Our Director: It was in June of 2016 that Brennen Murray, LPN, came on board, and like a breath of fresh air, she took the helm as TJH’s new executive director. She came with excellent qualifications—a background as a hospice nurse and a nurse at the local cancer center for many years. Luckily for TJH, hospice care is Brennen’s passion. Likewise, so are her two children: Blakely,15, and Grady, 7. While she enjoys family time and playing games with her kids, she is as devoted to The Journey Home and its guests as she is to her role of mom.
Growing Staff: One thing that remains unchanging is that the staff members at TJH all come equipped with loving, caring, compassionate hearts to care for each guest and family at the house. What does change are the names and faces. Currently the staff is comprised of four full time workers, four part-time, and three PRN (as needed members) plus volunteers. New this year are Judy Schonherr, a part-time employee and Jane Hodges, Becky Schenck and Sara Heuertz, all PRNs. Although not new, Kelli Garza has assumed a new role—that of the executive director’s assistant, which on day-to-day basis means she serves as volunteer coordinator; recruiting, training and leading them as well as filling in for Brennen when she is called away from the office.
Volunteers: Speaking of volunteers, although TJH has many dedicated volunteers, there‘s always room for more. Their tasks cover a wide range of needs, from putting together mailings, cooking for guests, doing household chores, sitting with guests (reading to them, talking, providing companionship), assisting caregivers with direct guest care, serving as a family liaison. This spring Jim Perrier worked his landscaping magic with the flower beds and Jason Qualls from American Mowing and Landscaping kept the yard in pristine condition, beautifying the home.
Journey Home Guests: It is with mixed emotions that we report on our census over the past year. It has been our pleasure to serve 322 guests since opening in January, 2014. So, while it is with sadness that we help loved ones make that journey, it is with humble hearts and sincere compassion that we have shared our lives with their families. Today, we are operating at near capacity, thus, we are actively looking for a larger home or a site where we can build a facility large enough to meet the need to aid even more families.
Fundraising Activities: Last April more than 300 supporters turned out for TJH’s spring fundraiser, Denim & Diamonds. Attendees were invited to “dust off your boots, put on your denim and bring on the bling!” The affair at the Hilton Inn included a barbecue dinner, lively county music and a bevy of wonderful items offered in silent and live auctions. It was a lot of work, a lot of fun, and a huge success! It’ll be held again next year, so save the date. It’s set for April 21, 2018, at the Hilton Garden Inn. Watch for your invitation!
The Journey Home’s t-shirt sale is a fundraiser that is on-going year round, with shirts available in all sizes, S, M, L, XL….and 11 colors ranging from gold to maroon and navy, plus seven other colors, all of them attractive! And priced at just $15. To order, simply call TJH at (918) 876-4184. They make great gifts!
Coming up is the annual Fall Roundup on Thursday, October 19. This year due to crowd size, cooks will be set up outside and supporters seated inside the new St. John Church Fellowship Hall. Come rain or shine, employees of Arvest Bank will grill hamburgers and hot dogs for the festive feed. It’s open to everyone in the community, so come enjoy a burger or hot dog, chips, bottled water and homemade cookie for a mere $5. There will be live music and box dinners to go or plenty of seating if you want to stay. Donations of any size will also be welcomed.
End-of-Year Giving: As we approach the end of 2017, we thank you for your prayerful consideration in giving to The Journey Home. We couldn’t make it without your support. Your taxdeductible donation will go a long way to providing for TJH guests and their family members. A letter will be coming your way around the first of November.