Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center - Houston, Texas
Adam’s Corner Lets Kids be Kids
Houston VA Fisher House III recently opened an area solely dedicated to children—a place where they can play, read, and just be kids while Veterans and family members manage medical care. It’s called Adam’s Corner in memory of Army Veteran Adam Garcia who died from injuries sustained while serving in Iraq.
This is the fourth Adam’s Corner to open in a Fisher House, with many more planned in the future. The idea came in 2006 when Garcia was critically injured by small arms fire. He was transported to an Army hospital in southwest Germany and that is where his parents and sister had their first Fisher House experience.
“It was so welcoming and heartwarming that we felt comfortable leaving our 12-year-old daughter there while we went to the hospital,” said Cynthia Garcia, Adam’s mom. “But there was nothing for her to do, nothing for her to read while we dealt with adult stuff. She was bored out of her mind.”
And that was how the idea was born. Her daughter asked, “Wouldn’t it be neat to have a corner somewhere where kids could just sit while you guys talk about whatever you talk about?”
Cynthia, an employee at Comcast Dallas, told her co-workers what she wanted to do and they took it on as their project. It immediately took off.
A Dallas Fisher House gave them a 10’x10’ corner, which was set up with a mat, chairs and bookshelves. Donation boxes were set up at her work and they received so many children’s books they didn’t know what to do with them.
“We had so many books left over that we opened another Adam’s Corner in Fort Hood.” Cynthia said. “But this is by far the biggest we have opened. It has morphed into an Adam’s Room here in Houston. I just love how Fisher House has allowed us to do this.”
For Frank Kelley, manager of Houston VA’s Fisher Houses, the decision to get involved with this project was an easy one.
“As times change and we get more Veterans and active-duty members with children, the opportunity to provide Adam’s Corner is a true blessing as it gives the youngsters a place of their own while they spend time with us here at the Fisher House.”
Her goal is to see an Adam’s Corner in every Fisher House in the country with 10 more scheduled this year by the Comcast Employee Resource Group.
“I feel lucky to work for a company that embraces that culture, that unity, that family,” she said.
Cynthia hung a picture and bio of her son in the room dedicated at Fisher House III.
“I hope that children read this and get to know who my son was,” she said. “He was loving. He was the funny one in the group, but he was the protector of the group. He was a kid at heart. I’m happy that they opened up their doors and let us bring in a little piece of Adam.”