Empty Bowls: Meet Sharon Mann, One of Our Artists

Sharon Mann

Sharon Mann, one of the artists who is donating her works for Empty Bowls, working on one of her creations.

Sharon Mann loves creating ceramic works of art, and she loves kids.

The Pasadena artist has found a way to combine both interests: she is one of more than of a dozen local ceramic artists who have donated their works for Empty Bowls 2014, a Saturday, April 26, event that will raise money to help homeless families.

“My daughter and I are a small family, but we’ve enjoyed a lot of good fortune. We love kids and we want to help them where they need it most,” Mann says. “We feel it’s important to share what we have.”

At Empty Bowls, the public can come meet Mann and the other artists and purchase one of their beautifully handcrafted bowls. Then they can enjoy some soup donated from local restaurants. All proceeds will go to Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley.

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Empty Bowls is Saturday April 26!

Empty Bowls Logo & Tagline

Our Third Annual Empty Bowls fundraising event is Saturday, April 26!

Come pick out a handcrafted ceramic bowl, enjoy some delicious soup from local restaurants, and help homeless families.

This year, you can meet the potters who made the bowls at our Artists Village. They’ll tell you how they made them, and they’ll have other ceramic wares for sale.

In case you missed last year’s Empty Bowls, watch the video:

Tickets are $30 through April 25 or $35 at the door. Children under 5 get in free will be served soup in a safe, recyclable plastic bowl. Tickets are available through our participating congregations. You can also register and pay online, please visit our Constant Contact page.

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Join Us at Diner on Main on March 24

Join us for a meal and help keep homeless families off the streets!

Visit the Diner on Main in Alhambra from 3 to 9 p.m. on Monday, March 24, and enjoy a meal. The restaurant will donate a portion of your check to Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley.

The Diner on Main is at 201 W. Main St, between Atlantic and Garfield. Just take this flier with you so Family Promise can get credit for your participation.

So invite your friends out for dinner and order take out. And help homeless families in the San Gabriel Valley!

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Where Are They Now?

Our Families

Our Families

Our host volunteers are wonderful!  You welcome our families into your congregation, you offer them good food, compassion, and you give up your own beds for a night or two to be a supportive resource to the families as they spend the night at the church. You then say goodbye as they move on to the next congregation.

It is difficult to wonder how the family is doing and not know. So I wanted to let you know how some of our graduate families are doing.  We have served 41 families over the past 2 years. That included 49 adults and 77 children. More than one-third of those children were under 5. Three of those children were born while in the Family Promise program. While some of our families were not as successful, we continue to pray for them knowing that for some, the journey is a bit longer. So far 23 families have graduated from Family Promise into stable housing.  Here are some of our graduate family updates: Continue reading

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Our Families Get New Shoes

Families Picking Out Shoes

Thirty-two of our family members have new shoes because of the kindness, compassion and generosity of our community partners.

The Rotary Club of Alhambra and New Generation Rotary of San Gabriel arranged with Payless Shoe Source in Alhambra to open the store especially for our families on March 8. There they were greeted by Rotarians who accompanied each family into the store, helped them select their favorite pair of shoes, and purchased those shoes for them. The families were able to shop in relative privacy as the store opened an hour before the public shopping hours.

In addition to the 32 pairs of shoes and socks, the Rotary donated eight gift cards to be used by families we have yet to admit to the Family Promise program.

This is such a special event, as our current guest families get to meet those families who have been at Family Promise before and are back into stable housing. It is a wonderful way to allow our graduated families a chance to share their successes and offer hope to those still struggling.

Many thanks to Rotary Club of Alhambra, as well as New Generation Rotary and Payless Shoe Source Alhambra.

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Juan and Amanda Head Home

On March 9, Juan and Amanda and their son Jose, left Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley  to head back to South Dakota.  We were so happy to get to know them and help them return to relatives and a job.

Juan brought his family to California to seek employment in the construction industry. He soon found that it was not that easy when a person is undocumented and without connections.

While they were with us for 39 days, we really enjoyed them. Our intern, Susy, was able to help Amanda and Juan achieve a better understanding of the nuances of language and culture as it related to them and their relationship. Jesus was able to help Juan get his car roadworthy for the long trip home. He also was able to advocate for them with the welfare worker.

Our host volunteers were loving, warm and welcoming to this family. “When we first got here we were at the end of the road. We had no other options and nowhere to go,” Amanda said. Everyone was so supportive and went out of their way to help us.”

It was a joy to send this family off with new hope and a plan to join a congregation in South Dakota.

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Our Host Volunteers Make Every Day Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a special day: a day of love, a day for showing your true appreciation for those around you. But at Family Promise SGV our host volunteers let our guest families know they are loved each and every day. When our guest families enter the program they are not sure what to expect, but they are greeted with warmth and welcome by the volunteers, they are made to feel comfortable, fed and encouraged. They enter as strangers, but leave as friends.

They experience God’s love through our volunteers’ hospitality and affection.

We would like to take this moment and express our gratitude and appreciation to all of our host volunteers. Without you, our program would not have the ability to run as smoothly as it does, and the fact that we understand the kind, supporting and caring hearts that each of you have helps us to not only sleep better at night but it is great comfort for our families as well.

Knowing that there are so many wonderful souls in the world gives us all hope that we really can end homelessness, one family at a time. So this Valentine’s Day know that Family Promise values the love and assistance that you provide on a day-to-day basis and it will never go unrecognized. Sending you nothing but love and warm wishes, Happy Valentine’s Day Host Volunteers!

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Meet Our New Driver: Frankie

Frankie & Family

Some of our host volunteers already know our new van driver, Frankie.

Frankie and his family were guests of Family Promise during the summer and early fall. He is also known as Jennifer’s husband and the father of Nathan and the twins. They now have their own home and Frankie is now one of our van drivers. We are so happy to have him on the staff.  Frankie has never given up on his search for work, on his needing to pass the commercial drivers’ test, and on life in general. Our driving team, Luis and Alonso, generously supported Frankie as he prepared for the test. He is also living proof of how God’s people can reach out and touch a family in need at their time of need.

We welcome Frankie to the Family Promise staff. Thank you, Family Promise volunteers for all the love and support you give each and every day.

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Family Promise Welcomes New Network Partners

We are very excited to welcome two new congregations to the Family Promise network.

First United Methodist Church of Temple City agreed to become a sponsor congregation last November. Sponsor congregations educate others about and pray for Family Promise families, volunteer to serve on committees, give financial support as able, and mobilize by partnering with a host congregation, participating in events and initiative.  First United Methodist has helped Sierra Madre United Methodist when Sierra Madre hosted guest families in the past. We are very happy to welcome them as an official sponsor congregation. We look forward to working with Pastor David Palmer and his coordinators, Marcia Galland and Gladys Oberholtz in this wonderful endeavor.

Church of the Good Shepherd United Methodist has agreed to become a host congregation in the Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley network. Church of the Good Shepherd will provide volunteers, meals and overnight accommodations for our guest families as part of the hosting network. We look forward to working with the Rev. Philip Bertolo Wood and host coordinator, Richard Vethamani, as they prepare to offer hospitality and compassion to our guest families. We know they will be blessed as well as blessings for those in need.

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Big Band Theory: What Fun!

BigBandTheory-SaxophonesThe Big Band Theory rocked the San Gabriel Valley last month with fun, food and funding for Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley.  What a wonderful evening it was at the Langley Senior Center in Monterey Park!

Big Band Theory is tagged the “Smartest Band on the Planet” for a reason.  The musicians are also engineer and scientists.  And were they wonderful!!  The music was fantastic and the Fred Astaire instructors, Danielle and Rumen, helped everyone get on their feet and learn to swing.

Big Band Theory Dance Lesson

The dinner was deliciously catered by Fabiolus restaurant in Hollywood.  And it was plentiful and pleasing to the palate.  A silent auction included tickets to Disneyland, dinner and theater tickets, Big Bang Theory DVDs and more.

It was so much fun to watch the ballroom dancers from our host congregations as they glided around the dance floor.  You were awesome!!


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