “HHHCEO” and include your full name. Â Click here to learn more about the CEO position.
Hard to believe, isnâ€™t it?Â 2013 marked the 8th anniversary of the Gilbane Restaurant Walk, with all of the proceeds going towards the operation of Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.Â Thatâ€™s us.
Weâ€™re one of the oldest Hospitality Houses in the country.Â Weâ€™re also the 3rd largest.Â We are the biggest in America that operates on donations only.Â That means no federal or state funds or handouts.Â We are fortunate to have wonderful partners in the business world, like Gilbane Building and Ball Office Products.Â Last year, the fine folks at Georgia Pacific donated an entire tractor trailer of paper products.Â That was a lot of paper towels, and went a long way.Â But much of our funding comes from smaller donations from folks just like you.
We have almost 150 rooms, and theyâ€™re pretty full 365 nights a year.Â We provide a temporary home-away-from-home for around 7,000 different guests per year, and they stay an average of 6 nights while seeking treatment around Richmond.Â It takes a sizeable chunk of change to provide these folks lodging, a pretty sizeable pantry to keep them fed, and a huge amount of things like toilet tissue and toothpaste.Â Volunteers, ranging from individuals to school and social groups, provide over 10,000 hours of service annually, doing such varied things as cooking a meal, performing a concert, or calling a night of Bingo.Â Weâ€™re very lucky to have them.
The folks at Gilbane Building approached us almost a decade ago to organize a fundraiser that would be fun, take advantage of our location, and help fund the House for a period of time.Â They did everything, and they continue to do so.Â They scour the neighborhood to secure restaurants to participate.Â They find corporate business partners who would like to help sponsor.Â They even sell the tickets and help lead the walk.
This year, on August 23rd, the Project Peer Group of Gilbane Building led over 200 people through historic Shockoe Slip on a walk to Canal Bistro, Cha Chaâ€™s Cantina, City Dogs, Europa, and The Tobacco Company (which at 30+ years is an official Richmond icon).Â Patrons dined from special menus, enjoyed specially selected beverages, and shared wonderful fellowship as they walked the cobblestones on a beautiful summer night.Â At the end of the evening, Gilbane presented us with a check representing the over $16,000 that had been raised for Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond.
Thank you to all who attended and helped.Â Generosity has never tasted so good.
We do this because we have a great passion for helping others.Â We strive to provide some comfort to those in medical crisis.Â But every once in a while, it’s nice to hear a “Thank You.”
On June 24th, the World Pediatric Project (WPP) announced the recipient of their Julian C. Metts Jr. Humanitarian of the Year at their Annual Board Meeting.Â The recipient of this distinguished award was none other than our very own President & CEO, Babs Jackson and the Hospital Hospitality House of Richmond!Â This honor is â€œawarded to the individual or group who during the year has best exemplified the passionate heartfelt dedication to healing children who other have no hope of receiving help.â€
WPP empowers children, families, and communities through their four-tiered approach.Â First they send highly trained teams of pediatric specialists to provide critical medical services for patients in need around the world.Â Second, they develop health education prevention programs that are open to the public programs and targeted at reducing birth defects and preventable diseases.Â Third, they coordinate care for children in need of especially complex care and transport the children to US-based, or advanced regional facilities that are capable of providing the services they need.Â Finally, they work with local healthcare providers to come up with sustainable solutions to provide healthcare resources.
For WPP children and their guardians, we provide a home away from home.Â WPP Patient Care Coordinator sees us â€œas the provider not only of amenities and a safe place to stay, but also a space where a sense of community is created and able to flourish amongst the familiesâ€ staying at the House.Â Closeness and bonding form between patients, families, and our staff.
WPPâ€™s blog post announcing the Humanitarian of the Year mentions our very own Ms. Ethel, our 8th Floor custodian, for her ability to provide a loving and comforting presence for families staying at the House:
â€œThey all love her, she takes care of them, and the relationship she builds with the families is a strong one.Â She asks about patients and remembers them if they have to come back for further care.Â She is just one example of why our partnership (HHH and WPPâ€™s) works.â€
Although Babs is retiring this year, the WPP points out she is leaving behind an incredible service and that her legacy will remain the solid ground and culture for HHH.Â She has certainly enriched all of our lives, and we’ll try to live up to her example.
Originally created to celebrate the Hospital Hospitality Houseâ€™s 25th anniversary, SAVOR has grown into one of the most anticipated annual events in Richmond– a unique dining experience unlike any previously seen in Virginia. It brings together award-winning chefs from coast to coast for an epicurean evening â€“ all to benefit the Hospital Hospitality House. Guests are treated to a unique gourmet dining experience, silent and live auctions featuring fine wines, gracious home entertaining items, dinners at top restaurants, and travel and sports options. This year we come to another anniversary and another milestone for SAVOR. As a celebration of our 5th SAVOR Dinner and the 30th Anniversary of the Hospital Hospitality House, we are hosting a â€œReunion Dinnerâ€ by inviting all our former chefs to return and some exciting new ones to join us! We anticipate another wonderful event as we also celebrate being named one of Central Virginiaâ€™s most creative events in 2012 by Virginia Living Magazine!
This year’s event will be on Saturday, October 12 from 6 P.M. until 11.Â It will be held at The Jefferson Hotel at 101 W. Franklin Street in Richmond.
Learn more by visitingÂ hhhsavor.org.
It seems that people noticed. Virginia Living conducts an annual Best of Virginia poll every year, and over 25,000 votes are cast in 400 categories covering the very best in arts, culture, living, shopping and more. The people of Virginia saw fit to vote the Hospital Hospitality House Savor Dinner one of the most Creative Charitable Events in Virginia. The current issue of Virginia Living is on newsstands now, and we appreciate your support!