David’s House Celebrates 30 Years & The Dream of a Little Boy Named David Cyr
Jan 18, 2016 05:57PM
● By Kirsten Gehlbach
For three years, life went on this way. Dick met frustrated, exhausted parents and dealt with David’s illness as best he could. David helped. In and out of the hospital, Dick says, David never lost his love of life or his ability to brighten the days of those he met. “We’re going to build a place,” Dick said. “And we are going to call it David’s House.”
Within a week of David’s passing, the Cyrs and their family and friends had already begun raising money for David’s House. The seed money from which this wonderful organization has grown was David’s own $300.78 (in spare change, allowances, and birthday money stashed around the house). Whenever Dick had asked him what he was saving for, David replied, “For a special reason, Dad.” David’s House opened the doors to guests on January 20, 1986 and since then, that “special reason” has served over 13,500 families.
Thirty years later, “We are excited about the milestone,” says Krista Katz, development director for David’s House. There will be big news forthcoming, so stay tuned for donor and volunteer appreciation events and a “Full-On Gala” at year’s end (date to be determined).
A family currently staying at David’s House had this to say, “We are humbled every day we spend here. We are fortunate enough to have family, friends, and co-workers who are generous in helping us during a difficult time. Even so, David’s House has been the most gracious experience we have ever had.”
When the hospital’s pediatric services moved from Hanover to Lebanon in 1991, the Board of Directors of David’s House decided to launch a capital campaign to build a new home on land that the Medical Center agreed to lease for $1.00 a year. On May 9, 1994, David’s House welcomed guests. A two-minute walk from DHMC’s doors, David’s House was designed specifically not to look like an institutional building. Instead, it’s a cozy house with short hallways, welcoming colors, and soft lighting—a home away from home for parents and siblings, and one with a motto: “A house is made of walls and beams – A home is built with love and dreams.”
A family who recently left offered these remarks, “It’s a home away from home! We first learned about David’s House when our daughter was born 3 months early. She weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces and had to stay in the hospital almost 3 months. We love it at David’s House and were very impressed with everything!”
And a final one, “Thank you for having a place like this where anyone can stay while their children are getting treated. My daughter was at Dartmouth Hospital for 14 days. If it weren’t for David’s House, I would not have been able to be by my daughter’s side, and for that, I am extremely grateful. Thank you to all the wonderful fellow guests, staff, and volunteers who helped in any way they could. I felt very comfortable, and you are all amazing for all that you do for those of us going through stressful and emotional times.”
Launched in June 2011, the Keeping David’s Promise campaign was a two-year, four-million-dollar effort that added a much-needed cottage-style addition to the house. Learn more about Keeping David’s Promise at www.davids-house.org/document.doc?id=223.
David’s House is a grassroots organization that receives no state or federal funding. Community support enables this organization to provide support for families 365 days a year without ever charging any fees. Over 13,000 families from 42 states and 25 countries have called David’s House their home away from home, while others have used the house on a day-guest basis for a shower, a nap, or a meal.