BISMARCK – The weeks after the end of the holiday season is always a hard time for those who rely on your generosity for help, and one local house is also looking for your help.
“We want to do this with hugs, kisses and tears. We don’t want people to perceive us needing money, it was never about money,” said Bruce Rittel, the founder of Tracy’s Sanctuary House.
But all the hugs, kisses and tears don’t pay the bills, and donations are down here at Tracy’s Sanctuary house.
And if you’re wondering what exactly the sanctuary house is, it’s a place where people from out of town can go– when a loved one is in the hospital with a life-threatening issue.
Kelsey Zottnick helps those families on a day to day basis and tells me people come from all over ..seeking shelter.
“We had a family from Vermont this year that their loved one was local, but they didn’t have a place to stay while their loved one was in the I-C-U, so it’s very important for all the families to have a community living space so they can gather and congregate together,” said Zottnick.
The home is decorated to create the warmth of your own home, without the coldness of some hotels, Founder Bruce Rittel, a practicing minister even turned the garage of the home into a small chapel, to allow family members to pray for their loved ones who are suffering.
“I wanted a place that people could come to get away from the noise, just sit down and go, ahhhhhh, and then you can start making plans. You can relax, you can cry, you can sit in the chapel and get the sense of sanctuary,” said Rittel.
But providing that service doesn’t come cheap, he and Kelsey tell me it costs over 100-thousand dollars a year to operate the home.
And even though they’re expected to meet their 20-thousand goal following last week’s Winter White party, they could always use extra donations.
“We are a small non-profit, we are not backed by any government agency, and local hospitals, we really just run on donations,” said Zottnick.
And while donations were strong when the house first opened and the owners were able to stockpile some funds, as Tracy’s Sanctuary House continues to help more and more people, their needs are increasing as well.