BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Each month, “WBZ Cares” highlights a worthy non-profit organization and tells the story of what that organization does for the community. This month WBZ is profiling Hospitality Homes,
a nonprofit organization that provides short-term housing in volunteer host homes for families and friends of patients receiving medical care in the Boston area.
WBZ Cares features Hospitality Homes. For the last 36 years, the nonprofit has been providing compassionate, convenient, and cost-free accommodations to families and caregivers of out-of-towners receiving local medical treatment.
“Thousands of families travel to Boston for medical care from all over the world and we provide a very unique offering,” stated Interim Executive Director Shanon Heckethorn.
Heckethorn says in addition to donated apartments, volunteer hosts open up their homes to these guests.
“These are community members in and around the Boston area that give up the space in their own home to complete strangers, but I know as the McConnell's say they're not actually strangers. And they always say they get more out of it than they give, and for someone to say that when they do so much is pretty unbelievable,” said Heckethorn.
Mike McConnell of Brookline and his wife have hosted hundreds of guests over the last 30 years.
“300 to 400 families over the last 30 years. There's been a couple of times when we've had two different families, so there's an interesting dynamic there,” stated Hospitality Homes Volunteer Host Mike McConnell.
McConnell sees it as a way to give back and share with others during their time of need.
“It's a great way to reach out and share at a very low cost of the wealth that you have and a great way to tap into the wealth of relationships and knowledge of individuals and other cultures that you'll never duplicate any other way. It's also an opportunity to learn. I mean, we’ve had guests from China, for example, who taught us tea making from the Chinese perspective. That was really fun. The opportunity to expand your own understanding and appreciation of others is far more than the risk of, any risk you have of being vulnerable to exposure,” concluded McConnell.
WBZ NewsRadio1030's Shari Small Reports