The name Zuzu House was chosen from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life.” It was chosen as the goal is to make sure that each of these vulnerable teens have a wonderful life and that they each understand the value of their own existence.
Before beginning this ministry, Rev. Inman contacted Karolyn Grimes (Zuzu, It’s a Wonderful Life) about starting such a home and organization. He explained to her about the number of homeless and vulnerable teens in the Marshfield community and how there was such a large need for such a ministry. Karolyn (a former Missouri resident) wholeheartedly agreed to serve as the honorary chairperson for the board of directors. Rev. Inman then contacted Dr. Jeanine Roose (Violet Bick, It’s a Wonderful Life) and asked her to serve as a board member as Dr. Roose is a Clinical Psychologist and has a heart for vulnerable teens.
After bringing Karolyn and Dr. Jeanine onboard with the organization, the following individuals were approached to serve and agreed to become charter board members: Michelle Slavens, Ruthie Davis, Amanda Burris, Fay King, T.J. Bransfield (Superintendent of Niangua Schools), Lisa Tindall and Sarah Inman. Later, other dedicated community members joined the organization to serve on the board of directors as well.
In July of 2018, the board voted to start an auxiliary of local citizens to assist in raising awareness and funds for the house. They felt that such an organization would allow more community members to become involved with the house. The group would officially form in 2019 and they would elect, Sunny Fuller as their charter President. The auxiliary is called, The Friends of Zuzu’s House and they meet monthly at the Webster County Library. Dues are $10 per year and everyone is invited to join and participate in the auxiliary.
In February of 2019 a physical location was obtained for Zuzu’s House in Marshfield. Fay King volunteered to serve as the house restoration director and she coordinated the work necessary to restore the home and preserve its historic features. Countless community volunteers assisted with the restoration work inside and outside of the home. It was officially dedicated in April of 2019 as the kickoff to the 14th annual Missouri Cherry Blossom Festival in Marshfield.
Three living cast members (Karolyn, Dr. Jeanine and Carol Coombs Mueller) from the movie, “It’s a Wonderful Life” participated in the dedication ceremony and reenacted a scene from the movie, where a house blessing is performed. Lulu Roman (Hee Haw) performed at the dedication ceremony and Fay King was presented the Cherry Blossom Medal for her hard work and dedication to the house. Several hundred attended the dedication ceremony and the program ended with the singing of, “Bless this House,” which will continue to be the prayer of those who work, live and support this resource center for vulnerable teens called, Zuzu’s House.
In February of 2020, a new and much larger location (6400 square foot) was purchased for Zuzu's House. This new location will allow for additional space and will enable our resource center to offer more life skill classes and the opportunity to house more vulnerable teens from our local community.
Bless this house, O Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless these walls so firm and stout,
Keeping want and troubles out.
Bless the roof and chimney top.
Let thy love flow all about.
Bless this house that it may prove
Ever open to joy and truth. Bless us all that we may be
Fit, O Lord, to dwell with thee.
Bless us so that one day we,
May dwell, dear Lord, with thee.
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