Crown City News Interviews Roberson About Empty Bowls, Family Promise

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley and Empty Bowls 2015 were the subjects of a recent local news webcast.

Karen Roberson, Family Promise’s board chairwoman, appeared on Pasadena-based CCN Sunrise to talk about the organization and fundraising event.

Empty Bowls 2015 is from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 19. It will be held at Sierra Madre United Methodist Church, 695 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.

Tickets are $30 each purchased online through Friday. After that, tickets are $35 at the door.

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“Empty Bowls” to Help Family Promise, Homeless Families

empty bowls 2013-164 Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley invites the public on Sunday, April 19, to Empty Bowls 2015, an exciting and fun-filled event to help homeless families.

Guests can buy a beautifully handcrafted ceramic soup bowl donated by local potters and enjoy a delicious soup prepared by Southern California restaurants. The event also will include drawings for gift baskets and live music.

All proceeds from Empty Bowls will go to Family Promise, a nonprofit organization that shelters homeless families while helping them find employment and housing.

“This is a great opportunity for people to make a difference in their own communities and neighborhoods,” said Family Promise board Chairwoman Karen Roberson said. “Your participation can keep homeless children and their families off the streets and help them find employment and more stable housing.”

Empty Bowls will be held from noon to 3 p.m., at Sierra Madre United Methodist Church, 695 W. Sierra Madre Blvd. The cost is $30 per person per bowl with online registration through April 18.

After that, tickets are available at the door only for $35. Children under 5 will be admitted free of charge and served soup in a safe, recyclable plastic bowl. Continue reading

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Families Get New Shoes, Thanks to Service Club and Shoe Store

Our families with Rotary Club members and Family Promise SGV Executive Director Matthew Rayburn (with glasses).

Our families with Rotary Club members and Family Promise SGV Executive Director Matthew Rayburn (with glasses).

Our families are walking around in new shoes, thanks to the efforts of a local service club and a shoe store.

The Rotary Club of Alhambra sponsored the shoe giveaway on Saturday, March 21, at Payless Shoe Source in Alhambra.

The shoe store opened early exclusively for our families so they could shop for shoes. They were accompanied by Rotary Club members who helped them pick out pairs.

Our thanks to the generosity of the Rotary Club and Payless Shoe Source for helping our families!

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Eagle Scout Candidate Builds Wardrobes for Family Promise

Eagle Scout candidate Ryun Masuda with the wardrobes he built for Family Promise.

Eagle Scout candidate Ryun Masuda with the wardrobes he built for Family Promise.

An Eagle Scout candidate built wardrobes at the Family Promise Resource Center so our guest families have a place to store their belongings.

Ryun Masuda completed the work as part of his Eagle Scout project

On behalf of the families, we want to thank Ryun for his efforts!

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Saturday Office Volunteers Needed

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley serves homeless families seven days a week.

To keep the Resource Center open, we need volunteers to help staff the office once a month on Saturday from noon to 4:45 p.m. The main duties are:

  • To be a supportive presence for the parents and children that are here
  • To allow access to keys to the shower and laundry
  • To be of assistance to families and answer questions that may arise
  • To answer phones and take messages
  • When a parent calls with a change in transportation plans, to let the network director and host coordinator know of the change and time of arrival to host congregation.

If you have a particular talent or gift such as working with children, arranging bulletin boards, assisting in resume writing or other gifts, we could probably use your help in that area as well.

For more information, call Matthew Rayburn at (626) 569-0991.

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eBay Grant Pays for New Wardrobes for Our Families

eBay check with our new wardrobes

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley purchased and installed four wardrobes at the Resource Center so our families can have a place to secure their possessions.

The purchase was made possible through a grant from the eBay Foundation Corporate Advised Fund at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.

The grant was recommended by the eBayFoundations’s employee-volunteer-led Los Angeles GIVE Team.

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Family Promise SGV Adds New Executive Director, Board Members

Matthew Rayburn

Matthew Rayburn

The Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley board of directors  has hired a new executive director and added two new board members.

Matthew Rayburn is Family Promise’s new executive director. He started work on Feb. 18.

Rayburn has worked for 16 years among the homeless and urban poor. An expert on homelessness, faith engagement and nonprofit management, he was educated at the University of Southern California and the Sorbonne.

Prior to coming to Family Promise, Rayburn was part of the leadership team at People Assisting the Homeless (PATH) that housed more than 1,000 chronically homeless veterans. He lives in Pasadena with his wife, Shirley, a children’s pastor,  and his daughter Adia.

Matthew is available to meet for coffee to get acquainted and share ideas. If you would like to meet Matthew, contact him at or call him at (626) 569-0991.

The board also added Judy Hao and Daryn Kobata to its members.

Hao has volunteered with Family Promise for the past two years, serving as part of Evergreen Baptist Church’s meal providing team, as well as a member of the Board Nominating Committee. As a clinical psychologist she has worked with homeless individuals in community mental health and correctional settings. In addition, the San Gabriel Valley native has served on boards of several non-profit organizations.

Kobata is a communications professional with a strong interest in social justice issues. She has worked with housing activist Jill Shook and coauthored a chapter in her book, “Making Housing Happen: Faith-based Affordable Housing Models.” Kobata is the communications director at CAPG, a healthcare trade association, and previously worked with humanitarian agencies in Kenya, Sudan, and the United States. She holds a master of arts in theology from Fuller Seminary and a master of public administration from New York University.

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Church to Hold Bike Tour to Benefit Family Promise

The Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist in Arcadia is organizing a June 13 bike ride that will benefit Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley.

The 25th Annual Good Shepherd Bike Tour is a family-oriented event that takes participants around the San Gabriel Valley. The focus is not racing, but having a safe and enjoyable ride. Participants are encouraged to raise at least $500 through sponsorships, the proceeds of which will go to Family Promise.

The tour features segments ranging from nine miles for novices to 63 miles for more experienced riders. The church is also organizing training rides starting in May for participants wanting to take on the longer segments.

Detailed registration information will become available in April. For more information, contact,

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Ana Graduates

Ana and her child graduated from Family Promise in Feburary after 50 days in the program. They are the first family to graduate from Family Promise this year!

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SAVE THE DATE: Empty Bowls is April 19!

Our annual fundraising event Empty Bowls is Sunday, April 19, at Sierra Madre United Methodist Church. Come buy a ceramic bowl beautifully handcrafted by local potters. Enjoy soup donated from local restaurants. And enjoy live music and drawings for prizes.

All proceeds will go to Family Promise to provide temporary shelter to homeless families and help them regain their independence by finding housing and jobs. Tickets are $30 in advance online or $35 at the door. To buy tickets online and for more information, please go to

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