5 Easy Steps
1. Talk to your elders or committee about Family Promise.
2. Call our office and speak to Cheryl or Ted 480.659.5227
3. Schedule an Appointment to meet with us.
4. Take a tour of our facilities.
5. Recruit Volunteers.
It Takes a Village…..
by Janey Parks, Family Promise Host Coordinator at Mission del Sol Presbyterian Church, Tempe
What’s involved in hosting the families from the emergency shelter program at Family Promise? Well, it takes a village – or in our case, a congregation.
The prep work starts about a month in advance of our hosting week. The core group of volunteers who have taken this local mission to heart sign up for their chosen tasks on the first day the sheets are posted. Some like to cook, others prefer setting up rooms, and others like to prepare activities. Details are worked out for the meals and snacks, the classrooms that will become bedrooms, and who’s taking charge of the bed distribution and bed making. Everyone is reminded that flexibility is a key concept to remember when hosting.
The weekend before the families arrive, everyone is eagerly asking and wondering how many families we will be hosting and how many children will be in the group. The ladies all want to know if we will be hosting any babies – babies are very popular guests! The Sunday the families are scheduled to arrive is always full of anticipation and excitement and it reminds me of the Advent season – waiting for the big day to come.
When the beds are delivered to the church on Sunday morning our excitement level escalates. By the time the bus pulls up on Sunday afternoon, we are ready for our guests. The kitchen is full of great food and meals, the dining table is set up in Mission Hall, the rooms are clean and transformed into bedrooms, and the TV/lounge room is ready to go.
As the week progresses, our relationships and interactions with the families grow and by the end of the week, when they leave for the next church, we feel like we are saying good-bye to wonderful friends. That’s the beauty of this program; we are always reminded that these families are much like us, and that so many people are just one paycheck away from homelessness.
About 30 – 40 people volunteer during our hosting week and most of them have been involved with the Family Promise program for the ten years we have been hosting. We are already looking forward to our next hosting time in March.