Thank you from Martha's Place

Letter To The Editor

We appreciate you making the effort to come to our fundraising event on Sept. 16 for Martha’s Place, the future residential hospice house. We had an amazing turnout, and we managed to bring in a little over $10,000 between ticket sales, silent auction, and donations! Your attendance and support have played an important role in our event’s success—thank you.

With your contribution, we will be able to continue working toward remodeling the old Fischer House, now officially called Martha’s Place, in Richland County. We have been able to install laminate wood flooring and paint the walls located in the front part of the home, have an 80 ft. well drilled, purchase the material required to tie the new well into the existing plumbing, and pay monthly utilities (LYREC & MDU). A local resident donated his valuable time and expertise to trench the ground and tie the new well to the two homes on the property. We are still seeking an electrician to finalize the well project. The home is currently being used to store furniture previously donated for future use, and stock donated items such as wheelchairs, walkers and various medical supplies that are passed on to those in our community who need them.

We met with SDI Architects last year to begin conversations about the residential hospice house. They have drawn up a preliminary floor plan to align with our vision. Our ultimate goal is to develop 12 individual rooms that will each accommodate a dying patient and a loved one, a nurse’s station, a common seating area for friends and families, a chapel, a conference room, and a healing space. We plan to utilize the basement level for our employees so our patients and loved ones are not disturbed. SDI Architects will be assisting us in utilizing the existing structure and usable materials to remodel the home in the most cost-efficient manner while fulfilling the rules and regulations outlined for a licensed residential hospice home in the state of Montana.

We also have a “wish list”. We would like to convert the man cave behind the home into a coffee bar, where patients and/or loved ones can gather. There is a small bridge and wood decking around the man cave that needs to be replaced. There is a man-made pond in the back that we would like to clean up, fill with water, and stock with fish for anyone who would like to fish. At some point, we would like to add horses to the property and offer horse therapy.

The cost of initial renovation is expected to cost between $300-500k, with the entire project anticipated at nearly $2M. We are researching grant opportunities and met with a large corporation who has shown genuine interest in potentially funding the initial renovation. However, our biggest obstacle right now is obtaining city water and sewer. Although we had a water well installed, we will definitely need city water and sewer to see this project to fruition. Jeffrey Hintz, Sidney Public Works director, recently provided us with a rough verbal estimate of $1M for the engineering required to extend city water and sewer to Martha’s Place. We are now exploring the next steps needed to make this happen. We are on a God mission and know He will see this through to the end.

If you were told you were dying in six days, six weeks, or six months, what would you like to do? If you are diabetic and want a chocolate cake for breakfast - guess what? We are going to bake that cake for you! If you have swallowing problems and want to drink a coke, we will bring you a 12-pack! If you do not want to take those giant potassium pills, you don’t have to! If you want to smoke, we will have a smoking area for you! You will have the opportunity to spend your final days on earth doing whatever you choose or not choose to do. You will have the ability to create wonderful lasting memories with your family and friends. Some of us are not allotted a final goodbye. When you are provided with the opportunity to do so, we would like to help make this time special.

Until Martha’s Place is prepared to take patients, our president has been offering house calls for dying patients free of charge. Martha Nugent is a licensed nurse practitioner with experience in oncology, gerontology, and end-of-life care. She believes no one should have to struggle during their final days, and she will work with families to ease their fears. She will walk you through the dying process to minimize the anxiety associated with this difficult time. She can be reached by phone at 832-330-4931.

We believe in providing care that is focused on optimizing quality of life, comfort, and dignity for those who are transitioning to Heaven. If we don’t want to see our loved ones suffer when they’re living, why would we want to watch them suffer when they’re dying?

Your generosity and support is an encouraging reminder of why we started this very much needed project. We are going to change the way we care for our dying loved ones.

If you would like to make a donation to Martha’s Place, you can mail a check or money order to 619 14th St SE, Sidney, MT 59270. We are a private 501c3 nonprofit.

With gratitude,

Martha’s Place Board of Directors: Martha Nugent, president; Felix Aguilar, treasurer; Jessica Byers, ssecretary


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