Family House was an idea that came to fruition in 1983, when we opened the doors to our first house. After many years of blessings and community support, it has blossomed into a multi-house operation! We now run four separate locations, 365 days a year. It is no small task to keep these houses running like well-oiled machines, while still feeling like warm, inviting homes. The way we make it all happen is with four spectacular women, who turn hospitality into an art form, each and every day! I would like to introduce you to our fab-four: Angela- Shadyside House Manager, Sue – McKee House Manager, Peg – Neville House Manager, and Laurie – University Place Manager. I asked them each to tell me a little bit about themselves, what they like to do during the holidays and what their wishes are for their houses.
Angela shared that December 17th was her 3rdmonth anniversary at Family House. She wishes our guests much joy, hope and perseverance through their journeys. In regards to holiday traditions, she said, “My most favorite memory of Christmas is trimming the tree with my family, and all that goes with it; My daughter picking on her brother for putting snoopy next to Woodstock instead of Charlie brown, and so on, and when we are done, we sing Karaoke!! My kids gang up on me and make fun of me. You see, I cannot sing for the life of me, but that never stopped me from doing so!” Angela is one of our newest team members and with her spunky and fearless attitude, she will fit right in!
Sue has been with Family House for over twelve years, serving as both Resident Manager and House Manger. She hopes that our Family House guests find Christmas stockings filled to overflowing with care and support, to help them through the holidays and beyond. Sue also told me about a particularly special holiday tradition she has. “One of my favorite memories growing up was driving around town on Christmas Eve, looking at the lights and decorations, then coming home and having chocolate milk shakes with a candy cane ‘stirrer’. I did this with my children, and now it’s really fun to continue the tradition with my grandchildren.” What a delicious way to celebrate the season!
Peg is also in her third month at Family House. We are so thrilled to have her kind, thoughtful personality representing Family House at Neville. One of her favorite holiday treats is old fashioned Christmas cut-out cookies. She also mentioned being partial to a night-cap of Egg Nog with a splash of “holiday cheer!” (Now that’s my kind of cheer!) “Dear Santa,” Peg requested, “please bring our guests the gifts of the season – Peace, Joy and Hope!”
Laurie’s story started quite some time ago. In fact, she started her career at Family House when it first opened, now almost 30 years ago! “My family and Family House are somewhat synonymous” she said. “During my initial two-year stint, I got married to my wonderful husband and then had to retire early when we discovered I was pregnant with twins, 3 days before they arrived! Twenty-seven years later, I returned to Family House to become the House Manager at University Place. The kids are grown and FH was always in the family! For this holiday season, what better thing to wish for our guests and families, than hope and health.”
I couldn’t agree more. I’m sure I speak for everyone at Family House as I echo Laurie’s wishes for hope and health. The families staying with us during the Holidays need those gifts more than any neatly wrapped present under a tree. To our Management Team, thank you for your compassion and dedication to serving those in need, and to all of our guests, may you be blessed in the coming year and comforted in knowing that we are here for you, every step of the way.