Shop or Attend a Play: Opportunities to Support Family Promise these Holidays

With the holidays coming, you can shop for those you love or see a play and also help homeless families.

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley will receive a percentage of sales for the following shopping dates:

  • Saturday, Nov. 8, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Chico’s in Santa Anita Mall, Arcadia. See the Chico’s flyer.
  • Nov. 22 to Dec. 6, at Ten Thousand Villages on South Lake Avenue, Pasadena. See the Ten Thousand Villages Flier.

Please see the attached fliers and share with everyone you know.  There is no extra cost to them, just lots of possibilities for our homeless families.

We are also having benefit performances of “Sleeping Beauty” at the Pasadena Playhouse on Tuesday, Dec. 30. The play is done in a contemporary style called “panto.”

Tickets usually sell for $40 to $125. We are asking for $45 per ticket or $35 for 4 tickets.  And Family Promise will benefit from your attendance at this event.

This is a family-oriented play, so bring the whole family and the neighborhood too.  For tickets, contact Karen Roberson (626-354-6514 or email Karen.roberson@fpsgv.org).

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Welcome Our New Social Work Interns!

Two of our social work interns

Lilliana and Luis at the Resource Center

After working with limited staff all summer, it was a pleasure to welcome our three social work interns.

Liliana Jimenez is a Foundation Year MSW intern from Cal State Long Beach. Luis Meza is a Foundation Year MSW intern from Cal State Dominguez Hills. Rebeca Reyes is a BSW intern from Cal State Long Beach. All three of our interns are bilingual Spanish-speaking. They are all ready and eager to assist our families with counseling, case management and advocacy.

Michelle Greer, who completed her social work internship with us last spring, continues to be a blessing to Family Promise as our weekend bookkeeper. Jesus Cano graduated last spring and came back to assist the new interns with a task and to share what his experiences are as a new employee with the Probation Department. Susy Aguayo is a new mom.

One of our interns

Rebeca at the Resource Center

Internship is an important part of a professional social worker’s training. It allows them to have hands on experience applying the principles and ethics learned in the academic setting. Family Promise has the honor of being a field placement for social work interns and the opportunity to provide them with professional guidance and mentoring as well as receive the help and energy that the interns bring to the setting. While teaching, we are also privileged to learn from our interns as they inquire and challenge the status quo.

Welcome Liliana, Rebeca and Luis!!

 

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Church of the Good Shepherd Serves Its First Families

Host volunteers with a baby from one of the guest families.A volunteer holds a baby from one of the guest families.

Sunday, Sept. 21, welcomed the arrival of three families from Family Promise. The group consisted of three mothers and four children, ranging from 5 months to 8 years of age. Our volunteers warmly greeted our family members and assisted them with carrying their belongings with them to their sleeping quarters upstairs in the Youth Game Room in Wesley Hall.

It struck me as I was assisting another volunteer to carry a large plastic trash bag upstairs to the sleeping quarters that this single bag represented the entire worldly belongings for just one family!

In short order, our volunteers assisted each mother to convert a 10-foot square “sleeping module” into a personalized living space for one week.

Our families enjoyed a home cooked dinner each night and a light breakfast at 6 a.m. before heading to work, school, or training at the Family Promise Resource Center. Breakfast can certainly be a time of mutual blessing!

 

On Monday night, we received an urgent call from Family Promise SGV Network Director Karen Roberson, asking if we could take in another mother with two children. No problem, our volunteer set team installed the drapes on our fourth sleeping module, set up the air mattresses, and made the beds.

All of this support would not be possible without the large number of Good Shepherd volunteers, doing set-up, cooking meals, serving as evening hosts, and sleeping nearby our families in case they need our help. This is what “mission” to the “least of these” is all about. We are very blessed to be able to serve.

 - David Steinmeier

 

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The Numbers As of August 2014

One of our children at the Resource Center

We thought you might like to know a little more about your impact on the issue of homeless families:

We have served 49 families (61 adults and 88 children) since opening our doors December 2011.

Of those 28.6 percent have found permanent housing and 28.6 percent have found transitional housing.

We have provided 8, 208 bed-nights (persons-beds) and 24,600 meals.

This is no small accomplishment, but together we can do much. We thank you for the love, hospitality and generosity that you have given these wonderful families. You are making a difference!!

 

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“Network for Good” With Family Promise SGV

Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley is now using the “Network for Good” online fundraising platform.

Donors can choose their contribution amount and decide whether to donate to Family Promise SGV once, monthly, quarterly or annually. Network for Good takes debit and credit cards or PayPal accounts.

The online platform also allows donors to designate their contributions for specific purposes. Donors can also join Club 360 — a group of donors committed to giving at least $360 annually to Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley.

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Our Thanks to Alhambra Rotary Clubs for Providing Shoes to Our Guests

A Family Promise guest shows off the shoes he obtained courtesy of the Rotary Club of Alhambra and the Alhambra Next Generation Rotary Club.

When our adult guests enter Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley, getting a job is only the beginning.

They need transportation to their new jobs, especially if the work hours are early or late. And they need work clothes, including shoes.

One of our guest dads needed shoes for a new job that he started the day after he entered the Family Promise program. Thanks to the Rotary Club of Alhambra and the San Gabriel Valley Next Generation Rotary Club, he got those shoes.

Last spring, the two Rotary Clubs generously treated our guest families to new shoes and socks at the Payless Shoe Source in Alhambra. They also provided Family Promise eight gift cards to use for additional families in the future – gift cards that helped pay for this latest guest’s shoes.

Thank you, Rotary of Alhambra and New Gen Rotary. Your generosity and kindness continues to benefit families in need.

 

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Changes on the Board of Directors

It is with great pleasure that Pastor Shel Hess of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Montery Park has been elected to join the Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley’s board of directors. He will assume the role of treasurer as Vince Wong transitions off the board.

Pastor Shel has been involved with Family Promise since the beginning of our organizing efforts. St. Paul Lutheran Church also is a host congregation. Pastor Shel has also served on the boards of other nonprofits, most recently the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Housing and Homelessness and currently MERCI, in Monterey Park. He is also a longstanding member of Family Promise SGV’s Club 360.

Meanwhile, former board President, Michael Gin, and his wife Debbie have departed for their new home in Pittsburgh, Penn. Michael was one of the original organizers of Family Promise SGV and has faithfully supported the program and our guest families over the past five years. He will be greatly missed by all. We wish him and his wife well as they settle into their new home.

 

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A Peaceful Day

One of our children at the Resource Center

Today both families (except our working dad) are here at the Resource Center. The kids are getting along, playing, the moms are cleaning and making appointments. It is wonderful to see them comfortable and knowing where they will be tonight.

If they were not at Family Promise, they would probably be in a bus, on a park bench or standing in a line trying to get some help with food and shelter for tonight. But they know that they will be well fed and housed for the week with our host congregation. The volunteers will be there to greet them tonight when our van arrives with the families.

So today Yadira is able to rest a little, her daughter can play with the other mom’s son. His little sister is free to roam in and out of our offices and the day room without concern for her safety.

I am working on the strategic planning report for the board meeting later this week. And I am thinking about how difficult it is to convey the joy I feel at being able to provide such safety and hospitality for these wonderful kids and their parents. How do you quantify the smile on a child’s face when she comes in bringing a book that she wants me to read to her? How the two older kids come in every 10 minutes to see if I am done with the report so we can play Monopoly? What a pleasure it is to be used in this way…to serve such delightful human beings!

 

 

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Join “Prescription to End Homelessness”

Got old prescription medication bottles? You can use them to help end homelessness.

Just fill them with any quarters you can save or collect and turn them in to your host coordinator or at the Family Promise Resource Center.

It may seem like a small amount, but the spare change you save will help Family Promise of San Gabriel Valley keep homeless children and their parents off the streets. You can fill as many bottles as you want, for as long as you want. You can even get your children involved in saving and collecting quarters.

Family Promise has a flyer and labels that you can place on your old prescription bottles. For more information, please contact.

 

 

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Our New Children’s Activity Volunteers

Family Promise is so blessed to have such wonderful and gifted people who have a heart for children. Our children’s activity volunteers will provide special attention to the needs of the children during this difficult time. In addition, they give the parents an hour break so they can attend to their own needs or do job or housing searches. One of the new moms said, “It would just be really nice to sit and read a book for a couple of minutes without worrying about the kids.”

So we are thrilled to have Lisa, Kristen and Vicky on board to share special time with the children. Thank  you for your loving care of our kids.

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