Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House, Rockin' on the Avenue

Finding Solace in the Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House

Jun 3 2024

In 2021, Veronica Jordan’s life took an unexpected turn as she navigated the responsibilities of caring for her mother, Nanny, who resides near Farmville, Va., a two-hour drive away from her home and just over an hour outside of our Richmond market.

“My mom is so spunky,” Veronica shared. “She means the world to me and I was the one who had to tell her that she had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.”

Veronica immediately moved into a caregiving role, thinking about how she would get her mother the care she needed. The thought of enduring the daily commute to transport her mother to Bon Secours St. Mary’s Hospital for treatment seemed daunting and overwhelming. However, fate intervened when her mother’s nurse introduced her to the invaluable resource that is the Evelyn D. Reinhart Guest House.

Few situations can strain a family’s emotional, financial and spiritual resources more than traveling a great distance for quality medical care. Offering hospitality and support to families and friends as they care for a loved one in the hospital is essential to the Bon Secours mission. Since 2004, the Guest House has served as a respite for more than 13,000 guests traveling from 49 states and all counties within Virginia. Every day, the Guest House upholds its mission to offer faith, hope and the opportunity to effectively promote health and wholeness in an environment that feels like home.

For Veronica, the Guest House became more than just a temporary residence; it became a home away from home, a place where she and her mother found solace and compassion among fellow caregivers who shared similar experiences and understood the complexities of her journey. The supportive environment fostered by the Guest House staff and volunteers provided Veronica and her mother with the emotional sustenance needed to navigate the uncertainties of her illness.

Located on Libbie Avenue, the Reinhart Guest House is only a five-minute walk from St. Mary’s Hospital. No longer burdened by the arduous commute, Veronica could devote her time and energy entirely to being present for her mother, offering her unwavering love and support throughout every stage of her treatment.

Veronica’s message to the community is simple: “I wish more people would donate and volunteer. To have this house at my darkest moments was a blessing and it continues to be. The stress I am under and to come here and see smiling faces. I feel like I am with my family.”

There are wonderful opportunities to support the Guest House, such as volunteering time, preparing meals for guests, donating room nights or purchasing wish list items. The Guest House celebrates the remarkable impact of its mission at an annual fundraiser, Rockin’ on the Avenue. This year, the event will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Guest House on June 6 from 6 to 9 p.m. with raffles, a silent auction, food and drinks and live music from local artists. Anyone interested in more information or attending the event can contact Lisa Patten at lisa_patten@bshsi.org.

This story also appeared in the May 2024 issue of Westhampton Living Magazine.

Learn about the community services we offer at Bon Secours.

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