Tuesday, December 29, 2020 National News · The Latest
Belk Provides Essential Support to Family Promise Affiliates Across the South in 2020
Over a half-million dollars of support provided to prevent and address family homelessness
Belk, the southern department store chain, donated over $550,000 for Family Promise in 2020. These funds were raised by customers as part of Belk’s Charity Day Sales, in addition to the more than $1 million in support that Belk has provided to Family Promise as part of its Project Hometown initiative, which supports Belk’s mission to strengthen southern communities.
Belk’s first Charity Day Sales were held in October and November and raised a combined total of $523,071 for Family Promise. An additional $30,000 was raised by customers throughout the year.
In 2017, Belk announced philanthropic investments of $10 million for its Project Hometown partners. “Family Promise is one of Belk’s national community partners, and we have a shared commitment to help underserved children and families. This donation was proudly raised by our customers and will make an immeasurable impact to families facing homelessness, said Jenny Anderson, Senior Director of Community Relations at Belk. “Many nonprofits have faced financial difficulties this year and we hope that our Charity Sales inspired our customers to give back to charitable organizations that support their local communities,”
2020 has been a most challenging time, especially for families experiencing or at-risk of homelessness. “We are so grateful to our partner, Belk, for including us in their Charity Day Sales. The funds raised will support Family Promise Affiliates in the sixteen states where Belk operates,” said Cara Bradshaw, Chief Impact Officer at Family Promise. “During these very difficult times, we are working to prevent families from experiencing homelessness, shelter them safely while in crisis, and provide ongoing supports so they can maintain housing and employment.”
Belk & Family Promise: Partnership Impact
Family Promise and Belk partner to empower children and families experiencing homelessness. With Belk’s support, in 2019, the 85 Family Promise Affiliates in the Belk region served nearly 50,000 people through prevention, shelter, and stabilization programs. Eighty-two percent of the families in shelter achieved sustainable independence and 63,000 people volunteered. 2020 has seen an increase in the need for services due to COVID-19 and, with Belk’s support, Family Promise’s southeastern Affiliates distributed nearly 7,000 masks, 1,000 hygiene kits, and served 1,898 families in shelter.
Family Promise Affiliates have always been innovative in their approach to addressing family homelessness, but the COVID-19 pandemic has led to many Affiliates developing new, creative ways to serve families. With the support of Belk, Family Promise Affiliates across the south are ensuring that they are there for families at-risk of or experiencing homelessness, even during the toughest times.
Family Promise of Laurens County, SC, which launched in February as the first Family Promise Affiliate opened directly as a result of support from Belk, had to think outside the box right from the beginning.
As 2020 progressed, the Affiliates’ typical rotational shelter model needed to be completely rethought. “We came up with a new system for congregational shelter using one host church as the static site,” said Naomi Broadway, Executive Director of Family Promise of Laurens County.
A host congregation, Centerpoint Wesleyan, stepped up to provide the facility and all the needed in-person volunteer support. Other congregational partners stepped in to drop off meals, groceries, and cleaning supplies and contribute funds. Two key volunteers even helped the family staying at the congregation celebrate two birthdays and donated much-needed supplies for a new baby.
The success of Family Promise of Laurens County and many other Family Promise Affiliates this year would not have been possible without the dedicated partnership of Belk.