Abby Brzezinski, principal of Waukesha-based Red Sky Partners LLC, was on the hunt for a new volunteer opportunity when she happened upon an advertisement for Kathy’s House in 2017.
Immediately drawn to the mission of the Wauwatosa-based guest house for hospital patients and their families, Brzezinksi began pitching in to help the organization run smoothly.
[caption id="attachment_373197" align="alignnone" width="770"] Credit: Jake Hill Photography[/caption]
“She was willing to do whatever was needed – cleaning, office support and event support – and got to know all aspects of Kathy’s House,” said Patty Metropulos, president and chief executive officer of Kathy’s House.
Aimed at alleviating the financial burden of traveling long distance for medical care, Kathy’s House provides affordable lodging for patients and their families at its 18-bed house, located at 600 N. 103rd St., near the Milwaukee Regional Medical Center campus.
“I, like most people, have experienced cancer within my friends and family,” Brzezinski said. “I’ve had a family member pass away from cancer. My brother-in-law just went through cancer within the last year. That’s what the vast majority of people (at Kathy’s House) are going through. So it hits home. I really feel for people who don’t have the means to stay somewhere nearby. Kathy’s House is an amazing resource for people.”
Brzezinski has since joined the Kathy’s House board of directors and its philanthropy committee, looking to increase her involvement at a critical time for the organization. Kathy’s House is in the middle of a multi-year capital campaign – led by a $6 million gift from Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin – to fund the construction of a new 31,000-square-foot, 36-room facility. The new house will double the capacity of the current building, which the organization leases at the St. Camillus Health Center.
Brzezinski has drawn from her property management background, along with her volunteer experience, to help guide the organization.
“It’s such an exciting time for Kathy’s House,” Brzezinski said. “I’m learning a lot and trying to contribute where I can. I think it’s been really valuable to have seen some of the ins and outs of how the house works, to be able to give input on board decisions and decisions for the new house going forward.”
“The more awareness we can bring to Kathy’s House and the services that the staff provides, the better,” she added. “It’s an amazing organization, seeing people receiving critical treatments that they might not otherwise be able to receive.”