Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital originated in 1891 when a small group of Grand Rapids women recognized the need for medical care for patients of limited financial means in our community. They embarked on a fundraising campaign to secure the use of a free bed in a local hospital, soliciting financial support from the Grand Rapids community, asking for contributions from everyone named Mary, as well as from those having friends or relatives with the name.
They soon raised enough money to endow a free bed, which subsequently became known as the Mary Free Bed. As the fund – and community need – grew, other women joined the group. It became incorporated in 1911 as the Mary Free Bed Guild of Grand Rapids.
Today the Mary Free Bed Guild governs the most comprehensive rehabilitation hospital in Michigan. The 120 women of the Guild and Junior Guild also volunteer their time serving as greeters, patient liaisons, hospitality-cart providers and hostesses at monthly meals for patients and their families.
Most importantly, the Guild is the keeper of our nurturing culture of restoring hope and freedom through rehabilitation.