August 8, 2016
Oh it was good to be back in the saddle/office to get some things done - visits, phone calls, letters, prayers, reading, writing, etc.
And what a joy to meet the current Family Promise guests and have the honor of my hubby and me spending the night at the church hosting them. Want an idea of what Family Promise is about? The following was a letter/mailing that recently went out as a financial appeal. It may be long, but well worth the read. The first part was written by a former guest, and concludes with Information about how you can help financially. All funds go to help homeless children and their families move into sustainable independence. Awesome program!!
Being “on the streets” as a woman with four children is not an ideal situation.Three times we lost everything in the fourteen months of being homeless. The first huge loss was the eviction. Without a place to put our belongings, I found myself frantically throwing our clothes, toys, supplies and food onto the lawn of our apartment building as our landlord literally boarded up what was our home.
My children were just getting home from school, the last day. As many children were gearing up for swimming and playing all summer mine were watching their entire home being excavated. I gave them each a little bag and told them to pick out what meant the most to them. I packed the minimal amount of clothes and few documents we would need like birth certificates. The rest we had to leave on the lawn. I told myself that I would get it all back for them someday. They may not understand it but we had each other, the rest was replaceable.
One of the hardest nights I remember - it was below zero; snow was falling. It was the heavy sort of snow with minimal wind. I stood looking out the public library’s thick windows into the copper streetlights. It was 7p.m. and I had no idea where we were going. At that moment the only things steady and predictable in my life were the snowflakes falling. My children would be dropped off at any minute from the afterschool program they were attending and I was out of ideas. I couldn’t cry; I couldn’t get mad. All I could do was hand it over to God. Thankfully, the afterschool program did help us get situated that night.
Having been through so much, it was hard for me to trust anyone after a while. Survival instincts were always on alert. The change was apparent in my children and they were learning that not everyone around them was safe. They even had a little hardness about them due to some run-ins with adults.
By time I had heard about Family Promise I was scared to move. The room we had lived in for many months was small but it was there. We had a bed at night. We had food. To risk another move away from what I had come to know at another shelter was fearful. I have one son who, at the time, needed medication due to all of the other issues we faced. It was hard to get him the help he needed. Would this place called Family Promise understand him? What if they kicked us out as well? We had been kicked out so many times from different places we stayed at that it was an actual fear.
The single most compelling thing Family Promise did was restore my trust in humanity.
What I saw through their actions amazed me. The extended hands, the hugs, encouraging words, the late night talks, the early morning coffee at different churches. The love through action is what gained my hope in a world where too often we find our differences and reasons to argue. There are people within our community who want to make a difference.
In three months it will be a year since we moved into our very first house. It is more beautiful than I could have imagined. My children all have their own rooms. I have my own room. We have a back yard and the children can play with their friends safely outside. There are so many things I am thankful for. I had no idea so many times what lie ahead of our family. It was that one step into Family Promise that changed the course of our entire lives.
Our family remembers the love shown and the celebration of having a home again. It’s with deepest gratitude I thank you for all your work. Without Family Promise and the volunteers we wouldn’t be where we are today.
Robin and Four Children
What does $25 buy YOU? A single dinner out, only one tank of gas, a week’s worth of lattes. Those are typical $25 purchases many of us make. $25 can serve a child for a whole day in Family Promise.
Join us today by investing in the future of Great Falls families and the hope we can offer their children whose lives are challenged by homelessness.
We cannot do this without you. Families in crisis cannot do it without us. Together, we can empower families to find a home, a livelihood, and a chance to build a better future!
For more information or to make a donation: Family Promise of Great Falls, PO. Box 455, Great Falls, MT 59403 - also on FaceBook at Family Promise of Great Falls
We need your help NOW! The barrier between serving more children and families in crisis is a financial one and it’s a challenge you can help solve TODAY through a charitable donation. We can, we will, and we MUST sustain our capacity to serve Great Falls families who need our support. Your generosity will ensure Family Promise can continue to help homeless families achieve their sustainable independence. Thank you in advance for your generosity!