By Aundrea Cline-Thomas
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – A big fundraiser on Saturday, helped raised money for the first Fisher House in Tennessee. The facility, which is similar to the Ronald McDonald House, except that it’s for all military veterans and their families, is being built near the V.A. Hospital in Murfreesboro.
The Allen Family has sacrificed a lot and has battle wounds to show for it.
“I look out for others, generally not myself,” Chaz Allen said.
He lost both of his legs after stepping on an IED while serving with the US Army in Afghanistan. His wife Jessica rushed to be by his side.
“My wife needed a place to stay while she was up there visiting back and forth,” he said about Jessica Allen who made regular trips from Nashville to Washington, D.C. “She could stay by way of the military paying for a hotel. She did that for a week or two but after a while we realized it was going to be a longer time that she was going to be there.”
The Fisher House became a “home away from home” for Jessica and other military families while their loved ones are receiving medical care. There are 58 houses across the world, including Ft. Campbell, KY, providing families someplace to stay for free.
Officials with the Fisher House said there is a growing need for this kind of facility in Tennessee. “The soldiers are cared for, but the family is in a lobby sleeping, in their car sleeping or in a hallway somewhere sleeping,” said Andrea Lawrence, President of the Tennessee Fisher House Organization.
On Saturday, patrons gathered for a luncheon and fashion show to raise money for the facility.
“You might think you’re just eating lunch watching a fashion show, you have no idea what you’re doing right now,” Jessica Allen told the crowd about the impact their donations have on families like hers.
“Our family would not be as whole and complete as they are if it wasn’t for what Fisher House did for us,” she said.
It’s a place that nurtured their healing. They hope the new facility can do the same right here at home.
“We want to take that burden away,” Lawrence said. “(Our soldiers) have taken that burden away from us by fighting for our freedom. That’s the least we can do.”
Saturday’s fashion show raised more than $7,600. The Fisher House in Murfreesboro will have 12 bedrooms and bathrooms and is set to open this fall.