St. Agnes House

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A Home Away From Home When You Or A Loved One Needs Medical Care.

A Jubilee Ministry of The Episcopal Church

Check out the tabs to learn more about the St. Agnes House!

St Agnes’ House provides physical, emotional, spiritual and economic respite during a difficult time in the lives of our guests. While we always appreciate donations, the $10 per person per night fee we ask for is not required and can be waived or even sponsored by some of the donations the house receives.

We are called to help those in great need and provide for them the emotional and spiritual support of a home during their period of recovery  or moments of worry for their loved ones. Our staff and volunteers are pleased to assist guests with their needs.

FUNDING
See the Get Involved page for all of the ways you can contribute to St. Agnes’ House.  

Do you have a Kroger PLUS Card?  Link your card to St. Agnes’ House and every purchase provides a donation to St. Agnes’ House!  St. Agnes’ House Kroger number is 10910.  Go to our Get Involved Page for detailed instructions.

Our budget for 2014 is $104,000.  In addition, we rely upon in-kind donations of cleaning and office supplies.

Help Close the Funding Gap Today!

As of July 31, we need $56,878 to close the funding gap for the year.

As of July 31, we need $56,878 to close the funding gap for the year.

QR Code 2014 Kentucky Gives April 9  St. Agnes’ House Kentucky Gives Profile Page.

A View From The Porch (September 18, 2014)

This week I’m in Corbin.  Yesterday, Mary sent me some exciting photos.  Now, you may not think they are as exciting as I do.  They are photos of the back steps to the “back house.”

The steps are concrete and who knows how long they’ve carried the many feet in and out of the house.  They are right by the parking lot.  They’re heavily used, in other words.  Well, their age, coupled with the harsh winter snows and ice just about did them in.  The concrete had “melted” away in places, leaving only stones.  The metal bars that strengthened the steps were exposed and tinging the surrounding concrete with red.

We’d gotten quotes to fix them, but didn’t have it in our budget to do this year.  So, I put the cost in a grant proposal and prayed the steps could last another winter.

But Donnie and Reynold had other plans!  Donnie, in his late 40s, tall and thin with dark brown hair, is staying at St. Agnes’ House with his wife.  They have a little baby in the NICU.  Donnie knows construction and he knows concrete.  He insisted he could fix up the stairs, including strengthening the hand railing, which had eroded at its base.

Last week Donnie and I went to Home Depot.  Interestingly enough (a God thing?), there was a salesman demonstrating a special concrete product.  It was much more expensive, but had properties that regular cement doesn’t have.  After further discussions, Donnie decided to try it out.

Even though the day wasn’t the best, Donnie couldn’t wait and had to begin.  His son had come by to drop off some concrete fixing tools for him, so he was all set. He fixed the worst step and it looked great.  He was pleased with the results.  We agreed we should use this product to coat the entire staircase.

Over the weekend, Reynold contacted me that more supplies were needed and off they went.  The result is what you see in the photos below.

I’m not sure if Donnie signed his handiwork and the many feet who will safely use those stairs will never know of his gift and craftmanship.  Donnie is an example to all of us to use our God-given talents and skills wherever they are needed and to use them generously and cheerfully.  Thanks! Donnie.

Enjoy this view from the back porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Link your Kroger PLUS Card to St. Agnes’ House, organization 10910

Kroger has changed their donation process to nonprofit organizations.  Now you can link our Rewards card to your favorite charity, if that charity has signed up to receive donations.  St. Agnes’ House is organization 10910.

For detailed instructions, see our Get Involved Page

Fundraising Letter in the Mail Soon!

Our next funding appeal will be in the mail to you soon.  Best practice in fund development is to mail at least four times a year and we are following that best practice.  You’ll learn about one of our recent guests and be asked to close our funding gap for the year.  A similar letter is being mailed to nearly 1300 churches in Eastern Kentucky letting them know about this important ministry and asking for their support.

What beautiful looking stairs to greet our guests.

What beautiful looking stairs to greet our guests.

Notice the concrete forms on the hand railing, molded from soda cups!

Notice the concrete forms on the hand railing, molded from soda cups!

A View From the Porch (September 10, 2013)

Today I am thinking of my brother, Rob.  He is 56 years old!  Unfortunately, Rob has a chronic disease and has spent the last 3 years hospitalized and finally living in a nursing home.  This may be Rob’s last birthday; I really don’t know.

I visit Rob when I can and try to get to the home at lunchtime so I can feed him.  Then I’ll sit with him and listen to some of his favorite music.  Often he will hold my hand.  I write to him every week and send flowers occasionally.  The nursing home staff do a good job caring for him and hospice comes by to provide extra services, especially chaplain visits.  The nursing home now has capability for Skyping and I hope to do that with him soon.

Rob can no longer have a conversation.  I don’t know for sure if he recognizes me.  The staff says he eats more when I’m there.  That close bond of sharing life together, at least in our case, is deep and strong.

Rob reminds me how precious each day of life is.  Yes, I can make plans for the future, but today is all I have and today may be the best day I have.  There is no “getting better” for Rob.  Rob reminds me to accept and focus on today…to be content with the life I’ve lived and am living.

Rob reminds me of how important having family close by is when you’re ill:  how important those visits and connections are; how  lifegiving the closeness of family can be.  How, even if there’s no chance of “getting better,” being in each other’s presence together is healing.

In Joshua 1:9, God seeks to assure Joshua that God will not forsake him.  Joshua is succeeding Moses as the leader of the Israelites after Moses’ Death.  Joshua will take the people into the land God promised to them.  God says to Joshua:  “I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.’”

In our very presence with each other.  In the silence of feeding a loved one, in the holding of hands, listening to music, we assure each other that God is with us, no matter what.

Thank you for your support of St. Agnes’ House, providing a safe, comfortable place so people can be with their loved ones, hold their hands, feed them, sit in silence and let them know  to “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Enjoy our view from the porch!  Fall is in the air and the mums are blooming!

Love, Rebecca+

The mums are blooming.  Thanks to Mary and Reynold for donating them and planting them.

The mums are blooming. Thanks to Mary and Reynold for donating them and planting them.

The wind is blowing today.

The wind is blowing today.

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A View From the Porch (September 4, 2014)

My schedule has changed and I’m adjusting.  I now spend 50% of my work time at St. Agnes’ House and 50% of my time at St. John’s Corbin.  I’ve decided to try a schedule of one week in Corbin and one week at St. Agnes’ House.  Work doesn’t occur that neatly, so of course, no matter where I am, I tend to do work for both places.

I’m still getting used to the change.  I enjoyed having a Sunday where I wasn’t focused on all of the things I needed to do to go to Lexington.  Each time I leave, I need to make sure my laundry is done, the trash is emptied, the dishes are all done, the AC and/or heat is adjusted and everything I’ll need is in the car.

I’m enjoying having a larger chunk of time in each place, but also realize I need to think about what is due in the next two weeks.  There are a number of important grants due in October and lots of activities I’m required to attend during September and October, so getting everything done and in on time is a challenge.

One activity that helps me is the Network.  I am a Network priest, which means I am provided with monthly face-to-face group supervision, learning activities, a mentor, and other supports.  Today was our first meeting of the Network participants for the program year.  Last year, we decided to end each of our meetings with a Eucharist and today was my day to celebrate.  So, enjoy my view from the porch of this wonderful and supportive group that is important in helping me give my best to St. Agnes’ House.

Love, Rebecca+

The Network celebrates together.

The Network celebrates together.

 

A View from the Porch (August 27, 2014)

Tuesday evening was so exciting.  One of the Women’s Bible Study groups from Northeast Christian Church decided to meet at St. Agnes’ House.  They toured the house and made a wonderful and plenteous dinner.  All of the house guests were invited and there were plenty of leftovers to share.  The evening was warm, but still nice for eating outside on the patio, shaded by the table umbrellas.  Everyone had a great time.

And can you believe, that in this day and age with cameras everywhere, we didn’t take any photos!

Well, the guests are still talking about how good the food was and how much they enjoyed talking to everyone.  What a blessing to have someone prepare a good meal and share in fellowship with you, especially when life is challenging.

Enjoy our View from the Porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Order from smile.amazon.com

If you order from Amazon, try ordering from the Amazon Smile page.  If you choose to support the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, Amazon contributes .05% of your purchase is contributed to the ministries of the Diocese.

 

Looking East on a sunny late August morning

Looking East on a sunny late August morning

Early morning.  Can you glimpse the newly painted porch steps?

Early morning. Can you glimpse the newly painted porch steps?

 

Thanks #UKFusion volunteers!

Today, nine UK students and a staff member volunteered at the House.  It’s part of the Annual UK Fusion Volunteer Day.  The students gave our common areas a thorough cleaning, added some rocks to the landscaping in the front of the house, and painted the front steps.  Welcome Back UK Students and thank you for volunteering at St. Agnes’ House!

A fresh coat of paint on the steps to the front of the house!

A fresh coat of paint on the steps to the front of the house!

They placed these river rocks donated by Buddy Lewis along the front flower bed.

They placed these river rocks donated by Buddy Lewis along the front flower bed.

UK Fusion Volunteer Service Day Students who worked at St. Agnes' House.

UK Fusion Volunteer Service Day Students who worked at St. Agnes’ House.

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A View from the Porch – August 20, 2014

Today I’m grateful for passionate Board of Oversight members.  The Board of Oversight is nominated by the Bishop and approved at the Diocese of Lexington Annual Convention.  They provide ongoing leadership for St. Agnes’ House.  The current Board includes Sharon Holbrook, Chair; Justin Cline, Donna Goff, Flo Mayer, and The Rev. Anisa Willis.  They meet at least four times a year and take on a variety of tasks important for the ministry.

We met by conference call last night.  Everyone was on the call, showing their commitment to the ministry.  We had good discussions regarding how the board needs to operate, including the expectation that members of the Board now and in the future would be expected to make financial contributions to the ministry, kind of like having a pledge drive.  The discussion was important, especially in understanding that some people may have few financial resources, but have other resources of time, commitment and passion that would be important to the ministry and the Board.

We discussed spiritual issues.  We already receive donations of Guideposts magazines. Could we make Bibles and Books of Common Prayer available to our guests who would find them helpful?  Someone recommended trying to get Forward Day by Day meditation books.  Before the call was over, we’d secured those booklets.

We started and ended with prayer and discussed things that we could pray for for the ministry.  Ideas and information for fundraising were presented and discussed.

The meeting was energizing and uplifting.  Today, I’m feeling gratitude for this Board and hope you join me in thanking them for the service they perform.

Enjoy our view from the porch!

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A View From the Porch (August 14, 2014)

I’m back from vacation, busy catching up.  It’s also nearly a year since I started at St. Agnes’ House.  I’ve enjoyed thinking about everyone I’ve met and all the hard work that has happened over the past year.

I especially enjoy the fun and unusual things that come my way.  For instance, a supporter wants to donate towels to the house and emailed me to ask what kind of fabric we wanted.  This spurred me to contact Jason Swanson, Assistant Professor in the UK Department of Retailing and Tourism Management.  Jason visited us in April.  He is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, Danville.

What kind of towels should we buy for durability and good wear, I asked him.  He linked me with Professor Elizabeth Easter, his colleague.  Professor Easter asked me to call her to discuss our needs  Turns out she established the Textile Testing Laboratory in 1988, and she has worked with the Association for Linen Managers for many years.

She gave me a crash course on towels, sheets, mattress covers, and pillows that are made for hotels and hospitals to withstand the many washings and uses.  We are grateful for the many donations we receive and it’s great to know what to ask for…what can work best in our situation.

This week I’ve often heard our guests say how much rest they get in our house and in their rooms.  They are very grateful for it.  One guest said, “I had an epidural and sleeping in those chairs in the waiting room was awful.”

Thanks Dr. Swanson and Dr. Easter for freely providing information that ensures our guests are well cared for.

Enjoy our view from the porch!

Love, Rebecca

Thanks Steele-Reese Foundation!

The Steele-Reese Foundation has granted us $7,500 this year and $7,500 next year to support lodging for guests from the Appalachian counties in Kentucky.  As of August 9, we’ve provided over $28,000 worth of lodging for these guests.  Guests from these counties have only been able to pay $1,500 of that cost.

These were taken at dusk.  Fall is coming.

These were taken at dusk. Fall is coming.

The sunflowers are beautiful.

The sunflowers are beautiful.

Sunflowers peek over the porch

Sunflowers peek over the porch

Had to include one vacation photo from Niagara Falls.  This was taken from the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride.

Had to include one vacation photo from Niagara Falls. This was taken from the Maid of the Mist Boat Ride.

 

A View From the Porch (July 24, 2014)

This week I have returned to the past, which is also the present – I am attending the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) 2014 conference in Washington, DC.  I worked for NASW for nearly 20 years, most of that time in Pennsylvania and then at the national office in Washington.  I am seeing many former co-workers and colleagues.  Many of these people supported me as I went to seminary and then came to Kentucky.

As a Certified Social Worker in Kentucky, attending this conference helps me attain the continuing education credits required for my license.  In addition, I am looking for workshops that will strengthen the work I do at St. Agnes’ House.

Yesterday, I was excited to hear the opening speakers.  Kane Smego is from North Carolina and uses the spoken word to help himself and others.  His poetry was powerful, bringing me to tears at times, reminding me of the power of the arts to heal and to touch us in ways we can’t always logically explain.

The next speaker was Brene Brown.  She is a social work educator and researcher.  She is well known for her TED talk on vulnerability, as well as her work on the subject.  She emphasized how we try to protect ourselves from being hurt, putting on armor, which is driven by shame, fear, scarcity, anxiety, and uncertainty.  Putting on this armor of “protection,” denying our vulnerability, steals love, joy, belonging, courage, empathy, trust, innovation, creativity, gratitude, accountability, and adaptability from us.

We must work to be courageous, which means we expose our vulnerability in safe ways with people who love and care about us.

And that is what St. Agnes’ House strives to be.  A place where vulnerability is exposed.  Where the horrible thing we tried to rehearse in our lives…to prepare for…the “other shoe has dropped” time in our lives finds a safe place to rest, so that at some point we can be joyous, courageous, creative, gracious and loving.

Enjoy this view from the porch!

Love,
Rebecca
image Brene Brown speaking to the attendees.

image Kane Smego and the spoken word

image Iconic view of DC

image

Took in some artwork at the National
Gallery, including this painting by Dali

A View From the Porch (July 16, 2014)

Outside, it’s noisy.  The University of Kentucky Business Hall has moved into the former Lexington Theological Seminary.  Mandrell Hall is the name of the building right next to us.  The move-in was quiet and there is more activity…more cars in and out of the parking lot and more people around the building.  This week, they’ve been doing some major work outside with big equipment and like good construction people, they start fairly early in the morning.

Change is evident.  Very little remains the same, yet many of us find change very difficult.  Last night on Charlie Rose, I was listening to Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, speak about the importance of people who are adapters.

Well, St. Agnes’ House is certainly an adapter.  Started and focused on assisting people who came to Lexington for cobalt treatments for cancer, the services changed as cancer treatment changed.  Then Ronald McDonald House opened caring for children and their families.  Then Hope Lodge opened for people needing to come to Lexington for cancer treatment.  And cancer treatment became more widely available in peoples’ home communities.

Yet…there was still a need for St. Agnes’ House!  This year so far, we have an average 76% occupancy rate.  We’ve provided 1381 room nights of lodging!  And let me tell you, medical care and treatment has many variables in it.  Some people cannot come to Lexington unless they have lodging, so treatment is delayed.  Unexpected complications arise so people need to stay longer.  Sometimes people recover faster and leave early.  We work hard to be supportive and caring and flexible.  Sometimes we start the week with a full house and with all of the variables, end the week with available and empty rooms.

Sometimes we don’t see the people staying here.  They are at the hospital much of the day and late into the evening.  Sometimes there is a crowd, sharing meals together and supporting each other.

Thanks to so many of you, St. Agnes’ House is still available to those facing these difficult challenges.  That is one thing that hasn’t changed in 40 years.  But just about everything else has needed to adapt!

Enjoy our View From the Porch!

Love, Rebecca+

Pillows!  

Sixteen new pillows for our beds.  We use 32 pillows in our 9 rooms.

Sixteen new pillows for our beds. We use 32 pillows in our 9 rooms.

Imagine how much use these pillows get!  We need 32 pillows for each bed spot in the house (that’s 2 pillows per spot)!  Recently a generous donor sent us 16 pillows!  More pillows were donated last month, so we have about 21 of the 32 we’d like to have.  Also, thanks to a donor who gave us an Amazon Gift Card, we purchased 16 pillow covers to extend the life of these pillows.  Just need 16 more….

Takes quite a lot of sheets, towels, blankets and pillows to accommodate our guests.  They appreciate the lovely look of the rooms when they come… the welcome they receive.  We constantly hear how grateful they are to be able to stay here.  And thanks to the pillow donors, they not only have a place to lay their heads, but a pillow to put underneath them.

Find out what else it takes to run St. Agnes’ House 9 guest rooms, 6 bathrooms, 2 kitchens and 2 living rooms, plus staff quarters!  Visit our Amazon Wish List.

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If you look closely, you can see the construction equipment next door.

If you look closely, you can see the construction equipment next door.

The pretty Marigolds...

The pretty Marigolds…

 

A View From the Porch (July 9, 2014)

Today I’m thinking about hope…that thing that we cannot hold, yet undergirds our very being.  St. Agnes’ House is filled with hope.  Yes, people are going through some of the most difficult challenges in their lives, so there is chaos, fear, and uncertainty.  At the same time, they hold great hope… for a cure…that the medical treatment will work…that they or their loved one can go home… that life will be better than it has been recently.

St. Agnes’ House contributes to that hope.  There is a community here to share the good days and the difficult days.  There is peace and quiet here.  There is a good night’s sleep here.  The worry of where to stay and how to afford a place to stay is gone.  The worry of how to get back and forth to the hospital is gone.

Hope changes, of course.  Sometimes there is no cure or no treatment.  Sometimes the improvement is not much.  Even so, St. Agnes’ House allowed worry to be decreased so hope could be increased!

Enjoy our view from the porch!  I’ve included some photos from the patio,too.  Guests are gathering here frequently throughout the day and evening, enjoying each others’ company and the inviting space.

Blessings to you!

Rebecca+

Donations Needed!

Remember to check our Amazon Wish List for items to donate.  You can buy them from Amazon and have them shipped directly to us.  Some items allow you to subscribe, so the item will be sent each month.  Or go to your favorite store to purchase items and drop them off a the House.  Mary says many of the dollar discount stores have cleaning items at great prices.

Currently we need:  Lysol Spray, Clorox cleaning wipes, All purpose cleaner, shower cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, bleach, fabric dryer sheets, floor cleaner, and hand soap.

THANKS so much!

Volunteers Needed to pick up Chipotle and Starbucks donations!

Consider volunteering at St. Agnes’ House.  Information is available on our volunteer page.  There are a variety of tasks, requiring a variety of skills.

Currently, we are in need of people to pick up our Starbucks and Chipotle donations and bring them to the House.  Both stores are close to St. Agnes’ House.

Chipotle, 345 S. Limestone:  Every Monday and Friday between 8:30-10:00am.  Donations consist of meat.  Bring to house and place in refrigerator.

Starbucks, 870 S. Broadway (near Virginia Ave.):  Every Monday, any time.  Donations consist of pastries.  Bring to house.  If you have time, bag items and place in freezer for guests.  Count items for weekly donation report.

Please contact Mary at 859-396-4603 if you are interested, even if you could do only one day or even a month.

The flowers and swing create an enjoyable resting place.

The flowers and swing create an enjoyable resting place.

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The patio is an inviting gathering place after a day at the hospital.

The patio is an inviting gathering place after a day at the hospital.

Can you find the sunflower?

Can you find the sunflower?