Valerie’s House is raising money by allowing sponsors to leave a mark on the organization’s new Forever Home in Fort Myers, putting their names on the house’s rooms.
It’s predicted that one in eight kids in Florida will lose a parent or sibling, and Valerie’s House wants to provide a healthy and safe way to relieve tension and anger. People who donate to Valerie’s House will have the chance to get areas of the Forever Home, intended to help grieving families for generations to come, named after them. There are several areas that Valerie’s House is still accepting sponsors for, and the organization’s website shows the price to name each of them. It’s a cost that can be paid off over the course of five years.
Sterling Lund, the project manager for Valerie’s House, says these rooms and spaces in the Forever Home will provide a place for thousands of grieving families and children in Southwest Florida to properly process their emotions. The community now has the chance to be a part of making a difference in their lives.
“There are other opportunities to get involved besides just sponsoring a room; we do also have pavers that people can purchase that will have the name of the person that they’d like to honor,” Lund said. “There are thousands of children and parents who are grieving right now, and this is the first in our community that we’ll ever have. And, so, it’s really important. This is a big deal for all of us.”
While you can have a room or a space where children will go to calm down named after yourself, one place you can’t name is the kitchen—that will be named after Norman and Mary Love. The couple decided to sponsor what Valerie’s House leaders refer to as “the heart of the home,” an area the couple knows a lot about.
The heart of Angela Melvin, the founder of Valerie’s House, and the story of Melvin losing her mother Valerie at a young age inspired the Loves to sponsor and name the kitchen.
Now that the kitchen will be named after them, they have plans for the room.
“[Norman Love] might even host a dessert party one night; he talked about doing that,” Lund said.
“Angela has taken her experience, along with an incredibly talented team, and has devoted countless, tireless time to build a place where primarily children, but also parents, can go to help heal during incredibly difficult times,” Norman Love said. “These are the things that, you know, that help clean your soul, but that provide reality checks and purposes of life, and helping others through difficult times like this. So, for my wife and I, was a very easy decision.”
Construction on the 7,000-square-foot facility at 3551 Shoemaker Lane began this month and is expected to take around a year to complete.