Family Promise board member David Annett believes the experiences we have early in life affect the paths we later choose.
As a child, he volunteered with his family at the Family Promise Affiliate in Cincinnati, OH. At the time, he was too young to understand the circumstances of the families in the program. But his early experiences as a volunteer were significant enough to help shape his aspirations for the future. Now a husband and father of three, Annett is the Director of Youth Ministry at his church, a host site in the Cincinnati Affiliate’s emergency shelter program, and he has served on the Affiliate’s board for five years, currently as President.
He, his wife Kristen, and their children, ages 8, 6, and 3, share meals, play with the kids, and offer support to guest families.
“It’s neat to see things come full circle,” he remarks about his own children’s involvement.
He also sees the impact Family Promise has on his kids.
“They ask questions like, ‘Why do we have a house and they don’t?’ We talk about homelessness. They’re really concerned about these families,” Annett observes.
He notes that the teens in his youth group, who are also Family Promise volunteers, are affected by their involvement with the organization, as well.
“It’s an eye-opening experience for them to interact with kids their own age who have lost their homes,” he explains. “It really makes them think.”
Working with Family Promise even influenced the group’s annual mission trip last summer. They visited legislative representatives in Washington, D.C., to speak about family homelessness, learn how policymakers are addressing the crisis, and understand how their efforts in Ohio relate to issues and developments on a national level.
Annett sums up what he sees as the best part of youth involvement with Family Promise: “Family Promise helps these kids realize that we’re all here for each other and that if something ever happened to any of us, people would be there for us, too.”