Surrounded by warmth.

The celebration of Christmas/Hanukkah is in full swing. Parties seem to be stacked upon one another and food just appears daily. Our West View Sanctuary is beautiful with help from the Knoxville Junior League. The outside is definitely spruced up for the season through the wonderful donation of time and materials by Pinnacle Bank and Grace Presbyterian Church.

All our guests stayed warm with new hand knitted scarves and hats thanks to the Sacred Heart Knitting Guild. The colors and styles made it hard to choose just one!

Most of all, we are surrounded by the most wonderful volunteers and donors who bless us every day with their warmth, smiles, talents and gifts not just during the holiday season but all year long.

 Westview  Sanctuary

Westview Sanctuary

Mary LeMense
Bank On - A new day for Banking in Knoxville

I'm sure you are asking , "What is Bank On." and "Why is Family Promise excited about whatever it is."  Well is is a new system of banking where the "un-banked" or "under-banked" can learn how to have a bank account WITHOUT incurring all those fees. Many of the major banks have joined in the program and offer banking products to clients like ours and make sure they have the information they need to be successful. It may seem like not a big deal to you, but if you are really struggling just to get by one overdraft fee can ruin your whole plan. Not everyone focuses on fees with automatic tellers. There are many ins and out to learn to be a successful and rsponsible bank account owner. So thank you United Way of Greater Knoxville and thank you for all the banks who have joined forces in the bank On Program. For more information see www.bankoneasttennesee.org           

Mary LeMense
Hug the children!

This has been such a difficult week for those of us who love children.  I hate seeing any child hurt. They need love more than anything else in the world. When a young child suffers trauma the impacts are long-lasting. The impacts include physical development, emotional development and intellectual development. We see this in the lives of the homeless. Our shelter children are much more likely to have learning challenges and be diagnosed with ADD and ADHD. These children often become behavior problems at school and, as time goes by, are suspended from school far more frequently than others. If not addressed we seal the fate of our children before they even have a chance to learn and succeed. We know the impacts and the consequences but somehow we do not seem to find solutions. All children deserve a home and the opportunity for a healthy life. Your support of Family Promise helps bring stability and healing to children who have suffered the loss of a home. 

Mary LeMense
Family Promise Academy Workshops

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.

Advent, a time of watching and waiting

 

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!