Hey! I’m Amanda Brand and I’ve been a Family Promise Board Member since 2015. I’m just like you. I’m busy with life, I miss Mangiamo’s spaghetti and meatballs and I love to travel to new places, but today I want to share why I’m involved with Family Promise of Grand Rapids.
While I was part of the Chamber of Commerce Leadership Grand Rapids Program, I had the amazing opportunity to meet with the Family Promise Staff and take a tour of the facility. There were a couple of families there with little ones running around and laughing. Those smiling faces would have been enough to capture my heart, but it’s what I heard next that really struck me – teenagers are often separated from their families while in homeless shelter. The mother in me knew that if I found myself in a similar situation there is no way I would allow for my family to be separated during such a traumatic time. They would literally have to pry my children out of my arms for that to happen. This concept hit me on such an emotional level that I wanted to find out how I could support Family Promise in hopes that no mother or father would ever have to make the decision to be separated from their children.
I quickly learned that these homeless families are the SAME families that our kids go to school with, who we go to church with us and work alongside of us. They are no different and we, as a community, need to take care of each other. In a perfect world, there wouldn’t be waiting lists for housing or emergency overflow shelter needs; I could simply send families to Family Promise where I know they would receive stellar care. But that simply isn’t our current reality…
As I learned more about why and how families become homeless, I could empathize with these moms and dads who, in most situations, had just run out of opportunities or connections when they found themselves without a home. It weighed on my heart. How many times had I needed to ask for help, money or even a place to stay? Where would I be if I didn’t have family and friends to open their homes and hearts to me if I needed it? These were the faces of families that found themselves with nowhere to turn for a safe place to sleep. These faces looked very similar to my own.
Part of caring about the homeless population means that you are aware of the struggles that exist in our community. It also means being aware of the resources that are available. So today, I’m asking you to DO SOMETHING! It doesn’t matter how big or small, just do something to be part of the solution! Volunteer your time, donate gently used household items or give financially! Every gesture makes an impact.
I am excited to share this amazing organization with you! Please take a peek at the impressive stats found on their website. I just know you will fall in love with their work just like I did, and be moved to help end homelessness ‘One Family at a Time”.
Marketing Manager, MINDSCAPE
Learn more here: familypromisegr.org