HUNTERSVILLE – Serenity House, the alternative to hospice care, is seeking donations and volunteers as part of its Summer Shortfall Drive.
The initiative is to raise $50,000 by Aug. 21. Like many nonprofits, the organization that offers end-of-life care to those who don’t have anyone at home to care for them finds it more difficult to raise money during the summer.
“It’s an honor to provide care for those who need us, but sometimes finding funding can be challenging, especially this time of year,” Serenity House Executive Director Cathy Bajek said. “Giving virtually stops during the summer, making it harder to raise the more than $350,000 we need to keep our doors open.”
Bajek said that her organization is not alone in facing the shortage this time of year, but missing out on previously reliable funds has been an extra challenge.
“It’s pretty typical for nonprofits,” she said. “There’s usually a matching grant, but it wasn’t there this year.”
Serenity House, a ministry of Carolina Comfort Coalition, has facilities on Stumptown Road in Huntersville and in Mooresville. Both have two-bedrooms housing people who have been referred to from hospice social workers or other medical organizations.
“We take in people who don’t have any family,” Bajek said. “We’re just giving whoever is with us a home.”
Two years ago, after six months of serving as a caregiver for his father, Dan English wasn’t certain he’d be able to get his father into Serenity House.
“I’d say, ‘he’ll never be able to get there,’” English said, “but they accepted him right away. It was just a wonderful experience.”
None of the residents are given a bill for the care. And Serenity House is not eligible for Medicare, Medicaid or insurance payments, so all operating funds are raised through grants or private donations, which are equally divided among the two houses, unless otherwise specified.
“If we were to receive Medicaid or insurance, we would have to follow more regulations,” Bajek said.
The organization provides services worth $225 per resident per day, and that is through on-site registered nurses and volunteers. The volunteers work in four-hour shifts, and “become the surrogate family to our residents,” Bajek said.
“Our organization is really amazing in that perspective,” she said.
Those interested in volunteering can visit the Serenity House website, or call one of the locations to speak with the volunteer coordinator. In Huntersville, Brittany Mathena holds that position, while Brittany Nichols is the coordinator for Mooresville.
English’s father was there 28 days, during which English was glad to let someone else be the caregiver.
“He once again became my father, and I became his son,” he said.
Serenity House is in its 10th year overall and has been in Huntersville for four. It’s served more than 1,000 referrals and housed 350 residents over that time.