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Steven Kuykendall

In Honor of Steve Kuykendall

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Dear Friends of Fisher House Southern California:

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you that our President and CEO of Fisher House Southern California Board, Steven Kuykendall, passed away January 22 due to a short illness from pulmonary fibrosis.

Steve was a Marine Captain who served in Vietnam, a U.S. Congressman who represented Southern California, and a member of the California State Assembly before a stellar career in banking. But what he was most proud of was his service to Fisher House.

Steven Kuykendall was the dynamic force behind the formation of Fisher House Southern California, which built the Fisher House at the Long Beach VA and supported the operations of the Fisher Houses at Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton and at the Naval Medical Center San Diego. He also made invaluable contributions to Fisher House on the national level, and he will be missed by all of us who worked with him on behalf of Fisher House these last many years.

Steve was extremely proud of what he was able to do for Fisher House, and as he said to you so many times in his communications with you over the years, he was very grateful for your friendship and for your generous support of our veterans and our military families. And he meant it – your support of his efforts meant the world to him! And for that, all of us on the Fisher House team thank you.

Those of you who knew Steve and share our loss, and who would like to make a gift in his memory, can do so by sending it to Fisher House Southern California at P.O. Box 110, Long Beach, CA 90801 or by going to our website at fisherhousesocal.org. Per Steve’s wishes, no funeral is being planned though a Celebration of Life will take place once we can all gather safely again. Needless to say, we all appreciate what you have done for Fisher House Southern California. Thank You!

Sincerely,

Gary Hopkins
Interim President
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

Click here to view Steve’s obituary.

Steven T. Kuykendall

Steven T. Kuykendall
1947 – 2021

veteran assistance in southern California

Fisher House Long Beach Houses Frontline Workers

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Fisher House So Cal is happy to continue to find ways to offer veteran assistance in southern California. As the pandemic continues to cause challenges for healthcare workers across the country, the entire Fisher House organization is working to be a part of the solution.

Fisher Houses provide military and veteran families housing near their loved one while they are hospitalized for an illness, disease or injury, at no cost to them. Fisher House Southern California’s (FHSC) mission is to help military families by supporting four Fisher Houses throughout Southern California, located at major military and VA medical centers.

The Fisher House Foundation was recently featured in an article in The Daily Breeze and the Press-Telegram! The article explores how Fisher House has helped house frontline workers during the pandemic to keep them and their own families safe from exposure. A total of 15 houses, including Fisher House Long Beach, have provided temporary housing to VA Hospital healthcare workers

Fisher House So Cal is proud to be a part of this amazing effort to help frontline workers in this health crisis. Click here to learn about how we provide veteran assistance in southern California.

Visit this link to read the article in the Press-Telegram.

Pandemic-era heroes: Local organizations provide housing for VA Hospital health care workers

Veterans Day 2020

A Veteran’s Day Message from FHSC

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An Update and a Message of Thanks this Veteran’s Day from
Fisher House Southern California

Rhoden Canlas is a nurse in the Neurology-Rheumatology unit at the Long Beach VA Medical Center. When the COVID pandemic became extreme this summer, he was transferred to the VA’s Medical-Surgical unit where COVID patients were being treated.

But there was a catch. At home were his two elderly parents, along with his two young daughters, ages 4 and 7. Rhoden is a single parent. The last thing he wanted to do was expose his family to the virus.

That is when he found out about Fisher House. One of his fellow nurses told him he, along with several other doctors and nurses, were staying at the Fisher House on campus. So that’s what Rhoden decided to do while he was assigned to the COVID unit. Some nights he would drive to his parents’ home in Torrance so he could see them and his children, but always at a distance. It was hard to explain to his four-year-old daughter why they couldn’t hug. Then he would go back to Fisher House to sleep and be ready for the next day at work.

Most of Rhoden’s COVID patients made it, but some did not. Those final Facetime or Zoom calls arranged by the RNs for dying patients with their family members were the most difficult things to witness, he said.

All of our VA caregiver house guests have extended their heartfelt thanks to the Fisher House team for making the House available during the pandemic.

We, in turn, extend their thanks to you, since it’s been your generosity and your friendship that have enabled our Fisher House to provide a home away from home to them during the COVID crisis.

Learn More About How to Help:
http://www.fisherhousesocal.org/get-involved

Rahn Linda

Welcoming Linda Rahn as our New Executive Director

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Dear Friend of Fisher House Southern California:

Hope this note finds you and your family healthy and well. As an ongoing supporter of our mission and work, I’d like to share an important update with you.

In August, we welcomed aboard Linda Rahn, CFRE, as our organization’s new Executive Director. Linda brings more than 25 years of experience in a variety of fundraising, marketing and administrative leadership posts, with national and local non-profits.

Linda’s vast fundraising experience and expertise will serve Fisher House Southern California (FHSC) well as we seek to strengthen our efforts to provide a ‘home away from home’ for the families who stay at Fisher House at no cost to them, while their loved ones are being cared for in the hospital.

During these challenging times, the four Southern California Fisher Houses supported by our organization remain open to our military families during their time of need, following all safety protocols. We hope to bring you more information in the weeks to come.

In the meantime, from all of us at Fisher House, we extend our thanks to you for your continued friendship and support.

Sincerely,

Steven T. Kuykendall
President/CEO

Memorial Day 2020

Memorial Day Message

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A MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE FROM FISHER HOUSE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

As of this writing, veterans and service members are being diagnosed with and have died from COVID-19, and the number is increasing daily. The pandemic has caused all the military and VA medical facilities to assess their operation and make changes that restrict patient visitors and how the Fisher Houses are used in this crisis. As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, patient families are no longer being allowed to visit patients in our VA hospital, and our Navy hospital patient visits are severely limited for fear of spreading the disease in both directions.

Our VA Fisher House has, however, been opened to healthcare workers who are spending long and arduous hours in the care of their patients. This way they can stay on campus, dispensing with long commutes to and from home during the time of this crisis, and also protecting their families from the possibility of infection.

We are also taking this time to make some upgrades to the facilities under our supervision, such as new water treatment and landscaping improvements to our Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and San Diego Houses.

All of which we can do because of your generous support of our Fisher Houses.

As Memorial Day approaches, I am writing to you in the hope that we can count on your generous support once again, especially during this unprecedented and extraordinary time. Your support of our Fisher Houses at this time help us provide essential respite for our healthcare workers – doctors, nurses, respiratory techs and their support staff — who are serving on the front line of our ongoing battle with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Can we count on your support?

CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT FHSC

We send to you and your family our earnest wishes for your safety and well-being during this very uncertain time. Your help of our families at Fisher House has not gone unnoticed, and all of us – our families, our healthcare workers and our board members – wish you and your family the very best. Stay safe, and thank you again for your wonderful support of Fisher House!

Sincerely,

Steven T. Kuykendall, President/CEO and
The Board of Directors of
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

 

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Chargers honor Fisher House Southern California!

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FHSC Board Members Ken Gillespie and Steve Spriggs received on-field recognition from the Los Angeles Chargers and the NFL on behalf of Fisher House Southern California as part of the NFL’s Salute to Service on November 3, 2019.

Salute to Service Organization of the Week: The Fisher House Southern California

The Chargers and California Resources Corporation, the state’s largest oil and natural gas producer are proud to recognize the works of The Fisher House Southern California.

The Fisher House Southern California is best known for making available over 15 thousand nights of lodging a year, where military and veterans’ families can stay while loved ones are receiving treatment at major military and VA medical centers in southern California. The program provides free lodging saving veteran and military families $2 million a year in lodging costs. Fisher Houses under our umbrella include two at Naval Medical Center San Diego, one at Camp Pendleton and one at VA Long Beach Medical Center.

The houses have from 8 to 16 suites, with private bedrooms and baths. Families share a common kitchen, laundry facilities, a warm dining room and an inviting living room. Fisher House Southern California, Inc. is a nonprofit organization under section 501 (c) (3) of the IRS code. Donations are tax–deductible to the maximum extent permitted by law.

To learn more about the Fisher House, visit www.fisherhousesocal.org.
To learn more about California Resources Corporation, visit https://www.crc.com/.

Veterans Day 2019

HELP SUPPORT FISHER HOUSE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA THIS VETERANS DAY!

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In my seven years in uniform as a Marine fighting for our country in Vietnam, ten years in public service as City Councilman, Mayor, California State Assemblyman and US Congressman representing the same values, one day stands out above all others. Eighteen years ago on September 11, 2001, I remember exactly where I was, and what I was doing. That day our country changed forever.

That day we redoubled our commitment to our military, our veterans and our country. My life’s work has been in service to that commitment. That’s why I have redoubled my efforts toward veterans and their families through my service to Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

At our southern California Fisher Houses I have seen thousands of military families in Long Beach and San Diego receive a home away from home while a loved one receives life-saving care in one of our VA and Navy hospitals. I cannot tell you how rewarding it is to see parents, husbands, wives, children, grandparents even, come together as a family in one of our Fisher Houses as they support the recovery of their service member. All free of charge. I have also seen the look on their faces as members of our community have helped them celebrate holidays, birthdays and other special occasions just like they would at home.

That’s why I support Fisher House Southern California, Inc. and hope you will join me. With your gifts of time and talent, and especially your financial support, we can continue to build support systems for our veteran families here in Southern California. At this special time of the year, we thank and remember our veterans for their service in both word and deed. Together, by making a gift to Fisher House Southern California, we create a fabric that supports our military and celebrates our veterans. Join me, won’t you?

I am honored to tell you our Houses are running near capacity, serving thousands of families every year. Please take this opportunity to speak out and spread the word, and to make a meaningful gift. Your gift of $50, $100, $500, $1000 — or an amount of your choice — will make a positive impact on the lives of our military and veteran families.

I have seen the incredible difference a Fisher House can make, and it is your generosity that makes that possible. On behalf of the many families we serve, I send you our thanks and our best wishes.

Sincerely,

Steven T. Kuykendall
President/CEO – Fisher House Southern California

Memorial Day 2019

Memorial Day Message 2019

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A MEMORIAL DAY MESSAGE FROM FISHER HOUSE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
About noon on March 29 eight families were comfortably settling down for the weekend at our Long Beach Fisher House when an alarming call came into the manager’s office. Apparently, the gas line servicing our house on the adjacent construction site had been cut and all residents needed to be evacuated immediately. The manager of the House knew where to turn for help on short notice.  She remembered hearing at a Fisher House Southern California Board meeting that we were providing overflow housing when needed at a local hotel. She called, not the VA or the Medical Center, but me, President of Fisher House Southern California.

“Can you find our families a place to stay tonight?” she asked, “like you do when we have an overflow?”

“We can,” I answered, “what’s up?”

When she told me what had happened, I immediately put her in touch with coordinator for these activities and she was able to accommodate all eight families for the night. Luckily they had room. Staff packed up the families and got them transferred to the hotel, where they settled in for the night, out of harms way and at no cost to them, since we paid the bill.

It is support like yours that has enabled us to assist our Fisher House families in such times of emergency. Whether it’s a shortage of room in one of our Houses, a shortage of food, clothing or toiletries; whether it’s books or games or toys for the kids. Each year we are able to provide such assistance to our Fisher House families in Long Beach, Camp Pendleton and San Diego, but we can do it only with your help.

As we remember our courageous military families this Memorial Day, I hope we can count on you again to support our Fisher House families here in Southern California – you can donate online by clicking the “Donate Now” button above, or by submitting a check to the address below. Your support makes a huge difference in the safety, comfort, convenience and camaraderie of the families in our Houses. On behalf of the thousands of Fisher House guests you help support here in Southern California every year, I send our genuine appreciation.

Sincerely,
Steven T. Kuykendall, President/CEO and
The Board of Directors of
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.

400 West Ocean Blvd., Suite 2403
Long Beach, CA 90802

FHSC American Gold Star Memorial Day Ceremony

American Gold Star Manor Memorial Day Ceremony

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FHSC Board members (From left to right) Ken Gillespie, Jim Paddock, Steve Kuykendall, Beverly Bingham, Steve Keesal and Terry Geiling, with Special Guest and Keynote Speaker Lt. Gen. Lewis Jodi Osterman USMC (in uniform) at the American Gold Star Manor Memorial Day Ceremony in Long Beach, May 24, 2019, paying tribute to all of the men and women who paid the supreme sacrifice while serving our nation.

Veterans Day 2018

Veterans Day 2018 Message

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VETERANS DAY 2018 UPDATE

It has been two years since we celebrated the Grand Opening of our Long Beach Fisher House! Your generous support helped make that special day possible.  It has been nearly two years since we expanded our mission to also support families staying at Camp Pendleton and two San Diego Fisher Houses.

We are pleased to report that in these past two years our Fisher Houses have done exactly what we hoped they would do – making available over 15,000 nights of lodging per year (saving families more $1,500,000 annually in lodging costs alone) while serving thousands of family members including children and grandchildren. The average length of stay for the families at our Houses ranges from six to ten days, although some families have been with us for months. It is on their behalf that I want to thank you once again for your generous support of our Long Beach Fisher House and more recently the Fisher Houses at Camp Pendleton and San Diego Naval Hospitals.

Since the Long Beach House was built, we have discovered there are some important needs our families have when they come to us. In addition to a roof over their head, a bedroom to sleep in, a kitchen and dining room to eat in, and a living room to spend time in — all of which our Houses provide — here is what some of our families also need:

Day-to-day Necessities: Like toiletries and personal sundries, especially for unanticipated or lengthy stays.

Gift cards: To local stores, restaurants or movie theaters to give them a break from the stresses of the day.

Special Events: Like birthdays, anniversaries and holidays, all of which we try to provide to make our Houses feel like Home when they find themselves in a strange place on these important family occasions.

As we celebrate Veterans Day and anticipate the upcoming holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas, please consider another gift to a specific Fisher House and/or in support of one of these areas of special family need. By making your gift to one of these areas you will help to make our families’ stay with us as much like Home as possible.

We send warm wishes for the upcoming holiday season, and genuine thanks for your support of America’s service members and veterans.

Sincerely,
Fisher House Southern California, Inc.
Board of Directors

THIS VETERANS DAY, PLEASE CONSIDER SUPPORTING OUR MISSION BY VOLUNTEERING OR WITH A DONATION

https://www.fisherhousesocal.org/donate/

Your generous, tax deductible donation to Fisher House Southern California Inc. (FHSC) will change the lives of military servicemen and women and family members. You will help bring comfort to military and veterans’ families while their loved ones are receiving medical treatment. Thank you for your continued support.

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