Earlier this year, we shared the story of former Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) guests, Betty and Ed. At an age when most couples are enjoying grandchildren and retirement, Betty and Ed are instead full-time guardians for their grandsons, Mike, 12, and Nathan, 10. The couple and their grandsons stayed with FPGD over the summer following a rental increase that left them unable to afford their apartment. While they had another apartment lined up, they found themselves homeless until the space was available for them to move into.

In August, the family moved from FPGD into a West Des Moines apartment that they can call their own. “We’ve been here four months, and we’re happy here," said Betty in a recent update. "The boys are adjusting really well.”

While she admits that getting back on their feet has been challenging, Betty also said she has a new appreciation for people experiencing homelessness.

“I now realize what people go through being homeless and how they have to struggle,” Betty explained. “We think back on what it was like four months ago, and we’re thankful for how we’re living now.”

Betty said their experience with FPGD made the transition more bearable. She credits the care and attention they received from host congregations with helping the family through a very tough time.

“The volunteers were wonderful. You couldn’t ask for better volunteers,” she said. “They were good to the kids. They had places for them to play, and they even played along with them.”

Betty said the family looks forward to living in the apartment for a few years, having a place for the boys to feel at home and even invite their friends to. As Christmas approaches, she said they are grateful for many things this season.

“We’re in a home and don’t have to be on the street. We’re thankful right now.”
Thank you to all our volunteers and donors who help care for families like Betty, Ed and their grandsons. As 2018 comes to a close, please consider making a year-end, tax-deductible donation to FPGD to help even more families next year!
Pictured left: Judge Jackie Schmillen poses with Pot Trophy winners from Westminster Presbyterian Church. Pictured right: People's Choice winners from St. Stephen Lutheran Church. 
Special event raises more than $10,000
The 7th Annual Comfort Food Cook-Off was a success as more than 185 people gathered to taste and vote on a variety of wonderful comfort foods prepared by FPGD host congregations. Guests enjoyed sampling a wide variety of home-cooked foods while celebrity judges Jen and Taylor from Life 107.1 FM, and Jackie Schmillen with CW Iowa Live, voted on the winning dish. Emcee, KCCI’s Rheya Spigner, kept guests entertained and encouraged attendee voting through donations for the People’s Choice award.

The big winners for the 2018 Comfort Food Cook-Off were:

Pot Trophy (Judge's choice) - Westminster Presbyterian Church for Corn Bread Casserole
People’s Choice – St. Stephen Lutheran for Chicken Pot Pie Over Biscuits.

In all, more than $10,000 was raised at the event for our programs and services to help families experiencing homelessness. Thank you to all our talented host congregations for the delicious food and to all the attendees for joining us and voting! 
Pictured: FPGD board member Jim McWeeny presents Julie Nash with the Outstanding Volunteer Award.
We were proud to present the Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) Outstanding Volunteer Award to Julie Nash at the 7th Annual Comfort Food Cook-Off. 
Julie was nominated for the award by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Ankeny due to her hard work and active participation with FPGD guests while they stay at the church.
"Julie meets the guests where they are," the nomination stated. "She is an excellent listener - some of the guests have needed somebody to just listen or even play cards. Julie jumps right in. She has played a big role in our church's efforts to provide a safe and caring environment."
Thank you, Julie, for your great commitment to caring for our guest families!
Pictured: Christmas gifts for former guest families delivered from Ankeny First United Methodist.
Homelessness doesn’t take a break for the holidays. Because of this, we are very grateful to the host congregations who provide our guest families with shelter, food and comfort during the holidays ─ a time most families are focusing on their own time together.

This year, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church will be hosting three families over Christmas, including meals and activities. Additionally, several congregations and volunteers have “adopted” families that have graduated from our program to provide gifts, offering support even after their time in our program.

Thank you to all of our dedicated partners, donors and volunteers for continuing to exemplify the spirit of the season!
We want to say a special "thank you" to Bill Wood, owner of Woody's Auto Repair & Service in Ankeny for helping us out of a bind! Last month, the blower for the heater in our van stopped working. We use the van twice daily to transport our guest families to and from the Day Center in Beaverdale to host congregations.
After repairing the van, Bill told us as the owner of his business, he's not able to volunteer the time he'd like with FPGD, so he instead wanted to donate the work he did on the van. 

Thank you, Bill, for your valuable contribution toward helping our families in need!


In addition to financial gifts, in-kind donations are also extremely important to the success of our organization. We are in need of some additional items to help our guest families. Please drop off any of the following items at Family Promise of Greater Des Moines, Westminster Presbyterian Church, 4114 Allison Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50310, from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday, or from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Or, order items from AmazonSmile and have them delivered to our office – it’s as easy as a click!
  • Socks (men’s, women’s and children’s)
  • Women’s/men’s deodorant
  • Hats/gloves (adult’s and children’s)
  • Body wash
Make an online financial donation here!
Thank you for supporting the families we serve!

Our Mission:
To mobilize our community to help homeless families achieve stable housing
and income through compassionate care, hospitality and 
professional support.
Join a committee:
• Business Operations &
• Congregation Relations
• Fundraising/Development
• Public Relations and
  Marketing Committee
   • Deodorant
   • Body Wash
   • Hats/gloves
   • Socks
For more information, visit
Host Congregations:
• Aldersgate UMC
• Ankeny First UMC
• Faith Lutheran
• First Unitarian
• Holy Trinity Lutheran
• Lutheran Church of Hope
• Our Lady’s Immaculate
• Plymouth United Church
  of Christ
• Ss. John & Paul Parish
• St. Stephen Lutheran
• Urbandale United Church
  of Christ
• Walnut Hills UMC
• Westminster Presbyterian
• Windsor Heights Lutheran
Support Congregations:
• Covenant Christian Church
• Holy Trinity Catholic
• St. Pius X Catholic Church
• St. Theresa Church of
  the Child Jesus
• West Des Moines
  Christian Church

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