Betty & Joe- An Angel Among Friends
Seeking to get to know our Donors in a more personal way, we were lucky enough to arrange a meeting with Betty and her son Joe on a crisp winter morning at her north end home. I had come to know about Betty through her longtime giving, and her official designation as a Fisher House Angel –“recognized for her exceptional dedication to improve the quality of life of our greatest national treasure, our military service members and their loved ones”. Typical of the greatest generation, she quickly brushes off accolades and changes the subject.
It is immediately apparent that she has a heart for Veterans. She eagerly tells me about the love of her life, Jack, who was drafted into service during Korea and a brother-in-law who survived Pearl Harbor. Examining a photo of Jack, I call him handsome and she says “I think he was pretty cool- we were great friends from the start”. With 7 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren (another due in July) they would have been celebrating their 65th wedding anniversary.
Getting down to business, I ask Betty what drew her family to Fisher House. Philanthropy seems to be a family affair with Betty being a firm believer in ‘Donate your dollars -Donate your time’ to help your local community. Son Joe agrees and walks the talk. Despite recent medical issues of her own, her family tells me about her experience hosting a dinner for Fisher House families. Joe remembers “she came to share a meal and became the grandma” listening and consoling family members in a way only your grandmother can. One story, that of a little toddler that had moved from Fisher House to Fisher house since birth, struck a real emotional chord with Betty. Fisher House was the only home the baby had ever known. She recalls the experience, working with her own family preparing and serving, as “very gratifying” and one that quickly brought me down to earth! I have nothing to gripe about compared to some of the stories we heard.
As I bid Betty and Joe a fond farewell, I sense their connection to the larger community of family. I am left speechless by their humility and convinced we do have an Angel among Friends!