Invenergy Blog: November 17, 2020
A Venerable Friendship with the Hines Fisher House
At Invenergy, we are proud to employ those who served and continue to serve in the U.S. military. Not only does Invenergy Veterans Network (IVN) support our veterans by encouraging career development, IVN also supports veterans and military families in our host communities near our energy centers and corporate offices.
Since the network was founded in 2017, IVN has partnered with the Fisher House Foundation where IVN members have volunteered a day of their time to assist with cleaning and maintenance at the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital’s Fisher House located outside of Chicago, IL. Fisher Houses are a “home away from home” for family members, caregivers or loved ones receiving medical care at major military and Veterans Administration (VA) medical centers. Currently, there are 90 Fisher Houses located on 25 military installations and 40 VA medical centers with more in design or under construction. Most Fisher Houses have private suites with shared living, dining, kitchen, and laundry facilities for visitors. There is no charge for any family to stay a Fisher House operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Since the establishment of the Fisher House thirty years ago, the program has served over 400,000 military and veterans’ families and saved an estimated $500 million in out of pocket costs for lodging and transportation.
Hines Fisher House Manager, Holly Wright remarks, “Hines Fisher House is very fortunate to have built a wonderful partnership with the team at Invenergy. The support started back in 2017 and has faithfully continued. Hines Fisher House looks forward to the team of volunteers who come out in the fall to assist with garden clean-up and our families might even get some tasty chili out of it!”
Each year, IVN members use their Volunteer Time Off (VTO), supporting residents temporarily living at the Fisher House. The volunteer work includes preparing lunch for house occupants, painting vacant guest suites, general housekeeping, yardwork and aiding with winterization.
Corydon Haeffner, Administrator, Operations Support and IVN member conveys why he volunteers at the Fisher House. “My cousin, who was in the Air Force, uses the Fisher House once a year so he can receive the treatment he needs, and his four kids and wife have a nice place to stay.” Corydon adds, “When I found out IVN volunteered at the house, I jumped at the opportunity because I know how much of a difference it makes for him and his family and I want other families to be able to have that experience too.”
“I always make it a point to sit down at the table to speak to the guests of the Fisher House. Sharing a meal and talking with a veteran is my way of always remembering a hero I never would have met otherwise,” shares Jeremy Hunter, Senior SCADA Engineer, Operations Engineering and Navy veteran, who volunteered in 2017 and 2019. He emphasizes, “Getting together as a group to help maintain a wonderful house that serves so many veterans is an honor and I look forward to it every year.”
Over the years, in addition to volunteering time, Invenergy Impact, with IVN, has donated over $6,000 to the Fisher House Foundation. These contributions allow the Fisher House to buy food, toiletries, and other household supplies.
Holly adds, “Even in our current times of COVID, the Invenergy team dutifully came to assist our staff all the while maintaining safe social practices. They arranged for boxed lunches for our veterans and their families to adhere to current guidelines. It means a lot to our Fisher House families that the community partners continue to care about them and their needs especially during these heightened times of stress. We look forward to building on this partnership and appreciate the dedication the Invenergy team has in supporting our nation’s heroes and their families.”
This time of year is known for reflection and giving thanks. IVN is exceedingly grateful for the esteemed work and contributions that the Fisher House Foundation does for veterans and military families and looks forward to continuing our friendship and volunteer efforts with the Hines Fisher House for years to come.