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Thursday night, February 9th marked the official launch of Family Promise Academy Workshops. We have always focused on education and training for our families in shelter and through continued case management for families in Going Home; Staying home. Now we are adding quarterly workshops for all families with a different focus each quarter. Our first session was a huge success with presentations from VITA, a program providing  IRS trained and free Income tax preparation through CAC. Our families were brought up to speed on IRS policies and some important changes. It was great to hear “the real facts” from a trained professional. The second presentation was on budgeting with an initial focus on distinguishing between WANTS and NEEDS! Next quarter we will focus on summer opportunities for children and parenting while kids are out of school.

For those of us in the Christian tradition, advent is a time of watching and waiting. Life at Family Promise is full of watching and waiting. In the past week we watched a family move into a new home for which they had been waiting. When a lease is offered, our families are asked to make a wish list for their new home. Then we “shop” for items among the many donated items we keep just for such occasions. Sheets, towels, pots and pans may seem boring to most, but when you are regaining independence such things bring great joy. As we said goodbye to one, another joined us, Mom and three children who lost their home to a fire! And, thus the cycle begins again. We will watch and wait with each family until that day comes. And, what a joyous occasion it will be!

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These beautiful little girls are wearing hats and scarves hand made by members of Sacred Heart Cathedral. We thanked them by sending them smiles!  Please help us create more smiles for homeless families this winter. Donate today!

For those of us in the Christian tradition, advent is a time of watching and waiting. Life at Family Promise is full of watching and waiting. In the past two weeks we watched two families move into new homes for which they had been waiting. When a lease is offered, our families are asked to make a wish list for their new home. Then we “shop” for items among the many donated items we keep just for such occasions. Sheets, towels, pots and pans may seem boring to most, but when you are regaining independence such things bring great joy.  As we said goodbye to two families, two more joined us; both two parent families each with one boy and one girl.  As thus the cycle begins again. We will watch and wait with each of our family until that day comes. And, what a joyous occasion it will be!

If you are reading this post, you are looking at our brand new website!  Please take a moment to see all the new features available here. I am grateful to Courtney Bemus who has spent countless hours building this site and responding to my many requests.  Also to Board member, Anthony Burns for donating the site and his expertise in marketing and design to give us such a strong start.

Spring is a time for new beginnings – resurrection – renewal and new life.  This spring  17 young men and women from Virginia Tech University, members of Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, spend a Saturday morning with us really cleaning up the grounds of the West View Sanctuary. That same day families from Cornerstone Church lead by Luke Smith came and built in shelving for us upstairs. Connie Umbach and Joyce Shoudy came and filled those shelves with supplies and home goods for our families to take to their new homes. Families from Cokesburry Methodist came and treated our children to an Easter egg hunt and crafts. The boy’s soccer team from CAK took time out of their Prom day to come mow the lawn, mulch and plant hosta and verbena on our new lawn.These labors of love are living examples of new beginnings – resurrection – renewal and new life for Family Promise. We are so blessed!