Summer Celebration Raises $33,000 for Families Experiencing Homelessness
More than 70 supporters joined us for one of our biggest fundraising events of the year - the 2022 Summer Celebration and Silent Auction. Attendees helped to raise $33,015 to support current and future guests experiencing homelessness.
FPGD guest Randi shared her story of homelessness and thanked the volunteers who helped her and her son, 14-year-old Jackie, though their stay. She was happy to report that they would be moving into their own home within a few weeks. Attendees were entertained by guitar and piano duo, Jack Curtis and Bryce Berthusen, while enjoying great food donated by Gateway Market and perusing silent auction items.
Jackie Schmillen of We Are Iowa-5 entertained as emcee for the night, welcoming guests and helping to raise even more funds through a paddle raiser. Former Executive Director Jim Cain (see article below) updated attendees on his resignation and thanked everyone for their continued support of FPGD guest families.
Thanks to all those who participated and/or donated to the event. We hope to see you there again next year!
Former Executive Director Jim Cain Shares Some Parting Words
When Jim Cain began as executive director of Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) in 2006, he served as three employees in one. With a briefcase filled to the brim, allowing him a “travelling office,” he wore the hats of executive director, case manager, and part-time day center supervisor. Though he didn’t seem to get less busy as the years went on and staff grew, he feels grateful to have grown FPGD to a staff of two Day Center supervisors, one full-time case manager, a development & communications coordinator, and the occasional part-time staff member to help keep things running smoothly. Having a bigger team has been key to ensuring there are no interruptions to services for families throughout the COVID pandemic and as the organization continues to evolve.
Now, after nearly 16 years at the helm, Cain has decided to begin a new journey with Homeward, Polk County’s homelessness planning organization. He has served Homeward as a contract grant writer over the years, but as of August 15, he took the title of full-time Grant and Program Coordinator. He looks back on his time at FPGD fondly, proud of how the organization has grown over the years and has shown just how powerful community support can be.
“One major accomplishment has been building up our donor base,” Cain says, “During the Great Recession and 2020, when other non-profits were losing donors, ours stayed consistent.”
Cain says his favorite memories from his time with FPGD are working with the volunteers and seeing in real time how people can unlearn societal myths about homelessness, as well as interacting with the guests. Before starting at FPGD, it had been 14 years since Cain had been providing direct service to individuals. Getting the opportunity to work more closely with families “grounded me in the realities of what homeless families experience.”
As FPGD transitions to new leadership, Case Manager Latoya Scott will be serving as interim executive director. Scott has served guest families at FPGD for 13 years and feels confident that, with the help of her fellow staff members, Board of Directors, and volunteers, the program will continue to run smoothly in Cain’s absence.
“After somebody has been in an executive director role for many years, people attribute the success to that person,” Cain said. “But I can say unequivocally that the success of Family Promise is due to the work of our donors, volunteers, and staff. I am confident that will continue to be a foundation of our success.”
Board Spotlight: Winston Morris
Although Winston Morris has been serving on the FPGD for six months, he has a much longer history with the organization.
“I was involved with the Family Promise network when it was called Interfaith Hospitality in the late 1990s and early 2000s while living in Durham, North Carolina,” he says. Morris volunteered at the time, helping families in need. Now working for Nationwide in Des Moines, Morris was eager to re-engage with the local affiliate, Family Promise of Greater Des Moines.
“Homelessness is a critical issue in every community where we live,” Morris says. “Everyone is a neighbor to someone. We all need help at different points in our lives.” That’s why as a board member, he is excited to be a part of the mission of partnering with families to help them move toward stable housing, job independence, and healthy living.
When not volunteering for FPGD or working at Nationwide, Morris and his wife, also a Nationwide employee, enjoy riding road bikes in various events throughout Des Moines, including RAGBRAI. They live in Urbandale with their two Labrador retrievers and have two adult sons who also live in the Des Moines metro.
In addition to financial gifts, in-kind donations are extremely important to the success of our organization. Right now, we are in need of gift cards or passes to activities for the families to enjoy, such as movies, sporting events, the zoo, the science center, arcades, etc. You can find all of our needs at our AmazonSmile Wish List for easy ordering and delivery with just a click of your mouse!
Thank you for supporting the families we serve!
To mobilize our community to help homeless families achieve stable housing
and income through compassionate care, hospitality and professional support.
• Aldersgate UMC
• Ankeny First UMC
• Faith Lutheran
• First Unitarian
• Holy Trinity Lutheran
• Holy Trinity Catholic Church
• Lutheran Church of Hope
• Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart
• Urbandale United Church of Christ
• Walnut Hills UMC
• Westminster Presbyterian
• Covenant Christian Church
• Plymouth United Church of Christ
• Ss. John & Paul Parish
• St. Pius X Catholic Church
• St. Theresa Church of the Child Jesus
• West Des Moines
• Windsor Heights Lutheran