We Are the Hearts Behind the House

By: Tish Stropes
September 25, 2015

The latest feature of Heart Behind the House highlights Fisher House Foundation’s Tish Stropes, who oversees our Hero Programs, in addition to supporting the Warrior Games and Invictus Games and their family programs.

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do.” - Steve Jobs

The phone rings, “Good afternoon, Fisher House Foundation.  How can I help you?” 

 Do you ever wonder about the person on the other end of the phone?  You hear the voice, tell them why you are calling, hopefully get resolution, and then simply hang up.  The voice stays with you.  Who was it? Interestingly enough, we at Fisher House wonder about you too.  Your voice stays with us and we hope we have removed a burden, given the answer you needed and were able to help.  We come from different places, our stories are quite different yet we share a passion and attempt to serve with grace and goodness ensuring service members, Veterans and families are taken care of when it matters most.  We are the hearts behind the houses, the ones that keep the wheels turning and most often the ones you never meet. 

While we live in a fast paced world, those of us that work at headquarters occupy a small office in Rockville, Maryland.  Our house managers work at 1 of 65 Fisher Houses across the country and world.  There are corkboards on the walls with pictures and thank you notes from the ones we have served.  There are stacks of projects being worked on, endless post-it notes with names and numbers to call.

I want to make and be the difference that helps someone breathe a little easier.  I want to be the smile you see from miles away, the hug you feel even though we are not in the same room.  In fact, I think everyone of us resolves to somehow make and be that difference.  I know my colleagues are that difference.  Whether welcoming a family into one of our homes, booking a flight to get a mother to her son’s bedside, depositing a check donation, or posting on social media to tell the Fisher House story, we are all making a difference.

This begins my sixth year with Fisher House, and I still wake up not knowing what the day will bring.  As a military spouse, and mother of two, my life is quite full like each and every one of yours.  But, at the end of the day, I look back and consider myself blessed with a job that makes me part of the Fisher House family.  What I love most is that I am not alone, I do not work in a bubble but rather am surrounded by similarly motivated people. I have colleagues here at Fisher House, in my office and across this world that serve with the same passion that I do.    The best part about loving what you do is that it really is not work, but rather a great way of life.