Susan Burley’s story below was featured in the 2021 Foundation Annual Report. She passed away in 2022 but her spirit of giving and support of the Guest House at McLeod lives on.
A house is just a building, but a home is a special place where you feel warm and welcomed. To me that is what the Guest House at McLeod is… a place you can feel at home no matter the circumstances.”READ MORE
These are the words of Susan Burley, a McLeod Health Foundation donor and volunteer of more than 30 years.
Susan originally got involved by selling Miracle Balloons during the Children’s Miracle Network Telethon in her family-owned Shoney’s Restaurants. She and her late husband, Jerry, however, shared a passion for helping those less fortunate and wanted to get more involved with McLeod Health.
“I am a blessed lady because my sweet husband made it possible for me to help those in need through McLeod Foundation programs, and I became passionate about it,” Susan fondly remembers.
As the McLeod Foundation raised funds to build The Guest House at McLeod, Susan accepted an invitation to join a committee to help establish the new facility. These early discussions centered around one goal: to make a stay in the Guest House special for those needing accommodations while their loved ones received treatment at McLeod.
“We talked about providing a place to sleep, a place to eat, and a place for fellowship,” Susan recalls. “I knew right away that Jerry and I would sponsor the kitchen — after all we were restaurant owners. People like to gather in the kitchen, and we know food can bring comfort to others.”
Susan even helped make the beds in the house to get it ready for its first guests.
When McLeod decided to expand the Guest House, Jerry and Susan agreed to sponsor the library due to her love of reading.
“We are so fortunate to have McLeod Health in our community. Jerry and I were fortunate to be a part of such an amazing resource,” Susan shared.Close
Guest House Experience Leads to Two Decades of Support
Imagine a loved one — your spouse, your parent — requiring immediate life-saving hospital care. Consumed with fear and confusion, you want to be by their side. Now, picture living an hour away – not knowing what will happen to your loved one, or where you will sleep that night.READ MORE
When Elisabeth McNiel’s mother-in-law, Jane, suffered a heart attack in 1995 and was admitted to McLeod Regional Medical Center, the entire family knew they needed to be with her. But with half the family living in Bennettsville and the other half in Dillon County, the family worried where they would stay.
A patient representative recommended The Guest House at McLeod, a home away from home for patient families, which had opened earlier that year.
“We enjoyed the ease, comfort, and security of the Guest House,” Elisabeth said. “The staff treated us like family. The compassion that McLeod is known for truly extends across the street to the Guest House.”
Little did the Guest House staff know, the kindness they showed the McNiels would lead to two decades of generous support. You see, Elisabeth is the Chairman of The Kinney Foundation, a charitable organization that supports many organizations benefitting Marlboro County residents.
“Funding the medical needs of our community is important to us,” said Elisabeth.
For the past 20 years, The Kinney Foundation has made gifts to the McLeod Health Foundation to cover the cost of Marlboro County residents unable to afford a stay at The Guest House at McLeod.
“Since most individuals with major medical issues receive care at McLeod Regional Medical Center, we want their families to have a place to stay,” Elisabeth said.
“Being close by your loved one helps with the healing process. Families in that position have enough to worry about without having to worry about where they will lay their head,” added Elisabeth.Close
View stories about how your gifts are helping patients and their families at the Guest House at McLeod.VIEW STORIES