Gift to UF Health Shands will help families find housing

Donald and Sara Rich understand the power of family in the healing process. That’s why the couple presented a $40,000 check Sept. 17 to support the UF Health Shands Hospital Housing voucher fund and establish the Samaritan Housing Fund.

The Riches, who founded The Samaritan Hospitality House Inc. after their daughter, Leslie, was treated at UF Health Shands Hospital for a ruptured brain aneurysm, made this gift to assist families struggling to find affordable housing while their loved one receives long-term treatment at UF Health.

The voucher program has expanded significantly as a result of the recent donation.

“I can’t even begin to describe what it was like to know we weren’t going to have to worry about a place to stay,” said Robin Mayers, who relocated from her home two hours away to care for her sister, Randa, who spent two months at UF Health rehabilitating from colitis.

“When you’re under so much stress, it just made life so much easier,” she said. “We think it is a God-given blessing that this program exists.”

The Riches, who once witnessed families sleeping in waiting rooms and on hallway floors and experienced the stress that comes with a hospitalized loved one, are well on their way to helping to lift that weight for others.

“We are very fortunate to be in the position to make this gift and to help ease the financial burden and healing of families with long-term patients,” Donald Rich said. “This donation is only the beginning.”

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