This year Halloween was a cold, windy and even a little wet. Sounds pretty grim. A good time was had by all though when hosts at United Church of Ferndale created an extra treat for all of the trick or treaters. When they returned from their exciting evenings they were welcomed back with warming drinks and treats for all. Thank you to all who provided this "extra" touch for our families to keep things fun!
This is our mission and we want to celebrate it now because this is Family Promise Week (10/21 - 28)! One out of every 45 American children will expereince homelessness this year and the numbers are much higher in Whatcom County. Family Promise is a national non-profit organization mobilizing communites and existing resources to help homeless families regain their independence. We, as an organization, provided shelter and social services to more than 50,000 people last year, nearly 60% of them children. These services are provided in a cost effective way because we are able to deliver $3 in goods and services for every $1 we receive. This is indeed news to celebrate!
A whole lot of fun was had by the 6 teams that participated in the 2nd Annual Family Promise Bed Race. There was great enthusiasm and support from the many that came to watch and cheer the teams on. In addition to all of this fun, over $12,000 was raised for Family Promise of Whatcom County. Although we worried about rain, the day dawned overcast with no rain falling on the party, well at least not much. This was a great community event and we hope you consider getting involved next year! Check out more pictures of the bed race on our website: picturesofbedrace
Kat Lilley is a mother of 6 who has experienced homelessness. She is also a member of Family Promises' Guest Advisory Council and is the Deputy Executive Director of Family Promise of Colorado Springs. Recently, Ms Lilley attended a hearing at the House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services. There, she drew on her own experiences to advocate for the Homeless Children and Youth Act. For more information, check out www.familypromise.org. https://www.facebook.com/FamilyPromise/videos/10155821923893440/
Since opening our doors on April 2nd we have quietly begun to serve our community in rich and wonderful ways! In this short time we have had a total of 5 families (25 people). Another family is new and ongoing (6 people.) Food has been an on-going problem....there is so much delicious, nutritional, beautiful food that, at times, we have had too much! Fellowship has also been offered in abundance. Each week families, volunteers and staff have come together to learn to work together in a ways that have been enriching for all. Our gratitude to all who have made our first two months as good as we could have hoped.
How fitting that Family Promise of Whatcom County opened its door Easter Week 2018. Family Promise Manager, Carolyn Roy, has been welcoming families ever since into our program and Day Center. Robert Bell, our Transportation Coordinator and Hospitality Liasion, had his hands full, accomodating transportation needs and ensuring beds were delivered on time. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to make this day happen.
Family Promise of Whatcom County is preparing to open its doors on April 2nd. Crews have been working tirelessly to refurbish and furnish the day center, train volunteers, ensure policy guidelines are in place, and to do the many things necessary to prepare. In March we gathered to celebrate all these hard working people who have made Interfaith's Family Promise Center a reality.
Due to the hard work of many people Interfaith's Family Promise program has received a $138,000 grant from the Murdoch Foundation! This grant will be paid out over three years and will help pay for our new case manager, Gina Hanna, and our Transportation Director (aka van driver). We are so thankful to the many people who poured hours of effort into making this happen, and especially to Sunsan Janic.
Interfaith Coalition is the recipient of two grants from the Whatcom Community Foundation's "Project Neighborly" program. Family Promise will receive $5,000 to help with volunteer training. In addition, Kids Need Books will receive $5,000 to purchase bilingual books to supplement current book donations. We are so appreciative of the support for both these wonderful programs!
We are looking for volunteers in the building trades to help renovate our new Family Promise Day Center at the First Christian Church, 495 East Bakerview road, Bellingham. Here, homeless families will be given the professional support and training needed to help them find stable housing. Right now, we could use help with carpentry, plumbing and painting. Please contact Mike Hess, Interfaith Coalition Property Manager, 360-734-3983 if you have questions or can help.