Richmond Welcomes the Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House
Thanks to the generosity of the Evelyn D. Reinhart family, St. Mary’s Hospital has a new guest house for families from out of town who need help when seeking healthcare services. Ms. Reinhart was a former nurse and volunteer at St. Mary’s Hospital where she dedicated much of her life. She was devoted to helping people heal, and volunteered her time and energy to others – long after leaving her professional nursing career.
The Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House opens in June 2014. The house is made possible thanks to over $4 million in donations. Financial support was ignited by a $1 million donation from the Reinhart family and quickly followed by other generous supporters.
The new Guest House is a beautiful home that is very respectful of Richmond traditions and the surrounding neighborhood. The overall design fits well with the environment, and both the interior and exterior exude warmth, comfort, and a peaceful welcome.
Just like patients, families and loved ones need a comforting and healing place and that’s what they will find at The Reinhart Guest House.
For parents dealing with a premature baby or a sick child, there is no time to prepare for living away from home for a period of time. And for those caring for parents, husbands, siblings, and other loved ones in a hospital away from home, there is little time to think about taking care of their own personal needs. The Reinhart Guest House is here for these families.
Home Away from Home
In a recent interview with Lisa Patten, Executive Director of the Reinhart Guest House, she explains: “The new house will offer a respite for as many as 16 families at one time and they’ll be comforted knowing they are just a short walk to the hospital.”
The home is available to families seeking care for loved ones and who need a place stay that offers many of the comforts and amenities of home. The Reinhart House is beautifully appointed and provides guests with toiletries, meals, a private bedroom, and other conveniences to ease their burden while caring for loved ones in a city, often far from home.
In addition to 16 guest rooms with private baths, the Reinhart House amenities will include:
- Large kitchen and dining room
- Reflection room for prayer, meditation and peaceful moments
- Living room, porch and patio for relaxation and companionship
- Playroom for children and teens
- Place for rest and renewal, with the added advantage of companionship of other families who are experiencing similar situations
- Business center
- Multi-purpose room and playroom
- Laundry facilities
All of the amenities offer ‘moments of healing’ for families and loved ones.
“There is so much people can do to support this new endeavor. Our mission is to provide families with the many things they need at a critical time in their lives. We want to provide them with toiletries, to-go-bags, notebooks and pencils, bath robes, slippers, and other things they need on a daily basis,” explains Lisa.
The Richmond community has already responded in extremely generous ways. There will be a continuous need for support and volunteers to keep the guest house running. Some ways the community can help include:
- Volunteer as a family at the house to help prepare meals.
- Help stock the kitchen with perishable and non-perishable goods.
- Donate toiletries, paper goods, and other items (individually wrapped).
- Provide magazines and positive reading materials (gently read magazines or new subscriptions and books are welcome; children’s books are needed too!).
- Donate seasonal items for a cheery, decorative environment.
- Bake a batch of cookies or cupcakes with your kids and deliver them for an afternoon snack for guests.
- Pick up something from a local bakery or grocery store and deliver to the guest house.
- Provide crayons, coloring books, puzzles, and other things for small children accompanying family members.
- Have a neighborhood fundraiser like a cookie sale, lemonade stand, car wash, or other fun event.
- Come up with your own creative ideas to help care for these families during their time of need.
Lisa is also very excited with many of the creative ideas surfacing like a chili bake-off between groups, food pantry drives, bake sales, or other fun events and fundraisers.
There is definitely no right or wrong way to help and the best ideas come from the community she explains. Lisa encourages volunteers to ‘Name that Fundraiser’ and get involved at any level of support.
The Reinhart Guest House is open to anyone who meets the criteria for housing while a loved one is hospitalized at St. Mary’s Hospital. Some of the considerations for access to the home include:
- Living more than 30 miles away from St. Mary’s Hospital
- Urgency of care (rooms will typically be used by families dealing with unscheduled events, or very high risk situations)
- Referral from the attending physician
To learn more about The Reinhart House, eligibility for guests, and other information, please visit the website at this link.