I have a story to share. It starts out a little dismal, but stick with me. It has a good ending. And with your support, we can spin this tale into a “happily ever after” ending.
The story began when I visited one of our smaller Marist Brothers’ retirement homes. Poor Br. Charles had a terrible cold…coughing, sneezing, and so stuffed he could barely breathe. I suggested he take a long, hot, relaxing shower and let the steam open up his nose. It’s what my doctor always tells me to do.
Quite to my surprise, Br. Charles adamantly refused.
Turns out that long, hot showers are against house rules. “We only have one bathroom for six men!” Br. Charles explained. “Everyone gets a fast 5-minute shower once a day. You hop in and you hop out.”
A shudder went up my spine at my Brother’s choice of words. Let’s be honest, these elderly Brothers are in their 80s and their “hopping” days are long over!
So, without a second thought, I called in a contractor to immediately begin construction. What would it cost to turn a large, underused walk-in closet and part of the adjacent bedroom into a second, handicapped-accessible bathroom?
Here’s where the story takes a dramatic twist. A new bathroom
would cost $16,327 – money that wasn’t in our planned budget.
I was shocked! All we needed was a modest handicapped-equipped bathroom with enough floor space to accommodate wheelchairs, bathroom fixtures that our less agile Brothers could reach and turn on, perhaps a curbless shower that could dramatically reduce falls, and grab bars in the shower/tub area.
Without your gift I don’t know how we’ll
cover the invoice. Can I count on your support?
I hope you understand how important it was for me to approve this project – even before I had every nickel lined up. I just didn’t see any other option. The original bathroom is entirely too small to meet handicapped-accessible requirements, and six men sharing one tiny bathroom, which hadn’t been updated in 20 years, was unacceptable. I’m praying that you can help.
The fact is, if every Marist Brothers’ friend chips in with whatever gift they can afford, we will be able to cover the invoice for the new, safe, handicapped-accessible bathroom. It’s like the two nickels tucked in with my letter. Standing alone, the nickels don’t mean much. When added to many more nickels, they add up. If you send what you can today – whether that means $15 or even $25 – all the gifts from every Marist Brothers’ friend will add up to the $16,327 we need to comfortably cover the safe second bathroom.
And that is the best “happily ever after” ending possible. Just imagine a home where my elderly Brothers can tend to their daily needs without fearing treacherous slips, disastrous tumbles, or simply getting kicked out of the bathroom because they’ve gone beyond their 5-minute limit.
However, to achieve this happy ending, your support is essential.
I have faith that you will come through for me. My six Brothers – the recipients of your kindness – have faith, too. Br. Charles, who is feeling much better now, phoned me last night to make sure this letter includes a prayer intention card.
So, please…before mailing your gift to me, remember to write your prayer intentions on the enclosed donation response slip. The Brothers and I will thank God for your generosity and include your intentions in all our prayers, for you and your loved ones.
In closing, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. Your continued friendship and generosity is appreciated more than words can express.
God bless you for caring,
Br. Hugh P. Turley, F.M.S.
Director of Development