Today was the first time I heard about this special place

Her name is Kelsey Zottnick - she came into our radio station to record a commercial for a special event next month ( tell you about that in a bit ) - Since 2005, over at 908 N 8th Street here in Bismarck, some incredible people have made a huge impact on the lives of others. Imagine yourself having to travel to Bismarck where a loved one is going through a medical emergency or a life crisis. Tracy's Sanctuary House welcomes those who are troubled, and deeply worried as can be expected - family members from out of town who have one purpose in mind, to be with the one they love. Kelsey is the Executive Director, and she and countless others have her mom Tracy Rittel to thank for such a house of comfort.

In 2005 Kelsey lost her mom Tracy to a motor vehicle accident

"...A place of privacy, comfort, and compassion during an extremely difficult time in their lives..." This is what inspired Kelsey to start Tracy's Sanctuary House - a safe place for families to stay in the arms of people who care, and know what they are going through:

"Tracy’s Sanctuary House was established as a result of
the house’s namesake, Tracy, tragically passing away in a
car accident. Tracy, along with her husband Bruce, her
eleven-year-old daughter, and another passenger were
returning from a trip when their vehicle rolled. Tracy did
not survive.
While Tracy was fighting for her life far from home in an
area hospital near the accident, Tracy’s husband and
young daughter paced the cold hospital halls and waiting
room. Distraught and overcome with waves of emotion,
they desperately needed a private place to go and find
sanctuary through their anguish. From this experience,
Tracy’s Sanctuary House was born—a home to garner
sanctuary during family medical emergencies"

Their Mission is clear:

"To create a sustainable non-profit organization which provides
a spiritual home-based place of privacy, comfort, and
compassion to persons whose loved one is facing a medical,
life-threatening crisis"

Throughout all the years since 2005, Kelsey told me they have had over 4,700 families that have rested and have been comforted at 908 N 8th Street. *We can house up to 5 families at the same time. They can stay from 24 hrs up to 6 weeks. We also provide housing for those who are undergoing cancer, dialysis, and radiation treatments far from home. A referral is required from a medical professional at our local hospitals. It's a medical AirBNB of sorts.
Tracy’s Sanctuary House is a 501(c)(3) non-profit and is supported solely by donations and operates with the assistance of volunteers. All guests are required to place a $50 deposit prior to their stay. Emergency guests are encouraged to make a $25/night donation. Long-term stays are as little as $15/night

Kelsey Zottnick
Kelsey Zottnick

The strength and compassion that Kelsey has is amazing
I was just blown away by what I had just learned - in about 20 minutes of talking to her, I could tell from her eyes all the emotional moments she had experienced - so many hugs and goodbyes and they have not gone unnoticed: Here are but a few that have come to the house:

“This refuge saved us in so many ways they are hard to name.” 
“It meant a great deal to my son and myself in this most difficult
time that we face. We will be forever grateful.”
“It has truly been my sanctuary after my husband’s heart

“I was fortunate enough to see Tracy's Sanctuary House inside
and out while volunteering through a local "day of caring". The
home was very nice with lots of character. The Chapel in the
back was such a peaceful and calming space to be in. What a
great local charity to contribute to!”

Of course, the one question I ask everyone..."What's your favorite part of your job?"

"Hearing the people's stories..." --- Wow I'm sure she has heard a ton, I couldn't do what she does, it takes a strong person - to come across people who are genuinely hurting and worried - to love and offer support is the greatest gift of all.

A wonderful night out is planned!

January 25, 2024 - Winter White Party Fundraiser at the ND Heritage Center 6-8:30 pm to help raise funds to help our mission to keep Tracy's Sanctuary House open for those in need. Tickets for the event are $75 and can be found at Tracy's Sanctuary House on Facebook and Eventbrite. Cocktails, a silent auction, and a night of games all dressed in your favorite white attire.

Be there if you can, you will love it!

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Gallery Credit: Stacker


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