Young Artists Celebrated at Art Reception
As the first event of its kind, the Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) Art Reception held on February 16 was a success! Volunteers, donors and the public were invited to Westminster Presbyterian Church to view an exhibit of artwork created by past and current guest families. Several of the artists (most of which were children) were available to talk about their artwork while everyone enjoyed refreshments. Guests were also provided with a tour of the Day Center, where families receive social services during their stay.
“We try to provide creative outlets to our guest families during their stay, especially the children,” said Jim Cain, FPGD executive director. “I’m continually in awe of the art they create, and I wanted others to be able to enjoy it while meeting and talking with the artists and learning more about how we help families experiencing homelessness.”
Two local television stations stopped by to get footage and talk with Cain and one of the families. View one of the stories here
. Additional photos of the event are available on the FPGD Facebook page
Special thanks goes out to Variety – the Children’s Charity for a grant that paid for the art supplies and the Westminster Presbyterian Church Visual Arts Committee for creating the beautiful display.
Volunteer Gives Back with Backpacks
After devoting 35 years to teaching preschool special education, Kim Roby admits retirement hasn’t stopped her from continuing to fulfill her purpose to help kids learn.
“My whole goal in life is helping kids ages three to five learn their numbers, letters and to read,” Roby says. That’s why as host coordinator for Walnut Hills Methodist Church, Roby was able to identify and foster an opportunity to help Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) guest families with young children practice their numbers and letters during their stay.
“When my congregations began hosting for Family Promise, I noticed the parents we helped already have so much on their plates,” Roby explains. “They are looking for food and housing, so in the grand scheme of things, finding time to have kids practice these skills is not the highest priority.”
So in 2015, Roby applied for the “Daniel Fund” grant through her church, which provides funding to help people through various difficulties. With the grant awarded, Roby purchased 25 backpacks and materials to fill them with that help with early learning skills. In each backpack, Roby adds directions to help guide parents, older siblings and/or volunteers with the learning opportunities for the young kids. The packs are easy for children to transport between the FPGD Day Center, host congregations and ultimately to their new homes. She also keeps one at her congregation for volunteers to use with new families.
“The kids have loved it. The materials are simple and things they can use,” Roby says. “I don’t want to put pressure on them, but some parents just don’t know what to do. If they have the time, it makes it easy for them to practice.”
Due to the success of the backpacks purchased with the first grant, Roby recently applied for and was awarded a second Daniel Fund grant to create more of the early learning backpacks. She currently has enough materials leftover from that grant to fill six additional bags and is looking for backpack donations to help complete the project.
If you’re interested in donating a new backpack to this project, please contact Kim at firstname.lastname@example.org
Summer Celebration and Silent Auction - June 5, 2020
Mark your calendar for our annual fundraiser benefitting families experiencing homelessness!
The Summer Celebration and Silent Auction will be held on Friday, June 5 at the Giovannetti Center in Urbandale. The event features a silent auction with a wide variety of great items ranging from art pieces and gift baskets to fun family experiences and spa packages. Emcee Jackie Schmillen from CW Iowa Live will entertain guests while they enjoy food, drinks and music. The Summer Celebration and Silent Auction is generously sponsored by Sammons Financial and R&R Realty Group.
Thrivant Financial Choice Dollars®
Direct Choice Dollars® by March 31
Eligible Thrivent Financial members who have available Choice Dollars® can direct them to Family Promise of Greater Des Moines. Don’t miss this opportunity to recommend that Thrivent Financial provide outreach funding to our organization. Go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice to learn more. Or call 800-847-4836 and say “Thrivent Choice” after the prompt.
Board Spotlight - Andrew Young
It was the words and actions of his late grandmother that has inspired Andrew Young to help others.
“They need help. I’m their hands and feet,” his grandmother would say of her time volunteering to drive patients to and from the hospital for cancer treatments. In her later years, Andy’s grandmother lost much of her vision, and she asked him to be her eyes.
“After she passed, I began to realize that she simply used what she had been given to help others,” Andy explained. “What she was really saying to me is that there is a need and love demands action, so go!”
As a national infrastructure manager and VMware strategic brand owner for Sirius Computer Solutions, Andy brings an impressive knowledge of technology that is already helping improve the services Family Promise of Greater Des Moines (FPGD) provides. He joined the FPGD board of directors after attending an informational meeting and hearing directly from guest families being served.
“I’m still learning about the organization and how they mobilize the contributions of many to meet the needs of the community, but I have already fallen in love with the mission,” he said. “It is important to me to be a part of a group that is actively making a difference in the community they serve.”
Andy and his wife Kate, who were high school sweethearts and have been married for 21 years, live in Johnston with their three children Theo (15) and twins Abe and Ellie (10).
Operation Rice Bowl
Every year, the Diocese of Des Moines collects donations during the Lenten season through the Catholic Relief Services Operation Rice Bowl Program. Of the donations collected, 25 percent remains in Des Moines to support local efforts to alleviate hunger and poverty, such as homeless shelters, soup kitchens and food pantries. Family Promise of Greater Des Moines has been a recipient of these grants, including $700 in 2020, which helps support our services to families experiencing homelessness.
Please consider participating in Operation Rice Bowl this Lenten season – your change creates local change in the lives of homeless and low-income families in our community!
In addition to financial gifts
, in-kind donations are also extremely important to the success of our organization. We also have an AmazonSmile Wish List
for easy ordering and delivery with just a click of your mouse! Please drop off any of the following items at:
Family Promise of Greater Des Moines
4114 Allison Avenue
Des Moines, Iowa 50310
7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Sunday through Friday
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday
- Shampoo and conditioner
- Deodorant (men's and women's)
- Facial tissue
- Baby wipes
- Hair brushes
- Toddler-friendly DVDs
Make an online financial donation here!
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.
Summer Celebration and Silent Auction
Comfort Food Cook-Off
• Aldersgate UMC
• Ankeny First UMC
• Faith Lutheran
• First Unitarian
• Holy Trinity Lutheran
• Lutheran Church of Hope
• Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart
• 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
• Holy Trinity Catholic Church
• St. Pius X Catholic Church
• St. Theresa Church of the Child Jesus
• West Des Moines