The history of community support continues.
As Holy Family Memorial completes its 117th year of service to our friends and neighbors, we turn another page in our history book which began way back in 1898. Manitowoc was a bustling and booming maritime city which boasted an active port, vibrant trade and growing population. However, the city lacked a hospital! Community and clergy leaders realized how critical a hospital was for the city. They formed a coalition of concerned citizens and approached the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity requesting they build and run a hospital.
History records show that Mother Alexia Fullmer, Superior General at the time, was indeed understanding and supportive of taking on the project. She felt that building a hospital would be a wonderful way for the Sisters to help the community by ministering to the sick in Jesus’ name. However, there was one problem – the Sisters had no money. As Mother Alexia wrote in her journal,
“Under such trying circumstances, it was evident that human means were not to be the foundation of the edifice in question. No-it was to rest upon a foundation more solid and more secure than earthly goods, trust in Divine Providence.”
And she was right. A community-wide fundraising initiative ensued, raising support from local citizens. Proceeds of $3,887.09 were raised – the first official dollars that started Holy Family Hospital. It seemed like a miracle! There was not enough money to fund the hospital, but Mother Alexia made the bold decision to forge ahead with the project. The doors of Holy Family Hospital opened for all on September 28, 1899.
My message to you is to tell you how grateful I am for the considerate personal care, spiritual and medical, given to me by multiple staff members.
Little did those first donors realize what their gifts were starting. As the hospital grew to meet the changing healthcare needs of the community, financial support from generous donors remained constant. Every year, many community members donate to the HFM Cares Campaign because they know it makes a real and sustaining difference in the lives of others.
The annual HFM Cares Campaign has supported life-saving equipment in the HFM Heart & Vascular Center, clinical advances in our cancer center and assistance for those most vulnerable in our community who otherwise could not receive essential care.
We invite you to be a part of the HFM Cares Campaign this year. Your gift can make an immediate impact on urgently needed healthcare services and programs which improve the health of our community and make it a better place to live, learn, work and play.
HFM is deeply grateful for the privilege of serving the community for generations and we look forward to creating healthier lives in the generations to come.