My husband and I were able to volunteer in September at Corpus Christi Catholic Church for Family Promise. We made the most of it, and had a great time doing it! My husband brought his DJ equipment and had a dance party. Everyone from the youngest to the oldest had fun. We hope we were able to help them forget about their struggles for that one night. My son and I made goodie bags for the kids. My sister-in-law sent a care package of fun stuff for everyone. We ordered pizzas and just really had a blast! Christy Sullivan let us make the night our own. She was awesome!
I have been honored with providing my assistance to Family Promise towards the beginning. Unfortunately, there were potential resistances from the public and I helped to send "town hall meeting" notices to the community surrounding volunteer churches. During this process, the more I learned about Family Promise, the more excited I became to help in whatever way I could. To my delight my church agreed to join as a host church and I help in several ways each and every time. The program is dear to me and my family. Even though my son has started College he has already signed up to volunteer while at home over his holiday break. Many times when you decide to support programs or donate to different causes, you pray and hope you are making a difference. When you allow yourself to participate in the Family Promise program you absolutely know you are making a difference to not only the families but in yourself. There are so many rewards it almost seems impossible to list them all. With the diversity that exists between the families and volunteers, it may seem on paper that the program would not be successful or run as well as it does. However, there is more than enough respect, love and genuine desire to see everyone and the program to succeed that the differences do not really seem to exist. No one and life is not perfect and in that respect everyone has something to share and contribute. Family Promise is not just how I am helping homeless families. I receive so much from each family and I am truly blessed and thankful for what the families provide me during their time in the program and afterward. Family Promise is a "family" with lasting relationships.
A month after a family stayed at our church, I was at the bowling alley & stopped to talk with them. I was going to be traveling to a city they were familiar with. They gave me tips on entertainment and a nice restaurant. I felt so loved. I was glad to know, things were looking up for them. They were now both employed. I was blessed with our sharing. A moment of time is priceless! Volunteering w/ Family Promise is greatness at it's best! A simple meal or overnight stay for them. Blessings abundantly for all volunteers. Thank you Family Promise!
I support technology at our church. I have helped do set up and reset of the family rooms. I have made sure that families had DVD/VCR facilities in their rooms. I have also made sure that computer and internet was available. On some occasions that allowed family members to complete school work. I make sure thermostats are reset for overnight occupancy. I am on call if anything goes wrong.
I've watched this service grow from its infancy as idea and a dream into a living and breathing reality. The program is well constructed and organized, has many years of success behind it, and it's already proven "tried & true" here in Lawrence. At least two families I know of personally are back on their feet and living in real homes and thriving. The coordinator at our church is amazing, and there are other amazing volunteers in charge of different aspects of our week of hosting...the food, the setup and tearing down of rooms, etc. Everyone pitches in and it gives you a warm feeling to be part of something that directly helps others. And my children LOVE Family Promise week and beg to go play with their new friends every evening. Meeting the families and hearing their stories has been a blessing to my family that I never would have expected. We now find ourselves wanting to keep in touch and see the families whether they are visiting another church or are back on their own. It's just another way of making new friends now for us-- and who couldn't use more friends?
I've been involved with Family Promise since it was just an exciting idea. We asked for nothing from the city except to let us do our job. It's the faith congregations who put the petal to the metal, so to speak. These fantastic volunteers put in countless hours planning and organizing their host/support weeks and seeing that the week is fully staffed. The Board and Executive Director are equally dedicated and skilled. Valerie is truly impressive, working with volunteers while encouraging and motivating the guests to a new level of responsibility in overcoming obstacles and meeting whatever challenges they face. It's a privilege to be part of this great organization.
I got involved with the program when it was in it's infancy and have watched and participated as it has blossomed. And blossomed it has! Beyond my expectations really. I think God has really blessed this effort and the fruits being born out of it are all the proof one needs of that! My wife and are one of the coordinator couples at our church and it is an absolute joy and honor to work this program. With that said, I think the one thing that can be made better is more consistency across the various churches as to how things are handled for the overnights. The guests can get a bit frustrated that what is allowed at one place is not at another. This is getting better though as the coordinators have opportunity to get together and discuss procedures. Overall though, the program is well thought out, there is an excellent board and program coordinator, and most of all... RESULTS!
I will NEVER forget about a dozen volunteers, standing in the driveway, holding hands in a circle, heads bowed and giving a blessing to one of our families as she and her daughter moved into their home. i am the coordinator of Family Promise at our church. i became involved because i think it is my responsibility as a human being to love and care for others...especially when they are at a critical time in their lives. Being able to make a real difference..either by fixing a yummy dinner, playing bingo with the kids, or giving a nice, long hug to a mom who is completely exhausted is incredible. Family Promise is about love, hospitality and mostly success. My life is so much richer and i hope that i have made other lives richer, as well. truly is the best thing i have ever been involved with.
I've known about Family Promise since it was just a dream that the Lawrence faith community could provide support to homeless families. I watched as many dedicated individuals worked to make that dream a reality. Now that Family Promise is a reality, I can lend my talents to this project. I have a double connection with Lawrence Family Promise. First my husband and I are coordinators for our church. We spend the over night shift one night each quarter as well as help with the evening meal and fellowship. It is a privilege to help with this project. My second connection is as an elementary school principal in Lawrence. I know the effects that homelessness has on children. There are homeless children attending every one of our 15 elementary buildings. Two children that have been served by Family Promise have attended school in my building. Having a safe place to sleep and meals that you can depend on are critical to a child, without these learning is impossible. When this family became involved with Family Promise, I saw an immediate improvement in the children's attitude at school. They were more focused and ready to learn each day. They willingly talked about the nice people that provided meals and a place for them to sleep. They told me that they felt safe sleeping at the church. They came to school with their homework done and ready to learn. Sometimes when we have homeless children, they will ask me to keep a special possession for them. Living in shelters, you never know if your favorite possession will be there when you get back. These children were happy to know that they could leave their favorite toy while they were at school, and it would be okay until they returned. It seems so simple, but so important. My only regret is that we can't support more families.
We have really loved our involvement. It is very rewarding to see the families who come full circle. We have seen families who are in the prgram who are dealing with being without a home for the first time and have seen how the program has helped them to get back on their feet.