Wednesday, June 26, 2013 12:00 AM

New children's room a hit at Terry's House

Visiting someone in the hospital can be a trying time – especially if you’re 5 years old. It’s even harder when it’s your mom or sibling – you’re a long way from home – and staying at Terry’s House next to Community Regional Medical Center.

Terry's House is a hospitality home where families can stay near to critically ill or injured loved ones recovering in the hospital. Most are far from home – and many have young children.

That’s why staff at Terry’s House decided to remodel an existing exercise area into a children’s room to allow a playful setting for children to enjoy amid all the stress they might experience. And since it opened this spring – it’s been a big hit.

The newly remodeled room includes brand new multi-colored furniture. A cushioned storage bench lines the wall connecting to two bookshelves on either end. A large, hand-painted tree mural adorns the wall – complete with painted birds and flowers. Other cartoon animals are featured on the walls including a monkey and hippopotamus – all designed for fun.

Cabinets house puzzles, board games and books and a large blackboard hangs on the wall near the window where children draw, erase and create. While the room has been wonderfully remodeled, it could still use more books, toys, interactive games and other child-friendly items.

This room was made possible by a gift from the Dan & Jacqueline Lion Family with furnishings gifted by the Leon S. Peters Foundation. The full operation and upkeep of Terry’s House is solely dependent on private contributions and donations. Donors and volunteers also come fix meals for guests, drop off gifts in kind — like blankets — or do other things to help families in need.

“We love it when people ask us how they can help,” said Terry’s House Executive Director Christa Short.

“There’s always something Terry’s House donors or volunteers are doing to help these families during a difficult time.”

The children’s room is the main source of enrichment and entertainment for the young ones staying with their family at Terry’s House. Being away from their home can be very stressful and the new children's room at Terry's House provides an escape for both parents and kids.

If you are interested in making a gift or donating games or items for the room, please call house manager Desirey Tolosa at (559) 459-7200 or email her at

Mary Lisa Russell reported this story. She can be reached at