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Altrusa Club of Statesboro joins forces with Fisher House Foundation to support military families

Deborah McClendon, co-President of Altrusa Club of Statesboro and a Vietnam Veteran, leads the local chapter with a strong spirit of service and giving. Recently, the club has partnered with the Fisher House Foundation to support military families by collecting essential items and donations for their local Fisher House.

Deborah McClendon, co-President of Altrusa Club of Stateboro, is all about service. She is a Vietnam Veteran who now leads the thriving local chapter of Altrusa with a spirit of giving. Altrusa has a monthly hands-on project where members contribute donations to the community, whether it be supplies for local nonprofit organizations, food for the Humane Society, or items for the Statesboro Food Bank. 

"Altrusa was formed as a community service organization," McClendon affirms. "That's what we do - the things that would help the community." 

"One of the main focuses for Altrusa is literacy; they adopted literacy as an ongoing area of service back in 1977," McClendon explains, "but, being about service, whoever needs assistance, we try to help them if they come to us, and Veterans Administration is also a focus for Altrusa clubs, both international and local."

Altrusa Club of Statesboro has been in existence since 1983, with three members still current and active since the club's inception. McClendon joined Altrusa in 2021. Her membership provides her with the kind of opportunities for service that have been a hallmark of her life.

The club has honored military Veterans in the past, but, thanks to the Fisher House program, found a way to extend help to both Veterans and their families. 

"Last year we collected items to distribute for Veterans who were in the hospital, but this year we decided that we would focus on the Fisher House," McClendon says.

Fisher Houses were a relatively new phenomenon to McClendon and the Altrusa Club of Statesboro, who just learned about their existence this past year. 

The Fisher House Foundation was founded in 1990 by Zachary and Elizabeth Fisher. Their desire and purpose was to provide 100% free lodging for military families who were living more than 50 miles away from a VA center while receiving care. This would allow those families to stay in the Fisher House while their loved ones were receiving treatment in the hospital. There are nearly 100 Fisher Houses now, and their website features an interactive map with the locations of current and future Fisher Houses. 

The particular Fisher House that Statesboro's Altrusa Club assisted can house up to 20 families. In addition to the benefits of free lodging, the Fisher House organization meets as many needs as they can for the families who reach out to them. 

Altrusa Club of Statesboro collected funds and was able to donate snack items such as crackers and chips, personal items such as soap, shampoo, and deodorant, and, from the Fisher House wish list which allows immediate needs to be met, McClendon and her fellow members were able to provide cleaning items such as laundry detergent, dishwashing tablets, paper towels, and more household goods. 

And this first mutually positive experience will not be their last. "Now that we have found them," McClendon says, "we will support them because it helps the Veterans and it helps the families."

For more information about the Altrusa Club of Statesboro, please visit their website or email Ms. McClendon at [email protected]. For more information about Fisher Houses, please click here