Help provide a warm welcome

Dear Hermitage friend,

I arrived at The Hermitage a little early on Monday morning to turn up the heat in Room #3 in the Barn so the room would provide a warm welcome to an early guest. I then went to the office and noticed it was cold. The chapel for morning prayer was in the low 50s! 

A visit from a service technician informed me of the bad news. Our geothermal unit was shot. It was more than 20 years old, it used a refrigerant that isn’t used any more, and there was an internal leak. Not good news!

Providing a warm and welcoming space is an essential part of our work of hospitality. The warmth, which we so often take for granted, allows our bodies and spirits to rest. Providing a warm space is a sign that we were expecting you, and we value your presence in this space. 

So, with a quick consultation with the board, we made the necessary decision to replace our geothermal unit in the Hanby building. This was a significant and of course an unanticipated expense. Fortunately, over the years, thanks to the generosity of so many, the board had established an operating reserve fund for just such an occasion. While we have enough in the fund to cover the nearly $20,000 replacement cost, draining this fund at this time would be difficult to manage.

We’ve already delayed the necessary work of replacing the Hanby building roof. And while we are glad to be welcoming guests, current Covid restrictions mean we are still not able to host as many guests to keep the operations sustainable. 

The geothermal unit chose to stop heating during a week with below zero temperatures. We are grateful to our very responsive plumbing and heating company and the hard work of their staff. They were able to get warm air blowing by late Wednesday. 

As with many households, the unexpected costs that occur around the home can be, to say the least, difficult! Might I ask you to consider the warm receptions you’ve received at The Hermitage over the years, whether it’s been a smiling face, a comfortable, warm room, or a fresh meal. We all want to help ensure other guests receive that same warmth and I’m asking if you would partner with the work of hospitality and prayerfully consider a financial gift to help us through this time of need.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!


Kevin Driedger 
Hermitage Co-Director 

You can donate online or send a check to The Hermitage, 11321 Dutch Settlement Rd, Three Rivers, MI 49093