MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The FedEx Family House is a home away from home for out of town families whose children are being treated at Le Bonheur. Year 2020 marks its10th anniversary and you’re invited to join the celebration from the comfort of your couch.
Le Bonheur Senior Development Director Kavanaugh Casey took WMC Action News 5 on a tour Tuesday, describing the FedEx Family House with such pride.
“Every family I’ve talked to has used the word blessing,” she said. “What a blessing this place is.”
The FedEx Family House can accommodate 75 families, providing them a free place to stay and to eat while their children receive world-class medical care right across the street at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital.
“We’ve had patients from all 50 states that have stayed here since we opened, as well as countries all over the world,” said Le Bonheur’s David Henderson. “We want to make sure that families that are coming to Le Bonheur from out of town are as comfortable as possible because they have a lot on their minds.”
Some families stay a few days, some stay a few weeks. The Ayeni family from Nigeria stayed a year.
Le Bonheur doctors separated conjoined twin sisters Miracle and Testimony in 2016. Today the girls are happy and healthy. Community donations made it possible. This week’s 2020 FedEx Family House Gala is the largest fundraiser of the year for the house.
“The gala is immensely important to us, because it raises over half of our operating expenses every year,” said Casey. “It costs about $2 million a year to operate the FedEx Family House and continue our mission so that no family pays to stay here. The gala usually nets over $1 million, so it’s vitally important.”
Anyone can bid online for silent auction items right now, like an autographed Denny Hamlin racing helmet, diamond bracelet, duck hunting trip or the James Bond experience.
You start your day skydiving, unwind at the Feathers Spa at The Peabody and cap it off with a martini shaken, not stirred, at Chez Phillipe before you retire for the evening to your luxurious hotel room. Celebrities like Magic Johnson, Miss America and Rascal Flatts will be part of Sunday’s virtual gala, which offers even more fabulous items to bid on during a live auction. And thanks to COVID-19, you can attend in your pj’s if you like.
“We really hope more people than ever will be able to participate, who might not have been able to come previously,” said Casey. ”The more the merrier, and remember, it’s all for a wonderful cause.”
“It really means a lot to the families that come and stay here and the donations that come from the community help us keep the house stocked with food, books and toys,” said Henderson.
The 2020 FedEx Family House Gala is this Sunday, August 9 at 7 p.m. Click here for more information.