“Cooking for the Howie’s House has helped us heal and move forward after losing Gary. It feels good to give back and support where we can – even if it is only something as simple as preparing a home cooked meal for the residents.” – Trish Reichert, Donor Mom
My son Gary Reichert passed away suddenly on November 5, 2013 and by choosing to donate his organs, he gave the gift of life to four people and restored the sight of two more. We decided to start cooking at the Howie’s House in June of 2014 as a way to honor the lifesaving gift Gary gave to others and to help keep his memory alive. “G$” was Gary’s nickname. We chose to name our group Team G$ when we first formed our team for the Donor DASH in early 2014. We decided to continue using it when we come to cook at the Howie’s House.
Team G$ has become a source of healing for all of us. Our group is made up of my son’s friends and family. His loving girlfriend Jennifer, sisters Shannon and Tiffany, cousins Sherry and Jessica, his great aunt and uncle Sara and Mercer, and Gary’s beloved niece Adriana all help make Team G$ a reality. And our team continues to grow—friends of friends and extended family members participate, some of them never having met Gary! The support and camaraderie of Team G$ and volunteering for the Howie’s House has become an outlet to help us all honor Gary’s memory and his gift to those he’s saved.
When we come to cook, we always try to do something different, something that hasn’t been made in a while for the house guests. We try to think out of the box. In the past, we have served mozzarella stuffed meatballs, homemade Salisbury steaks, root beer floats, homemade soups, tuna casserole, Sloppy Joes. We want to make something comforting and delicious that the house guest would make in their own home for dinner.
Cooking for the Howie’s House has helped us heal and move forward after losing Gary. It feels good to give back and support where we can – even if it is only something as simple as preparing a home cooked meal for the residents. We enjoy meeting and getting to know Howie’s House guests, staff and interns. We have a great time working together and preparing a meal for everyone to enjoy. Every moment inside the Howie’s House is memorable.