A recent Rice University Capstone study shines the light on the magnitude of cancer patients, roughly 10,000 a month who seek treatment at MD Anderson’s Cancer clinics, and the urgent need for short term lodging for patients, families and caregivers which has been Friday Harbour’s mission for nine years. The Jones Graduate School of Business Capstone course provided an opportunity for students to use their skills to help Houston community organizations address “real world” critical strategic issues. For Friday Harbour, the 501c3 is focused on providing more free hotel rooms to help ease the burden of the cancer journey. Since its inception, it has provided more than 2,000 rooms and last year booked 400 hotel rooms. The target is 1,200 rooms for 2018 and within the first four months they have provided 220 rooms.
“We are honored to be chosen for the Rice Capstone project which infused Friday Harbour with a wise and practical road map for significant growth,” said Brian Hall, Founder and President of Friday Harbour. “As we mix that with the passion and drive of our volunteers and board members it will result in healing thousands on their cancer journey.”
The Capstone study also provided tactical improvements for three opportunities for volunteers and donors to get involved. From Doers– those who volunteer with the charity, to Door Openers – those who host Beacons Around Houston receptions and Donors– those who make a commitment through the monthly Beacon Donors program.
“It was a pleasure to be the Rice Capstone team assigned to work with Friday Harbour and to win “The Owl” award for our research,” said MBA student Stephanie Antosh. “We spent the semester really understanding the details of not only the organization itself, but also researching the non-profit market and the patients who are in need of assistance during their cancer journey. We strongly believe Friday Harbour’s mission of providing short-term lodging has a place here in Houston which is one of the largest cancer centers in the world.”
During a recent board meeting, the team discussed the research which showed that in order for Friday Harbour to expand upon its mission, a strategic direction along with an accompanying multi-year implementation plan will need to be executed during 2018. For cancer referrals, a stronger relationship with social service agencies and caregivers will also be developed.
“Friday Harbour emerged from Capstone Spring 2018 with fresh strategic insights, powerful new relationships and a refreshed commitment to ‘Healing Cancer One Night at a Time’,” said Juan Carlos Giron, Jr. “As a board member, I owe Rice University a sincere debt of gratitude for the opportunity to participate in such an amazing program, connect with so many unique and insightful individuals and experience the many special and challenging moments that confirmed the importance of the work that lies ahead.”
Congratulation to one of our Rice Capstone Teams winning the Owl Award best overall project as measured by
the cumulation of scores from all 5 previous deliverables and Final Presentation.