Building Meaningful Relationships at Bailey-Boushay House

Holly Weese, longtime BBH volunteer

For years, Holly Weese had a weekly lunchtime appointment on her calendar – a date for her and a resident of Bailey-Boushay House (BBH). They would spend the car ride to the restaurant listening to Kenny Rogers. After lunch, they would pick up his favorite frappuccino before heading back to BBH.

“Holly amazed the BBH staff,” says Eric Swenson, Holly’s longtime partner. “Before Holly, the resident had been distant and frustrated. Within weeks Holly had him laughing, singing, and being friendly to others. In her unassuming way, she was a miracle worker.”

After a long career in higher education and public health, Holly wanted to further her impact by spending time volunteering with programs she knew were crucial to the community. Bailey-Boushay House was a perfect fit.

“Through her career in public health, she knew the value of places like Bailey-Boushay,” Eric says. “Without BBH, where would hundreds of HIV/AIDS patients have gone for crucial support?”

She began volunteering for BBH in 1997 and, through the years, built deep connections with residents and the staff.

Over the years, Holly built friendships with many of the residents. They shared with her their life stories, their joys and losses.

“Holly offered empathy and compassion for many she met, and this invariably led to generosity, to giving of herself and her resources to better the life of others,” Eric says.

Holly passed away in 2020. She designated Bailey-Boushay House as a beneficiary of her estate.

Eric knows that Holly’s legacy gift is her way of advocating for the values and integrity BBH shows to everyone. And he plans to include BBH in his own will.

“Bailey-Boushay House gives people the dignity and the family they don’t often have. As a society, we need to be much better about bringing people peace and support through their last weeks and days. I’m going to do what I can to foster more support for their residents,” Eric says.