If you have stayed at Fisher House, receive our newsletter, or volunteer here you have met Zachary F. Bear. He has lived at the Puget Sound Fisher House for over five years and spends most of his time hanging out on the bench in the front hall, waiting to welcome home guests.
Here's how Zachary found us: a donor had called with the offer of a teddy bear. Small teddy bears are given out to all the guests and there is a stash of miscellaneous bear friends in the children's play corner of the living room. One more bear would certainly be welcome. "This one is kinda big," the donor warned. But the staff felt sure a bear, whatever its size, would find someone to love it. When the donor arrived, carrying a bear nearly as tall as himself, the staff knew that this was not your average bear. Zachary F. Bear had found a home.
As far as we know, Zachary is the only stuffed ambassador (ambearssador, perhaps?) in the Fisher House program and he takes the responsibility of that position seriously.
Zachary is a bear of simple tastes although he loves to dress up for the holidays.
Like any true Seattleite Zachary is a dedicated 12. How many bears do you know who can say they've held the Lombardi trophy? (Of course, he needed a little help. Paws are tricky that way.)
In the summer Zachary enjoys spending time in the garden.
Zachary loves to meet fans and supporters at fundraising events. He's always happy to share the story of Fisher House with anyone who will listen.
But Zachary's favorite thing, his reason for being, is to bring joy and give love to the guests of the House. And he does that very, very well.
March came in like a lion and it would be premature to put away the winter clothes just yet. But Spring is coming. You can see it in the budding trees, the forsythia that have gone from pale green to brilliant yellow overnight, the brave little crocuses pushing up their heads through the soggy winter ground. Spring is the time for cleaning up, planting, and beginning anew. That is certainly the case for the Friends of Puget Sound Fisher House!
The Friends' Garden Committee has begun planning the garden parties, during which teams of volunteers will help maintain the lovely spaces that surround the Fisher House and soon we'll be planting out the vegetable gardens.
Fundraising events are in the works, including two golf tournaments, and our annual Veterans Day Weekend WInetasting. (Check the Events page on this website every once in a while for details.)
New Fisher Houses are popping up like daffodils. Since the November dedication of the second House at Joint Base Lewis McChord we have welcomed Las Vegas (VA Southern Nevada) and Arizona (also VA) to the family. And in just a few short weeks #70 will open in Vancouver, Washington, serving the Portland VA. (Just for perspective, the Puget Sound House was #40. That's thirty houses in seven years!)
We're also rebooting this blog, with at least one post a week to share stories from the House, introduce you to our staff, volunteers, supporters, and Board of Directors, and celebrate the community that is the Fisher House family.
Thank you for supprting the families who call Fisher House home. Happy March!
"And the Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth's dark breast
Rose from the dreams of its wintry rest." - Percy Bysshe Shelley