431 East Fayette Street     Suite 100     Syracuse, NY 13202     Tel: 315.422.9538
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Matthew House Agency Fund

 

Matthew House may look like any other home when you drive down its busy residential street in Auburn. But as soon as you step in, you realize this is a truly special place. The house serves as a two-bed residential home that provides comfort and support for people with terminal illness. Hospice of the Finger Lakes provides its residents with medical management, while volunteers and staff provide skilled, compassionate care and companionship, all working together to help each resident reach the end of their life with dignity and comfort.

What makes Matthew House so distinctive and welcoming are the special touches that staff and volunteers put forth to make each resident as comfortable as possible. Freshly baked cookies are in the kitchen and guests can watch birds and squirrels visit the birdfeeders outside their windows. Hospital-grade beds are masked with wooden headboards and quilts that promote relaxation. And touches of home are sprinkled throughout the living quarters, including framed photos of family members and cherished memories.

“I thank heaven for Matthew House; it’s wonderful,” said 97-year old resident Yolanda Scialdone. “The staff are friends from the beginning, and my family members can visit me whenever they want to. It’s been great, like being home.”

Because it does not receive government aid, insurance reimbursement, or fees for its services, Matthew House relies heavily on the generosity of its donors. Previously, its reserve funds were held in certificate of deposit (CD) accounts. The board of Matthew House decided that this strategy limited growth options and was not sufficient to meet the needs of the organization or to honor the intent of its donors. They concluded that it was time to create an endowment fund that was carefully managed to achieve prudent investment growth and donor stewardship. The Matthew House Endowment Fund was created in collaboration with the Cayuga Community Fund at the Community Foundation.

Matthew House supporters can have confidence knowing that over time, a steady stream of proceeds from the fund will help the organization steer a smooth and viable fiscal course. In addition, Community Foundation staff can assist friends of Matthew House who wish to support its endowment using planned gifts or bequests.

“We deeply appreciate those who support our endowment, and are gratified to be able to offer our friends a reliable, professional organization to accept and manage this level of support,” said Pam Freeman, Vice President of Matthew House’s board of directors. “Now our dedicated staff are reassured knowing that we will be financially sustainable to provide care to the terminally ill over the long-term.”

It is clear that staff and volunteers of Matthew House have the unique privilege of becoming family to its residents and their loved ones. Executive Director Wendy Young recalls one resident who really left an impression on them - a guitarist in his forties who found out he was terminally ill while working in Nashville and came home to be near family.

“This man had only been here a couple of days when he pulled me aside and said, ‘I have been around musicians and I am a musician myself, but I have got to tell you that Matthew House makes me feel like a rock star,’” she recalled. “I knew then that we were doing our job right. He had the opportunity to go out feeling like a rock star.”