Every October, we take a week to step back from our full-time focus on helping families out of homelessness to commemorate our successes while raising awareness. Family Promise Week was celebrated this year from October 16-23, with Affiliates recognizing volunteers, giving tours of their facilities, and hosting fundraisers to engage support for their missions.
In Burbank (CA), Family Promise of the Verdugos went all out. Director Albert Hernandez said, “We planned an activity for each day of the week. We wanted to make sure it was more than just recognition—that it was a real celebration of the big things Affiliates are doing across the country.”
- The Rotary Club of Burbank toured their Day Center and created 25 Welcome Home packages of essential supplies—detergent, sponges, laundry supplies—for the next 25 families moving into housing.
- The Wood Ranch BBQ & Grill hosted an all-day fundraiser, with 20% of the proceeds going to the Affiliate.
- South Hills Church held a week-long household goods drive for the Day Center, collecting a full year’s worth of supplies.
- Mayors of Burbank and Glendale presented them with proclamations declaring it Family Promise Week, with both ceremonies televised locally.
In the great northwest, Family Promise of Spokane (WA) held an open house to introduce Open Doors, a 24/7 emergency family shelter in partnership with the Salvation Army. On a walk-in basis, families with children can new receive immediate support—shelter, assessment, food, showers, laundry, computers—between the hours of 7:30 AM and 7:30 PM. It’s part of a collaborative effort by nonprofits in the city—Salvation Army, Catholic Charities, Volunteers of America—to help realize Spokane’s goal of being one of the most compassionate cities in America.
The Affiliate also unveiled AlphaBovey, a limited edition print featuring iconic Spokane locations using the alphabet which they commissioned from Chris Bovey, a local artist. Using the design, Spokane created posters, mugs, and coasters which they’re selling on their website to raise funds for their programs.
And they premiered a volunteer training videocast series, kicking off with an interview with Family Promise President Claas Ehlers. The conversation gave viewers an overview of Family Promise as an organization and how an Affiliate can best utilize national resources. “The timing of Family Promise Week is perfect, right before the holiday season,” said Spokane’s Executive Director, Steve Allen. “It provides confidence to people that we’re part of something much bigger than just our community. It brings in new volunteers and energizes old hands. Our activities helped us create momentum towards our ultimate goal of providing services so that 90% of the families we serve can develop an actionable plan to secure affordable housing.”
And in New Jersey, Family Promise of Morris County used the week to engage with the community, celebrating with congregations, local businesses and students from area schools.
The Mount Freedom Jewish Center participated with outreach for support to local business owners as part of Sukkot—“moving from a place of sorrow to a place of joy.” The Atelier Salon kicked off a long-term “Day of Beauty” initiative: each month, for one day, they close the salon to the public and provide services to guest families. St. Patrick School in Chatham dreamed up “Sock-tober—a donation drive that collected nearly 800 pairs of socks for guest families. And students at the Mountain View Middle School, in addition to collecting 25 boxes of toiletries and clothes, built furniture in woodworking class as housewarming gifts for graduating families.
Family Promise Week is recognized by each Affiliate in its own way, but we all share its common purpose. In Morris County Director Joann Bjornson’s words, “National Family Promise week is a fantastic opportunity for us to collectively tell the story of each and every family we help and the impact that has nationwide.”