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The Friends of the Mentally Ill Foundation (FMIF) began with an avenue of individuals that longed to donate to a fund that would be directly used for patients at the Osawatomie State Hospital.

Initial funding came from kind donations from Norma Stephens and the Miami County Hospital, after which a task force was created, by-laws written, and applications made to form a non-profit organization. Stan Adams and Sherie Cole, who currently serve on their Board of Directors, were on the initial task force.

The FMIF is devoted to enriching the lives of persons receiving treatment at Osawatomie State Hospital.  They fund special projects to include equipment, goods, services and benefits currently unavailable from other sources. 

One of their various projects includes purchasing Bibles for the State Hospital Chaplain’s Department including those in Large Print, Spanish and English to help facilitate those patients need this service. They provide items such as cookies, chips and like items to each patient every month and at Christmastime a special treat bag is given to each person within in the unit.

They also provide/supply monthly activities for each person within the unit. During the past few years they have really began to focus on providing activity packages to include games and craft items. Last Spring, they incorporated a similar activity package that included outdoor games as well as indoor craft items.

Did you know that the FMIF also sponsors the Old Main Memorial Site at the Hospital Grounds? This site includes memorial benches (donated by family and friends) trees and flowering plants and an engraved brick plaza. The bricks in the plaza honor former Retirees, Current Employees, Family Members and those People who are supportive of the Hospital and the Foundation. They also maintain the upkeep for a Memorial Rose Garden across from the old Main Memorial Site. These sites provide relaxing areas for patients and staff to visit.

They also conduct various fund raising efforts throughout the year – to include the collection of aluminum cans and scrap metal to recycle, collection of Best Choice Bar Codes and often times participate in special events/booths at hospital and local events. One of their annual fundraisers is a summer Garage Sale. You will also find them with a booth at the annual Osawatomie Holiday Festival, where they hold a drawing for a Christmas themed basket, of which all proceeds benefit the Foundation. Fundraisers such as these help them to raise the money to support their cause.

The Friends of the Mentally Ill Foundation is a 501©3 Charitable Foundation and welcomes your membership. Membership fees are minimal and renews each October with a potluck, however, they accept memberships throughout the year.

If you have questions, or are interested in becoming a member, please contact Phyllis Sharp at (913) 731-0523 or write the Friends of the Mentally Ill Foundation at 500 State Hospital Drive, Osawatomie, KS. 66064. 

Special for the Month:

Friends of the Mentally Ill Foundation will be hosting a coffee on Tuesday, December 12th at 10:00 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce Office (the Railroad Depot/Museum). Please show your support by attending this coffee. This is a great way to get to know Phyllis, Sherie, Kathy, Stan and their Volunteers and also to network with other businesses! Your support for their services is appreciated!